Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Little SOTU Reality Check

Last night in Bush's State of the Union address, he gave the impression once again that "The Surge" has achieved a certain level of peace and prosperity in Iraq. Given that this president has a reputation for deceit in regard to failures and embellishment in regard to successes, it pays to ask what Iraqis in Iraq have to say about such claims. Dahr Jamail does just that in this TomDispatch piece.

"What kind of normal life can you live when you have to bid farewell to your family each time you go out to buy bread because you don't know if you are going to see them again? What is a normal life to Mr. Bush? If we're lucky, we get a few hours of electricity a day, barely enough drinking water, no health care, no jobs to feed our kids…

"Little teenage girls are given away in marriage because their families can't protect them from militias and troops during raids. Women cannot move unescorted anymore. What kind of educations are our children getting at universities where 60% of the prominent faculty members have been driven out of their jobs -- killed or forced to leave the country by government militias? Is it normal that areas [on the outskirts of Baghdad] like Saidiya and Arab Jubour are bombed because the occupation forces are afraid to enter the areas for fear of the resistance? It is always easier to control ghost cities. It becomes very peaceful without the people."

More here.


Check out this more eloquent assessment too (via Wolcott):
It was a night of vintage George W. Bush -- which is to say he was arrogant, alarmist, petty, presumptuous, preposterous, predictable, pompous, bombastic, belligerent, bellicose, dogmatic, defensive, delusional, disingenuous, duplicitous, self-righteous, swaggering, stammering, smug, smarmy, irrational, illogical, impervious, insincere, manipulative, maudlin, far-fetched, taunting, threatening, intellectually bankrupt, ethically bereft, factually impoverished, jingoistic and awful. He gave a performance for the ages and the ages will neither forgive nor forget him for it.

On the up side, so what? There's no longer any need to go after this clown on a lie-by-lie basis. Everyone know he's a joke. Everyone knows there's no salvaging his...

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