By: Jim Moore

And a thousand bodies is just the American soldiers. Lord knows how many other corpses couldn't be identified, for whatever reason, and thus were not included in the KIA body count.

That number also does not include the thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children who got Dr. Bush's "democratic adjustment." Proving once again that no war is limited to military casualties.

Knowing that the government has several furtive ways of "hiding" the body count, we expected the occasional announcement of the latest KIA number would always be fudged.  So when the new count was reported, we gritted out teeth, cursed the war, and said, So what else is new?

What else is new is this: a smidgeon of truth from Righteous George.

Hard to believe, but it seeped out (accidently?) from the mouth of our esteemed El Presidente. It may have come a bit late for some American and Iraqi human beings, but it came out at last, and that almost makes up for the bodies scattered here and there.

In all fairness to the Emperor in Chief, however, it must be acknowledged that although truthfulness is not his strong suit---as when he said, "we must stay the course in the war on terror because it will make the world safer for future generations"--- he did relax his guard for a moment, and the truth, ever resilient, found a way to get out.

It squeezed through Bush's lips in this form: "An all-out victory against terrorism may not be possible." 

What!? May not be possible? Now that's a fine kettle of fish, after what he has been telling us, lo, these many months. Cooing on NBC's Today Show---to coincide with the kick-off of the Republican National Convention---Bush said "Retreating from the war would be a disaster for your children." 

Well, at least it fits right in with the theme of "No Child Left Behind."

"You cannot show weakness in this world today," huffed and puffed the Man in the Bloody Pulpit, "because the enemy will exploit that weakness, and embolden them to make the world a more dangerous place,"

He was then bluntly asked if we could win the war on terror. And in a sputtering utterance of the truth, Bush answered, "I don't think we can win it." And then in a tone of Bushese hedging, added: "But I think you can create a condition so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."  (That may mean generations, but what the heck, nobody ever said building an empire was cheap and easy.)

Lap-dog, Scott McClellan, the White House "translator", attempted to crystallize Bush's non-sequitur into something less obtuse by saying the president was speaking about winning the war "in the "conventional" sense---whatever in hell that means, Scott.   

Not so fast, Mr. Moore.  Give Scott a chance to fine tune THAT one.

"I don't think that you can expect there will ever be a formal surrender or a treaty signed like we had in wars past," opined the White House mouthpiece, "That's what he (the president) was talking about. It requires a generational commitment to win this war on terrorism."

(Strange talk. If the war on terrorism can't be won, why pour more human and economic resources into it?)

C'mon, you guys, get your story straight. CAN or CAN'T we win this war? Inquiring, but confused minds want to know. And especially before we commit more boys and girls to this game of spin the battle.

Now you might think the "other side" may have overlooked Bush's lapse into the truth, right? Not a chance.

John Edwards, democratic candidate for Vice President saw Bush's stumble into truth this way:  "After months of listening to the Republicans base their campaign on their singular ability to win the war on terror, the president now says we can't win the war on terrorism. This is no time to declare defeat."
Maybe not, John, but this IS the time to do something besides adding to the chaos and carnage in Iraq and elsewhere.

Bush plans to hold a "Let's Ask President Bush" event at a high school in New Hampshire. Let's hope some youngster has enough courage to stand up and say: "Mister President, we heard that this election will be like you getting a report card for the past four years. Sir, do you think you're going to pass or flunk?"
Who knows, maybe Bush will tell the truth twice in a row.


"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Jim Moore is a free-lance political writer and is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Jim Moore can be reached at Jmoore1819@aol.com

Published in the September 2, 2004 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2004 Ether Zone.

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