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A Comprehensive Review of Bush's Speech, My Steak Dinner and Restaurant Trivia Games

As I mentioned, I watched the President's speech at Damon's Grill last night, surrounded by eight family members and a bunch of strangers. I'm glad I watched it there; had I been home and realized early on that the speech was not being broadcast by any of the major networks, I might have put something large and heavy through the tv. It probably says something about the state of America when television stations would prefer to run The Swan instead of an important speech, but it probably says even more about America that most people didn't think the speech was all that important and were quite happy to see The Swan instead of Bush. Why was the speech so important? Well, you would think that with all the complaining the media and the Bush opposers do about not knowing what's going on with the handover, or how there is never any good news coming out of Iraq, they would jump on this chance to actually hear about these things. Hah. So there I was in Damon's, waiting for the speech to begin. We're in this part of the restaurant that is lower than the rest. I guess it's set up like theater seating, but with booths and tables. On the upper level is the bar and some tables. The middle level has several booths, all semi-circles facing the huge tv screens below. The last level is where we were; long tables to fit large parties, but set at an angle so that if you want to look at the large screens, you must twist and crane in such a fashion that leaves you needing a massage at the end of dinner. Which, by the way, they do not offer. I asked. There are three screens. One shows FOX News (I've been there other times where it was CNN or even CNBC. But never MSNBC). One shows ESPN. The other shows trivia questions. Each table gets these little computerized boxes that remind one of a Speak and Spell (tm) and you enter your name using the keyboard. Your name - or whatever name or acronym you give yourself or your team for this purpose, appears on the large screen for all to see. The trivia questions appear, you type in your answer and the whole restaurant gets to see who got the question wrong. When the scoreboard shows after every question, you mentally try to match up the childish team/personal nicknames on the screen to the people in the room. Oh yea, I just know which guy is using GoldsGymGuy as his moniker. And yes, that chick must be MyTitsAreHuge. My sister and I tried to put in BUSH04 just to piss off the people next to us that were using KERRYPRZ (and discussing the topic loudly), but apparently Damon's thinks that Bush is a bad word, so we settled for GWB. When the game started and the list first appeared, I noticed someone was using KERRYSUX and I thought, heh, that was probably another response to KERRYPRZ and I looked around to see if I could figure out which family (this place is all families. Loud, obnoxious families like my own. Do not go there on a date during the week) and I noticed DJ smirking. Yes, that was my son's name. My sister high-fived him and the games began on TV3. At the same time, President Bush was getting ready to speak on TV1. A baseball game - Astros v. Reds - was on TV3. Now, each table has it's own volume control, with a switch to turn the sound to whichever tv you want to watch. If you choose trivia, you get inoffensive pop music, which I find, ironically, to be pretty offensive. We chose FOX. We turned it up loud. A few other tables also chose FOX and the president's voice wafted through the restaurant, booming over the shouts of Hey, waiter did you forget about us? and Mooooom, Bobby spit in my dinner! Bush started right in. The actions of our enemies over the last few weeks have been brutal, calculating, and instructive. Good. He was addressing the bad stuff early on. I was pleased to hear him be so frank and bold about it and to use it to segue right into a "free and self-governing Iraq." ....a pilot? My mother was saying something. A pilot. John Travolta. Movie. Oh yes, the trivia! I was part of a team, I needed to pay attention! No, no not Look Who's Talking. I think he just wanted to be a pilot in that movie. Broken Arrow. Yes, the movie with Howie Long. Trivia. FOX. President. Travolta. Babies crying. Kids shouting. Enormous claps of thunder outside. My head began to swim. I