Thursday, May 24, 2007


I can’t shake the notion that President Bush has hired George Orwell as his speechwriter. In a news conference held in the White House Rose Garden (I guess some people are promised a rose garden after all), the President commented that we can expect the coming months in Iraq to be bloody ones. American and Iraqi casualties will rise. And that, surprisingly, is the good news.

I always thought that winning a war meant our casualties go down while the bad guys casualties go up. But in the lexicon of Bushspeak the more attacks on Americans the more our strategy must be succeeding. By that logic we won’t have won until we have run out of soldiers to send into the field. Is anyone buying this nonsense?

The point of the surge as I understood it was to overwhelm the enemy and clamp down on violence, not to give the enemy more of us to shoot at and bomb with no lessening of violence. While I was not in favor of the strategy, I did recognize it as a legitimate idea.

As far as I can tell it isn’t working out the way I thought it was supposed to. Violence is up. American casualties are up. Al¬–Qaeda is thriving. How is this winning?

Bush is positioning himself for a no–lose response to General Petraeus’ report on the war this coming September. If Petraeus reports that violence is down, the insurgency is weakening, the civil war is lessening, and peace is coming then the President can declare victory for his strategy. If Petraeus reports that violence is up, the insurgency is strengthening, the civil war is intensifying, and peace is years away then the President can again declare victory for his strategy by claiming we are pocking at the eye of the enemy so, of course, they are stirred up. The President can’t lose. But the American people can.

This is why I suspect George Orwell is writing George Bush’s speeches and talking points. If you want to know what is going on in America today don’t rely on CNN, Fox News, or even NPR. Pick up a copy of Nineteen Eighty–Four.

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