We all remember "Baghdad Bob", right? He was Saddam Hussein's laughable, not funny press secretary back in March of 2003. As Saddam's sickening "empire" drowned like a bug in a flood as America's grotesquely over powered war machine swept away Saddam's regime, Baghdad Bob appeared on TV every night with a straight face declaring fictitious victories Saddam had not won that day.
We Americans have our own version of Baghdad Bob. His name is Baghdad Bush. The Baghdad Boys -- Bob and Bush -- love to proclaim non-existent victories. Baghdad Bob gave the world the staggeringly delusional declaration "Iraq has won a crushing victory" just before Saddam's statues were torn down. Bush gave the world "Mission Accomplished".
Both Baghdad Bush and his PR soul mate Baghdad Bob offer the world a decadent version of the power of positive thinking. To Baghdad Bob an Iraqi Republican Guardsman rushing an M-1 tank on foot with nothing but a pistol is a savage, fearless warrior striking terror (try amusement) in the hearts of the enemy. Baghdad Bush smiles and says the surge is working, which is like saying a drowning man makes progress as long as he is not dead.
The reality is swimming is swimming and drowning is drowning. They aren't the same thing. It is perfectly easy to tell the difference. I learned how to swim when I was a boy. Swallowing water and flailing around in circles exhausting myself was never part of any swimming lesson I took. Baghdad Bush's plan has shown no sign of any level of ability to swim at any point. All it does is splash around and cry for help, and it can't keep that kind of thing up forever. Without the ability to swim to replace the thrashing and flailing it will tire then sink like a stone. Iraq is slowly drowning while Baghdad Bush tells the world its doing a heroic job of learning to swim, just like when Baghdad Bob talked of an Iraqi victory as American tanks rolled into Baghdad.
According to Baghdad Bush's over protective psychobabble, to openly declare a drowning man is drowning will undermine his ability to swim. It is hard to imagine someone drowning having no idea something is terribly wrong. Apparently acknowledging what is already known will cause him or her to suddenly sink, like when Wile E. Coyote runs off a cliff, hangs in the air, looks down then plummets. Baghdad Bob told the Iraqi people Saddam was winning the Battle of Baghdad as they witnessed his regime collapse just outside their doors. He didn't want Iraqi citizens to stop fearing Saddam. He openly preached self-deception, just like Baghdad Bush. Baghdad Bush is impotent but he doesn't want insurgents to stop fearing him. Like Baghdad Bob, all he has accomplished is making himself and his country a laughing stock.
Baghdad Bush and Baghdad Bob love giving people reasons to be afraid. Baghdad Bush says in effect: "Iraq has to swim, otherwise it'll drown." If fear of drowning were enough to stop someone from drowning then nobody would ever drown. Fear of failing is not enough to stop Iraq from failing. Baghdad Bush's entire strategy in Iraq is based on Iraqis and Americans becoming so afraid to fail that, unlike Wile E. Coyote, we just shut our eyes and never look down and just keep running on air. Apparently Baghdad Bob also watched lots of Road Runner cartoons growing up. His strategy was to never look down as well- just shut your eyes, cover your ears and scream "We are WINNING!"
Baghdad Bush and other war/surge supporters preach long haul based on temporary tactics- incredibly stupid -- but it misses the point: the reality is there is no long haul. We can't afford to stay in Iraq another five years, let alone a hundred. If we stay another five years at current troop levels without a major overhaul of American society to support those troops it'll be the end of American political autonomy.
To save Iraq from drowning we have to go all in. We have to draft people into the armed forces and get 500,000 troops on the ground. We have to ration energy. We have to raise mileage standards to a fleet average of at least 60MPG. We have to massively subsidize alternative energy sources. We have to pass a nasty war tax and cut the shit out of the budget and start paying down our debt or begin economic servitude to the Chinese. We have to get rid of the puppet Iraqi government, impose direct American leadership and make plans to turn Iraq into the 51st state. Anything less and Iraq drowns. But delusional Baghdad Bush can't face his grotesque Iraqenstein Monster, so he can't bring himself to end his hideous experiment in defying the laws of nature by shoving democracy down the throats of an ancient Bedouin society. So he pretends he doesn't know he just ran off the edge of a cliff and is momentarily hovering thousands of feet in the air.
