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February 24, 2007

Close To You

Bush-Hakim-Jan04

This shot, which appeared on the White House photo gallery in January 2004, offers some interesting overlaps these days.

For one thing, it frames George Bush’s frequent attempts to associate himself with George Washington.  Given this similar White House photo taken just two months ago, it also reflects Bush’s interest in cultivating ties with key Iraq Shiite leader, Abdul-Aziz Al-Hakim.

When pictures become hypocritical reminders, however, it doesn’t do much for your credibility.  In a more slapstick way, that’s what Bush’s photo shoot demonstrated last week with a much taller GW.  More dangerous, however — especially to U.S. troops on the ground — are these White House Hakim photos, especially after the military arrested Hakim’s son this week.  The incident occurred while Ammar al-Hakim, since released, was crossing from Iran to Iraq.  This image, taken yesterday, shows Hakim’s son holding up the passport the apologetic American’s initially claimed he didn’t have.

(h/t: strayer)

(image: Eric Draper/White House.  Oval Office. January 20, 2004. whitehouse.gov.  linked image: Ali Abu Shish/Reuters. Baghdad, February 24, 2007. via YahooNews.)

  • Patrick

    Is it any wonder that a Connecticut Yankee transplant Texan wannabe (who’s dialect is God knows what but, certainly not that of a Texan, as I a Yankee myself that lived in Texas many years can attest) as our least traveled/ unworldly, totally incurious, life experience failure, bankrupt businessman, drunken bottle beater, substance abuser, psychopath and Christian in name/as convenience only the absolute most uncaring cretan to ever turd float to the top of the food chain make an unmitigated disaster of everything he touches.
    Or has he?
    The mafia bagman GWB as, the anti-Washington, has accomplished everything his handlers set out to achieve six long years ago. Steal two Presidential elections, initiate the PNAC/AIPAC/Industrial Defense Complex/Oil Industry agenda, bleed the Treasury dry, enrich friends/ war profiteers/ thieve billions of dollars through the phony front Iraq War effort, free the wealthy from taxation, trash the US Constitution, stifle all dissent with ruthless efficiency, dominate the MSM into servility, somewhat promote when convenient the Christian right agenda against women, gays, progressives and secularists, strip Veteran benefits/smash Medicare/bankrupt SS and for his final trick… instigate a nuclear attack on Iran, place the US under marshal law, suspend all elections, void the Constitution, disband Congress, elevate the SCOTUS, round up dissenters into max-security camps and declare himself dictator throughout the duration of the undefined/ never ending “TROUBLES”.
    History is due to cycle to an individual with designs to “RULE THE WORLD”. Who is to say that GWB is not this man? If all goes to plan in the year 2107 the US will have longed ceased to exist and the world capitol on the banks of the Potomac will be named Bush D.C.

  • curt

    hmmm…it appears you see the glass as “half-empty”…

  • Patrick

    Curt,
    The old glass half full cliche… that glass has been smashed into a million pieces and all Americans share responsibility for enabling the Bush/Cheney cabal to hijack our nation unchallenged/unabated, toss us true Patriots under the bus, break the back of our vaunted military, rape a third world Moslem country to control their oil wealth under the guise of ‘bringing freedom and democracy’ to an oppressed peoples, seek far greater conquest camouflaged in an esoteric undefined ‘War on Terror’ and receive cover from a media too obsessed with the death of a flakey model and shaved head non-talent to notice or report the death of 10 US soldiers this past Thursday alone… how was my use of shibboleth in this post?
    Hitler had his Reichstag fire, Bush his 911. Who is to say that our planet is not again ripe for the picking by a few determined men? Save me a place by the window at the Halliburton operated detention center when they round up resisters.

  • mrsJackson

    But, Patrick, please tell us what you REALLY think…..

  • curt

    jeeeeeez…I repent in sackcloth and ashes, and back humbly out of your presence…

  • curt

    btw…I actually had to look up the meaning of “shibboleth”, if that adds to your feeling of self-righteousness…

  • Mad_nVT

    GW Bush appears to be wearing a purple tie. It lends a nice Imperial touch to the self-styled Emperor of the Universe.
    Patrick- it looks like you covered most of the bases pretty fairly, but you neglected to mention that Bush has been able to delay any action on Global Warming so that Washington DC will eventually drown and the Imperial City will need to be moved to Texas.
    By the way, it hasn’t all been successful for GW Bush- he was unable to bring Terry Schiavo back to life. They probably should have tried a brain swap.

  • mrsJackson

    curt…..lighten up. it was a joke.
    btw, you’ve been having MY nightmares.

