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bush presidency on the line

  1. AlphaCenturian

    10,543 Posts.
    There are two wars being built upto right now - one is Iraq but the other is in the Congress.

    Bush has a fair chance of winning the first but he is almost certain to lose the second.

    That second War is to get his budget through the Senate.

    Has anyone even begun to consider what will happen when the Senate blocks the Budget proposed by Bush (as it must surely do.) There are no palitable or easy choices left for the US to deal with the reality of its economic turmoil, but Congress and the Senate are alrady showing plenty of realisation that to support the Bush Budget for short term (electoral) gain (his not theirs) is to suffer long term electoral (and economic) pain (theirs not his).

    Bread and Circuses.

    The following is front page from today's Financial Review...

    W O R L D
    Presidency on the line
    Jan 30
    Peter Hartcher in Washington

    US planning over the past year for the confrontation with Iraq has put Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's survival in jeopardy, but now it also endangers another leader - America's George Bush.

    The combination of Bush's troop deployments, diplomatic insistence and political rhetoric has carried him across a threshold of commitment. He cannot pull back and expect to win re-election.

    With his Iraq venture, he has now put at stake his personal credibility, the viability of his presidency, the strategy of pre-emption, the plausibility of US commitments in the Middle East, the fate of the Republican Party, and the future of US conservatism.

    In his State of the Union address yesterday, the US President said of the behaviour of the Iraqi regime: "If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning."

    This could be subject to political paraphrase: "If Bush does not triumph decisively over Hussein, then Bush's America has no meaning.''

    The US has 160,000 troops and four aircraft carrier battle groups converging on Iraq's borders, the biggest mobilisation since the 1991 Gulf War.

    Bush has declared that he will send his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, to issue a demarche to the UN Security Council to support a war or get out of the way.

    And he has presented to the biggest possible presidential audience the task of confronting Iraq as a national and global, security and humanitarian, political and moral responsibility of the highest order.

    He likened the Iraqi dictator's plans for dominance of the Middle East to "Hitlerism, militarism and communism".

    Then he said: "Once again we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility."

    By marshalling all the power of the US and of the presidency in this escalating commitment, Bush has obliged himself to forge ahead at any cost to defeat Hussein.

    To do anything less would invite destruction at the hands of his conservative base. The peace vote would rejoice in a Bush backdown, but the Democrats' supporters would still not vote for him and he would be ruined.

    So Bush's course is now set, and he is quite prepared to wreck the UN-based international order to fulfil it. As he said himself in his address: "Our war against terror is a contest of will, in which perseverance is power."

    Bush will now, by the sheer weight of the commitments he has thrown into the task, be obliged to persevere both at home and abroad at almost any cost to defeat Hussein.

    Unless Hussein, by some miracle, goes into early retirement, Bush and Hussein cannot both survive.


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