Backwards Logic

The idea that President Bush’s logic runs a little backwards isn’t really new. We saw a pretty clear case of this back when he was pushing his failed Social Security program, and the now infamous press conference he held on April 28th of 2005. Standing outside the steps of the Bureau of Public Debt, the president said, “There is no trust fund… just IOUs.”

Of course, he was referring to treasury bonds, or t bills, which are backed by the fourteenth ammendment which reads, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

And then, he goes back on this statement, and proposes that one of the available options in his private account plan should be to invest in t bills which are, “backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.”

If this were just a single instance, then maybe it could be ignored as just an aberration from the norm, a man who was just so determined to get his program to succeed that he decided to hop off of the logic train for a little bit.

But that’s not true. In more recent times, we’ve seen him again employ the kind of logic that can only be described as insane or maybe even alien. That’s to say Martians might be able to make some sense out of the weird stew of electrical connections going on in El Presidente’s brain, but no one living on our planet actually has a chance.

For instance, let’s look at the embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Recently forced to testify before congress, voices from both sides of the aisle have made it clear that Gonzales should step down. While not willing to go that far, Senator Arlen Specter (R Pa), a republican senator for whom I have always had a great deal of respect for, has said, “The attorney general’s testimony was very, very damaging to his own credibility. It has been damaging to the administration… No doubt, it is bad for the Department of Justice. It is harmful. There has been a very substantial decrease in morale.”

Bush’s reaction? He has said that the testimony has only strengthened his support for Gonzo. “As the hearings went forward, it was clear the attorney general broke no law, there’s no wrongdoing.” (Whew… Gonzo hasn’t broken any laws, that’s good. I’m so glad that the only standard that the highest government officials in the land have to meet is to avoid being criminals. This is so comforting.)

But for the rest of us, we’re all left wondering, “Mr. President? What testimony, exactly, were you watching?” Because he can’t have been watching the same testimony that the rest of America has been. Unless, as I have theorized here, his brain actually does work backwards.

Which brings us to the topic of the little war that could. Ah, yes, Iraq. Here is a campaign that I think has lost all concept of the logic train completely. And the latest war of words between Bush and the democratically controlled congress only goes to prove this point.

As Bush goes about his attack on Senator Reid who is leading a valiant charge against this insanely unpopular war, he has said, “There’s been some progress… There’s been some horrific bombings, of course. There’s also been a decline in sectarian violence.”

Which of course begs the question; WHAT PROGRESS???

To answer this question, we have to take a look at the body count, and I think more specifically the body count before and after the surge. But as Daily Kos points out, when exactly does the surge start?

Now, I’m no wonk, but I’m going to try and do a little bit of a mathematical analysis here, so bare with me. First, I think it is important that we take a look at one, and only one population, just for purity of data, and then we need to take a look at a uniform period of time before and after our arbitrarily set “surge date”.

And of course we need the data itself. For the purposes of this little piece, I’ve used the Iraq Body Count Database. As of the time of this writing, data is available up to April 4. Considering that February has 28 days, March 31, we’ll call the total post surge time line to include 63 days. So we will be looking at civillian deaths in the first 63 days following our self imposed surge date, and the 63 days prior to the surge date.

Considering that February first was a rather deadly day, I’m going to give Bush the benefit of the doubt, and ignore that day completely.

Here are my findings:

Total civillian deaths after the surge (63 days): 4083

Total civillian deaths prior to surge date (63 days): 4475

That’s a nine percent drop in civillian deaths… not exactly a huge difference, and definitely not one that one would find promising, especially when we take into account that last week was particularly bloody.

Which again leads me to ask, where the hell is the progress? or, maybe, Senator Reid is right when he says we are not winning, and maybe he is correct when he makes the assertion that, “Our troops have already done their job. They routed the Iraqi military, captured Baghdad in days, deposed and then captured the dictator. The military mission has long since been accomplished… The failure has been political. It has been policy. It has been presidential.”

Maybe the logic train tells us that the troops have done all they could… But oh wait, we aren’t quite done with this strange and kooky trip into El Presidente’s logic circuits. What about his favorite saying of all time? You know, the one about timetables and emboldening the enemy? I mean, if nothing else that makes sense, right? Right?

I mean, for the longest time even I would cede him that point. From a purely strategic point of view, if you told the enemy, hey, we’re here until such and such a date, and then we’re gonna leave, and you can have at, then that does give the enemy reason to just sit in their little spider hole, and wait for us to bail.

But Robert Parry, writing for, has actually taken this little nugget, and shown just how far from the logic train it runs. While a surge MIGHT be able to give lawmakers in Baghdad enough peace to do their job, the so called insurgents waiting us out may give the entire country enough peace to start rebuilding themselves.

Also, without America there, al Qaida operatives no longer have the white Christian devils to point to as a villain, and would thusly lose support in recruiting jihadists as Iraqi nationalism would begin to take over.

All this to say one thing. Can we please end the backwards ass logic that seems to be running the show? Is it even possible?

I think it is, but our elected officials need help. Senator Harry Reid has been like a pitbull on this administration and its failed war policies, but he could use some help. Senators on both sides of the aisles realize that the war is a disaster, they realize that no one wants them there, but hte spin machine is too efficient, too effective, or at least it has been in the past. Not giving Bush another blank check with which to wage his war is too easily shifted around to mean that you are cutting off the funding of the troops and putting them in harms way, even though it is ultimately Bush’s responsibility of where the troops go, and the Pentagon has said that the troops will be funded at least until June with what it has now.

They need to know that the people are with them. They need to know that what we want is out of Iraq, and we want out now, and they have less to fear from the political spin machine of the administration then they do of our votes. So call your senator. Ask them if they plan on supporting any and all legislation that would end our efforts in Iraq. If they say they won’t, ask them why they don’t want your vote. Ask them why they are so determined to have their career cut short.

I’d like to see what kinda answers you get.


Update: This may explain why Bush has no clue on Gonzo’s testimony. From a White House press briefing earlier today:

Q But did the President actually see the testimony?

MS. PERINO: He got regular updates from us while we were on the road — we were on the road that day, on the way to Ohio.

Q So how can he say he has increased confidence if he got updates from other people? So he didn’t actually see the testimony, himself, because —

MS. PERINO: He got updates from us, and I think he saw some news coverage of it later that day…

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