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  xThursday, July 03, 2003

bush taunt provokes widespread response


Bush's macho moment yesterday sparked much commentary in the blogosphere. That occurrence was to be expected; Bush's taunts, though, provoked more than the usual level of outrage. And why not? Bush's daring Iraqi irregulars to attack -- which is what he did, despite Ari Fleischer's denials -- were more than usually outrageous.

Here are the responses from some of my favorite bloggers:

annatopia (nice new design, by the way!)
Daily Kos
Electrolite
Eschaton
New-to-me blog Fanatical Apathy has some satire (via Eschaton)
Interesting Times notes that even some Freepers found Bush pinning targets to the backs of our troops hard to swallow...
Oliver Willis
Pandagon
Political Aims
SixDifferentWays points to this MeFi comment thread
Skeptical Notion
South Knox Bubba
Ted Barlow shames me by remembering, as I should have, this quote from Shrek: "Some of you may die. But that's a sacrifice I am willing to make."
The Left Coaster
The Road to Surfdom
The Sideshow (and thanks for the props!)
The Watch
Tristero
Unqualified Offerings

New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg had this reaction:
"I am shaking my head in disbelief. When I served in the army in Europe during World War II, I never heard any military commander – let alone the Commander in Chief – invite enemies to attack U.S. troops," said Lautenberg.


I left comments at a few of them, and in those comments I voiced ideas I hadn't mentioned in my own rant. In the Daily Kos thread, I opined that Bush has handed the Iraqi insurgency a powerful weapon: From now on, attacks on US forces won't be portrayed as isolated incidents in a general unrest, but as direct repudiation of Bush and his conquest of Iraq. And sure enough, today's headlines bear that out: Iraqis Defy Bush, Wound Seven U.S. Soldiers in Attacks
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Seven American soldiers were wounded in two separate attacks on occupation forces in Iraq on Thursday, a day after President Bush said there were enough U.S. troops in Iraq to deal with the militants.

In a sign the guerrilla-style attacks were growing increasingly bold, assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade on a U.S. Humvee vehicle on a major street in central Baghdad shortly after 10 a.m. (0600 GMT), witnesses said.


In case you're curious about what Bush might have said if he weren't so blindly belligerent, check out yesterday's comments from British foreign secretary Jack Straw:
"This action against the coalition won't succeed and will be dealt with," Straw said Wednesday after talks with US overseer Paul Bremer, during a surprise visit to Baghdad.

Memo to Bush: It's perfectly possible to express optimism -- however unfounded it may seem -- without inviting attacks on one's own troops.

And by the way -- Straw said that while in Baghdad, not 6,000 miles away and surrounded by a security apparatus that's among the best in the world. Bush talked big, but he doesn't have any skin in this game -- it's American forces whose skins are at risk. Bush's mouth is writing a check he knows someone else's butt will have to cash. That makes Bush's bellicosity the mark of a coward, not a combatant.





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