A Few Randomly Rude Thoughts About Last Night's Big Speechification:
Just a thing or five about the President's little address to the nation. It doesn't really bear much analysis as a "plan" because it ain't gonna work, it's about the eight-thousandth new strategy that's not really new, and it's just gonna mean that American citizens pay, once again, in blood for the hideous incompetence of our man in Washington. "Come on along, motherfuckers," Bush may as well have said. "The road to the terrible abyss is paved with shit and bone." So, instead, let's have us some fun:

1. Let us say, and why not, that you're an alien, from outer space, and you just came down to Earth in your incredible invisible flying saucer. You're looking for a leader to follow, and you get to see two things: Saddam Hussein on the scaffold and George W. Bush speaking last night. Remember: you are an alien - you have no idea who these human beings are, no idea about gassed Kurds and blown-up Iraqis and Americans. Nobody's crimes or successes or failures even figure into the equation. Just two moments in the lives of two men. (And don't fuckin' say that you can't think that way - if you've gotten this far, you've already gone along with imagining you're a little green man or some such shit.)

There was Hussein, noose around his neck, smiling at his taunting executioners, asking them if they were even men. There was Bush, staring with those dead snake eyes into the camera, speaking in a robotically measured voice, asking Americans to accept more dead and mutilated soldiers for his vision of a way-off future when happy, free Arabs teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

That's your choice, dear Martian, sweet Venusian, tender tentacle-bellied slobber blob from Andromeda. Who is a leader?

2. The fuckin' funniest moment of the whole goddamned thing was this little section: "Many [in Congress] are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States, and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq's borders and hunting down al Qaeda. Their solution is to scale back America's efforts in Baghdad -- or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces. We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear the country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale."

Now, exactly how carefully does one have to consider a proposal before one concludes that it would "result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale"? That seems like one of those self-evident things, like being told, "We'd like to drop a shitload of bombs on this city." You wouldn't have to think real long and hard to conclude, "Oh, that might blow shit up and slaughter a buncha people."

In other words, Bush gave all alternatives the careful consideration that one might give a toilet before pissing in it.

3. The most bone-rattling moment of the whole thing needs to be watched to be understood. When Bush described the reaction of "radicals" to the election of 2005, he said, "And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis. They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam -- the Golden Mosque of Samarra." And he sounded like Stephen Hawking without the emotion. It wasn't just that he was remote and detached. It was that he gave it all the emphasis that a late night waitress at a diner might give describing a cheeseburger.

4. Don't believe anyone who says that Bush admitted mistakes. Bush said the word "mistake," but his big fuckin' confession was "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me." That ain't an admission. That's actually part of the job description of being "Commander-in-Chief." The couple of strategic reasons "past efforts to secure Baghdad failed" he gave were termed in the vague "there were" sense. See, there's a qualitative difference in the balls of a person who says, as Bush did, "There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents" and the person who says, "I didn't send enough American troops..." One person is trying to throw up a smoke screen. The other person is living up to the idea that the mistake "rests with me."

5. For real fun, watch the White House's video of the speech. In the version that was broadcast, Bush was seen in full face, looking at you like a scared, dirty, nauseous fourth-grade boy being told to read in front of the class the note he was passing to his buddy, a note that contains the phrase "teacher's titties." In the White House's version, the image is from an angle, and between the strangely lightless room to Bush's left and the black bars framing the video, it just looks like the man is being swallowed by darkness.