Monday, September 08, 2003

Okay everyone, extremely long post here. I ended up not seeing or hearing Bush's address, but I did read through the transcript provided by the White House to CNN. It's repeated here, with running color commentary by me. Christ, I hope someone reads this, because this took over three hours.

Good evening. I have asked for this time to keep you informed of America's actions in the war on terror.

I'm real sure Bush went and asked "Please, please Mr. Cheney, can I go out and bullshit the American people for awhile? Also, why do I have the feeling I'm not going to feel very informed by the time I'm done with this?

Nearly two years ago, following deadly attacks on our country, we began a systematic campaign against terrorism. These months have been a time of new responsibilities, and sacrifice, and national resolve, and great progress.

Systematic? By systematic, you mean going into one nation after another with no plan as to what the fuck we're going to do when we get there?

What new responisbilities? What new sacrifices? Going to the mall and spending more? National resolve? Where the fuck is that at? Oh, you mean our resolve to not sacrifice or to not take on new reponsibilities?

September 11th reference count: 1

America and a broad coalition acted first in Afghanistan, by destroying the training camps of terror, and removing the regime that harbored al Qaeda. In a series of raids and actions around the world, nearly two-thirds of al Qaeda's known leaders have been captured or killed, and we continue on al Qaeda's trail. We have exposed terrorist front groups, seized terrorist accounts, taken new measures to protect our homeland, and uncovered sleeper cells inside the United States. And we acted in Iraq, where the former regime sponsored terror, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, and for 12 years defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council. Our coalition enforced these international demands in one of the swiftest and most humane military campaigns in history.

If I hear the word "coalition" paired with the word "broad" ever again to describe our work in Iraq, I'm going to throw up.

  1. "the former regime sponsored terror" - Has this been proven? Definitely not to the extent that Saddam and Osama were lovers.
  2. "possessed and used weapons of mass destruction" - Yes, back in the 80s when your dad was busy funding him.
  3. "for 12 years defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council" - yeah, but considering that Saddam didn't appear to have those nasty weapons, it looks like he was doing it just to be a cranky bitch.

Also, the word "humane" does not belong anywhere near the words "military campaign." No matter what, war is barbaric. Sometimes necessary, although not in this case.

For a generation leading up to September 11, 2001, terrorists and their radical allies attacked innocent people in the Middle East and beyond, without facing a sustained and serious response. The terrorists became convinced that free nations were decadent and weak. And they grew bolder, believing that history was on their side. Since America put out the fires of September 11, and mourned our dead, and went to war, history has taken a different turn. We have carried the fight to the enemy. We are rolling back the terrorist threat to civilization, not on the fringes of its influence, but at the heart of its power.

The thing that makes terrorism so insidious and hard to stop is that it has no heart of power, you idiot. The rest of this is just bullshit macho posturing.

September 11th reference count: 3

This work continues. In Iraq, we are helping the longsuffering people of that country to build a decent and democratic society at the center of the Middle East. Together we are transforming a place of torture chambers and mass graves into a nation of laws and free institutions. This undertaking is difficult and costly - yet worthy of our country, and critical to our security.

My guess here is that the implication is that everything we've done in Iraq was and is vital to our security. Well, now it's vital to our security, thanks to how well we're fucking things up over there.

Also, saying that the task is "worthy" of our country and pointing out how we're helping those "longsuffering people" is just sanctimonious bullshit trying to make us look all noble. The administration, and a good deal of the American people, don't give a shit about the people of Iraq. We're over there for purely selfish reasons, so knock it off already.

The Middle East will either become a place of progress and peace, or it will be an exporter of violence and terror that takes more lives in America and in other free nations. The triumph of democracy and tolerance in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and beyond would be a grave setback for international terrorism. The terrorists thrive on the support of tyrants and on the resentments of oppressed peoples. When tyrants fall, and resentment gives way to hope, men and women in every culture reject the ideologies of terror, and turn to the pursuits of peace. Everywhere that freedom takes hold, terror will retreat.

Blah, blah, blah. Aren't Iraq and Afghanistan supposed to be free now? Then why in the hell are all these "terrorists" in Iraq who weren't there before? And why is Afghanistan such a mess? From what I understand, warlords and the Taliban still have a decent grip on that country.

