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November 30, 2005

Recognize Anyone?

"A president who seems less in touch with reality than Richard Nixon needs to get out more," says John over at Americablog after quoting a NYTimes editorial about President Bush's ridiculous speech on Iraq today.  Here's what John quoted from the NYT:

Americans have been clamoring for believable goals in Iraq, but Mr. Bush stuck to his notion of staying until "total victory." His strategy document defines that as an Iraq that "has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency"; is "peaceful, united, stable, democratic and secure"; and is a partner in the war on terror, an integral part of the international community, and "an engine for regional economic growth and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region."

That may be the most grandiose set of ambitions for the region since the vision of Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar, who saw the hand writing on the wall. Mr. Bush hates comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq. But after watching the president, we couldn't resist reading Richard Nixon's 1969 Vietnamization speech. Substitute the Iraqi constitutional process for the Paris peace talks, and Mr. Bush's ideas about the Iraqi Army are not much different from Nixon's plans - except Nixon admitted the war was going very badly (which was easier for him to do because he didn't start it), and he was very clear about the risks and huge sacrifices ahead.

Then John says the piece above about reality and Richard Nixon and goes on to a reference in the NYTimes article that he had to chase down:

Ok, I had to go look up Belshazzar, and here's what I found. This is a hoot:

Pathetically, Belshazzar was a hollow man. His life was based on a series of bad assumptions about himself. He had a facade of royalty, a name and title that he held on to for dear life. He threw parties that suggested regal authority, he issued commands, spoke of gods, and used religious implements as articles of ridicule and dishonor. He acted as if he were someone important and substantial, but he was none of those things. He was a man who imagined that because he sat on a great throne, he was a great person. He imagined that because thick walls surrounded him, he was safe from harm. He imagined that because he spoke with bravado when drunk, he was brave. But none of those things were true.

Gee, sound like anybody you know?

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 30, 2005 at 10:20 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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