look at TV1 and Howie Long is giving a speech about Iraq and he's winking at me. Awww yea, baby. Come to me, Howie! My sister slaps me on the back of the head. Hello?? The food is here. Wake up. I ordered the steak that comes with the grilled portabello mushroom and some decadant sauces or glazes or something that for some reason make me think of Steve. The dinner comes with grilled slices of a zuchinni that must have been so large, which for some reason made me think of Howie Long again. Iraq now faces a critical moment. As the Iraqi people move closer to governing themselves, the terrorists are likely to become more active and more brutal.. This is really important. He's being completely honest, facing the truth head on and letting people know what to expect in the coming weeks. I like the way he looks. Determined, full of resolve. ....magnesium sulphur? How the hell am I supposed to know that? This is supposed to be fun trivia? I'm sorry, but I don't know anyone who thinks that gathering around a huge tv screen, eating steak and drinking beers while answering questions about chemistry is fun. This was followed by a question dealing with molecular biology, followed by a question about some long-forgotten television show, probably from the days back when people used tin-foil to get the best reception from the two channels they got, both of which would have carried any speech the president made. There are five steps in our plan to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom. Yes, and all of America should know about these five plans. They should not, at that very moment, be watching some chick get her boobs surgically lifted. We are a nation at war and our president is addressing not only how the rest of the war is going to play out, but how the war is going to end. I notice a few people starting intently at Bush. The people next to me, the KERRYPRZ table, they are staring intently as well, but I think they are using the advantage of hi-def television to see if the scrapes on Bush's face are consistent with the topographic generalities of Crawford, Texas. My steak sucks. Too much peppercorn. Not cooked the way I like it. The portabello mushroom has the consistency of rubber dabbed in motor oil. I eat anyhow, because I am completely unaware that I am shoveling food in my mouth as I turn from TV1 to TV2, from Iraq’s infrastructure to a question about Tatum O'Neal. The thunder booms on, the babies scream, the kids whine, someone in the Reds game scores. Most people have lost interest in Bush by now and I think, how can you not see this as important? But before I can make my move to stand up on the table and make an impassioned speech about Bush and Iraq and freedom, my mother starts to whoop and holler that she won the damn trivia game, all because of a question about Elvis that of course she would know and GWB is in second to last place. KERRYSUX comes in third. URMOM - and I'm sure URMOM is that sixty year old guy in the Green Lantern shirt and Marvel hat, dining by himself - finishes in second. In last place is KERRYPRZ and for some reason, that makes me feel good. I decide to take it as an omen, like a fortune cookie in a steak house. These two visions — one of tyranny and murder, the other of liberty and life — clashed in Afghanistan. And thanks to brave U.S. and coalition forces and to Afghan patriots, the nightmare of the Taliban is over, and that nation is coming to life again. These two visions have now met in Iraq, and are contending for the future of that country. That, my friends, is how the war on terror involves Iraq. That is why we are fighting this war, because if you chase terror out of one place, it will simply find another to harbor it and it is our job, as defenders of the universe, to make sure that democracy exists in these places so that terror networks can't turn them into their own rogue nations. That's my take, anyhow. So Bush finishes, dinner is done, trivia is over. We escape into the rain and lightning and cross the parking lot to Best Buy, where I cross my fingers that some naive floor clerk will understand my plight about it being my husband's birthday the next day and how I really need to have LoTR all wrapped up for him in the morning, but the clerk suggest that I dress up like a hobbit and hand him a Best Buy gift card instead. Thanks, buddy. And now, I must devise my plot against the birds.

