Bush's Escalation of Troops and Iran Threats Speech Throws Gas on the FireSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Bush's Escalation of Troops and Iran Threats Speech Throws Gas on the Fire

11 January 2007 at 3:13:28 PM

For tonight, President Bush will go on television [last night] and tell his fellow Americans that he is preparing to send upwards of 20,000 more troops into the graveyard that is Iraq. His people are calling it a surge. Anyone on nodding terms with the English language would call it escalation.

It’s a neat twist on democratic accountability. In last November’s midterm elections, Americans sent a message as clearly as they could, short of hiring a plane to spell it out in skywriting above Pennsylvania Avenue: we want this war to end. Bush promised he had heard them - and is promptly doing the very opposite. One New York Times editorial wondered if he had even watched the 2006 election night results or whether he had just curled up in front of a videotaped repeat of the Republican victories of 2002.

The Republicans have form in this area, of course. In 1968, Richard Nixon was elected on a promise to end the war in Vietnam: instead, it intensified until another 55,000 US troops were dead, along with an estimated 2 million south-east Asians. But Bush’s showing of his middle finger feels more brazen, if only because it is not only the American public he is ignoring, but people you would think he might respect. ...

So now we know what the much-vaunted new Bush strategy for Iraq amounts to: throw more gasoline on the fire. It’s conceivable that Bush is, in fact, planning an eventual withdrawal, but hoping that one last push will give him something he can call victory as a finale. Psychologists spot similar behaviour in compulsive gamblers who, when in trouble, increase their bets, hoping for a win that will allow them to leave the table with dignity. They have a word for such thinking: delusional.

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