  • Patrick

    Mrs. Jackson,
    To tell you what I really think, let me count the ways. 3,154 of our dead children, 23,417 of our wounded children and upwards of 655,000 dead Iraqi’s though no one other than John Hopkins/The Lancet is counting the latter while being ferociously discredited by blood & gut warmongers and right-tarded talk show hosts who have no sympathy or interest in the plight of lowly brown people and the Pentagon who no longer finds it strategically advantageous in building moral on the home front to do ‘body counts’ but, this dribble is for another posted topic I suppose.
    Curt,
    I am in no way self righteous and am the most mild mannered of men. Just angered to be part of a nation for which I am exceedingly proud yet now, extremely disappointed over our collective apathy and inaction in enabling these men to hijack and destroy what I once held most dear… my The United States of America.
    I apologize to you if I made you the least bit uncomfortable or appeared condescending in any way.
    Mad nVT,
    Thank you. I forgot to list GWB’s war on science and the environment. Benjamin Banneker’s Washington D.C. was raised from a swamp to which it shall one day rightly return. Unfortunately, we have accelerated natures processes. GWB was conspicuously silent during the Schiavo debacle instead preferring to have his surrogates lead the failed campaign/left with egg cream on their faces. As far as GWB’s heartfelt concern for Schiavo or anyone else’s right to life this is a man who aborted a child with Robin Lowman, mockingly joked as he signed the order of execution for Karla Faye Tucker, ordered the cessation of/criminal penalty for photographing the returning transfer tube dead at Dover AFB and has been willfully absent any funeral service of same.

  • lytom

    Bush has so far more than kept pace with Hitler, who in 1938, after being in office for 6 years killed about 70,000 Poles…, yet there is hardly a soul who will call him Hitler’s son!
    If Bush completes his plan to nuke Iran, he will trumph Hitler.
    The whole world is watching, but that is all, just watching!

  • curt

    Patrick,
    no sweat…I’m new to this board (obviously) and was overly sensitive.
    mrsJackson, I will take your advice and “lighten up”…
    I meant the “glass-half-empty” thing as a bit of ironic humor…sorry if it seemed as if I didn’t share your disgust with the whole situation. Actually, I do.
    I get very frustrated that too often the blogs, etc., seem to simply serve as a release-valve for energies that probably ought to be spent in real protest…but how? On a practical level, I mean.
    I give generously to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU (I don’t always agree with them, but choose to err on their side), I am the local representative of Liberty magazine (aimed at keeping Church and State seperate) by informing our local public on issues and petitioning Congress. I vote, always. I try to educate my kids on the role citizenship requires to keep a nation free.
    I am currently finishing up a 30-yr. carrer, taking my B.A. in History and moving on too grad school, shooting for at least an M.A (PhD, hopefully) so I can start another career actively trying to work within the system, while it’s still possible, to bring about change. The letters aren’t a requirement but, hopefully, they will allow me to become active at a different level.
    I am a Veteran; a child of the ’70’s, who once took an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and who thinks our foreign AND domestic policies don’t match the vision of America I was raised to believe in.
    We have somehow failed to educate a large portion of our populace that Liberty in this country, and proper attitudes towards the broader family of nations, is only maintained as long as individuals take their own responsibilities seriously. I blame a lot of this on the de-emphasis on History and Civics in our schools, and the general distance most of us have come from the personal struggles which make civic participation seem relevant.
    We, as a nation, have suffered loss on so many levels since Iraq began; the Iraqis have suffered almost beyond what can be imagined, given the daily statistics. But, cruel or ill-informed as it may sound, most people here at home simply don’t register enough personal pain to be moved to actively look for ways to do something about it. I said most; certainly not all. Maybe the majority is a better way to quantify it.
    That, plus a lack of direction, are a sure-fire recipe for apathy.
    End of speechifying.

  • ummabdulla

    Patrick, I hope your predictions are wrong, but I always find your comments thought-provoking. Usually, there’s really not much to say in response, though. (I had to look up “shibboleth”, too.) I hope no one feels offended, because I didn’t read any of the comments as intending to offend any of the commenters.
    As for the picture, it’s interesting to remember what they were thinking in January 2004. Adnan Pachachi was in town to be Laura Bush’s special guest at the State of the Union speech. Every media reference to him described him as highly respected, a secular liberal, former foreign minister and ambassador to the UN. Since he was highly popular among State Dept officials, it was assumed that he must be highly popular among Iraqis and could unite them, etc.
    And was this the time when they thought Shias were more liberal and more accepting of US occupation? When they didn’t know or didn’t care that Abdul-Aziz Al-Hakim, head of SCIRI, had close ties with Iran and ran the Badr brigade?