Right now, my money is on "an exporter of violence and terror."

The terrorists thrive on hatred of the infidels and money that comes from oil. End of story.

Our enemies understand this. They know that a free Iraq will be free of them -- free of assassins, and torturers, and secret police. They know that as democracy rises in Iraq, all of their hateful ambitions will fall like the statues of the former dictator. And that is why, five months after we liberated Iraq, a collection of killers is desperately trying to undermine Iraq's progress and throw the country into chaos.

Oh, Jesus fucking Christ, I thought I had heard the last of that goddamn statue. That's our whole claim to fame over there - we knocked over a statue. Good for the fucking tuna. Get over it.

Democracy isn't the antimatter to hateful ambitions. Even if we do manage to set up democracy over there, the success of which I am far from convinced of, it's not going to magically make the people who hate us not hate us anymore.

Also, I think we were the ones who threw that country into chaos when we fucking invaded and started shooting people. I'm not saying the people aren't better without Saddam, but give credit where credit is due. Plus, we haven't exactly done a stellar job thus far in containing the chaos.

Some of the attackers are former members of the old Saddam regime, who fled the battlefield and now fight in the shadows. Some of the attackers are foreign terrorists, who have come to Iraq to pursue their war on America and other free nations. We cannot be certain to what extent these groups work together. We do know they have a common goal -- reclaiming Iraq for tyranny.

Yeah... ?

Most, but not all, of these killers operate in one area of the country. The attacks you have heard and read about in the last few weeks have occurred predominantly in the central region of Iraq, between Baghdad and Tikrit -- Saddam Hussein's former stronghold. The North of Iraq is generally stable and is moving forward with reconstruction and self-government. The same trends are evident in the South, despite recent attacks by terrorist groups.

"Predominantly"? Well, if that's the case, it shouldn't be all that bad, right? Oh, wait? The south too? Fuck.

"Generally stable" and "moving forward. Wow, that's not vague.

Though their attacks are localized, the terrorists and Saddam loyalists have done great harm. They have ambushed American and British service members -- who stand for freedom and order. They have killed civilian aid workers of the United Nations -- who represent the compassion and generosity of the world. They have bombed the Jordanian embassy -- the symbol of a peaceful Arab country. And last week they murdered a respected cleric and over a hundred Muslims at prayer -- bombing a holy shrine and a symbol of Islam's peaceful teachings.

"Great harm"? Doesn't sound like it matters that they're "predominantly" in one area or another or if things are "generally stable," does it?

I didn't know we stand for freedom and order. Did you know that? I'm glad they told me, because I didn't know. Okay, well, I'm still confused on the order part.

The bad guys are going after things that "stand for" and "represent" and are a "symbol of." Geez, they must be mad or something.

This violence is directed, not only against our coalition, but against anyone in Iraq who stands for decency, and freedom, and progress.

No, they're directed against our coalition, and by our coalition, I mean the United States.

There is more at work in these attacks than blind rage. The terrorists have a strategic goal. They want us to leave Iraq before our work is done. They want to shake the will of the civilized world. In the past, the terrorists have cited the examples of Beirut and Somalia, claiming that if you inflict harm on Americans, we will run from a challenge. In this, they are mistaken.

Wow, "blind rage" and "strategic goal." They have one up on us with that goal part.

Two years ago, I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war, fought on many fronts in many places. Iraq is now the central front. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there -- and there they must be defeated. This will take time, and require sacrifice. Yet we will do what is necessary, we will spend what is necessary, to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror, to promote freedom, and to make our own nation more secure.

Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terror. Sorry to do this again, but let's say it together, children: the neoconservatives planned long, long ago to depose Saddam Hussein. It's more than evident thanks to the Project for a New American Century.

Iraq now has plenty to do with the war on terror, but only because of the self-fulfilling prophesy of invading Iraq and causing all these terrorists to stream into the country.

I feel more secure already.

September 11th reference count: 4 (although kind of a stretch on this one)

America has done this kind of work before. Following World War II, we lifted up the defeated nations of Japan and Germany, and stood with them as they built representative governments. We committed years and resources to this cause. And that effort has been repaid many times over in three generations of friendship and peace. America today accepts the challenge of helping the Iraqi people in the same spirit -- for their sake, and our own.

