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Inside Bush's "Surge" Diary: Slip-Slidin' Away


By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers


July 17, 2007


Dear Diary:

Even though every day is a battle -- my enemies are always attacking me -- I think we'll make it to the January 2009 finishing line. Once the Dems announced that impeachment was "off the table," I knew everything would be OK.

Without that club to hold over our heads, all those wimpy Dems can do for the next year and a half is kick and scream -- political tantrums that we just ride out.

Those weak-kneed Democrats are so predictable. They hold a one-day congressional hearing and invite a few witnesses to make their case or command that our folks appear so they can get a tongue-lashing and maybe make a mistake that will invite perjury charges. We make those witnesses know how important loyalty is, rehearse them with the narrative we want, or we keep them from appearing at all.

Our big guns -- Condi, Rummy, Alberto and so on -- are skilled at how to bob and weave their way through a congressional grilling. End result: the Dems get next to nothing, move on to their next issue, and it's tantrum time again. Fuck 'em!

When the Dems cite one of our people for contempt of Congress, the clash of Executive and Legislative powers will become a "Constitutional Crisis" and wend its way into the courts. That means more delays, which is fine with us; but Dick and Karl think we'll do OK in the courts anyway.

We didn't spend six years packing the appeals courts for nothing and, as a final back-up, we've always got our 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court. Can't believe they let Alito and Roberts glide right in. Now we're locked and loaded.

VULNERABLE ON THE IRAQ WAR

Iraq is the only real danger issue now. We don't mind a little chaos over there -- which makes America the one force of possible stability -- but Christ, it's a fucking civil war, and even our Green Zone in Baghdad is being mortared and rocketed daily! Even so, Dick and Karl are positive we can slip-slide our way through to September when Gen. Petraeus will deliver his major findings.

Petraeus knows who brung him to the dance. We can count on him to deliver another "we're-making-progress" report card and ask for another six-months to reach the "positive tipping point" in Iraq. Despite a few Republican defectors in the Senate, the rest of our GOP allies are holding tight enough to keep the Dems from ramming through their surrender bills and defeatist amendments.

Then next year we just repeat the "six-months-more" spin-cycle and we'll have made our way through the November 2008 elections.

I'm The Cogitator; I can see what'll happen in the election campaign:

  • The mood of the country is decidedly against the war, but the Democrats can be counted on to make big mistakes, starting with who they nominate (come on, Hillary!); then the swiftboating can begin.
     

  • The Dems, in their desire to look strong on national-security, will back away from really taking us on with regard to both Iraq and the "war on terrorism"; they can smell the "unpatriotic" odor that we'll spray on them;
     

  • The Dems will use the health-care buzzwords but will stay away from a universal, single-payer plan;
     

  • The Democrats will cooperate in maintaining pretty much the same vote-counting system as before, which will help our well-placed friends, how shall we say?, ensure that we do much better on Election Day than the last-minute polls indicate.

On the other hand, more and more respected GOP senators are starting to publicly express their doubts about our war policy. I mean, when Republican codgers like Lugar and Warner and Domenici start leaving the reservation, something potentially bad is going on. Sure, I know they've got to cover their political asses and pander to the electorate that's turned against the war, still those guys have clout and I need at least to appear to to be paying attention to what they say, even while I continue staying the course. As long as John McCain has my back, I figure I'm safe.

Worst of all, we've been saying for years that if the Iraqis ask us to leave, we'll leave, knowing full well that the leaders we've maneuvered into positions of power in Iraq would never utter that desire, at least not in public. Well, they now have openly said it (what's al-Malicki been smoking?). I have no intention of America leaving -- at least not while I'm still in the White House. We'll finesse an invitation to stay "temporarily," which will stretch out a decade or two. I will not be seen as a loserman, not ever again.

KARL'S OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2008

Karl tells me he's got the 2008 election under control, but he said that in 2006 as well and that was a disaster. He and I already have started ratcheting up the fear machine -- al-Qaida's goin' to getcha -- figuring that bringing out the terrorism bogeyman is good for at least one more round. Of course, that means going back to connecting the "al-Qaida" that bombed us on 9/11 to the "al Qaida in Mesopotamia" now in Iraq -- not an easy trick, but the American people are dumber than a bag of rocks and will just get confused and come to accept what we say.

