I fell asleep last night with the television on. This morning, as I gradually regained consciousness, I realized that the Chimperator was giving a speech. He appeared to be addressing the troops, but in reality he was addressing the Ohio Patrol Training Academy in Columbus, Ohio. Maybe that explains why all his applause lines fell flat.

Or, maybe it was because a) he has given this exact same speech 500 times, and b) he has lost all his credibility.

I don’t have a copy of his speech yet, but he gave substantively the same speech yesterday:

One of the main jobs we have here in Washington is to protect our country. You see, not only did the attacks help accelerate a recession, the attacks reminded us that we are at war.

The attacks did not ‘remind’ us that we are at war. They caused us to go to war. Perhaps, they made us aware that war was being waged against us. But, you have to know something first, before you can be reminded of it.

It’s a different kind of war. It’s a war that has taken the country a while to adjust to, because we’re not facing nation states, we’re facing terrorist organizations that know no border, terrorist organizations that know no conduct the way civilized nations know it when it comes to fighting war. They’ll kill innocent people like that in order to justify a hateful ideology.

The last time I checked, Iraq was a nation state. I agree that the ‘insurgents’ are killing innocent civilians. I agree that some of them have a hateful ideology. But, some of them just hate being occupied by a foreign power that is intent on hoarding all the contracts for energy development and reconstruction. They hate having their cities razed to the ground. They hate being raped, tortured, and killed in Saddam’s prisons. The fact that the war was based on a pack of lies doesn’t help, either.

The best way to defend the homeland, though, is to stay on the offense, is to find these people, is to defeat them abroad so we don’t have to face them at home.

One cannot grow weary enough of this canard. The fact that this logic was effective during the campaign nearly gave me aneurysm. The best way to protect the homeland is not to spend $300 billion in a foreign land. It is not to piss on Korans. It is not to hang innocent people by their arms, or to kick them to death. This logic is roughly analogous to the Soviets thinking they were protecting the homeland by invading Afghanistan.

And the second way to defeat the terrorists is to spread freedom. You see, the best way to defeat a society that is — doesn’t have hope, a society where people become so angry they’re willing to become suiciders, is to spread freedom, is to spread democracy.

I have some sympathy for this sentiment. And I know that we can’t just flip a switch and change our longstanding relationships with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other repressive allies. But we have already set up a variety of multinational organizations whose purpose is to promote free and fair elections, rule of law, and human rights. To truly begin an initiative to help the Middle East transform itself toward more representative government, we need the consensus and cooperation of all the developed, democratic nations of the world. Bush has alienated the very countries that we would need to be successful.

His speech fell flat. No one believes his strategy is working anymore.

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