It sounds wonderful, doesn't it? The new way forward. But its meaning is lost a little bit more every time it is uttered.
Watching President Bush's press conference the day after the Iraq Study Group was released was painful. Mr. Deer In The Headlights kept repeating the new catchphrase over and over and over again until it had lost all meaning. There he stood, trying to sell us the equilvalent of a book report by a fourth grader who didn't read the book, just the title and the jacket cover.
Oh, he said he read it. He even wanted extra credit for it. "Some reports are issued and just gather dust," Bush said. "And truth of the matter is, a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody. To show you how important this one is, I read it..."
It seems to me that he didn't even read the Executive Summary (the Cliff Notes version) that is prepared for everything that crosses the president's desk. But he went on: "...and our guest read it. The prime minister read -- read a report prepared by a commission. And this is important."
I was then waiting eagerly for the press to finally take Bush to task and ask him a difficult question, like "President Bush, of the 79 recommendations in the ISG report, is there one that particularly caught your attention? Can you explain it for us?" But nothing. And of course, he didn't offer any specific recommendations he would adopt, because HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT'S IN THE REPORT!
Now, the British press, on the other hand, still like to consider themselves actual journalists, so we then got this gem:
A British reporter quoted the Iraq Study Group report in describing the situation in Iraq as "grave and deteriorating." He noted that the president's language in his opening statement Thursday was weaker, calling the violence "unsettling."
The reporter wondered whether the president is in denial about how bad things are.
"It's bad in Iraq," the president shot back. "Does that help?", then snickered his addle-brained snicker.
Why are you laughing, George? It's not funny. Dead soldiers aren't funny. Dead Iraqi civilians aren't funny. Billions upon billions of dollars poured into an illegal war is not funny.
He had more to say:
"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die. I understand there's sectarian violence. I also understand that we're hunting down al-Qaida on a regular basis and we're bringing them to justice. I understand how hard our troops are working. I know how brave the men and women who wear the uniform are, and therefore, they'll have the full support of this government. I understand what long deployments mean to wives and husbands, and mothers and fathers, particularly as we come into a holiday season. I understand."
... Do you think he understands? He says he understands. We hear him say he understands. Does he understand what 'understand' means? Understand understand understand understand! See? After a while it doesn't even sound like a real word.
Now we all know what he meant to say was "I talk to the families of the soldiers who die", but I'm tired of figuring out what Bush means to say. I am tired of this dim-witted dolt stepping on his tougue again and again and everyone making excuses for his "simple talk". We're talking about the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD! We're not talking about a pencil salesman on a street corner. We're not talking about a sanitation worker... and I mean no offense to the pencil salesmen or sanitation workers of the world. At this point I'd rather have one of them be president because our current Commander in Chief is an embarrassment.
Besides, the notion that Bush talks to the families of the fallen is a lie as well. I'm sure of it. Bush doesn't talk to the families of the soldiers who die anymore than he reads reports, whether it be the Iraq Study Group or Presidential Daily Briefings. If he did speak to the almost 3,000 families of our fallen troops, he'd never be off the phone! Do you think he's sitting at his desk making anywhere from 5-25 phone calls a day?! Obviously not!
Has anyone also noticed that when Dubya is really screwed and has painted himself into a corner, he always has a news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his side? Is this supposed to lend some kind of credibility to this war criminal? 'Well, if Blair's standing next to him, he must be telling the truth.' Again, obviously not. The only thing it's doing is ruining Blair's already damaged credibility.
So let's wait and see what happens. Let's wait a week or two and find out if "The New Way Forward" is a reality. Or maybe it will just become another catchphrase to join the Bush lexicon like "stay the course", "fomenting sectarian violence" and "mission accomplished".