Monday, January 15, 2007

"A huge debt of gratitude"

This mindboggling exchange, with the familiar mangled grammar of Bushspeak, occurred on last night's 60 Minutes:
PELLEY: Do you think you owe the Iraqi people an apology for not doing a better job?

BUSH: That we didn't do a better job or they didn't do a better job?

PELLEY: Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion.

BUSH: Not at all. I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq.

PELLEY: Americans wonder whether . . .

BUSH: Yeah, they wonder whether or not the Iraqis are willing to do hard work necessary to get this democratic experience to survive. That's what they want.
No doubt "most Iraqis" woke up this morning with thoughts of gratitude that fortified them for the following "democratic" experiences:
  • Another botched hanging, this time resulting in the decapitation of Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother and former director of his secret police.
  • Continuing heavy pressure from the U.S. to support Bush's plans to escalate the fighting in Baghdad despite the vocal opposition of their own government.
  • Open warfare along Baghdad's Haifa Street, as described by an Iraqi doctor who lives there: "The problem is that we are living in a dark house, in a dark flat. There is no electricity. We have no water really. We are shivering from cold, from fear. We are afraid from snipers, from the shots."*
  • The usual daily risks of suicide attacks, firefights, car bombings, snipers, IED's, air attack, mortars and door-to-door raids.
  • Continued sectarian cleansing, as thousands of Iraqis are driven from their neighborhoods or the country (see entry for January 13th).
  • Unemployment rates "estimated at 30 to 50 percent for the nation and as high as 70 percent in some areas" despite oil prices at $53 a barrel.
  • Dysfunctional or nonfunctional infrastructure, and students who no longer dare to walk the streets to attend schools. And limited electricity at a time when temperatures at night are down in the mid-30's (about 2-3 C).
  • Ineffectual and corrupt government ministries that respond, if at all, to sectarian rather than national needs.
  • No progress toward a political resolution of the Iraqi civil war, and no recognition in Washington or their own capital that a military solution is impossible.
No wonder Bush faults the Iraqis for their lack of gratitude. As Francis Fukuyama said (see last night's entry): "One has the impression that they live in another world."


*In the same interview, Dr. Quraish Fajir al-Kasir also stated: "I spent 32 years working for this country. I have saved so many people in surgery; I have done a lot for the people here. Why I should be killed? Why? I don't know why."

PHOTO: Dubya bloviating, but not on 60 Minutes.

1 comment:

ellis said...

Jesus H. Christ.

What do you want to bet that Bush blames his party's electoral misfortunes on ingratitude, as well?