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Comments

Now that is what I'd call wading through a sea of information overload. Good post M.

You people don't use tin foil on the rabbit ears antennas anymore??

"Honey: we really need a new tv!!"

Another excellent piece, Michele.

That speech was a waste of my time. I heard what he had to say the last time he made a speech.

The people next to me, the KERRYPRZ table, they are staring intently as well, but I think they are using the advantage of hi-def television to see if the scrapes on Bush's face are consistent with the topographic generalities of Crawford, Texas.

Dear god, have you lost it. While you were at TGIF "respectfully" watching the speech while playing trivia games, encouraging your son to act uncivilized, and bitching about your steak, I was home watching the entire speech on my couch without any distractions.

what's scary to me is that bush had no idea how to pronounce "Abu Ghraib". it was almost as if it were the first time he'd said the words.

and here's the thing: it probably was.

and also sadly sympomatic of perceived american belligerence around the world -- he said he'd be demolishing the prison.

last time i checked, that jail was actually iraqi property. but at this stage, who the hell cares eh?

Yeah, prof, because Americans are the only ones who demolish things, eh?

At least we'll make sure the people are out, first.

The prof says:

"and also sadly sympomatic of perceived american belligerence around the world -- he said he'd be demolishing the prison.

last time i checked, that jail was actually iraqi property. but at this stage, who the hell cares eh?"

But GWB said:

"Then, with the approval of the Iraqi government, we will demolish the Abu Ghraib prison, as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new beginning. (Applause.) "

The prof must really be a University professor - his/her ability to comprehend and accurately describe what's said is approaching zero.

as usual, you guys avoid the points you have no quick, easy answer for:

>what's scary to me is that bush had no
>idea how to pronounce "Abu Ghraib". it
>was almost as if it were the first time
>he'd said the words. and here's the
>thing: it probably was.

cheers =)

I having a hard time figuring out what, if anything, in the speech outlined new policy objectives, can anyone help?

"as usual, you guys avoid the points you have no quick, easy answer for:" Because he couldn't pronounce Abu Ghraib.

That's not a point, that's an irrevalence.
Only the lunatic left thinks that a few criminals in a population of hundreds of thousands of military is important. Most cities have much higher crime rates than the US military, and higher levels of corruption amongst those who provide police functions. Who cares if the POTUS and name the scene of a crime.

BTW: Back at you 'prof' -> I notice you didn't retract your silly comment about US beligerance in demolishing Iraqi property without consideration of the owner.

I have some problems with this speech (for example, who exactly are we turning Iraq over to in a month?!), but point 4, the bulldozing of Abu Ghraib, is excellent. Finally, someone in charge gets it.

We can't compete with the Arab media in words, because it becomes a "he said, she said" travesty. What we can do, what we need to do, is continue to produce powerful symbols. Destroying Abu Ghraib is an action which trumps empty rhetoric, like pulling down Saddam's statues did.

Oh, and Prof, far from being bothered by your 'point', I think I speak for nearly everyone when I say that trying to read something into President Bush's pronunciation of anything, and particularily of a foreign name, is a knee slapper.

this isn't some obscure town name in turkmenistan, soli. this is the name of the place where the US lost the war.

Bush seems so out of tune with how people are perceiving his administration. People don't want to listen to the same democracy high priced speech. I don't want to hear the same this is a hard road but we will stay on course. We want to hear solutions! Not more problems. Bush is so busy riding his bike and making nature trails that he doesn't even no how to pronounce the words we now have to live in shame and cultured shocked by the horror that torture chambers were simply change hands from Saddam to US. I do not believe that those soldiers simply acted alone. Anyone with military experience knows that their is a chain that you must go through. I'm not claiming that Bush himself knew, I mean how could he when he is riding his bike on one of his vacations. Or making a nature trail.

I can't wait for Kerry.......And I usually vote Republican. LOL!

Hey Prof... You remember that president Jimmy Carter? You know, the one that couldn't find his way out of a foreign policy bag even if someone was yanking him out by the balls? Yeah, the one that brought us gas lines and "stag flation"? To this day he can't pronounce the word nuclear (nucular) and he went to nuclear engineering school courtesy of the United States Navy after graduating from the Naval Academy! Does that make you crazy, or is it just Texans that don't speak with a proper Arabic accent?

Dear god, have you lost it. While you were at TGIF "respectfully" watching the speech while playing trivia games, encouraging your son to act uncivilized, and bitching about your steak, I was home watching the entire speech on my couch without any distractions.

Angela? Is that you? Have you come all the way over here from Oliver's comments sections just to say hi? HI!!

First of all, it was not TGIF, but that's just a little quibble - I suppose your reading comprehension just isn't up to par.

I really apologize for going out to celebrate my husband's birthday with my family last night while Bush was speaking. Even though I did watch the speech and then read the thing in its entirety when I got home, I suppose I still made a huge faux pas by not moving my husband's birthday celebration to another day. I guess I'll just turn in my VRWC card now and go hang my head in shame because I did not act according to Angela's standards.

