Bush and Blair's television appearance yesterday was supposedly intended to provide us all with the appropriate act of contrition from two political leaders who have certain regrets for past actions regarding Iraq and the conduct of what they both see as the Global War on Terrorism
It was supposed to be a public act of penitence from two leaders who have grown wise with age and experience. It was to demonstrate to all of us that, while the decisions they took were based in righteousness, they're both human - and humans make mistakes.
What it was, in fact, was two long spent politicians trying to maintain an air of authority neither one can claim to possess beyond the official job description of their respective appointments.
It was an attempt to provide a public mea culpa while veiling the fact that these two megalomaniacs are personally responsible for one of the worst imperial expeditionary clusterfucks since the 1838 British adventure in Afghanistan and the US war in Vietnam.
Bush, apologizing for the words he used is shallow at best. What wasn't missing was his faux-gunslinger nimbus which has long since become a joke of a trademark characterizing an unsophisticated, witless buffoon who allowed a cabal bent on world domination to lead him around by the nose.
The act is just that - an act. He is the Ted Baxter of a regime which has failed its people, squandered its wealth and generated an atmosphere of fear to camouflage its efforts in advancing global US hegemony.
Blair typically understated his role.
Blair said the leaders did not accurately predict immense challenges such as the strength of the insurgency. "It should have been very obvious to us,"We are expected to accept that such predictions were made without competent advice. Never mind that Middle East experts and military leaders had been providing that "obvious" information all along. What Blair didn't say is that both he and Bush rejected any suggestion that the vision they had created for themselves was not realistic. They dismissed anyone who did not accede to their predetermined version of events. In the recesses of their brains, their egos led the decision-making process. Any advice that suggested an invasion of Iraq would be followed with a continuing storm of bombs and bullets was replaced by their own mystical image of Iraqis tossing flowers and candy.
These two so-called world leaders having reached the nadir of their political influence are reaching out with inane apologies for inane acts. There is no substance to it. They are still trying to hide from the truth and hide the truth.
Inasmuch as both of these individuals suggest that history will judge them, Bush will easily be remembered as one of the most incompetent leaders of his time, on the scale of Phokas. Blair will melt into obscurity; yet another British leader who, in an attempt to regain the prestige of empire, failed. The difference between this age and the past is that where previous British military and expeditionary failures were laid to rest at the feet of the person on whom the direct success of the mission depended, Blair himself will be singled out as a root cause of the fiasco. His generals and administrators have long since distanced themselves and will become anonymous to history.
It's worth reading Peter Daou's take on the Bush/Blair admissions of error. And don't miss out on the comments where an extended view of the media reaction is highlighted. Crooks and Liars has the video.
There was no act of contrition. It was disingenuous theater worth less than the value of the paper from which the scripted words were read.