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[In Parts I and II of this terrific series, we saw how the
world's ascending powerhouses of China, Russia and Iran had
successfully encroached on US and Neocon power. In Part II we
saw how some lesser players had been successfully eating the
floor out from under the Bush administration. In Part II we
now see the Bush administration eating the floor our from
What amazes me in this part was how many major stories have
come and gone, all of them barely glossed over in the press
and congress. There's just no time to get to the bottom of one
thing. A bigger one is sure to be here tomorrow. - MCR]
Military/Veterans Affairs Editor
© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications,
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July 14th 2006, 11:13am [PST] -- On October 13, 2005, George
W. Bush conducted a staged teleconference with troops in Iraq.
I'd seen some weird shit in my day, and that definitely
qualified as weird.
I suppose Roget's Thesaurus could have provided me with a more
eloquent or evocative term, but weird was all I could think of
that fits to describe the so-called video-conference that the
Bush held with ten of the most haplessly humiliated officers
and NCOs in the military (and one Iraqi collaborator).
Their fatigued faces almost sagging with temporary muscular
failure from twenty-minute rigor mortis smiles (that surely
seemed like 20 years), these unfortunates were required by the
chain of command to leave their regular jobs on behalf of the
slaughter and occupation and become public relations
meat-Muppets for maybe the most inept perception management
stunt ever performed by the Oval Office.
I touted the teleconference as a perfect counter-recruitment
ad. Invite teenagers and ROTC students to watch this
"teleconference." Join the military and be put on display as
ventriloquist dummies. Join the military and be humiliated
before the whole world in a thespian performance on par with a
third-grade Halloween skit.
Show this buffoonery to prospective troops, and the recruiters
will have to hang around courtrooms - like in the old days -
to offer convicted felons armed service as an option to
During this sorry stunt, Dubya danced around behind his podium
like a six-year-old with pinworms, fidgeted with his notes
until he lost them, and had his earpiece fall out about five
times. He would lose the thread then talk over the lines of
the other performers - whose performances weren't wooden; they
were petrified. Under his smile, you could see the muscles in
his face twitching with the mounting rage of a Caligulan
blueblood as the whole thing went from bad to bizarre in its
ineptitude. Someone had to face the wrath of the pipsqueak
afterwards, if reports from Capitol Hill Blue had any
validity; they claimed the Prez had been pretty unhinged
lately - prone to crimson-faced, carpet-chewing tantrums.
Even the network news outlets found the whole thing so horrid
in its execution that they were obliged - if they were to
salvage even a shred of self respect - to ridicule the whole
episode. When Scott McClellan attempted to field questions
later that day and the reporters pounced on the whole
excruciating exhibition, the best the Press Secretary could
muster was, "I think what the American people heard was some
very important information from our men and women in uniform."
The Press Secretary denied that the event was scripted, a
denial that would have made an ass out of him even had the
networks not obtained and broadcast footage of Allison Barber,
a Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary, coaching the
Muppet-troops on their lines prior to the performance.
McClellan looked bad. He'd been looking very bad lately,
foreshadowing his eventual resignation. With Rove and Libby
(and Judith Miller, too) spending their days in legal offices
trying to get their story straight, and with Cheney attending
to his dark malfunctioning heart, the center was not holding.
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