Oh, yes, yes, yes! I have so been waiting for someone big to bring up Japan and Germany after World War II! Time for a little history lesson.

I continually hear it brought up how people said that we could never bring democracy to Germany and Japan after World War II. We succeeded, and if we did it then, we can do it now in Iraq. This is a complete fallacy. Post-WWII Germany and Japan were so different from Iraq that the comparison is invalid.

Why is it a fallacy? Oh, I don't know, maybe because Germany and Japan had experience with democracy prior to WWII.

Hitler was involved in a democratic election that led to his post of chancellor in Germany. The people wanted Hitler in power. They wanted a strong leader who would right the wrongs of Versailles. Yes, Germany descended into a fascist nightmare, but it came out of a crumbled democracy.

Japan lived in feudalism until 1868, but by 1890 they had their shit together and a constitution and parliament were in place. Their parliament was limited in power, and the electorate was somewhat small (only males who paid over a certain amount of taxes were allowed to vote). Still, they were a capitalist, constitutional nation. Yes, Japan descended into a militarist nightmare, but it came out of a crumbled democracy.

Even though we were rebuilding nations that were definitely not democratic at the time, the people of both Germany and Japan had experience with democracy in the years prior to WWII. I don't know about in Germany, but in Japan a lot of the politicians and bureacrats from before the war became part of the new democracy after the war. There are really no seeds for democracy in Iraq right now, and the people don't have much of a concept of living under a democratic system.

Quit fucking using Japan and Germany as an example, OK?

The only place where the comparison might be valid is with the bad stuff. We did commit years and resources. Like how the official occupation of Japan lasted seven years, and over half a century later we still have a strong military presence there.

Our strategy in Iraq has three objectives -- destroying the terrorists -- enlisting the support of other nations for a free Iraq -- and helping Iraqis assume responsibility for their own defense and their own future.

Strategy? Do you think they just put this together last night? Because this is the first I've heard of a strategy, and I'm not hearing many specifics on how these goals are going to be met.

First, we are taking direct action against the terrorists in the Iraqi theater, which is the surest way to prevent future attacks on coalition forces and the Iraqi people. We are staying on the offensive, with a series of precise strikes against enemy targets increasingly guided by intelligence given to us by Iraqi citizens. Since the end of major combat operations, we have conducted raids seizing many caches of enemy weapons and massive amounts of ammunition, and we have captured or killed hundreds of Saddam loyalists and terrorists. So far, of the 55 most wanted former Iraqi leaders, 42 are dead or in custody. We are sending a clear message: Anyone who seeks to harm our soldiers can know that our soldiers are hunting for them.

Well, the surest way to prevent future attacks on our soldiers would have been to not get involved in the first place, but that's a moot point no matter how many times I bring it up (and say it's a moot point).

Stop trying to imply that things are so much easier over there now. The phrase "end of major combat operations" doesn't mean shit when there's still a lot of combat going on.

More bullshit posturing.

Second, we are committed to expanding international cooperation in the reconstruction and security of Iraq, just as we are in Afghanistan. Our military commanders in Iraq advise me that the current number of American troops -- nearly 130,000 -- is appropriate to their mission. They are joined by over 20,000 service members from 29 other countries. Two multinational divisions, led by the British and the Poles, are serving alongside our forces -- and in order to share the burden more broadly, our commanders have requested a third multinational division to serve in Iraq.

Yeah, we're real commited to international cooperation, now that we have no fucking choice. Which is yet another reason why the international community is just falling all over themselves to help us out.

Those 20,000 joining us: almost entirely British. You know you have a weak coalition when the #3 guy is Poland. Look, nothing against Poland, but they're not really a military powerhouse these days. And it is just a handful of them, at that.

Some countries have requested an explicit authorization of the United Nations Security Council before committing troops to Iraq. I have directed Secretary of State Colin Powell to introduce a new Security Council resolution, which would authorize the creation of a multinational force in Iraq, led by America.

"Some countries have requested..." Oh, so we're listening to others now?

No, from what it sounds like, it'd be a group of additional targets being bossed around by the Americans.

