"If we cannot now end our differences,
at least we can help make the world safe for diversity."
John F. Kennedy
He was so desperate for another win he used a "milestone" -- his words, not mine -- built with the bedrock and another man's hands, steadfastness, and honor to do it.
It was a tall order to fill in twenty minutes, and only the second Oval Office address to the nation. He had to do it in such a way that enabled himself to gain the applause without walking over the man who made it possible, along with extending his confidences to the remaining security forces both in Iraq and Afghanistan, while coming before the American people to gain trust and favor-ability to finish the job he was called upon to do, but for what?
Was it only to mark the monumental occasion of being true to his campaign promise?
Was it to convince the deteriorating and disgruntled public, to have faith in him, as president of the United States, now that the economy is sinking into a second trough accompanied with his poll numbers tanking?
He preceded the address earlier in the day making light of the impending show of narcissism, by saying, "[now, uh] it's not going to be a victory lap" chuckle chuckle, "it's not going to be self-congratulatory..." even though, he had just made it perfectly clear of his secret wish that he could; transparency is a b****, isn't it?
Well, at least he mentioned the other guy's name -- going out of his way to make a phone call to him, too -- that's real nice...almost neighborly.
Fortunately, for our sake, we can see right through him; for everything he does is fully orchestrated and magnified right before our eyes -- that is if it works in his favor. For much obliged, dear ones, he was obligated to go all the way to the front door and drop a mention of his predecessor's wily overtures, while some might say transgressions -- otherwise, Americans would view him with more contempt than we already do.
So he begrudgingly offered up all the ways we are different approach to coming together with as much sincerity as he could muster; and while it was painstakingly dreadful to watch and keep paying attention, this is how the tale -- in part, with the much needed 3-D and free-wielding commentary, added purely for special effects -- was spun:
"Ending this war is not only in Iraq's interest- it is in our own. [especially my own.]
The United States has paid a huge price [one, that I did not, nor did I ever, even still today, agree with] to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home [yes, the war is to blame -- having nothing to do with the mortgage failure, wall street, banking, GM, AIG, overblown stimulus, new healthcare entitlement legislation, and unemployment going through the roof due to the overall lack of confidence and security in the marketplace]. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people -a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. [okay, that was really beautiful, really, mean it]
Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility [even though Iraq is still a hot mess... and not in a good way] Now, it is time to turn the page.
As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home [only for liberals -- Iraqi's entirely grateful, along with the right, standing up for what needed to be done and sticking to it, not so much]. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I [took a minute out of my busy day] spoke to former President George W. Bush. It's well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset [and especially that surge thing]. Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it [I just happen to be neither patriot -- by all appearances and gestures over the last 19 months -- or for the record, wish to discuss the wisdom of such war at this time]. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq's future [because thanks to me, hope is all they have left].
The greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences, and to learn from our experience as we confront the many challenges ahead. And no challenge is more essential to our security than our fight against Al Qaeda [as in Islamic Extremists. Terrorists. right, Mr. President? -- we can agree to disagree but still call them as we see them for real...they are pulling a jihad in the name of their God, Allah. And just to be clear, it is a war defined by Islamic -- not Christian, Buddhist, Mormon, etc, only radical Islamic extremists, not to be confused with Muslims who come in peace -- Extremists terrorizing and killing anyone and everyone who does not follow the word and the way of Islam. No discussion. No ifs, ands or buts all over the world].
Americans across the political spectrum supported the use of force against those who attacked us on 9/11. [umm, didn't you just say two minutes ago that it was contentious?] Now, as we approach our 10th year of combat in Afghanistan, there are those who are understandably asking tough questions about our mission there. But we must never lose sight of what's at stake. As we speak, Al Qaeda continues to plot against us, [and yet, putting a 'victory mosque' a stone's throw from the site of 9/11 seems like a good idea to you, American freedom and liberty and all, while] its leadership remains anchored against those who attacked us on 9/11.Oh, we could go on; we could pick apart the whole darn thing; but let us just let it be for now.
You are right, Mr. President, "an open ended war serves no one" -- except for those who actually defend freedom and liberty for all, no matter how long it takes. But how about we go ahead and stick to your pledge to end the endless war one year from now in Afghanistan too...seems to be working so well already in Iraq, what's the worst thing that could happen?
The Oval Office address last night was a big mistake; your intentions are not pure, but be that as it may, the only way we will all know for sure is if you are truly in it for the long haul.
The thing is, you only did it to puff out your chest and say look at me -- for surely as the parlor door knows, it had been way too long between visits.
You only did it to convince us that you have been in charge since day one, and that we should not lose faith (in you); but your heart was not in it. And I can't help but notice that this strategy seems to be the B.O./M.O. for a number of things. It's just too bad for the poor timing and lack of conviction -- your efforts to lead us into this moment, methodically and thoughtfully, offering a committed precedence all along the way, taking command of the situation, allowing for us to let our guard down, secure and confident in our Commander in Chief taking the helm, has been, to this day, completely non-existent.
Perhaps we expect more when you hold only the second of it's kind, but to tell you the truth, your usual MOJO was a no go, and totally and disgracefully MIA and left much to be desired.
Even when you whispered in our ear towards the end -- remember this part? -- that "our troops are the steel in our ship of state" -- under normal situations, that should have been all it took; but it was as if, by that time, we had been voyaging for months, out of water, out of sight from dry land, entirely nauseous and dehydrated, after being bounced around carelessly all over the place. When it was over, I believe I am not alone in feeling like the address was the longest twenty minutes with you ever --
-- between the disingenuous appreciation to the man who really turned the page for you, between the feeble attempt to create a villain for our economic woes negotiating in front of the world the actual price of freedom, between your inability to simply inspire us with a presidential and gallant effort to forge ahead, not out of obligation and perceived threat, but out of it being the RIGHT thing to do, honor, and proud of it --
all and all, for an Oval Office address navigating the sea of emotion, the depth and magnitude of such a sharp, strategic change, carefully maneuvering around the minefields of politics and policy and public opinion, trying to encapsulate our rocky economic demise by blaming Bush (again), without so much as a hair out of place or a twitch on the face -- love on the rocks, dude, the whole escapade fell flat.
And like I said, the longest twenty minutes with you ever.
But, the question is, was it good for you? (OH the day after can be such a b****)
Make it a Good Day, G