  • Patrick

    lytom,
    I despise all things Hitler but, GWB is no Schicklegruber. That the loathsome Hitler was an artist, author, decorated war hero, military strategist, historian, dynamic speaker, political theorist, social engineer, architect among his other interests/talents has been discussed, critiqued, denied and joked about for the past 75 years. If GWB would demonstrate any such proclivity for advanced thought, letters, the arts or sciences at 1/10th the effort Hitler exhibited then maybe a comparison of the two men would be apt. However, GWB is a ne’er do well that has ridden the coattails of others and used the criminal Prescott’s name as a meal ticket to advance. For a man of low intellect/shady intentions with no real CV of his own it was the best he could hope for. His level of butchery while, quite comparable to the Fuhrer, is for monetary enrichment only while Hitler’s was steeped in historic context and ramifications. The question now becomes which of the two will be viewed by history as being more barbaric?
    Curt,
    Good luck in pursuit of your degree. Very noble indeed. Yes, Americans are ignorant and apathetic to history and many lack civic pride. We have become the consumerists that Madison Avenue and the corporatists have envisioned and groomed. The only pain we suffer from the Iraq War is a dime here or there at the gas pump. I am no different. My only vent/protest is at blogs and for writing as I do having been banned from too many numerous sites to even begin to list. As a historian you may wish to visit HNN the History News Network.
    Ummabdalla,
    Good point. Pachachi was viewed as States’ boy but, a quick survey on the ground in Iraq could have provided them with a true barometer. The hated Chalabi also, a SOTU guest in good times past, has been tied to Iran and it appears he refuses to go away now holding sway within the Interior Ministry in guiding Iraq policy with regards to Bush’s ‘Surge’ effort. It appears as if it is SCIRI who controls Basra and has driven the British out under the tag-line that the south of Iraq is now secure so the Brits can now leave to support NATO in Afghanistan in advance of what is sure to be a hot spring Talib offensive. Moqtada al Sadr/Madhi Army is proving daily to be the real power within Shiite Iraq. While the US fears the Shiite/Iran connection and has increased it’s dependence on Saudi Arabia to provide a political solution in Iraq/Lebanon/ Palestine it is this contradiction, that of the Sunni having proven more dangerous to American troops than any Shiite, that the Bush team seemingly refuses to acknowledge. We know that Bandar Bush will never turn proof over on the real enemy of 911… the Saudi’s. It was interesting that in speeches over the past few weeks Mr. Bush has attempted the rewrite of history spinning a tale that the Iraq War was won/over/country pacified and secured until the golden dome Askariya shrine in Samarra was attacked that the unrest began. As if two years of war never occurred. That many locals witnesses US Special Forces at the shrine before it was blown up has also been lost to time and obscure corners of cyberspace. The war for the planet is only in it’s infancy. The next two remaining years of the Bush regime will be telling and I hope that my tales of doom are far flung predictions from an unstable mind.

  • http://molly.douthett.net lowly grunt

    The above posts are why this site is one of my favorites. Thanks to Patrick and Curt, especially, for the insights and passion.
    I am always grateful to the BagMan for allowing his loyal posters to sometimes “let one rip”, so to speak. Michael is very gracious about freedom to express oneself even if the expression goes far away from the topic at hand.
    Most people who post here are pretty good about sticking fairly close to the point, so his work at corralling us is mostly clapping his hands together and yelling, “Down!”

  • Patrick

    lowly grunt,
    Thanks for the support in allowing us to “rip it up”. However, we are not that far off topic or the mark. My initial post is to highlight GWB as the anti-Washington. George Washington was a surveyor, soldier, warrior, scholar, statesman, gentleman farmer, patriot and visionary. This is not to say that our Founding Father was flawless. He was a slaveholder and on a personal level suffered innumerable medical maladies.
    George W. Bush is none of the above. Although, a good case of gum disease or malignant carbuncles would serve him right. It is telling that Mr. Bush celebrated Presidents Day ‘07 at Mt. Vernon where he made mockery of the American Revolution by comparing our epic birth struggle against the hyper-power British Empire with the current misadventure in Iraq and hinting that Washington would be in full favor of our usurpation of a sovereign government and subsequent brutal/bloody occupation. If anything the Iraqi resistance is more aligned with the ideals of Washington and the fervor of our Revolution to eject a foreign occupier in the quest for true freedom and self determination.
    Read Washington’s insightful warning against foreign entanglement from his farewell address; “So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld; and it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens who, devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country without odium, sometimes even with popularity, gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.”
    While Washington put into action his beliefs, made the tough choices/necessary personal sacrifices, was rewarded by enormous popularity and adoration of the American people President Bush has failed to understand that it is not enough simply to decide based on whim or desire or for financial gain but, one must make some effort to ensure that those decisions are correct and well reasoned. This is why George Washington is our greatest President and George W. Bush the very worst.

  • readytoblowagasket

    Holy crap, Patrick! You should have stopped while you were ahead. A little self-editing never hurt anyone. The Washington quote is impenetrable, and therefore wasted (not to mention off topic and, I would argue, off the mark).

  • Gasho

    readytoblow:
    Shorter Washington: Don’t invade other countries, it’s more bother than it’s worth, and besides, it pisses people off and makes ‘em fight really hard.
    Comments tonight are amazing. Wow, is Bush terrible…
    May all beings be happy and safe from harm.

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