Friday, August 31, 2007

To Kill 3,000 Students

I know criticizing President Bush's language problems is boring and repetitive, but it still has to be done. Here he is answering questions in an interview with an Australian reporter:

Speers: So you need those Australian troops there?

Bush: Well we need... we need all our coalition partners, and I would hope that... And I understand, look, everybody's got their own internal politics, my only point is that, um, whether it be Afghanistan or Iraq, we've got more work to do. We the free world has got more work to do, and I believe those of us who live in liberty have a responsibility to promote forms of government that deal with what causes 19 kids to get on airplanes to kill 3,000 students.

It isn't the 3,000 students who were supposedly killed six years ago that is my point, but the way Bush draws a direct line from those events to the need to have Australian troops in Iraq, a country which sent none of the 19 "kids" to massacre people. It isn't Bush's difficulties with words that is the problem here but his difficulties with facts.

Not that he is stumbling here at all, in the deeper level. On that level he is pushing our fear buttons and associating that post-traumatic stress syndrome with his essentially unrelated war in Iraq.