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November 11, 2006

Poppy Leaving The Sidelines?

Robert-Gates-George-Bush

I was interested in the political dynamics of this shot published yesterday on the front page of the International Herald Tribune.

Although subtle in one way (if you didn’t know the relationship between Rumsfeld replacement, Robert Gates, and Poppy Bush), it is also is a sly visual editorial and even a slap in the face of the present Bush regime.

The Herald Tribune could have used just about any photo to illustrate the Gates appointment.  The obvious choice was a shot of the Oval Office announcement featuring Bush 43, Gates and Rumsfeld — which the paper’s owner, the New York Times, ran stateside.  (Front page image; photo with article.)

Instead, however, the foreign sister ship went with a rather enormous (3 column) shot of Gates with Poppy Bush at the Texas A&M football game a week ago Saturday.

Because Gates was National Security Adviser, and then C.I.A. director under Bush 41, and Gates is also a member of the Iraq Study Group, the team led by Dad’s combined hatchet man/clean up man, James Baker, charged with helping unwind the Iraq entanglement (and the Pentagon’s grip on it), the political implication of the picture start to wave its arms at you.

The meta-communication of the photo (whether, or to what degree accurate) is that George Bush, the senior, is taking over from George Bush, the lesser.

…Now, if only the NYT had the cojones to play it this sharply on home soil.

(NYT Friday Backgrounder: Gates, Baker and the Iraq Study Group.)

(image: David J. Phillips/A.P.  Texas.  November 10, 2006.  International Herald Tribune.)

  • ummabdulla

    I saw this picture, too. It was taken before the election, right? The coach waiting to send in a replacement?
    I kind of like what Poppy’s wearing, but couldn’t Gates dress just a little informally to watch a football game? Aside from his clothes, the elder Bush looks kind of old and out-of-it, though… maybe because they caught him with his mouth open like that.
    I’m curious about what actually happened to force Georgie to take the advice of his father and the “Bush 41″ team? I mean, he obviously wasn’t listening for the previous six years.

  • Dr. William Dyer

    In addition to to the subtle nod towards Bush the Elder making a move for cleaning up his son’s latest fiasco there is the past that these two share as well. Both men at one point ran the CIA, and both were very involved with the events of Iran-Contra deals. This picture calls upon what is seen in many movies and shows that feature spies or back room deals, where the characters casually talk about “business” while the rest of the crowd, never knows what is happening.
    Part of me thinks Gates has become the choice because some in the Middle East, particularly Iran, have dealt with him before and these countries can rely on Gates for using discretion when making deals amongst the powers of the region.

  • Mad_nVT

    Wow, I am thinking that Bush got dressed in the dark, because those reds are bad. But then I could also guess that the team colors for Texas A&M are red, judging by the fact that most everybody else is wearing red.
    Column I read in the paper this morning indicates that back in the Poppy Administration, Gates and Cheney were allied, and were in opposition to James Baker. So do we continue to see the hand of Darth Cheney here? Time will tell.
    Gates was also at the top of the intelligence heap when the Soviet Union collapsed– seems that he and the others in that stinking pile didn’t see that one coming either.

  • PTate in MN

    What a great image!
    The image suggests a jury from the “greatest generation” or a Frank Capra 40s film: The browns ( at least what appears to be brown on my monitor), the bow tie, the suits, the white men.
    But they are speaking across time, they are speaking to today. The blurred figure on the right, on our side of the fence, seems to be summoning Papa Bush. And Papa Bush, dressed in his retirement clothes, has the expression of someone who is about to take action.
    It is a sad, sad, testimony to the disaster that has been the GWB WH, that we are all cheering Papa B on.

  • ummabdulla

    “It is a sad, sad, testimony to the disaster that has been the GWB WH, that we are all cheering Papa B on.”
    Isn’t that the truth?! If one were into conspiracy theories, one might think that the Bush 41′ers had gotten themselves into position to do whatever they wanted, with everyone not only not opposing them, but breathing a sigh of relief…
    (I also thought the maroon color was weird at first, but since everyone was wearing it, I assumed it was the team color.)

