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April 16, 2004

Does President Bush Know What He Is Doing?

David 'Kip' Koontz

This week we were afforded a treat. After 13 months of fighting, President Bush popped out to talk to the press and address the nation about the state of affairs concerning his intervention into Iraq.

It seems that Punxatawney Phil appears more regularly to predict the weather. But while one can be assured that Phil is going to give us an option by telling us there will or will not be six more weeks of winter, President Bush assures us there will be more than six more months of fighting.

Dubya, at least, acknowledges that the last few weeks have been "tough."

Wonder what he thought the others have been?

Since fighting began and Dubya's occupation of Iraq commenced, our service personnel have been getting killed - more since Mr. Bush declared an end to formal hostilities than during.

Now, however, civilians are involved - and by that OUR civilians and those of our allies are involved.

It is easy to wonder how many Iraqi civilians have been injured or killed since Mr. Bush's intervention, but that didn't come up during his press conference the other night.

It is estimated that 40 hostages from 12 countries are being held by Iraqi insurgents while others are getting killed.

Some are thought to be employed by Halliburton - and while tragic, this may be what caught Mr. Bush's attention and expressions of grief. After all, it is for their profits (and this administration's many blind trusts) that some argue this is all about.

Mr. Bush, like a child who is just a bit too old to believe that there is a real person named Santa Claus but still clings to the hope, still clings to the hope that weapons of mass destruction will be found.

Okay, can't go back on the original mission statement - would look weak.

So, in the face of these "tough, tough weeks," Mr. Bush says there is no reason to apologize for his actions and sees no mistakes he has made.

Mr. Bush additionally stands firm on turning the government over to the Iraqi people for self governance on June 30th, while committing even more U.S. involvement by promising to increase our troop count instead of decreasing it as he previously announced.

And while the United Nations is helping get the nation ready for next January's elections that seems to be just enough involvement to satisfy Mr. Bush - though not maybe the American people.

And he assures us that there is discussion about increasing the role of NATO? The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will have a more formal role on helping keep the peace in Iraqi?

Okay, more nations involved, but, this does not compute.

He informed us that Iraq is just one theater of combat in his war on terror, yet he has been unsuccessful to date in locating the person some believe our resources should have been concentrated on finding, Osama bin Laden.

There has been no clear plan on handling the "peace" of Iraq from the inception of this endeavor as military personnel have complained since the outset that they were totally unprepared in training for their current mission.

The implosion of the last few weeks bears out the notion that Mr. Bush is unprepared and unknowledgeable as to what to do.

Yet, our troops are still on the ground taking more and more serious attacks while Mr. Bush, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon all those years ago believed, is sending more of our countrymen and women to die for an undefined mission.

Mr. Bush's news conference did nothing to alleviate many of the fears many have about his actions.

Over the next few troubling weeks and months, we the people will see this play out through our televisions, read it in our newspapers and listen to it on our radios to see how it all turns out.

The thing is Mr. Bush may not have another 13 months to hide before he has to face the public about his actions.

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