Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jeb (!) Offers The Base Another Chug-a-lug From The Lethe Jug


Clearly someone who actually understands that there is nothing sifting around inside the mushy, angry skulls of the average Republican except that sparkly aluminum sand that good people at Ohio Arts use to make the Etch-a-Sketch has finally made it clear to Jeb(!) that 1) big words frighten the Base, and 2) any mention of (shudder) The Past which does not stop in 1963 (when Bill Buckley ghost-wrote Dr. King's 'I Have a Dream' speech) and resume in 2009 with Barack Obama single-handedly causing the Great Recession and the Iraqi Debacle (and Death Panels because don't forget Death Panels! and Sharknados!) makes the Base poop itself with confusion and rage and run in circles screaming for secession.

And so...

From the WaPo:
Jeb Bush wants to bring back the Bush Doctrine

Jeb Bush will be making a speech on foreign policy today, and if the excerpts that his campaign released to reporters beforehand are any indication, it will embody all the thoughtfulness, nuance and sophistication that have characterized Republican foreign policy thinking in recent years. If you were thinking that Bush might be the grown-up in this field — or offer something much different from the approach that was so disastrous for his brother — well, think again. It’s looking a lot like the return of the Bush Doctrine, just with a different Bush.

As Peter Beinart writes in the new issue of the Atlantic, Republicans have embraced “the legend of the surge,” which starts off as a specific belief about what happened in Iraq and why, and then expands outward to justify a return to George W. Bush’s simplistic hawkish approach to any foreign policy challenge. To put it briefly, the change in strategy around the surge, and the “Sunni awakening” that occurred at the same time, were supposed to create the conditions in which a political reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites could take place. But that never happened, and the corruption and sectarianism of Nouri al-Maliki’s government laid the groundwork for the country’s continued civil war and eventually the rise of the Islamic State.

But Republicans tell a different story, one that not only wipes away all the calamitous and naive decisions of the Bush administration but also can be used to justify a renewal of the Bush Doctrine anywhere.
From the New York Times:
Jeb Bush Blames Hillary Clinton and Obama for Iraq’s Decline


SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The war in Iraq, which dominated American presidential politics in 2004 and 2008, has returned as an issue in 2016. This time, the argument is not over whether the United States should have gone to war, but rather how the Obama administration sought to end it.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor seeking the Republican presidential nomination, issued a blistering attack on Tuesday on the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq and terrorism issues, asserting that Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, had “stood by” as secretary of state as the situation in Iraq deteriorated.

He said President Obama and Mrs. Clinton had orchestrated an early withdrawal of American troops, setting the stage for the chaos sweeping the region now and the rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

“That premature withdrawal was the fatal error, creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill,” Mr. Bush declared in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here on Tuesday night.
This is a Big Move for Jeb(!)  By going all-in on one of the biggest wingnut lies of all, he is openly offering the wingnuts what they demand above all else:  another chug-a-lug from the Lethe Jug to absolve them of their long history of pig-ignorant, blood-drunk madness and ruin --
In Greek mythology, Lethe...was one of the five rivers of Hades. Also known as the Ameles potamos (river ofunmindfulness), the Lethe flowed around the cave of Hypnos and through the Underworld, where all those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness. Lethe was also the name of the Greek spirit of forgetfulness and oblivion, with whom the river was often identified.
-- and Moar Hippie Punching!

And if Republicans and their Centrist enablers in the media agree on anything it's that their wealth and power are now so completely dependent on keeping the Terrifying Past buried under a shitpile of fake history and false equivalence that none of them can permit it be remembered and discussed honestly.

Which is why I'm pretty sure by next week Hillary will have killed Teri Schiavo too!


I could not button this post up without mentioning this little gem which was missing from almost all of the abridged reports of Jeb's(!) awesome foreign policy fairy tale:
First, we must support the Iraqi forces, which right now have the will to win, but not the means. As matters stand, the United States has been helping to reconstitute Iraqi security services and to aid the Kurdish peshmerga. We need to broaden and expedite our efforts to help ensure Iraqis rebuild their security sector...
First, perhaps some daring reporter will ask Jeb(!) about the Iraqi army's chronic running-away problem.  I doubt it'll happen, but it would be fun to watch Jeb(!) scurry off stage to ask Bill Kristol  how he should field that one.

