Bush’s last State of the Union address

President George W. (for Worst in history) Bush gives a pretty good speech when he’s not outright lying, or starting a war or something. Considering elocution only, His Nibs delivered a decent speech, in his twangy kind of way. He didn’t stumble over many words in his nearly hour-long delivery. He kept most people present awake, most of the time, for his final State of the Union address.

He does after all have degrees from Yale and Harvard, albeit with a C-average. His family sure got their money’s worth out of that deal.

But, oh, you didn’t know that whenever his lips are moving there’s a strong likelihood he’s trying to deceive, or just straight-out lying? You didn’t know that in the two years after Sept. 11, 2001 Pres. Bush made at least 260 separate false statements in public to lead the United States into its invasion and occupation of Iraq? You didn’t know that?

Obviously you did not read the exhaustive study released Jan. 23 by the Center for Public Integrity. The President’s untruths were “part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses,” that’s all. That orchestrated campaign totaled 935 false statements made by Mr. Bush and his top seven advisors, including Vice President Dick Cheney, then Secretary of State Colin Powell, then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among them.

But back to his State of the Union speech, which was short on his customary bravado and bluff, and as a result, not full of policy and grandiose proposals, and therefore not likely to be as full of lies as a typical Bush war speech. Oh he did invoke the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen fighting the war. He tugged at the strings and got several standing ovations praising the troops. Of course, I’ve always said the Bush foreign policy, or “Bush Doctrine” if you will, can be summed up in three words: “Support the Troops.” That also means never question the mission their commanders assign them. Continue reading

Now that the surge is successful…

Now that the Bush administration’s Troop Surge is “working,” what’s next, war watchers? Permanent occupation, of course.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the odds-on Republican presidential nominee would be content to stay in Iraq 100 years or more. He was for the surge all along.

He’s a real, true, War Hawk. He’s a decorated combat hero. His father was an admiral. His father’s father was an admiral. War heroes. Sen. McCain is open about his justification for permanent U.S. occupation of Iraq and all lands connected to Iraq: to better fight against Islamic radicals, extremists.

Sen. McCain, and others who share his view always include the word “Islamic,” when describing their enemy. What about the rest of the people who fall under “Islamic?” How does a President McCain propose to differentiate between “bad” Islamic people and the rest of the Islamic people?

Among the leading Democratic contenders: Senators Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), they all concede that U.S. troops will need to remain in Iraq at least 10 years! Give or take a year or two.

Bush wins.

Does the “success” of the Surge (in at least pacifying the Iraqi countryside for a while) mean the U.S. is more likely to declare victory and come home, or remain deployed? That is a trick question. Continue reading

Black perception vs. White perception

To say that Black people and White people live in two different worlds when it comes to world view, is an understatement.

Ask any Black person about Nat Turner, for example, and most express admiration for the man who led the bloodiest slave revolt in American history. After all, on Aug. 21, 1831 he led a company of 70 slaves in a rebellion in Southampton, Va. to end slavery.

He was a hero, a bold young captain! He fought for freedom!

Ask most White folks–especially those in Southampton–and they may very well condemn him. Let’s not forget, that during that bloody insurrection, 57 Whites, men, women and children–civilians–were slaughtered, many while they slept.

He was a murdering terrorist!

So it goes. There is a Black perception of reality. There is a White perception of reality.

Last September 60,000 young Blacks marched in tiny Jena, La. to protest racial bias in the criminal justice system down there, Six Black teenagers faced a total of 100 years in jail as adults for their role in a schoolyard fight in which a White student was beaten. But months earlier three White students were given a slap on the wrist as punishment after they hung three nooses from a tree in the schoolyard, a day after Black students had sat under the tree.

The behavior of the Black students in Jena was labeled “criminal.” The behavior of the White students was dismissed as “a childish prank.”

The following Halloween, at fraternity parties all over the country, White students, wearing black-face make-up and Afro-wigs posed for pictures at make-believe lynching parties. (White students seem to pose for pictures which they proudly post on the Internet, in black-face and Afro-wigs at Halloween parties every year.)

There is a Black perception of acceptable behavior there. There is a separate and distinct White perception of acceptable behavior there. Continue reading

President Obama, Vice President Edwards

As unbelievable and fundamentally absurd as it sounds, it may already be inevitable that a Black man will be elected the next President of the United States.

Unfathomable. We have wandered into absolutely uncharted political waters.

President Barack Hussein Obama, with his feather-light political résumé and his heart of pure gold. Get used to it.

Mr. President. And before we get to giddy with exuberance over that idea, we must follow through and make sure former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is his Vice Presidential running mate.

The unimaginable political popularity of the first-term U.S. Senator from Illinois with–as he says it–the “funny name,” in “Lily White” Iowa and New Hampshire, boggles the minds of political scientists, pundits, and informed observers alike.

Sen. Obama has wisely chosen to cast himself more as a unifier, rather than as one who speaks only for the hurt of Black people. By doing this, with his unique “bi-racial” persona–youthful madrassas in Indonesia and all–he has allowed people to look at him as an icon, a political standard bearer, not because of the color of his skin, but indeed because of the content of his character.

To put President-to-be Obama in Hollywood theatrical terms, he is “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” not starring Denzel Washington, but starring Jimmy Stewart. By not staking his candidacy on the plight of Black people, it allowed other people to recognize their own hurt in his campaign and to see in him as their champion. Continue reading