No matter how many times our poor excuse for a president has changed his talking points about Iraq, he has no intention of withdrawing our troops from that war-torn country in the foreseeable future.
Have you noticed how Dubyah has been looking a little ragged around the edges lately? The furrows on his forehead are becoming deeper and more pronounced, his renowned deer-in-the-headlights expression is occurring with more frequency, and his boyish air of confidence is disappearing all together.
Perhaps he’s beginning to buckle under the pressure of his job. The years of deceptions and lies and bad faith are finally beginning to catch up with him. Imagine, if you will, what a conversation would sound like if he finally decided to unburden himself and confess the truth about Iraq to a close friend.
Close Friend: George, you’ve been saying that the main reason the United States can’t withdraw its armed forces from Iraq is that the country would descend into a bloody civil war and perhaps outright chaos.
George W. Bush: Yeah, that’s what I’ve been sayin’ all right.
CF: And why would that be bad for America?
GB: Well, thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians would lose their lives, and Iraq would become a base for terrorists that would try to kill Americans.
CF: But isn’t that what is happening in Iraq right now?
GB: Yeah, but it would become even worse if the U.S. withdrew its forces.
CF: C’mon, George, you said you wanted to unburden yourself and tell the truth. You don’t know that the situation in Iraq would become worse any more than you knew about WMD or the Al Qaeda connections to Saddam.
GB: Well, heh… heh…. you got me there.
CF: You know what the latest polls are saying? That over three-quarters of Iraqi citizens want the U.S. to leave their country because they think it is America’s presence that is causing all the violence and dissension. And an even more alarming statistic is that a majority of Iraqis condone the attacks and killings of Americans in Iraq!
GB: Well, you can’t always go by polls, but I take your point.
CF: In fact, if we got out of Iraq, the different warring factions might be so happy to see us go, they might be willing to work out a deal with each other.
GB: You think so? That’s not what Cheney and Rumsfeld are tellin’ me. You know, the Shiites and Sunnis, they hate each other. They’d probably keep fightin’.
CF: Until one group finally defeated the other.
GB: Yeah, that’s right. And probably the Shiites would win because they’re stronger and have a lot more fighters. Then they would set up a theocratic Islamic state that would be friendly to Iran. And that would be a disaster because Iran hates the United States and is developin’ newkuler weapons that it could use against America or Israel.
CF: But isn’t Iran going to do that regardless of what happens in Iraq? You know, George, a lot of your critics say that if you had never made your speech about the axis of evil and preemptively invaded Iraq, Iran and North Korea may not have gone forward with their nuclear programs, that you kind of forced them into it. So it seems to me that if we left Iraq, the Iranians would feel less threatened by the U.S. and would be more inclined to negotiate with us.
GB: No, their president, that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad guy, is a real nut, and he would take it as a sign of weakness and continue to pursue his newkuler program.
CF: Like he is doing right now.
GB: Well, yeah, heh… heh… But there are other reasons we’ve got to stay in Iraq.
CF: You mean like all the military bases we are building there and the oil contracts that are at stake and the billions of dollars that companies like Halliburton are raking in?
GB: It’s no secret we do a lot of business in Iraq and that we just can’t pull up stakes and leave. There’s too much money involved.
CF: George, are you saying that we need to stay in Iraq indefinitely in order to make it safe and secure so that American companies can do business there?
GB: Now you’re catching on.
CF: And this could take years.
GB: That’s right. No one knows how long it will actually take, but the reality is, we’re not leavin’ anytime soon.
CF: But what about the thousands of American service men and women and innocent Iraqi civilians who will die in the meantime?
GB: I know– I haven’t been feelin’ too good about that lately. Makes me want to start drinkin’ again.
CF: And what about the billions of taxpayer dollars that are being wasted each month and the billions of dollars that have been fraudulently siphoned off to big U.S. corporations and contractors?
GB: Cheney says that’s good for business. Halliburton’s stock has more than tripled since the war in Iraq started. Not too shabby… heh… heh.
CF: So, if I’m following your logic, the real reason we can’t leave Iraq anytime soon is not because of the bloodbath it would create for the Iraqi people, or the terrorist threat it would create for American citizens, but because it would be bad for American business, especially the big oil companies and the big contractors like Halliburton, Bechtel, and your daddy’s pals in the Carlyle Group.
GB: Yeah, that’s it all right, but don’t tell anyone, especially the soldiers in our armed forces. They might feel like suckers.
CF: Don’t worry– your secret is safe with me. But do you think this could be the reason you’ve been feeling out of sorts lately? Maybe you’re starting to feel guilty about this whole mess. Maybe you should tell all those big companies that are profiting from the war to go to hell. And maybe you should admit to the American people that you made a big mistake and that we should pull out of Iraq right away.
GB: Can’t do that. I’m in too deep. Gotta ride it out. Let the next president take care of it.
CF: Story of your life, huh, George?
GB: Yeah… heh…heh. But don’t tell anyone that either. You know, stay the course.