  • MonsieurGonzo

    As with other, similar images that we have discussed here, we find the symbolism of the fence/barricade = constraint implicit to be the most fascinating aspect of the visual message FRAME: What Does the Constraint Represent?
    …are Messrs. Bush & Gates passive spectators or active participants/players themselves, or are they de facto “coaches,” directing the spectacle ?
    Real WAR is not a Game ~ la vraie guerre n’est pas un jeu :
    Mortars Become Weapon of Choice in Iraq : “[An] exchange of mortar fire began in earnest this month…
    This is a serious development in Baghdad/Iraq in that now the reality on the ground actually does resemble what most people think of when they think “Civil War.”
    Now this conflict really is “open warfare,” with two distinct groups squaring off and firing at one another from “entrenched positions” in ethnically-cleansed neighborhoods; de facto “battle lines,” eg., either a major street or river, etc., must exist, thus ~ with well-organized and militarily competent Shi’ite and Sunni groups engaging one another in artillery barrages using the heaviest weapon available to them in this theatre…
    …iow, any illusion that violence in Baghdad was tantamount to “street gangs” and/or “criminals / lawlessness” has been shattered: and what the AngloAmerican occupiers and their “al Qaeda” nemesis, (and the Iraq Study Group) are now facing is honest-to-god War within the Muslim world.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    When I first heard that Bob Casey got nominated I went “Bob Casey? Bob Casey? Where have I heard that name before?” Then I saw his pciture and I went “Oh, oh! For the ove of all that is holy, not him!” Not Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, South Africa, and Afghanistan. Not again….

  • http://profile.typekey.com/sravana/ sravana

    FYI – the A&M colors are maroon and white, not red – thus the icky color

  • limapup

    The usual suspects. America needs a reminder of the facts not as filmed but as they occurred – Poppa Bush’s procreation is a colossal bust. Sure hope W goes for therapy asap – he’s still grasping the wheel.

  • ummabdulla

    Whoa, Rafael, you’re really having a nightmare, lol; it’s Bob Gates, not Bill Casey (who’s dead). According to this article in Mother Jones, though, Casey’s spirit might live on through Gates.

  • in extremis

    “just when I thought I was out, they’re pulling me right back into it…”…

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    ummabdulla:
    Wish it was a nightmare, you eventually wake up from those. But Bob Gates was in the thick of it, and was very good at protecting the agency in the bad old days. the agency went rampant during the late 50s and early 60s until Playa Giron and Vietnam (plus a very put off Congress) rained it it. Then under Reagan/Bush Sr. they got a second wind (remember that Pappa Bush was also an agency director) until Iran Contra. It seems Casey did push the agency underground a bit, but now that Rummy basicly defanged the CIA and transfered most of its power(s) to the Pentagon plus you have two ugly wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) under the cover of the civilization ending GWOT, you got to wonder which Casey will emerge the Cold Hearted Warrior or a newer version of the OSS cowboys, now with M1A2 tanks and nukes?

  • SteveTalbert

    I don’t know. I see their connection and all I can think of is his involvement with Iran-Contra.

  • random

    Wish they’d give me they job , i need one .

  • random

    besides the fact that was a stupid post , i mispelled they . sorry to everyone whos reading .

  • weisseharre

    poppy/fruit

  • a–

    W.’s modus operandi: FUBAR, and then daddy’s friends come in and fix everything.
    Only this time the world is watching. This is no arbusto stock sell off. The recycling of those in and out of government service is common enough, but the fact that this time the likes of Bolton, Gates, etc. should STILL be in jail from thier last tour of ‘government service’ is what is so shocking! Maybe this time around the bastards will be prosecuted.

  • hoobanoob

    Bush 1 goes to all the Texas A&M home games. Gates is the President of that university. Duh!! Liberals are just grasping at straws once again. Two men enjoying a football game turns into conspiracy, typical mindset of liberal idiots.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    oh, that hoobanoob : what a maroon !

  • http://imtalkinghere.typepad.com Victoria

    The image is quite a meeting:
    (1) Yes, there on the sidelines… working from the sidelines. – The developing narrative from a variety of sources suggests a deep background power play. One can imagine all sorts of old hands meeting almost secretly (in what seems to be a card game, a dinner party, some football-watching) outside the Halls of Power in a last-dich effort to save our nation and clean up Junior’s unholy historic mess.
    (2) Yet, the image also smacks of Norman Rockwell – Poppy’s hair cut, facial features, drab colors are all the stuff of Everyman. The guy with the bow tow and glasses, who is straight from a Capra cast (His character probably runs the hardware store down on Main Street). Even Gates’s upturned eyes – In fact, all three non-Poppy faces have that look of American fortitude/optimism/hope for the best.
    I can’t help but think it actually captures the two dominant forces at work right now: The off-sides power maneuvers + rising tide of renewed populism (See Sunday NYT headline: Incoming Democrats Put Populism Before Ideology).

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    MG:
    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • http://molly.douthett.net momly

    Has anyone seen the Newsweek cover with Poppy and Shrub?
    OUCH!
    I am simultaneoulsy highly amused and strangely irritated by it.
    Amused = How totally true!
    Irritated = How the hell is that going to help an already crappy situation?

  • ummabdulla

    Wow! This situation – and the way it’s being described in the media – must be killing Junior.

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