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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Deconstructing shrubya's Speech, übersnark edition

Deconstructing shrubya's Speech, übersnark edition

If this whole situation weren't so completely beyond the pale, shrubya's Veterans Day speech would be a laugh riot. As it is, it's just pathetic.

Thank you all for coming. Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm glad to be back in Pennsylvania, and I'm proud to be the first sitting president to visit Monroe County.

I'm especially pleased to see so many military veterans with us today. Those who have risked their lives for our freedom have the respect and gratitude of our nation on Veterans Day and on every day.

Normally, we would show that respect and gratitude by having a solid plan, not platitudes, to conduct this war. But we did this war on the cheap, 'cuz Uncle Wolfie said the oil would pay for everything. After the rose-petal parades, of course.


I know you're proud of them and so is the commander in chief.

Fascinating. Either he's so far gone that he's referring to himself in the third person, or he is finally admitting to the public that he is definitely not the one in charge here.


The American people stand with our military families.

Did he just inadvertently tell a truth? Since even the war critics and democrats are among "the American people," then it must be true that we stand with our military families. Yes; I'm going with that theory. The converse, of course, is that he just implied that war critics are not among "the American people." And he thought his speechwriters were so careful! Ha!


I want to thank all the state and local officials, and I want to thank all the veterans.

Today our nation pays tribute to those veterans, 25 million veterans, who have worn the uniform of the United States of America. Each of these men and women took an oath to defend America and they upheld that oath with honor and decency.

Through the generations, they have humbled dictators and liberated continents and set a standard of courage and idealism for the entire world.

This year, three and a half million veterans celebrate the 60th anniversary of freedom's great victory in World War II.

A handful of veterans who live among us in 2005 stood in uniform when World War I ended 87 years ago today. These men are more than 100 years old. Many of their lives have touched three different centuries. And they can all know that America will be proud of their service.

On Veterans Day we also remember America's shores but did not live to be thanked as veterans. On this Veterans Day, we honor the courage of those who were lost in our current struggle. We think of the families who lost a loved one. We pray for their comfort.

And we remember the men and women in uniform whose fate is still undetermined: our prisoners of war and those missing in action. America must never forget their courage, and we will not stop searching until we've accounted for every soldier and sailor and airman and Marine missing in the line of duty.

All of America's veterans have placed America's security before their own lives. Their sacrifice creates a debt that America can never fully repay. Yet there are certain things the government can do. My administration remains firmly committed to serving America's veterans.

And thus concludes the portion of shrubya's Veterans Day speech devoted to veterans. Even being generous as to what qualified, it comprised roughly 1/10th of the total speech.


I've joined with the veterans' groups to call on Congress to protect the flag of the United States and the Constitution of the United States.

In June, the House of Representatives voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration. I urge the United States Senate to pass this important amendment.

Maybe that's why he's gone third-person on us; after all, it was Bob "Bob Dole" Dole who originally ignited the flag burning debate.


At this hour, a new generation of Americans is defending our flag and our freedom in the first war of the 21st century. The war came to our shores on September the 11th, 2001.

Yes, but it did not come from Iraq. Ask Osama...oh wait; we can't.


Yet while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane.

You're waaay ahead of them, Georgie.


These extremists extort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Hindus and Jews and against Muslims themselves who do not share their radical vision.

They extort the idea of jihad? With what do they threaten it, I wonder. Maybe Perkie proofread this speech too? To be fair, though, I suppose if we can wage war on a modus operandi, it only makes sense that they might "extort ideas."


Many militants are part of a global, borderless terrorist organization like al-Qaida, which spreads propaganda and provides financing and technical assistance to local extremists and conducts dramatic and brutal operations like the attacks of September the 11.

Other militants are found in regional groups, often associated with al-Qaida. Paramilitary insurgencies and separatist movements in places like Somalia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Chechnya, Kashmir and Algeria.

