Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Monday, May 24, 2004
Predictions on the Bush Speech
Number of times Bush will intone the phrase "stay the course": 1.
Number of times Bush will declare some or all of the invasion cum reconstruction a success: 8.
Number of times he will admit any failures: 0.
Number of times he will admit things aren't going spectacularly: 2.
References you can expect on the topic of torture: 0.
Instead of discussing the actual situation, Bush will talk about the fantasy situation in which everything is lookin' pretty good. Bush will outline the successes to date, aligning them with goals never mentioned before the war. He will talk abut Iraqi democracy in such a way as to imply that it's already begun blossoming. Then he will outline US policy for the next few months.
What will he say there? I'm less confident. He is apparently going to praise the UN and try to foist the debacle off on them--while, of course, ensuring full US autonomy continues. He'll have to try to dance around the notion of "sovereignty," though it's a word the White House has become more comfortable using lately.
While it may be the most important speech of the President's career, he doesn't seem to be taking it that seriously. Earlier today, he took the time to congratulate the Detroit Shock basketball team. On the other hand, given the constraints ideological, psychological, and tactical confronting the President, there seems little he can say, anyway. We're sort of staying the course, which means adjusting plans as things worsen, hoping to deflect some of the worst political damage at home. With five weeks until transfer, there is no plan and no one in the White House capable of crafting one. They'll just drift toward the transfer, a passel of catch phrases in hand, hoping that when it comes, something cool happens.