Oh, Angie. You are still as cute and amusing as ever. You give me a case of the giggles every time you address me. Thanks, hon!

kendra - there are no solutions. this is why the administration is is now suddenly wanting to bring the UN back into the picture. bush needs a back door out of iraq, and FAST.

babs - what's carter got to do with where we are here, and now?

Prof-I simply question whether your distain for proper pronounciation extends to all, or just Texans? Or, do you have so little to say that pronounciation and possibly syntax errors become major polemics in your political outlook.

prof, more proof of your critical thinking skills LOL. The US has not lost the war.

No matter how much you wish that Iraqi's could be slaughtered in the 10s of thousands per year, after brutal torture, rapes, etc. It isn't going to happen. The world will be a better place in spite of people like you, and due to better people than you.

Kendra. I, and most of the people I know who voted for Clinton and some later for Gore will be voting for GWB this time around. There is NOTHING more important than winning the war on terror and GWB is doing that - even though the media tries to make it seem like he isn't.

the reason the major networks didn't show the bush speech is because the bush team specifically did not request that the networks show it. they only wanted it on cable networks, for whatever reason.

prof, I've heard Democrats mispronounce "Abu Ghraib" at every single committee hearing that's been rebroadcast on WCSP. McCain (R-Media) spent 10 seconds trying to get "Taguba" right in the ASC hearing. Seriously, he tried one variant after the other until he got it right.

Kerry called the UN rep "Brandini." Twice, on separate days. Yep, he was the one right after "Pius XXIII."

Give me a break. You don't have the chops to hang here.

the reason the major networks didn't show the bush speech is because the bush team specifically did not request that the networks show it. they only wanted it on cable networks, for whatever reason.

Catherine, while the WH did not specifically ask the networks to carry it, it's certainly not because they only wanted it on cable. Cable had no obligation to air it, either.

The point is, while they were not asked to carry it, they should have.

Prof, Carter has everything to do with where we are now and what is going on. Without his gutless diplomacy, his betrayal of the Shah, his love of leftist dictators like Kim Il Sung and Daniel Ortega, the mullahs would not be in control or Iran and terrorists would be less emboldened. Without his writing to France, Russia, Germany and the UN in Gulf War I, we might not need to be there today, and without him, we might have been spared the likes of ineffectual buffoons like Clinton and Kerry.

Prof,
Nothing will satisify you. (Your sex life must suck)

Kendra
You sound like a democrat. You know the diatribe. Rant, rant rant, sob, sob, sob, Bush bad, rant, rant, rant, blah, blah, blah, sob, sob, sob we have to live in shame, rant, rant, rant, the horror, blah, blah, blah.
Beat up on your own self, I will not partake of the Democrat's practice of self-victimizing behavior.

I would like to remind both Prof and Kendra that America was attacked and is at War, there are no easy answers.

One reason why progressive looney liberalism historically fails is because they believe life is an easy street while expecting others to do the hard work for them.

Why bother commenting here, you will NEVER break the backs of those who are doing the hard work for you.

Demanding to know now the names of 'who will be in charge' alerts the enemy as to who the enemy will kill next! The stupidity of demanding to know every intimate detail of our war plan. I ask those who have a 'need to know', are you purposefully aiding the enemy or are your simply in denial of your own idiocy?

"Prof, Carter has everything to do with where we are now and what is going on. Without his gutless diplomacy, his betrayal of the Shah, his love of leftist dictators like Kim Il Sung and Daniel Ortega, the mullahs would not be in control or Iran and terrorists would be less emboldened"
Voxxy, you're getting there, but go back a little farther in time. Before Carter. Before the rise of the Shah.

Read All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
by Steven Kinzer. It's a lot better than the Da Vinci Code and it's a true story.

Notice that I continue to try to foment rational debate and discussion, as opposed to "cowboy is a compliment" and "syn" who prefer to simply sling personal insults at anyone.

