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Leader Of Free World Blabs To Nobody In Particular

Bush's State Of The Union: ‘Leader Of The Free World’ Blabs To Nobody In Particular

By Daniel Patrick Welch

It strikes me how little of George Bush’s bullshit I can actually stomach as time goes on. It’s a little bit like THC, which builds up in the bloodstream so that it takes less and less exposure to achieve the narcotic effect. Or more like the Monty Python sketch, where the funniest joke imaginable was translated only one word at a time into German to be used as a secret weapon against the Nazis. One translator accidentally translated an entire phrase and spent several months in hospital.

But it only takes a glimpse, or rather, a whiff, to get the full effect of the Mouthpiece of Empire’s unschooled blather to see where this is all heading. No surprise, the train is headed off the tracks, and we had all better jump out now, mug the brakeman, or follow headlong off the cliff. The Boy in the Bubble speaks in what may be the most hermetically sealed bubble of all, the US Congress: “I ask you to support our troops in the field, and those on their way.”

The pointed reference to ‘those on their way’ combined with all the references to what Iraq ‘must’ do, is enough insight, as if any more were needed, to show that our unhinged Dear Leader is off the reservation and out hunting reality on his own. Another reference pops into mind, this time of General Jack Ripper’s message as read by Buck Turgeson in Dr. Strangelove. I’ve sent the wing to attack the Russians, “and you sure as hell won’t stop them now!” We will prevail, in the purity of essence of our natural fluids.

True to form, the Congress gives yet another grim and unsmiling standing ovation, snapping dutifully to attention at the mention of supporting our troops, at least until their post-traumatic stress- ridden, DU-soaked, limbless bodies are shipped home, with or without the superpathogen cooked up in army field hospitals. How did these guys ever get away with making fun of the Politburo for so long? I see a bunch of paunchy old white guys barely stirring from their catatonia long enough to rubber stamp the diktats of other paunchy old white guys, all a bit too sclerotic to dance even at their own War Party.

What exactly is it that the opposition has to contribute? A stream of useless nonbinding resolutions and handwringing rhetoric aimed at blunting the “mandate” they got from a war-weary public on November 7? Throwing Jimmy Carter under the bus for having the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, it is the land-grab of Palestinian territory and decades of abuse that lies at the center of the mideast conflict? Silly malaise-ridden Jimmy. He must be an anti-semite. Bellicose, if confusing, musings from the party chairman about how Iran is the real threat, rather than Iraq? Translation: if Democrats were in power, we would have kept our powder dry to launch a murderous rampage against a totally different country!

Congress could stop this insanity in a minute, despite all the crocodile tears about the power they don’t have. And here we go into election season: a fresh crop of sharp-elbowed overachievers with money to raise, asses to cover, and focus groups to please. Don’t count on this crowd to stop the impending hell of ever expanding war. Their pockets are lined with the same cash that keeps the war machine humming. Impeachment is the only real remedy for a president who thinks he is above the law. But of course, that isn’t in the cards, or even “on the table.” Nancy Pelosi’s house must be a mess, strewn as it is with things that are “off the table.” No, I’m afraid that hope is a scarce commodity at this point. But it could be the state of the union and the bourbon talking. Maybe we’ll scrounge up some hope before there’s nothing left to do but grab hold, like Slim Pickens, and ride the missile all the way down.


© 2007 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with credit and link to Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School Translations of articles are available in up to 20 languages. Links to the website are appreciated at

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