July 4, 2006

Parading Around Bush's
Stuffed Moose

On the same day Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, widely believed to be the leader of the Al-Qaeda military presence in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. bombing raid, dozens of Iraqis died in a series of car bombings in Baghdad. A week later, dozens more died in the worst violence so far this year as well as ten American soldiers, bringing the U.S. death toll to over 2,600 and the number of Iraqis killed to somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000, depending on whose figures you believe are more accurate.

Of course, body counts matter very little to the Bush/Cheney White House, crocodile tears not withstanding. Finally they had the dead body of a well-known and much feared bogey man to parade before the public on display. And in case you didn't notice or have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, while Bush's puritanical FCC has been fining stations millions of dollars for using four letter words or showing too much of the human anatomy, none of the networks and newpapers had any reservations about posting large color photos of al-Zarqawi wearing his death mask, complete with dried blood and a gaping shrapnel hole.

Taking a page out of Teddy Roosevelt's big game hunter playbook, Cheney rushed Bush off to Iraq only five days later, and while the media was still running all those gruesome dead al-Zarqawi photos. To Teddy's credit, he later regretted killing all those animals and donated large sums of money to conservation groups. Dubya, however, is not likely to have any qualms about being photographed along with al-Zarqawi's corpse.

Meeting in Baghdad with the U.S.backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the great white hunter was in rare form.

BUSH: "I've come to not only look you in the eye, I've also come to tell you that when America gives its word, it keeps its word."

The president also remembered what Cheney told him about the promoting the powerful image of the great white hunter.

BUSH: "We will continue to hunt down people like Mr. Zarqawi and bring them to justice."

Yes, yes, and as the president met with the Prime Minister Iraq's main oil pipline was again cut, and according to CNN "at least five car bombs exploded in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least 14 people and wounding 20 others." Upon his return, Bush held a rare press conference to milk the great white hunter routine for every drop he could squeeze out of it. However, reality did manage to occasionally show its face.

BUSH: "General Casey briefed me on the operations that followed the death of Zarqawi. He told me that Iraqi and coalition forces are still on the offense, that they launched a series of raids on terrorist targets across Iraq."

About two dozen, actually, but the president probably thought better of mentioning the number.

BUSH: "Obviously, the raids aren't going to end terrorism. I understand that, and the American people understand that."

Neither will mugging before the cameras with dead bodies of people you had killed.

BUSH: "We've got new intelligence from those raids which will enable us to continue to keep the pressure on the foreigners and local Iraqis that are killing innocent lives to stop the advance of a country that can sustain itself and govern itself and defend itself."

Foreigners in Iraq killing innocent people? Now whom might that be?

BUSH: I appreciated very much the agenda Prime Minister Maliki has laid out. In other words, he's got a plan to succeed.

And the Tooth Fairy will leave you a quarter while you sleep if you place a tooth under your pillow.

Blog Sources:

Transcript of Bush News Conference, June 14, 2006.