Oh. I forgot. I'm a fucking moron.

I suspect eunuch moron is more like it.

Syn,

Demanding to know now the names of 'who will be in charge' alerts the enemy as to who the enemy will kill next! The stupidity of demanding to know every intimate detail of our war plan. I ask those who have a 'need to know', are you purposefully aiding the enemy or are your simply in denial of your own idiocy?

Hiding the names of 'who will be in charge' in a month makes it hard for us to win. Why don't you try applying two brain cells to the concept of having total control of your country handed over to a secret cabal. You think that's likely to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people? Keeping this a secret just helps the enemy, and to what purpose? If we can't protect them now, we can't protect them in a month.

I'm sorry but the identity of the mysterious body who will have complete sovereign control of Iraq on June 30 is not intimate detail of our war plans, it's something that every Iraqi and every American has a need to know. Keeping it secret is quite simply insane.

Brad,

It appears that you consider pointing out that a post does not accurately reflect what was said, and that demonstrating a hope that the US will lose the most important conflict in recent history is de-facto supporting the brutalities of the enemies of civilization, are "simply slinging personal insults".

I've read the book you mention, and while US sins during the cold war may be have been one of the seeds of the current conflict, US weakness during the Carter (Iran), Reagan (Lebanon), Bush I (Stopped to soon in Iraq, though forced to by UN), and Clinton(Somalia,WTC I, Embassies, Cole, Iraq, Afghanistan) administrations provided the fertilizer to create this monster, as did our continued support of regimes such as Saudi Arabia. Regardless of why we are where we are, there is NOTHING more important than winning this war.

Cowboy,

Are you saying that you weren't slinging personal insults? Because you were. That doesn't mean you weren't making some valid points at the same time, but it does make your point weaker when you feel the need to include statements like: "The prof must really be a University professor - his/her ability to comprehend and accurately describe what's said is approaching zero."

That was simply a content-free ad hominem attack on Prof, along with a disgusting generality smear against professors in general.

Soli,

It was only content free if you remove the content that proceeded it. The fact is that post refered to a failure to comprehend and accurately describe what was said, as I demonstrated in the proceeding quotes.

I have been following the response of the majority of the vocal tenured professors, as well as the reports coming from students the lecture halls of our Universities. In your comment "disgusting generality smear" I accept only "generality". It is not a "smear" when it is true. Furthermore it is only "disgusting" that these highly educated individuals, often swilling at the public trough, distort and misinform to further there political views.

Cowboy,

Content free is content free. It added nothing to your previous statements.

I have to agree with your "majority of the vocal tenured professors" statement. However, this is a tiny fraction of university professors, and not anywhere near a representative sample. In my experience, for every Berkley activist professor spouting offensive nonsense to get their 15 minutes there are 100 hard working, intelligent professors who are doing a good job amd minding their own business.

Release the names of sovereign intern leaders now and they will be dead by June 30. Count on it. Then, when those selected are dead, there will no one in place to achieve 'complete sovereign control of Iraq'. Promoting perpetual chaos is not my idea of stability.

Another reason I have against releasing this specific intimate detail of the war plan, ie., the names of Iraqi sovereign leadership, is the American media will examine each and every person chosen to the degree that those chosen will be quagmired as ineffective and useless leaders. We have all witnessed the media's ability to actively promote this type of choas in it's second-by-second, indepth, 'we will bring America down' reporting.

By your statement 'having total control of your country being handed over by a secret cabal' are you stating that the United Nations is a 'secret cabel'? I believe the UN is the entity making the decision as to who will provide intern leadership in this new Iraqi sovereign nation.

Michele,

Excellent writing. You really brought me into the restaurant with you. I could almost taste that steak with too much peppercorn, and hear the kids bickering.

You've got real talent. I must admit I'm a little bit jealous after reading this post.

Happy Birthday to your Husband!

Oh, and ignore the trolls.