Still others spring up in local cells, inspired by Islamic radicalism, but not centrally directed.

More or less. Are they, like the chimeral WMD, "in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat?"


First, these extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace and stand in the way of their ambitions.

Democracy, like when we installed the Shah in Iran or the Ba'ath Party in Iraq?


Secondly, the militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country, a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Islam governments.

Georgie, Georgie, Georgie...do try to keep up. The militants have already availed themselves of the vacuum created by the American invasion.


Third, these militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia.

Zawahiri writes that the terrorists, quote, must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq. He goes on to say, The jihad requires several incremental goals: expel the Americans from Iraq, establish an Islamic authority over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq, extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq, end quote.

Not to nitpick, Georgie, but, ummm...Iraq was secular before we invaded. Now? Not so much.

I also find it interesting how this jihadist vision of Iraq is basically a mirror image of the neocon's kafkaesque Iraq fantasy. Ending tyranny in Iraq will transform the entire Middle East and all that. Establish a democractic authority in Iraq and the model will flourish, extending democracy to the Islamic countries neighboring Iraq, etc. Granted, democracy is the superior ideology; but the similarity in thought processes is striking, no?


Evil men obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience must be taken very seriously and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply.

But you look so much like Alfred E. Newman...taking you seriously is hard. Hard work.


Defeating the militant network's difficult because it thrives like a parasite on the suffering and frustration of others. The radicals exploit local conflicts to build a culture of victimization in which someone else is always to blame and violence is always the solution.

Terrorists hate us and attacked us because we are free. Let's invade the middle east!


The influence of Islamic radicalism is also magnified by helpers and enablers. They've been sheltered by authoritarian regimes, allies of convenience, like Iran and Syria, that share the goal of hurting America and modern Muslim governments and use terrorist propaganda to blame their own failures on the West, on America and on the Jews.

Good thing we don't play the blame game, eh Georgie?


Some have also argued that extremists have been strengthened by our actions in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals.

I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11, 2001.

The irony is almost too much...


The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue. And it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse.

The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 150 Russian school children in Beslan.

...No act of ours invited the rage of killers and no concession, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.

It's called "historical context," Georgie. Have Karen look it up for you.


On the contrary, they target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence.

And invading Iraq to install a democracy would be described as...?


Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses. Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, what is good for them and what is not.

What this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers. He assures them that this is the road to paradise, though he never offers to go along for the ride.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy teaches that innocent individuals can be sacrificed to serve a political vision. And this explains their cold-blooded contempt for human life.

Ok, the irony is definitely too much...


When unsuspecting Muslims breaking their Ramadan fast are targeted for death or 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, this is murder, pure and simple: the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion.

Alright; I give up. What's it called when we do it, then?


And we have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before, in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags, the Cultural Revolution and the killing fields.

Unlike our gulags, which were born of god and mom and apple pie!


Its leaders pretend to be an aggrieved party representing the powerless against imperial enemies. In truth, they have endless ambitions of imperial domination and they wish to make everyone powerless except themselves.

Under their rule, they have banned books and desecrated historical monuments and brutalized women. They seek to end dissent in every form, to control every aspect of life, to rule the soul itself.

See! Georgie does understand them! P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, Terry Schiavo, Potemkin Town Halls, etc.


This ideology undermines the very qualities that make human progress possible and human society successful. The only thing modern about the militant's vision is the weapons they want to use against us.

The rest of their grim vision is defined by a warped image of the past, a declaration of war on the idea of progress itself.

Never mind a good century's worth of Western meddling; these people are just anti-progess!


We are reorganizing our government to give this nation a broad and coordinated homeland defense. We are reforming our intelligence agencies for the incredibly difficult task of tracking enemy activity based on information that often comes in small fragments from widely scattered sources both here and abroad.

Wasn't that the whole raison d'etre of the Department of Homeland Security? If Katrina, Rita and Wilma are any reflection on the parent bureau's abilities, I hope you'll understand if I don't feel safe at all.


