Column: Bush’s next best seller

By Emma Claire Sohn

Today is Wednesday, January 10th 2007. Winter break is dwindling, as are my Christmas chocolate reserves, but National Public Radio remains an unfaltering companion.

It’s 7:47 P.M. right now. I’ve waited with anticipation for this moment all week. Not the eager anticipation quelled by the arrival of my cacao-derived companions on Christmas morning, but the kind of anticipation that draws your hands over your eyes during late night viewings of “The Exorcist.”

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A gripping anxiety that, try as you might to fight it, will in the end prevail, forcing you to peek through your fingers as the girl’s head spins. The Current Occupant is about to address the nation, formally stating his anticipated Iraq strategy.

The address sounds as if it were underwritten by the likes of Stephen King, something routine to the regime but uncharacteristic of NPR’s habitual liberal lull. And like those best-selling fictional thrillers, this war has been kept afloat in the minds of the American public by words alone.

The man who is currently addressing the country rode into office with an oil tanker in tow and has left the rest of the country to trail the tailpipe. Tonight, for the first time in his run as Commander in Chief, he has accepted responsibility for his past lethal mistakes in Iraq, and yet our prodigal president aims to continue duping the country into his schemes.

All in all, this has been a relatively easy war for the American public living at home. While the sacrifice of our own abroad is nothing short of devastating, it pales in comparison to the lives lost in Vietnam and does not come close to rivaling the thousands of innocent Iraqis which have become the spoils of war for the Commander’s broader purpose.

Outside of military relations, this war has a minimal effect on Americans, but the Bush administration is looking to change that.

Bush’s address presents the country with the biggest threat the “homeland” has faced since start of the war. He has effectively provoked Iran, whose nuclear research were largely overlooked in the media this fall in favor of election coverage.

This is a big no-no for a nation that currently has the vast majority of its troops employed in Iraq, a country with no clear ties to past terrorist attacks on American soil.

But the president has not addressed who will continue to fight his ongoing pet war. While tonight’s speech references the need for “brave young Americans to step forward,” it is unlikely in a nation where disapproval for the war is incredibly high that this will happen voluntarily.

The military simply cannot continue to support an escalation in this war, and so “brave young Americans” will be forced to complete multiple tours of duty, a problem the military already faces. Our generation is already inheriting this great responsibility.

Mr. Bush is correct in saying this is not a war based on the standards of our forefathers, nor is it a war fought according to their better-advised principles.

It is a war whose religious roots lie in conflicting faiths more aged than any “author of liberty” in a region that has seldom seen peace over recorded history. This egoist and his decrepit staff, however, have vowed to resolve this problem regardless of time-told history.

And so today, Democrats, Republicans and we “brave young Americans” alike are left to face the brute of past blunders as Mr. Bush challenges those in the majority (those who oppose his never-ending war) to out-strategize whoever is pulling his strings these days.

The percussive beat of my fingers on my laptop mingles in time with Bush’s stutters. His conclusion leaves my nerves on edge and my eyes swollen. Thousands of lives are at stake, and I’m crying over a box of Fannie May.

What is our hope for Iraq? Do we really expect to quell the violence which has already caused countless deaths throughout history and create a long-standing democracy?

Or is this war the latest edition in a series of best-sellers, strategically crafted for the American public? It’s up to Congress and the “author of liberty” to decide.