Syn,

One more time, slowly. If we can't protect them now, we can't protect them June 30. If the American media doesn't examine the names now, they will on June 30. There is no magical mind-warping reality paradigm shift planned in the next 36 days that will suddenly make the world a happy shiny place. What do we gain from the secret? Nothing. What do we lose? We lose more support from the Iraqi people, support that would help us win this war.

The secret cabal is, naturally, the group of powerful people who are being given control of Iraq. Presumably at some point we will see them come out of the shadows. I just hope they do before we lose too much more ground.

You want to throw the UN at me? I only give the UN any credit at all when they're passing resolutions that we have the power to veto. It's certainly no credible alternative to open oversight.

Soli,

We can agree to disagree. My content was that this was a distortion by someone representing themselves as a professor, and I believe I proved it.

Was it insulting -> yes, but not "simply insulting", it was earned as demonstrated by the content that you do not credit. "Simply insulting" and "ad-hominem" suggest that I did not demonstrate the falsity of the original post. "Simply insulting" would be responding to the prof with "you're stupid and ugly".

Based on what I have read and heard, the 1:100 ratio of professors you suggest is very unlikely. Perhaps rarely in an engineering or science faculty, but not in any arts faculty. There it would appear to be a 90:10 ratio, though some chose to work by supressing freedom of thought rather than ranting their ideologies. If you're interested I could mention some of the sources.

I post like this due to two of my interests:
1. Winning the war on terror which includes showing the lack of credibility of the de-facto supporters of the enemy.
2. Finding a decent university that will teach my kids -> not try to indoctrinate them with their false ideologies, and deny them knowledge of the respect that western civilization has earned.

Soli,

For what its worth I agree with you on bringing the names of the new ruling body of Iraq out in the open. I only wonder if there's still some wrangling going on over some of the names and they're holding off until they can release them all at once.

So.. the whole thing hinges on the President's ability to pronounce the word "Abu Ghraib"?

...the fact that "prof" thinks this is devastatingly important only shows what a shallow person he is.

Oh well. How many times so far has it been declared the war is lost? Five, six times?

"what's scary to me is that bush had no idea how to pronounce "Abu Ghraib". it was almost as if it were the first time he'd said the words."

OMG! Bush mispronounced a word...alert the Hague!

"and here's the thing: it probably was."

Sure.

"and also sadly sympomatic of perceived american belligerence around the world -- he said he'd be demolishing the prison.

last time i checked, that jail was actually iraqi property. but at this stage, who the hell cares eh?"

Man this point is so tortured I can't believe you thought of it. Leaving aside that you are factually wrong(this is being done with the consent of the Iraqis) how in the world is destroying a prison where Saddam tortured Iraqis and then Americans did, an example of American belligerence?

Back to DU with thee.

Cowboy,

I'm a simple guy. I don't see how you can claim to know why Prof is misstating the obvious. I'd say it's more likely he is deliberately leaving out facts that don't support his poor argument, rather than just having a reading comprehension problem. Since I have no way to prove which it is, stating one as fact would weaken my argument. It is sufficient to demostrate his error. Adding a personal insult (especially one that, in my view, unfairly maligns a grouop of people) is therefore content free.

Now for the math. Here's how I did my figures. The 2000 census shows 1,148,525 post-secondary teachers. (The occupation code is 220 if you want to look this up). My personal observation/estimate is that there are about 4,000-5,000 outspoken clueless liberal professors and about 600-800 outspoken clueless conservative professors. This is loosely based on the number of times I see the same clueless professor getting quoted. The conservatives repeat much more often. I haven't actually done a statistical analysis of this, I'm just trying to establish a baseline. If we say 1/2 of post-secondary teachers are professors, this works out to around 100:1.

I challenge you show some model that allows you to assert, as you did, that there are over 450,000 outspoken clueless professors in the US.

For the record, I have no idea how to properly pronounce "Abu Ghraib," and I spent eight months in the Middle East last year.

Does anybody know how to say it? It seems like every talking head on TV has a different pronounciation.

Is "Ghraib" one syllable, or two?

Is "ai" a long "a," or more of an "aw" sound?

Anyone?