And second, it is a damn shame that Jeb(!) was too bored or passed out or whatever to watch his brother's debate performance in 2004 when Dubya (and Unca Dick) absolutely, positively guaranteed that the hundreds of billions of America tax dollars he was pouring down his Iraqi Debacle rat-hole would very shortly buy us a fully-trained Iraqi army that had the will and the means to win (from "The Seven Nation Army of George W. Bush"):
From the first Presidential debate, September 30, 2004:
Bush: Let me first tell you that the best way for Iraq to be safe and secure is for Iraqi citizens to be trained to do the job.

And that's what we're doing. We've got 100,000 trained now, 125,000 by the end of this year, 200,000 by the end of next year. That is the best way. We'll never succeed in Iraq if the Iraqi citizens do not want to take matters into their own hands to protect themselves. I believe they want to. Prime Minister Allawi believes they want to.

And so the best indication about when we can bring our troops home -- which I really want to do, but I don't want to do so for the sake of bringing them home; I want to do so because we've achieved an objective -- is to see the Iraqis perform and to see the Iraqis step up and take responsibility.

Bush:  ...a free Iraq is going to make this world a more peaceful place.

Bush: ...And I'm optimistic. See, I think you can be realistic and optimistic at the same time. I'm optimistic we'll achieve -- I know we won't achieve if we send mixed signals. I know we're not going to achieve our objective if we send mixed signals to our troops, our friends, the Iraqi citizens.

We've got a plan in place. The plan says there will be elections in January, and there will be. The plan says we'll train Iraqi soldiers so they can do the hard work, and we are.

Bush: There are 100,000 troops trained, police, guard, special units, border patrol. There's going to be 125,000 trained by the end of this year. Yes, we're getting the job done. It's hard work. Everybody knows it's hard work, because there's a determined enemy that's trying to defeat us.

Bush: ...You can't change the dynamics on the ground if you've criticized the brave leader of Iraq.  One of his campaign people alleged that Prime Minister Allawi was like a puppet. That's no way to treat somebody who's courageous and brave, that is trying to lead his country forward.
From the vice-presidential debate, October 4, 2004:
CHENEY: I would. We've made significant progress in Iraq. We've stood up a new government that's been in power now only 90 days. The notion of additional troops is talked about frequently. But the point of success in Iraq will be reached when we have turned governance over to the Iraqi people, they've been able to establish a democratic government. They're well on their way on their way to doing that. They'll have free elections next January for the first time in history.

We also are actively rapidly training Iraqis to take on the security responsibility. Those two steps are crucial to success in Iraq. They're well in hand, well under way, and I'm confident that, in fact, we'll get the job done.

CHENEY: The Senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11...

CHENEY: Classic example, he won't count the sacrifice and the contribution of our Iraqi allies. It's their country, they're in the fight, they're increasingly the ones out there putting their necks on the line to take back their country from the terrorists and the old regime elements that are still left. They're doing a superb job, and for you to demean their sacrifice, that strikes me as --

EDWARDS: Oh, I'm not --

CHENEY: -- beyond the pale. It is, indeed. You suggested that somehow --

EDWARDS: No, sir --

CHENEY: -- they shouldn't count, because you want to be able to say that the Americans are taking 90 percent of the sacrifice. You cannot succeed in this effort if you're not willing to recognize the enormous contribution the Iraqis are increasingly making to their own future. We'll win when they take on responsibility for governance, which they're doing; and when they take on responsibility for their own security, which they increasingly are doing
From the second Presidential debate, October 8, 2004:
BUSH: Two days ago in the Oval Office, I met with the Finance Minister from Iraq. He came to see me. And he talked about how optimistic he was and the country was about heading toward elections. Think about it. They're going from tyranny to elections. He talked about the reconstruction efforts that are beginning to take hold. He talked about the fact that Iraqis love to be free. He said he was optimistic when he came here. Then he turned on the TV and listened to the political rhetoric and all of the sudden he was pessimistic.

This is a guy who, along with others, has taken great risk for freedom. And we need to stand with him. My opponent says he has a plan. Sounds familiar because it's called the Bush plan. We're going to train troops -- and we are. We'll have 125,000 trained by the end of December. We're spending about $7 billion.

