Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA , for September 12, 07
Comedian Bill Maher thinks the whole country is suffering from “Bleep-up Fatigue” --only he didn’t use the word “bleep” – to describe the utter despair and exhaustion he feels when he picks up a paper and reads another headline about another bungled mess the President and his crony administration are involved in, and since there have been so many bleep-ups, instead of more outrage, he now simply shrugs and says, “Of course, what else could we expect from this guy? He’s a complete bleep-up.”
I knew exactly what Maher was talking about when I scanned Molly Hennessy-Fiske’s L.A. Times story on a new Bush biography. The author pressed Bush as to just why the Iraqi army was disbanded soon after the invasion. That one act is now seen as the key decision that led to a whole series of disastrous unravelings. Said Bush, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”
“[Author] Draper pressed Bush to explain why, if he wanted to maintain the army, his chief administrator for Iraq, I. Paul Bremer III, issued an order in May 2003 disbanding the 400,000 strong army without pay.
“Yeah, I can’t remember; I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ Bush said, adding: ‘Again, Hadley’s got notes on all this stuff” – a reference to national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley.”
Of course Bush can’t be expected to remember any of this stuff. He’s just the Commander in Chief. Better check with Hadley. He’ll have notes on all this, maybe. Or maybe not, because, as the story pointed out, Douglas J. Feith, who was “ . . . then undersecretary of Defense for policy and an architect of the Iraq invasion,” said “ . . . the excerpts [from the interviews] raised interesting questions about how the pivotal decision was made.”
. . . raised interesting questions? This from the guy who was, as the Times notes, “ . . . deeply involved in the decision-making process at the time, working closely with Bush and Bremer.”
Of course, Feith can’t be expected to know anything about this, he was just the undersecretary of Defense for policy. Why would anyone expect him to know who decided anything when The Decider himself doesn’t remember? Or care? That’s how this administration ran their war --- things just happened; darnedest thing.
Insufficient troops, insufficient up-armoring on the Humvees, insufficient flak-vests, an unpaid, still-armed Iraqi army disbanded, huge stores of Iraqi weapons unguarded and soon gone, along with huge stores of U.S. weapons gone as well, not to mention pallets and pallets of U.S. greenbacks all disappeared. Who knew? Stuff happens, said former Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at the time. Darnedest thing. Rummy declined to comment on these new revelations. Probably couldn’t remember either. Why bother? Running a war was obviously not worthy of attention by a Secretary of Defense or the Commander in Chief.
And so the Bleep-ups continue to spill out of the headlines, each now morphing from a shock into eye-rolling exhaustion: Gonzales at Justice has scampered out the door? Of course! Another conservative Republican, anti-gay, family-values kinda guy is caught soliciting gay sex in a public toilet? Tap-tap-tap. Of course! Meanwhile, more dead and maimed soldiers come home to a crumbling country where bridges fall down because of lack of maintenance because tax cuts for the rich take precedence over maintaining the Value of The Commons. Of course! And millions more citizens join the rolls of the medically uninsured, while a poorly regulated credit industry helped bust a housing bubble that saw a few on Wall Street get rich while the schnook on the street actually did end up on the street, his home repossessed by the bank, while the President flies off on another typical frat-boy “secret mission” to pop up in a well-protected Anbar province military base for a little Hoo-Rah! front page photo-op with the soldiers, some of whom will likely die while he “plays out” his war until the elections in hopes of handing his mess over to somebody else. No accountability on his watch. Of course!
Thus, the exhausted nausea of Bleep-up fatigue. What else from a government being run by an astonishing array of incompetents, fully supported by an elected and reelected hack-filled, poisonously grid-locked congress that puts party loyalty, maintaining power, and keeping their corporate K Street Masters happy above all else?
Well, of course!