March 7, 2003: Here's my take on the whole Iraq mess. What do you do when you're faced with a massive (and record) deficit, when unemployment is rising, and when a double-dip recession is staring you in the face? You use the "Great Satan" defense, as I'm naming it in honor of the Ayatollah. You're the leader, and you have people who are likely to blame things on you, so you give them someone else to hate instead, an easily identifiable enemy, a Great Satan, who'll take their minds off the fact that gas prices are soaring, that the economy is in the tank, and that things are looking worse, not better.
It's working for Kim Jong Il in North Korea. He's just using us the way we're using Saddam.
And it's working for Dub. But I don't know how long he can keep it up.
I thought the press conference last night was a mess. First of all, he didn't call on Helen Thomas, becoming the first president to ignore her in about half a century. He didn't call on the Washington Post guy, either. When asked about a cost estimate for the war, he didn't answer, implying that he didn't know, which, of course, isn't true. I'm sure they have estimates galore. He repeated the same catch phrases over and over. (I counted four times for "If Saddam doesn't disarm, we will disarm him.") I guess his handlers pounded certain "talking points" into his head. He said at least twice, "if this war is forced on us." Nobody is forcing us into a war except George W. Bush, as I see it.
He also said that "it's up to North Korea's neighbors" to handle that situation because Kim is more of a threat to them than to us. But a part of one of their missles is in Alaska, not part of one of Saddam's. Today, one of their top guys says they're willing to "put the torch to New York." I don't recall Saddam having said anything at all like that. It would seem to me he's much more of a threat to his neighbors than to us, but Bush hasn't said it's up them to handle things.
And his "neighbors" comment caused the Japanese stock market to fall to a 20-year low this morning. Dub isn't content with destroying our economy; he's going to work on the world's. Speaking of the economy, gas prices aren't going down any time soon. They're going up. The job figures were awful this morning. I think we're in for that double dip, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if Dub ramped up those terror warnings to red to take our mind off that.
As you can tell, I'm very depressed about all this, and I don't see a good result from any of it. Maybe Dub will pull it off and prove me wrong. I really, really hope so.