Slate's "Explainer" said you basically pronounce it "greb," making that hawker-throat noise with the "gh-". They specifically said you don't pronounce with the long "a", like "grave," which is how most media people say it.

The White House is still in the deepest denial -- and still determined to evade responsibility for what Gen. Anthony Zinni has called the obvious screw-ups in the planning and prosecution of this war. I was particularly struck by Bush's attempt, early in the speech, to blame our current troubles on our "swift removal of Saddam Hussein's regime last spring." This, he said, "had an unintended effect" of allowing the Baathists to regroup. So, let me get this straight: If the war had only gone worse last year, it would be going better now? If only we hadn't accomplished our mission then so easily, we'd be accomplishing it more easily now?

As ever, this White House can't even bring itself to utter the perennial mealy-mouthed evasion, "Mistakes were made." This White House never makes any mistakes, active or passive; it simply suffers from the unintended consequences of its triumphs. If Abraham Lincoln had thought that way, he never would have fired Gen. George McClellan, and the Confederacy would have won the Civil War.

-a quote from Sean Wilentz, a history professor at Princeton. I reveal his name after the quote so that you Bush fans will not dismiss his words outright

But go ahead and dismiss him. Call him an over-educated liberal. Sling mud at him and at me. Just don't pay attention to any points that were made. Your mind is made up.

Personally, I don't really worry about things like this: "not try to indoctrinate them with their false ideologies, and deny them knowledge of the respect that western civilization has earned."

By the time children are ready for college, they should be ready to make their own judgements. If they're still blank slates looking for social programming at that point, it's too late to do anything for them. I understand the urge to protect, but I don't think there's really that much danger of this indoctrination. Mostly the extreme professors end up making themselves look like idiots rather than convincing anyone.

Look at that Sean Wilentz quote, for example. Doesn't that just convince you right there? Heh!

From Reuters:

"America will fund the construction of a modern, maximum security prison. When that prison is completed, detainees at Abu Ghraib will be relocated". "Then, with the approval of the Iraqi government, we will demolish the Abu Ghraib prison, as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new beginning", Mr. Bush added. He mentioned the name "Abu Ghraib" three times in his speech, and every time he managed to mispronounce the word by calling the prison "Abuga Raip", "Abu Gara" and "Abu Garon".

Abuga Raip. R-a-p-e. That sounds about right. What an idiot we have for a president.

To all you pronunciation gurus:

President Bush failed to correctly pronounce something? I'm shocked! I can't think of a thing that he's ever done which might have prepared me for that! Certainly the voters would never have elected him if they had any idea that he might ever have a problem in that area. Impppppppeeeeeeeeach!

Seriously, is it even possible for you to come up with something more vapid? Oh, the rain in Texas! I got it!

Funny stuff Prof - you mean in your eyes we were "winning the war" until the Abu Gharib trivia (yes trivia) came to the fore? You'll have to excuse me for saying so but you are full of shit. You thought we lost this war the moment we went to the UN and had 1441 passed. Sanctimonious idiotic prick.

Few things are more embarrassing than someone trying to pronounce foreign words in that pseudo-authentic accent. I bet there aren´t many westerners who can pronounce Abu Ghraib just like an Arab. The others are just being pretentious asses like prof here. Is there any politician or journalist who pronounces "Beijing" exactly like the Chinese do? Does it matter?

Listen to yourself. Bush cannot pronounce Arabic words! He only drives his bike all the time! He doesn´t offer easy shortterm solutions for complex problems like all the good leaders do! Can you pronounce "Kindergarten"?

Jeezus, Brad, are you in grade school? Your whole argument seems to revolve around Bush admitting he made a mistake. What in the name of Great Cthulhu is that going to accomplish, other than to give you (and people like you) ammo? You're just like the reporters at the last press conference who KEPT. HAMMERING. ON. THAT. ONE. POINT. UNTIL. I. WANTED. TO. STRANGLE. THEM. WITH. MY. MOUSE. CORD.

