AND THIS ONE?
These were pictures taken in March 2003, beamed around the world, of a democratically barely-elected "leader" of the world's greatest superpower, emerging from his little cocoon halfway around the world to rub Islam's face in it.
Unable to corral Osama Bin Laden, and with no other whipping boy to conquer and punish for the horror of 9-11, George W. Bush invented the "War on Terror" under the guise of something he called "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
He dreamed up, in his own little far-right-wing, puzzled head, the story that Iraq was a haven for terrorists and that it had, within its borders, what came to be known as WMDs -- Weapons of Mass Destruction.
It didn't matter that UN inspectors were never able to find the WMDs, and that almost the entire rest of the planet did not support an invasion of Iraq. But from his Oval Office, he ordered one anyway. Someone had to pay.
And the pictures above are him with that stupid smirk on his face showing up on a U.S. aircraft carrier to spit in Iraq's and Islam's face to declare what everybody already knew would be a very quick American victory over Saddam Hussein's forces.
Saddam, of course, was eventually captured in a hole in the ground, was checked for lice and other things in a very public humiliation, was imprisoned and, just last month, was executed for the vile acts of horror he perpetrated upon the Iraqi people.
And he deserved to die. But has his death helped the "War on Terror?" Or has it escalated it?
As Americans finally revolt against the fact that more than 3,000 of their own soldiers have perished in the years since then in this doomed-to-fail "War On Terror" in a country they can't begin to understand, it was a more reserved Bush on national TV last night.
The smirk, if you noted, was gone. But he opted to compound the many wrongs -- and do what polls suggest the majority of Americans don't want him to do, and and what all his generals told him from the get-go that he should do.
He wants to send MORE TROOPS to Iraq. More to die.
His presidency has been deep-sixed. Take out the u and the h in his last name -- it's the B.S. for Bullshit presidency. And no, I'm not American, and perhaps some U.S. citizens might be offended that I am opining at all.
But the whole world is watching this. And the whole world is involved and has a stake in it. And your man Bush is the guy, whether we understand why you elected him -- not once, but twice -- or not.
Today, of course, the Bush people are out in force trying to lobby for the lost son of a president's plan. It's all over CNN. There still is no true contrite admission that the B.S. administration absolutely screwed this all up aside from vague references.
No, now it's all about how whatever happened before, this is what must be done now to preserve the U.S. of A.'s integrity and legacy and all that crap. And to continue the "War on Terror."
Sen. John McCain, who appears to be the favourite to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, said no matter what people think of the mistakes already made, he wants to hear what the Democrats would propose to do if America pulled out of Iraq.
And I'd like to know what America will do when the inevitable happens if it sends more troops in: that the addition of 21,500 more young souls isn't going to change a country that is beset by religious strife that Americans, Canadians and other democracies can't understand.
McCain seems to be saying that a U.S. troop withdrawal will leave Iraq in a state of chaos. What, it isn't in chaos now? Why does America think it can just parachute its own style of democracy into a place that isn't ready for it, doesn't want it?
If the U.S. wanted full control, it should have gone in to Iraq with overwhelming numbers right from the start. It didn't. Now it's paying the inevitable consequences. The sooner U.S. troops leave, the better; the fewer American lives lost.
The most intelligent words I heard Wednesday were from Barack Obama, the U.S. Democratic senator from Illinois whom I hope will be the next U.S. president, based on the little I know. He was very fair and didn't say what he could have said about Bush.
No, he said what should have been said all along -- that American troops need to come out of Iraq. That Iraq needs to be its own country and not a puppet democracy with its mouth sucking America's nipple.
No matter what the consequences.
America is a great nation, full of some of the most advanced, imaginative people on Earth. But it has a terrible leader, one it doesn't deserve, one who has plunged it into a huge military and moral debt that has tarnished its greatness.
If that can't change by resignation or impeachment, then I sure hope it changes in 2008.