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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

 
Every Loss Is A Win

(Or, a dead soldier is like a dollar in the bank ... the Bank of Political Capital.)

Poputonian from Kidding on the Square wrote me this e-mail which I found quite insightful. With his permission, I'm posting it here:



On February 20, 2003, exactly one month before the United States invaded Iraq, Norman Mailer spoke these words before the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco:

Terrorism and instability are the reverse face of Empire. If the Saudi rulers have been afraid of their mullahs for fear of their power to incite terrorists, what will the Muslim world be like once we, the Great Satan, are there to dominate the Middle East in person?

Since the administration can hardly be unaware of the dangers, the answer comes down to the unhappy likelihood that Bush and Company are ready to be hit by a major terrorist attack, as well as any number of smaller ones. Either way, it will strengthen his hand. America will gather about him again. We can hear his words in advance: "Good Americans died today. Innocent victims of evil had to shed their blood. But we will prevail. We are one with God." Given such language, every loss is a win.


Every loss is a win. So that’s how they do it.

More than two years later, Junior is still drilling down that hole. Reuters made this report on Saturday, August 20, 2005:


Bush invokes Sept 11 to defend Iraq war link:


In a few weeks, our country will mark the four-year anniversary of the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. On that day, we learned that vast oceans and friendly neighbors no longer protect us from those who wish to harm our people.
...
Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy.
...
They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war.


But sometimes when political capital is low, really, really low, when your own worshipers begin thinking disloyal thoughts, you have to pull out all the stops. This is when you start trading in dead soldiers. Even National Public Radio noted how unusual it was that in his speech today in Salt Lake City, Bush invoked the dead. Here is what a desperate president said to his throng of future detractors:

We have lost 1,864 members of our Armed Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and 223 in Operation Enduring Freedom. Each of these men and women left grieving families and loved ones back home. Each of these heroes left a legacy that will allow generations of their fellow Americans to enjoy the blessings of liberty. And each of these Americans have brought the hope of freedom to millions who have not known it. We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for. We will honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists, and building strong allies in Afghanistan and Iraq that will help us win and fight -- fight and win the war on terror.


Given such language, every dead soldier is a win.

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