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You Can't Accomplish The Mission If You Don't Know What It Is

Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 3:17 AM


We are four years and one day to the moment where President Bush stood upon the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to give a speech lauding the men and women of our armed forces. Behind him, the carrier's superstructure, with a banner reading, "Mission Accomplished."

What mission was that, again?

If it was to depose Saddam, that's all done with so why are we still there?

If it was to establish a stable, secure democracy, our progress is questionable. Members of Iraq's parliament are about to go on recess for two months. Nice to know that we can't make 'em budge one whit, but they'll step aside for Moqtada al-Sadr and take two-month breaks.

If it was to provide humanitarian aid and help reconstruction efforts, we can be proud that we've provided tainted drinking water not only to the Iraqis, but to our own troops. Electricity is a crap shoot. The new police academy built by Parsons Corp. was so flawed that sewage leaked from an upper floor to the ground floor. And other buildings are being reported as shoddy and substandard construction. Nothing but the best for our friends.

If the mission was to take the fight to the terrorists, how is it that they're still killing both our soldiers and Iraqi citizens in record numbers? (In fact, they keep getting better at it.)

On top of which, nobody ever took responsibility for putting up that damned banner in the first place. How is it that a banner that large gets hung from the bridge of an aircraft carrier and no one knows who did it?

But, just like the White House never said 'imminent,' White House spokeswoman Dana Perino lamented that Mr. Bush's speech has been, ' widely misconstrued, and I encourage people to go back and read it. The president did say we had a long and difficult road ahead of us."

Four years later, we are still slogging down that road. We still don't know what the mission is, and no matter how many strategy papers are drawn up, no matter how many consultations are made, the sum total of President Bush's leadership has been the equivalent of repeatedly playing footsie with the chipper-shredder.


And while Bush sees fit to veto a bill extending funding for military operations in Iraq, he also issued a royal proclamation declaring in perpetuity that May 1st is henceforth known as Loyalty Day.

Never mind that May Day has long been associated with both labor and socialist causes. Forget that it is a significant date in both Roman Catholic tradition (May being the month devoted to the Virgin Mary) and in Wicca, where it is celebrated as Beltane.

This is simply another faux holiday predicated upon waving the flag to hide the gross failures of a corrupt administration.

September 11, the day nineteen hijackers crashed planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers, was declared, "Patriot Day." It's hiding behind the victims and using the flag to cover up the fact that our leaders failed.

May 1, the day Bush made an ass out of himself by holding the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego so he could fly out, parade around in a flight suit, and make his 'Mission Accomplished' speech is now 'Loyalty Day.'

What's next, declaring August 28 as Allegiance Day? (This is the day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, and the videoconference in which Mr. Bush couldn't remember the word hurricane. And, of course, the story was that 'I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees,' later exposed as a lie when the transcripts and video of the meeting were released the following March.)

Or maybe we should declare February 11 as Trusty Musket Day, to commemorate Vice President Cheney's proud observance of his Second Amendment rights to bear arms. And shoot your hunting buddy in the face with birdshot. And not to speak to law enforcement for seventeen hours while you sober up and make sure everyone has their story straight.



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