Sugarcoating a Sour Situation

George W. Bush ’64 just can’t figure it out. In establishing a campaign depicting himself as a leader who is resolute in his decisions, the President has somehow been blinded from reality. Iraq is a mess and President Bush refuses to acknowledge it. It is astonishing to watch images on the Nightly News of the latest rounds of American and civilian casualties, suicide bombings, and kidnappings, then just hours later hear the President hail the mission in Iraq as “an outstanding success” in the debate. W. bet his entire reelection campaign on the basis of preemption in Iraq. As a result, he has not been forthright with the American people about the situation on the ground there. Dubya is more interested in taking suggestions on Iraq from Karl Rove, his political guru, than he is from his soldiers and generals on the ground. Upon hearing the sound bites from the President’s campaign speeches, one would be certain that Iraq has been transformed into a Mesopotamian paradise. The reality could not be any farther from the truth. If my opponents were to accuse me of suggesting that Iraq would have been better off had the United States decided not to preemptively and unilaterally invade Iraq, they would be mischaracterizing my views. The President believes that because he has rid the Iraqis of Saddam’s tyranny, he has the mandate to say in speech after speech that the Iraqis are living in a utopian society. There is no doubt in my mind that the majority of the Iraqis are better off today than they were under Saddam’s rule, but that is not to say that the state of affairs in Iraq is headed in the right direction. However, in speeches, Bush seems to overlook the thousands of Iraqi civilians that have been killed or maimed as the result of our invasion, whether by the misplacement of Coalition arsenal, or from the nearly daily suicide bombings. Very rarely has the president spoken about the civilians from America, England, France, and other nations that have been kidnapped and beheaded. When the President does discuss the beheadings and suicide bombings, he does it only in an effort to tie the Reign of Terror of Iraq to the terrorism that claimed the lives of 3,000 American civilians (of course he neglects to mention that the terrorists and jihadists only came to Iraq after the invasion). But worst of all, the President avoids at all costs any mention of the nearly 1,100 American soldiers who have died. This President sent the bravest men and women this world has to offer into harm’s way for reasons proven to be inaccurate, yet he will not take the time to offer his condolences in public addresses. Why? Karl Rove thinks that expressing his sympathies will hinder the President’s hopes for reelection. This campaign has been designed to repeat the mistakes of Dubya’s father, whose late concessions in his first term led to defeat. Maybe President George H.W. Bush didn’t get reelected, but he accomplished something that Bush and Cheney ’04 just can’t understand: he maintained his integrity. So, as the campaign for the 2004 presidential election nears, George Bush will do everything in his power to conceal the dire situation that exists in Iraq. He will not mention the deaths, the widespread hatred for the American occupation that exist among Iraqis, nor the futile political situation that the future holds. He refuses to concede to credible military experts like John McCain that more troops are needed to secure the country. Besides, that might alienate voters. Is our Commander-in-Chief more worried about the well-being of the soldiers he sent to a war zone and the future of Iraq, or about winning his bid for reelection? George W. Bush’s unfounded, pompously presented, and misleadingly rosy scenario of the situation in Iraq seems to answer that question.