I recognize that not all of our friends agreed with our decision to enforce the Security Council resolutions and remove Saddam Hussein from power. Yet we cannot let past differences interfere with present duties. Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilized world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilized
world. Members of the United Nations now have an opportunity, and the responsibility, to assume a broader role in assuring that Iraq becomes a free and democratic nation.

Bush, you don't recognize shit.

Our "friends"? You mean the "cheese eaters" and the "chocolate makers" and the "scheisse film producers"? Real nice talk about your friends.

The security council resolutions said nothing about removing Saddam from power, and we made no secret that was our intention.

It would be nice if we had let this be a cause for the civilized world, and not a cause for America and America alone. God fucking damn it, will you fucking pricks get it through your heads that you fucked up big time in the diplomatic ring by pissing everyone off, and that's why no one wants to help us?!

Third, we are encouraging the orderly transfer of sovereignty and authority to the Iraqi people. Our coalition came to Iraq as liberators and we will depart as liberators. Right now Iraq has its own Governing Council, comprised of 25 leaders representing Iraq's diverse people. The Governing Council recently appointed cabinet ministers to run government departments. Already more than 90 percent of towns and cities have functioning local governments, which are restoring basic services. We are helping to train civil defense forces to keep order -- and an Iraqi police service to enforce the law -- and a facilities protection service -- and Iraqi border guards to help secure the borders -- and a new Iraqi army. In all these roles, there are now some 60,000 Iraqi citizens under arms, defending the security of their own country -- and we are accelerating the training of more.

Oooohhhh, sovereignty! That's such a big, grown-up word, Georgie! (He pronounced it right in his speech, didn't he?)

More bullshit about the coalition of the imiginary.

From what I hear, the governing council isn't exactly a real effective governing body.

Restoring basic services? This shit is still going on? Shouldn't this have been taken care of long ago? As our friend Kazami-sensei from Onegai Teacher would say, saiyu senji koyo!. Priority fucking one, assholes!

Oh, wait, maybe they're restoring them after all of the fucking sabotage that's been going on. You know, because things are "generally stable."

Speaking of Onegai Teacher, apparently we're "accelerating" something! This is going to be a great summer! Sex with the hot teacher for everyone!

Iraq is ready to take the next steps toward self-government. The Security Council resolution we introduce will encourage Iraq's Governing Council to submit a plan and a timetable for the drafting of a constitution, and for free elections. From the outset, I have expressed confidence in the ability of the Iraqi people to govern themselves. Now they must rise to the responsibilities of a free people and secure the blessings of their own liberty.

Again, it's irrelevant now, but the timetable and all that really should have been worked out beforehand. "Now they must rise," because we left them with little fucking choice.

Our strategy in Iraq will require new resources. We have conducted a thorough assessment of our military and reconstruction needs in Iraq, and also in Afghanistan. I will soon submit to Congress a request for $87 billion. The request will cover ongoing military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, which we expect will cost 66 billion dollars over the next year. This budget request will support our commitment to helping the Iraqi and Afghan people rebuild their own nations, after decades of oppression and mismanagement. We will provide funds to help them improve security. And we will help them to restore basic services, such as electricity and water, and to build new schools, roads, and medical clinics. This effort is essential to the stability of those nations, and therefore to our own security. Now and in the future, we will support our troops and we will keep our word to the more than 50 million people of Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Thorough"? Somehow I doubt it. But $87 billion, hey, that's great. Should go nice with the already expanding deficit. And what exactly is that $87 billion going to pay for? I guess we'll see.

"This effort is essential to the stability of those nations, and therefore to our own security." It is also essential to Halliburton.

What, were we considering ending our support of the troops? "Sorry guys, you're on your own over there." Oh yeah, supporting them by keeping them over there indefinitely until they come home to the land of slashed veterans benefits.

The "keeping our word" to the people of Afghanistan would have me rolling on the floor if it wasn't for the fact that it's not funny. That is just being a stunningly huge asshole right there.

Later this month, Secretary Powell will meet with representatives of many nations to discuss their financial contributions to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Next month, he will hold a similar funding conference for the reconstruction of Iraq. Europe, Japan, and states in the Middle East all will benefit from the success of freedom in these two countries, and they should contribute to that success.

Again, quit making vague demands from other nations to pitch in. The rest of the world isn't going to ask "how high?" when we say "jump!", unless of course they're Tony Blair.