"Admit you made a mistake! Admit it!!!"
"OK, fine, I made a mistake."
"See!?!? SEE!?!? He said he make a mistake!!!"

Give it a rest, already.

If I see the prefix pseudo- one more time I will tear a dictionary apart with my bare hands. Why do some people only care how the president says things instead of what he says? Thats what matters, the only time pronuciation means shit is if the politician drools and rambles incoherently for an hour or two, then that might be a concern. I didn't see the President's speech, I failed my duties as a citizen, but when I have time I will examine it like I did his 2004 State of the Union speech. If his new glamourous oratory is anything like that past speech I will be unimpressed and I'll go cry about being doomed to fight in Iran when the draft starts.

MilesDavis
I believe Iran is going through their own revolution towards liberation. Give it a little time.

Soli
Perhaps we are not disclosing the names in order to detract and deter the enemy. I support fighting this war on our terms, not the enemy's.

Whenever we disclose details of our actions, we are alerting the enemy and, in doing so, allow them time to prepare counter action. We, on the other hand, need to know every detail. I suppose this is our 'catch-22'?

Our enemy uses chaos as their weapon of choice. They purposefully feed us chaos through images and stories of roadside bombings, beheadings, kidnappings, and so forth, in order to weaken our will to fight. Endless images of chaos causes us to question our motives and our purpose. Hence, the overwhelming amount of debate on very issue.

In other words, I do not want to give our enemy an opportunity to cause further chaos by providing images and stories of the murders of two or three sovereign Iraqi intern leaders by the hands of our enemy just days before the transfer, particularly since we already know securtiy is THE number one concern.

Our enemy has a very effective weapon used for the purposes of fighting this war on their terms: creating chaos.

My split-brain does wonder in what way would we or the Iraqi people would actually benefit from knowing the names of the Intern leaders now? The opportunity to debate the decision perhaps?

Syn,

If someone told me that they were going to hand sovereign control of my country over to some nebulous, undefined group in a month, I would be extremely upset. I would hope that you would be too.

I can see why you wouldn't want to announce anything a year ahead of time. But by now, if this thing is really happening, every last detail has already been finalized. All the guys who are going to be ruling are already under protection (because you never know when the info is going to leak). That makes it, in my mind, time to clear out the air a bit.

Keeping things like this secret leaves everyone really uncertain about what's really going on. It leaves people to assume the worst, and there is a danger that the terrorists could exploit that. It also undermines the principle of an open process, something that we are barely on the way to establishing in Iraq.

In summary, the benefit is a reduction in the uncertainty. Presumably if the intern government is well picked it should reassure most people that they are going to be able to live with the intern government. I'd say it's probably a lot like taking the random roomate draw for your first year in college only times a million. Having a name and number to call before it happens makes the whole thing a lot more reasonable.

I thought GW was baiting the lefties using Nixon's innocuous catch phrase "My fellow Americans"

It looks like no one here took that bait. Surprising.

Miles Davis - I was actually defending Bush. My point was that he deserves credit for not trying to be pseudo-authentic.

I understand your premise that Iraqis need certainty, however, at this point in the game, they are not going to be the ones making this particular 'leadership' choice and neither will the American people nor the media. As is said, 'too many cook's in the kitchen spoils the pot'. Right now, Iraq needs an intern leader who represents the establishment of a sovereign nation in order to exhibit to themselves and to the world that they are, for certain, a sovereign nation.

Iraqis will have their opportunity to select their leaders when elections are established, which, as I understand, will be some six months after transfer.

Right now, the most important issue is protecting the establishment of an Iraqi intern government. Otherwise, we will be forced to continue returning to square one and the real elections will never have an opportunity to be established.

If I plant a seed, I must do all I can to protect this seed until it grows into a strong and stable plant able to withstand the elements on it own terms.

I simply do not want to give our enemy the opportunity to destroy the seed. I am concerned that by disclosing the names early, we will aid the enemy by debating the decision into irrelevancy.We must know by now not everyone will be satisfied with the choice no matter who is chosen. Why add momentum to instability.

I appreciate our discussion.