News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Bush: Daniel in the Lion's Den?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bush: Daniel in the Lion's Den?

So what's the big headline for Bush's Iraq publicity stunt today? As a PR activity, it shows:

  • Bush thinks Iraq is safe enough to visit Iraq contra the perception that Iraq is falling apart
  • Bush is in control contra indications that events in Iraq were spiraling out of control
  • Bush the decider knows risks and through sheer gumption and grit defies the terror and chaos that he says are threatening the world
  • the Iraqi government is now consecrated with Bush's laying on of hands
  • Bush is a man of surprises, flying against the negativity and pessimism and exhibiting imaginitve and creative flights of political acumen that leave his political enemies stupefied and flabbergasted.

The Bushco crowd has boviously chosen the interpretation that Bush is all piss and vinegar when it comes to meeting the Terrorist threat. On FoxNews, Rep. Hoekstra bruited:
Well, not only can the good guys win, the good guys have to win. … This is a global war on terror. There are those in the radical Islamic movement who want to attack us on the homeland, and our objective is to win this war on terror, to take the battle to where radical Islam would plan and strategize and train for an attack against the United States, and today the President is going in their face with the elected government in Iraq and saying, “We’re going to win this and it’s essential that we win it. We have no choice.”
Which image plays well in Peoria is undecided. Certainly, as a photo op the image of Bush braving terror and violence gives the illusion that he's at the front lines of the war on terror. "Yes, America, the Pres truly does understand the dangers, but he believes so much in what he's doing that he's willing go into the maw of death (like Daniel in the lion's den?) and face the horror show that our soldiers must embrace every day."

But the important thing here is in the sheer imagistic quality of the visit. That is, its alleged (perceived) audacity defies reason; and in its bravado, it forestalls rational debate about the underlying issues relating to the war effort. To cast aspersions at it, to question its true audacity or even to ask questions concerning the President's reasons for doing it will come across as the sour grapes that really motivates the President's political opposition.

These images are meant not to evoke debate and discussion but to stop the talk that might undermine the entire rationale for being in Iraq and the wisdom of the foreign policy approach currently at work in the WH.

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