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A proud member of the reality based commentosphere since 2000. You can find my two Eurocent mainly at liberal and centrist discussion threads, but also at some other surprising places. Also tweeting now, as user "graygoods".

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State Of The Union - Symbol Of Total Uncertainty

Bush speech wasn't very remarkable in general, except that it was evidence of the great uncertainty that shows in the course of the War on Terror and in the domestic programs of this presidency. The commander in chief's roundup of the strategic position and outlook of the US in the fight against terrorism painted a horrible picture. Nobody can close his eyes and pretend the situation doesn't look worse than just a year before. The removal of Saddam made Iraq the new hotbed for Al Quaeda, religious tensions are on the rise everywhere, the US influence on other states has further diminished (most prominent in the cases of Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, Pakistan and Venezuela) and the forces are bound in a quagmire of violence in Iraq with casualties steadily rising. Domestically, almost everything the president spoke of has been discussed before, but not a single one of this bright ideas made it beyond the planning phase. Looking back at the developments of the last five years, nobody can reasonably argue that the state of the union has improved.

Personally, I think the president looked very defensive, even uncertain, this time. And the speech was carefully built to contain many undisputed passages, the bipartisan clapping and standing ovations giving the audience the fraudulent impression that the support for Bush’s ideas is much higher than it actually is. Yeah, maybe he has spoken with many of them in an attempt to raise support for his ideas, but everybody he spoke with will have noticed that the guy simply doesn’t listen. So, bipartisan backing for Bush that goes beyond that fool Lieberman is a pipedream and won’t happen. It’s much more likely the Dems will succeed in pulling more concerned republicans to their side.

However, actually, I paid much more attention to Dubya’s body language and the reaction of the audience than to the text. Hell, it doesn’t matter what Bush says, experience tells us that he won’t live up to those sunny promises. There’s a gap wider than the Grand Canyon between his rhetoric and accomplishments today. Just check the past SOTUs and you’ll be horrified at the flight from reality.

Just one point made my alarm bells ring:
“A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.”

Wtf is he talking about? Civilians? He doesn’t mean the peace corps, no? The US has the national guard, the volunteer army, and contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater. Everybody who meets the qualifications can serve if he/she wants to. What exactly is the idea behind this new force and why is it needed? Other listeners got the creeps and had spontaneous nightmares of ‘brown shirts’. Just overheated fantasy, I hope…

Originally posted as comment at The Moderate Voice