Shorter SOTU: Surge or Die - Rolling Stone
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Shorter SOTU: Surge or Die

Bloody flag of 9/11 once again a-wavin’, Bush yet again defended his dedication to the debacle in Iraq by warning that disengagement from will “invite tragedy” — aka get us all killed.

There’s not much worth parsing in this speech. Besides his ususal technology-will-save-us schtick on climate change, the president offered a bunch of flim-flam about reducing gas consumption by 20 percent. It recalled his vaunted mission to Mars speech in what was it 2002? 2003?, a lofty destination with no plan for launch.

Bush’s healthcare ideas are intriguing as far as non-starters go. But this Democratic Congress has already turned up its nose, so let’s toss those aside too.

Lots about Lebanon. Nary a word about Katrina.

Perhaps most encouraging was the decided lack of saber rattling toward Syria, and a more muted tone in the president’s discussion of Iran. There was no mention of the proverbial table upon which all options remain.

For me, though, the speech went off the rails with this one line of curdled rhetoric in which the President simultaneously absolved himself of his sins in leading us into war and underscored his unique approach to bi-partisanship: No matter how many times I fuck it up, I’m still right.

With the distance of time, we find ourselves debating the causes of conflict and the course we have followed. Such debates are essential when a great democracy faces great questions. Yet one question has surely been settled — that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.

Just like we did when we waylayed the hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan to embark on this goddam lie of a war in Iraq? Creating new enemies, taking the lid off of centuries old emnities, and opening up a Jihadi Disneyland in Anbar province to boot? Well played, Mr. President. Well played.


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