He talks about a grand idea -- let's have a summit. We're going to solve the problem in Iraq by holding a summit. And what is he going to say to those people that show up to the summit? Join me in the wrong war at the wrong time at the wrong place? Risk your troops in a war you've called a mistake? Nobody is going to follow somebody who doesn't believe we can succeed, and somebody who says the war where we are is a mistake. I know how these people think. I meet with them all the time. I talk to Tony Blair all the time. I talk to Silvio Berlusconi -- they're not going to follow an American President who says, follow me into a mistake. Our plan is working. We're going to make elections and Iraq is going to be free, and America will be better off for it.
From the final Presidential debate, October 13, 2004
Bush: The best way to take the pressure off our troops is to succeed in Iraq, is to train Iraqis so they can do the hard work of democracy, is to give them a chance to defend their country, which is precisely what we're doing. We'll have 125,000 troops trained by the end of this year.
Ah, memories...


Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

As you know, I disagree with you on how much of the equivalence is false. In many cases, the equivalence is indeed false, but I see foreign policy as one of the two areas where the two parties are closest to equivalence; the other area is subservience to the rich.

However, the first can be seen as a subset of the second. I see the purpose of U. S. foreign policy, at least since 1945, as securing the access of the USAmerican and multinational corporations--which own the Federal Government--to cheap labor and natural resources by any means necessary. I see the two parties as differing not in basic goals, but only in strategy and tactics--the Dems understand that the Full Metal Barbarian approach does not always work best; the GOP finds that fact difficult to grasp.

To his credit, Obama is showing some signs of actually being disgusted with his role as Chief Enforcer for Global Capital, or perhaps he is just understandably irritated with Nuttyyahoo. (Israel is to the USA what North Korea is to China--a belligerent, assholish client state the hegemon would probably be better off without.)

Fritz Strand said...

Speaking of which - I don't get what going on with Lawrence O'Donnell has of late. All his guess are getting into more and robotic Washington speak. E.J. Dionne appearance after the segment on Jeb! was as completely free of the real facts on the ground in Iraq as Jebs!.

What an embarrassment.

Neo Tuxedo said...

I don't get what['s] going on with Lawrence O'Donnell [...] of late. All his gues[t]s are getting into more and [more] robotic Washington speak.

My guess? Phil Griffin has reminded O'Donnell that he, like most people, likes to eat on a regular basis.

Unknown said...

Just read your postscript and I must say I am very disappointed in how the Iraqi people let Dubya and Cheney down after all they did for them. Hey that was 10 years ago too! Thank God we now have Jeb! to finally straighten things out. I do believe everybody in the Men's Grill at the Country Club was very impressed by Jeb!'s show of firm resolve.

Unknown said...

There is a certain, very disgusting irony in Peter Beinart and Adam Nagourney tsk tsk-ing Bush! for his warmongering.

Unknown said...

Don't call him Jeb! Call him Bush!

Mister Roboto said...

the Dems understand that the Full Metal Barbarian approach does not always work best; the GOP finds that fact difficult to grasp.

Indeed. All the current crop of GOP front-runners for the nomination for prez are all but jumping up and down and screaming about how much they would like a war with Iran. The one thing guaranteed to make yours truly hold his nose while filling in the arrow for the Dems yet another time, and the one thing that could lose them a significant chunk of the "Both Sides" bamboozled swing voter (though one should never entirely discount the rank, abysmal ignorance of the white working-class voter)! I'm starting to think think they take st00pid pills when they get up in the morning. Or maybe they really are just out of their fucking minds.

Mister Roboto said...

And while we're on the subject of utter, jaw-dropping obliviousness to what actually happened:

<a href=">Top Army General Ray Odierno: Jeb Bush Is Wrong About Iraq War</a>

Why does Ray Odierno hate 'Murka, Jebus,and Cheetos???

Mister Roboto said...

Apologies for forgetting to close the tag. (It's a good thing I'm getting this sleep apnea of mine treated finally because this time I almost forgot to include the tag-prefix. My mind is such an utter sieve these days that maybe I shouldn't be posting anything anywhere!)

Ray Odierno on Irag War

Batocchio said...

I saw this, then remembered to come back and comment just for the Lethe reference.