The people of Iraq are emerging from a long trial. For them, there will be no going back to the days of the dictator -- to the miseries and humiliation he inflicted on that good country. For the Middle East and the world, there will be no going back to the days of fear -- when a brutal and aggressive tyrant possessed terrible weapons. And for America, there will be no going back to the era before September 11th, 2001 -- to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength -- they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today, so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.

The trials are far from over. Yes, Saddam was a fuck. But just because he's gone doesn't mean that it's magically better over there. Of course, no one needs to be reminded of this, with the exception of Bush.

"For the Middle East and the world, there will be no going back to the days of fear -- when a brutal and aggressive tyrant possessed terrible weapons." Wow. There is more bullshit packed into that sentence than I think I have ever seen in my entire life.

Considering what's going down in Israel, and the fact that Iran has nuclear ambitions (just to name two examples out of many), I think there will be plenty of fear for many, many years to come in the Middle East. Oh, yeah, and the rest of the world, too. I think there's some shit going on there as well. As if Saddam was the only threat to a Star Trek-like utopia.

Saddam was neither very aggressive (yeah, he did things like invade Kuwait, which were promptly put to a stop) nor did he possess terrible weapons. Well, he did possess weapons, but not at the time we were all up in arms about it (namely, six months ago).

No going back to the days of "false comfort"? I don't know about you, but to me, checking shoes and taking away nail clippers while doing cavity searches on 87 year old quadriplegics fucking redefines false comfort.

What is "terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength" supposed to mean? That doesn't make any sense. Or does it? Is Bush's speechwriter trying to imply that it wasn't the enforcement of American hegemony that led to al Qaeda attacking us? They attacked us because they perceived us as weak, and not because they were fucking pissed at our actions around the world? I'm not saying America had it coming, but to say that our continual meddling worldwide had nothing to do with bringing on September 11th is fucking ludicrous.

September 11th reference count (not including mine): 5

The heaviest burdens in our war on terror fall, as always, on the men and women of our armed forces and our intelligence services. They have removed gathering threats to America and our friends, and this nation takes great pride in their incredible achievements. We are grateful for their skill and courage, and for their acts of decency, which have shown America's character to the world. We honor the sacrifice of their families. And we mourn every American who has died so bravely, and so far from home.

Don't get me started on how well the intelligence services have beared their burdens.

The rest of this is just needless ass-kissing. "We support our troops!"

The Americans who assume great risks overseas understand the great cause they are in. Not long ago I received a letter from a captain in the 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad. He wrote about his pride in serving a just cause, and about the deep desire of Iraqis for liberty. "I see it," he said, "in the eyes of a hungry people every day here. They are starved for freedom and opportunity." And he concluded, "I just thought you'd like a note from the 'front lines of freedom.'" That Army captain, and all of our men and women serving in the war on terror, are on the front lines of freedom. And I want each of them to know: Your country thanks you, and your country supports you.

Let's do a quick poll and see who really understands the "great cause" they're in.

Also, what the fuck else is the captain of the 3rd infantry going to say in a letter to the president?

"Dear President Fuckhead,

Thanks for getting us involved in this awful mess with no end in sight. We're enjoying being shot at and killed by these seekers of liberty. It's fucking hot here, so thanks for that too.

Fuck you,
Captain "Fuck George Bush in the ass" McSoldier"

Fellow citizens: We have been tested these past 24 months, and the dangers have not passed. Yet Americans are responding with courage and confidence. We accept the duties of our generation. We are active and resolute in our own defense. We are serving in freedom's cause -- and that is the cause of all mankind.

"We accept the duties of our generation" by making a mess for future generations to deal with. And more empty posturing and vague talk about freedom.

September 11th reference count: 6 (another vague one; this didn't get as bad as I had thought)

Thank you, and good night. And may God continue to bless America.

God doesn't give any more of a shit about America than he does about athletes and rap stars. If he did, we wouldn't be dealing with things like September 11th. Also, isn't it belief that God is on someone's side what got us into this mess in the first place?

Ahhh, yes, I feel so totally informed right now. We're right, the world is wrong, no one else can have any say, but please give us troops and money. The same bullshit, only now we have a price tag on just how much bullshit costs.

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