Baghdad Bush is much more dangerous to our democracy than sad sack Baghdad Bob ever was to the Iraqis under Hussein. As the war began the Iraqis knew they had no chance and were well on their way toward taking matters into their own hands. There are still a large number of Americans who believe Baghdad Bush when he says we can't afford to leave. The truth is we literally -- in terms of money -- actual, real, live money -- can't afford to stay. Never mind the right thing to do. The Baghdad Bush minority could scare a majority of voters into staying in Iraq, in which case America will drown alongside Bush's hideous, re-animated, stitched together Iraqenstein Monster like an incompetent swimming instructor dragged under by his drowning student.
Baghdad Bush believes acknowledging Iraq is drowning is to hate America, just as Baghdad Bob made it clear to his people talk of defeat is treasonous. To see what it really means to tell the truth during times of crisis look to sports fans and how they love their favorite teams.
I've lived in LA for the past fifteen years but I grew up near Chicago and I love the Chicago Bears and always will and could never root for anyone else. In the recent past the Bears employed a head coach named Dick Jauron who ran an incredibly futile 1923 style offense. Game after game, year after miserable year, I cheered for the Bears under Coach Jauron. I prayed someday he would realize NFL rules allow for throwing the ball down field. However, despite my earnest prayers, it became clear the Bears would never win as long as Dick Jauron was the head coach. Because I love the Bears and want them to succeed, I wanted Coach Jauron fired. But Jauron was not fired, and, predictably, the Bears kept losing games they should have won.
When Team America has a proven loser for a president I want him gone, just like when the Bears have a proven loser for a head coach. Every sports fan knows if you really love your team you should get rid of incompetent leadership -- its inconceivable to think any other way.
Baghdad Bob said to oppose Saddam is to be an enemy of Iraq. He wanted people to think Saddam and Iraq were the same thing, so they would be too scared to attempt to rise against him. The formula is simple and effective: opposition = suicide. Its what all dictators want their people to believe. Similarly, Baghdad Bush says to want to remove him from office is to hate America, as if he is America. Coach Jauron knew he was just a temporary caretaker. He never thought to himself, "I AM the Bears. Those hateful, self destructive fans want to destroy the legendary Chicago Bears." Baghdad Bush ought to remember he is not America itself but just a temporary caretaker, like a head coach. Only a dictator, or someone who thinks he is a dictator, believes he literally IS the country he governs.
Coach Jauron, who would never in a million years dare to question the loyalty of a Chicago Bears' fan, never said to the legions of Bears fans calling for his head "You hate the Bears! You want Green Bay to win!" Local talk radio would have crushed him. I'd like to hear Sean Hannity tell a lifelong Bear fan he wants Green Bay to beat the Bears because he wants the Bears' head coach fired for not beating Green Bay. WHAT??? He'd get bitch-slapped and sent out for more beer. I want to get rid of Baghdad Bush because I'm a patriot, just as I wanted to get rid of Jauron because I love the Bears. As long as Baghdad Bush's inept 1923 era offense is employed America cannot win the War on Terror.
The question that needs asking is why do conservatives want to stick with a delusional loser like Baghdad Bush? Do they want to lose the war on terror out of loyalty to an incompetent leader? Where do they think the money is going to come from to pay for the war? If the stakes are so high in Iraq, why aren't conservatives pushing for the all out commitment needed to get the job done? Why didn't they push for impeachment and new leadership in the White House? Some say you shouldn't fire a losing head coach in the middle of the season. I say it's never too late in the season to start winning.