We've captured or killed several of bin Laden's most serious deputies; al-Qaida managers and operatives in more than 24 countries...the chief of the al-Qaida's operations in the Persian Gulf...a senior Zarqawi terrorist planner...and many of their senior leaders in Saudi Arabia.

Indeed; why, we've literally captured dozens of #2 men!


Third, we're determined to deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes.

State sponsors like Syria and Iran have a long history of collaboration with terrorists. And they deserve no patience from the victims of terror.


I thought you said a "culture of victimization" was a bad thing, Georgie? Or is that another one for the "IOKIYAR" file?

Each loss of life is heartbreaking. And the best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission and to lay the foundation of peace for generations to come.

And the best way to lay the foundations of peace is through war, donchyaknow?


The terrorists are as brutal an enemy as we've ever faced, unconstrained by any notion of our common humanity or by the rules of warfare. No one should underestimate the difficulties ahead, nor should they overlook the advantages we bring to this fight.

Yeah! So if they're not going to play by the rules, then neither will we, right, Alberto?


In contrast, the elected leaders of Iraq are proving to be strong and steadfast. By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress, from tyranny, to liberation, to national elections, to the ratification of a constitution in the space of two and a half years.

In fact, they've made so much progress, they've almost come full-circle back to tyranny.


And our debate at home must also be fair-minded. One of the hallmarks of a free society and what makes our country strong is that our political leaders can discuss their differences openly even in times of war.

I don't think Darth Cheney got the memo.


When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support.

No, Georgie, you reprobate cur; no they didn't. That wasn't even what you asked them. As you are about to state, "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." What Congress did approve was the threat of force to coerce inspections compliance out of Saddam - an authority you vowed to use only as a last resort. But thanks for finally admitting that this, not finding WMD, was your objective all along.


While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.

Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war.

Well, that is pretty much what "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" means, Georgie. Do MI6 officials count as "anti-war critics?"


These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.

Nice try, Georgie. But you know good and well that pressuring analysts is different from manipulating intelligence, as do those critics. Unfortunately for you, they also know that those investigators were not examining the administration's use of intelligence.


That's why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence, voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.

The stakes in the global war on terror are too high and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges.

False charges such as the laughable notion that the Senate saw the same, unfettered intelligence - from all sources - as the President? Or false charges such as they voted in support of removing Hussein from power? Stuff like that?


If the peoples of that region are permitted to choose their own destiny and advance by their own energy and participation of free men and women, then the extremists will be marginalized and the flow of violent radicalism to the rest of the world will slow and eventually end.

But since we invaded instead of letting them choose their own destiny and contract all the rebuilding work to American companies who don't hire Iraqis, the extremists enjoy a great deal of sympathy and a veritable river of recruits. Whaddaya know...they brought it on.


We're standing with dissidents and exiles against oppressive regimes because we know that the dissidents of today will be the democratic leaders of tomorrow.

We're making our case through public diplomacy, stating clearly and confidently our belief in self-determination and the rule of law and religious freedom and equal rights for women; beliefs that are right and true in every land, and in every culture.

And yet the Iraqi constitution represents an almost total disenfrancisement of Sunnis and is amendable at the drop of a hat. Yes, that's a strong model for the rule of law.

The time has come for responsible Islamic leaders to join in denouncing an ideology that exploits Islam for political ends and defiles a noble faith.

This from Mr. "God told me to do it." Cute


Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision. And they end up alienating decent people across the globe.

Careful, Georgie. That sounds suspiciously like invading a sovereign country in the name of freedom, especially when done without broad international support.

As if this speech weren't patently offensive and insipid enough already, it's an almost verbatim encore of a speech given before the National Endowment for Democracy on October 6th. Our brave veterans, whom shrubya purports to honor and respect, don't even merit an original speech. "Appalling" doesn't begin to cover it.

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