Saturday | July 26, 2003
Can't they do anything right?
By Steve Gilliard
Richard Nixon was reported to have admired Barbara Bush. He is quoted as saying "that is a woman who knows how to hate."
Too bad her son didn't pick up more than her feral nature and penchant for vengence.
Nixon would hang his head in shame if he thought about the bungling of the current Bush Administration.
First, instead of dropping a GBU on the Husssein brothers last hide out, they engage in a Jerry Bruckheimer-Michael Bay style shootout; Uday and Qusay: Bad Boys III-The last stand. So six hours later, they wind up dead and then the US hides the photos for a few days. Then today, in a gross violation of Muslim custom, lets the world take pictures of their clearly autopsied bodies.
DUBAI, July 25 — Televised images of the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons shocked many Arabs on Friday, who said it was un-Islamic to exhibit corpses, however much the brothers were loathed.
''Although Uday and Qusay are criminals, displaying their corpses like this is disgusting and repulsive. America claims it is civilised but is behaving like a thug,'' Saudi civil servant Saad Brikan, 42, told Reuters in Riyadh.
Another civil servant Hasan Hammoud, 35, said: ''America always spoils its own image by doing something like this. What is the advantage of showing these bodies? Didn't they think about the humanitarian aspect? About their mother and the rest of their family when they see these images?''
Mr. Hammoud has a point. While these guys were scum, desecrating the dead, even rapist murderer dead is a bad thing. Showing the pictures was one thing, but all they had to was show them dead at the house. Not this ghastly show of displaying the dead in violation of local custom.
If this sounds like PC handwringing it isn't. Doing so may get Americans killed and their bodies descrated in return.
But then, this has been a bad week for Bush in so many ways. Between Dick Cheney's lie filled speech, the pushing of the Joe Wilson story, the redacting of the 9/11 report, Bush didn't have much of a week. Even when they get good news, they snatch defeat from victory.
For years, we've been hearing about Karl Rove, boy genius. But the problem is that he acts like Washington is a supersized Austin. Well backslaps and the occasional bout of terror isn't working anymore. Smearing reporters is just stupid, smearing Senators is insane. The White House political team is making mistake after mistake, day after day and no one gets fired.
When things went their way, they had a pretty good swagger about them. Now, they're about to get paid back for all the arrogance and hubris and they don't even see it. They don't understand why other countries won't help occupy Iraq much less kick in money. As if the past is irrelevant. It may be to them, but not to our allies. You don't kick a man and then ask him for a favor.
Worst of all, Bush acts as if his aides can get all the blame while he remains untouched. The buck doesn't stop at his desk, that's only suitable for former haberdashers and not the scion of a New England political family. Blame is for the little people.
Bush has pissed off the CIA, our allies and the Iraqi public with craven incompetence. Yet, he's now in the White House half time and plotting his summer brush clearing schedule and day trips to lie about the economy.
Yet, every day, the casuality lists grows, as does the opposition to the war. We're getting closer to capturing and/or killing Saddam. We still have nothing like the support of the Iraqi people. If he should be captured and the war continues, Bush's troubles may get far worse than anyone wants to imagine.