Karl has made sure to hammer the "support the troops" mantra, which the Dems have bought into by continuing to fund the war. That, plus Karl is firming up the fundamentalist base, throwing them hunks of red meat: abortion, gay marriage, Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, etc. That should keep them in our corner through 2008. And "Turdblossom" also is readying his dirty-tricks playbook in key states, which will start with the usual deletion of hundreds of thousands of likely Dem supporters from the official voting rolls.

But 2006 showed us, and recent events confirm it, that it sure ain't going to be easy in 2008. Thanks largely to the goddamn war, my approval numbers are in the toilet (in the 20s for me, and Dick is even worse at 13%!), and the Republican Party's ratings aren't much higher. GOP scandals are so widespread -- corruption, sex, coverups, etc. -- that it's hard to generate support and donations. Thankfully, the Dems fare only a little better in the polls, since they're so namby-pamby and disorganized.

The point is that our Administration is so far down, we have little to lose these days. When we're aiding in the bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities, I won't have to worry about the public reaction. We'll still have our fundamentalist base, and we'll already have lost most of the others anyway. Nowhere to go but up, which will happen when folks rally around The Leader in a "time of war," giving us a booster shot of support. I can't wait; I hate being made the butt of jokes and nobody listening to me any more. I am the President, damn it! I am the President!

GOD WANTED ME TO SMITE IRAQ

I know it doesn't look good now, but I'm convinced deep down that history will redeem me. I know that God chose me to lead the country in 2000, and wanted me to bring His word and democracy and free-markets to the heathens in the Middle East and elsewhere. He won't let me down. History will confirm that I made all the right choices during my eight years in office, even if others screwed up on occasion in carrying out the plan.

Which brings me back to the Iraq mess. The U.S. will need to maintain a large presence in the region for decades; our military bases inside Iraq, along with the huge new embassy, were designed with that in mind. That's my legacy, damn it -- to convince the Islams to join the 21st century, by force of arms if necessary; I am the saviour of the Christian West. I am the President. I am the Smiter. I will not be defeated.

At the least, I will not allow myself to be blamed for the loss of Iraq. Dick's original war-plan was correct, though those in charge on the ground may have made a mistake or two in execution. We're already working to find those who can be blamed for the debacle: the Iraqis, for not meeting our benchmarks for success; the American people, for not having the patience to stick with our war plan, which will be successful eventually; the Democrats, for undercutting our war effort at every turn; the CIA and State Department and Pentagon, for leaking like sieves about classified military matters and scandals; the liberal media, anxious for America to lose; and, if we have to, Gen. Petraeus for not moving fast enough to stabilize the situation, etc. etc.

Add to Iraq the bad press we're getting on the Scooter-amnesty fallout, the Abramoff influence-buying scandal, the U.S. Attorneys coverup that is barely holding, the post-Katrina disaster, our policy permitting torture, and so on, and the Republicans could be in big trouble. And Dick and me and could be in some legal jeopardy.

We need the GOP in charge of Congress and we need Republicans in the White House after we leave, in case pardons are necessary. If absolutely necessary, we could have Dick resign -- for "health reasons," of course -- and appoint an heir apparent, maybe Romney or Fred Thompson or Condi, giving the replacement V.P. a leg up for 2008.

WE CONTROL THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

Thank goodness we've still got control of the Department of Justice; "Fredo" is a good little A.G., a consistent loyal lapdog. And we've got the U.S. attorneys, and much of the court system. They'll be there to protect us if and when impeachment and criminal charges become a reality. (Note to myself: Get Gonzales to keep Fitzgerald from testifying to Congress about Libby and Cheney!)

In addition to having Justice in our corner, we've still got other powerful ammo in reserve. For one, we've got the Dem-approved provision permitting us to declare martial law if the situation in the country demands it; we should consider doing that sometime before Election Day next year, and rule by decree.

In short, even if the Dems foolishly go after us in terms of impeachment, they're not going to get anywhere. And if by some fluke enough Republicans start deserting us in order to get re-elected, we have to let them know that we'll take 'em all down with us if and when we go. Damn it, I'm so frustrated and angry, I'll take the whole bloody country down with us, if I have to. That'll show 'em. I am not a loser.
 

Copyright 2007, by Bernard Weiner
 

 


Bernard Weiner, Ph.D., has taught government & international relations at universities in California and Washington, worked as a writer/editor at the San Francisco Chronicle for two decades, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (www.crisispapers.org). To comment: crisispapers@comcast.net .
 


Crisis Papers editors, Partridge & Weiner, are available for public speaking appearances