Can You Please Do Better Than a Rose Bush?
Dear Lt. George W. Bush,
I hope you don't mind me referring to you by the only true military rank you ever achieved, that being the one from your on-again, off-again "days" in the, um, Texas Air National Guard. Ever since I saw you in that flyboy outfit, landing on that ship, I assumed you now wanted to be addressed by your military title, as opposed to the civilian rank imposed on you by your dad's friends.
So, Lieutenant, I was wondering, would you do me a favor?
Could you please do better than a rose bush?
I saw the guy on TV yesterday that your boys found, the Iraqi who said he had "planted" some nuclear plans in his "back yard" in Baghdad -- 12 years ago -- "under a rose bush."
Woo boy. That's a good one. Do you really think we are as dumb as we look? I know our fascination with "American Idol" and Scott Peterson may make us Americans look a little light in the head, but when it comes to lying to us to lead us into war, we really do demand a bit more of an effort and a follow-through.
You see, George, it's not the lying and the doctoring of intelligence that has me all upset. It's that you've had control of Iraq for over two months now -- and you couldn't even find the time to plant just a few nukes or vats of nerve gas and at least make it look like you weren't lying to us.
You see, by not faking some evidence of weapons of mass destruction, it shows that you thought no one would mind if it turned out you made everything up. A different kind of president, who believes that the American public would be outraged if they ever found out the truth, would go to great lengths to cover up his subterfuge.
Johnson did it with the Gulf of Tonkin. He said our ships were "attacked" by the North Vietnamese. They weren't, but he knew he had to at least make it look like it happened. Nixon said he wasn't "a crook," but he knew that wasn't enough, so he paid hush money to the burglars and somehow had 18 1/2 minutes erased from a tape in the Oval Office. Why did he do this? Because he knew the American people would be pissed if they found out the truth.
Your blatant refusal to back up your verbal deception with the kind of fake evidence we have become used to is a slap in our collective American face. It's as if you are saying, "These Americans are so damn apathetic and lazy, we won't have to produce any weapons to back up our claims!" If you had just dug a few silo holes in the last month outside Tikrit, or spread some anthrax around those Winnebagos near Basra, or "discovered" some plutonium with that stash of home movies of Uday Hussein feeding his tigers, then it would have said to us that you thought we might revolt if you were caught in a lie. It would have shown us some respect. We honestly wouldn't have cared if it later came out that you planted all the WMD -- sure, we'd be properly peeved, but at least we would have been proud to know that you knew you had to back up your phony claims with the real deal!
I guess you finally figured that out this week. It started to appear that millions of us were calling you on your bluff -- those "fictitious reasons for the fictitious war." So you quickly produced this man and his rose bush and some 12-year-old piece of paper and some metal parts. CNN broke in at 5:15pm and screamed they had the exclusive! "IRAQI NUCLEAR PLANS FOUND!" But a few good reporters started asking some hard questions -- and, barely three hours later, your own administration was forced to admit the plans were "not the smoking gun" proving that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Never a good idea to rely on a bush, Lieutenant.
PS. Sorry, I still can't get that padded flyboy suit out of my head. I know, I need help. But when you landed on that carrier, and that banner read, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED," just what mission was that that was accomplished? 'Cause by my count, more than 50 of our young soldiers have died since you said the mission was accomplished. Anarchy still reigns in Iraq, the Brits are losing kids too, and wacko fundamentalists now seem to ready to rule the land. Women are already being told to cover their faces and shut their mouths, store owners who sell liquor have been executed and movie theaters showing "immoral" Hollywood movies have been forced to shut down. And hey, this isn't even west Texas! Maybe you could get back into that jumpsuit, fly over to Baghdad and land at the former Saddam International Airport, jump out and give one of those big happy waves -- under a sign that reads, "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE."