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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

He's Holder Not a Folder

Playing cards with George Bush should be an easy thing. He has a tell, he opens his mouth; sometimes he mentions his gut. If you wannt to know what I mean, then read Bush's Bluff.
Politicians, like professional poker players, lie too well.

If international politics were like one big game of Texas hold'em, then this can be said about U.S. Iraq policy: President Bush didn't have a hand.

But he sure bet on it like he held the best cards in the hole -- two aces, A-A, pocket rockets.

Bush sent a few rockets and U.S. troops to fight his war. But now his hand has been exposed.

And he had nothing.

Just a costly flop of a war.

What did we lose? Not chips.

At last count, nearly 1,400 U.S. military personnel have been killed; another 10,000 have come home wounded.

Bush's justification for war -- that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction -- was just a stone-cold bluff.

There were no weapons of mass destruction. The only things Bush pre-empted were the facts.

Last week, with a whimper, and with hardly the coverage you'll see devoted to this week's "Emperor Has No Clothes" inaugural, officials announced that the search for the elusive WMD is officially over.

You'll recall Bush said Saddam Hussein had them, gosh durn it, and he acted as if Saddam did.

Now we're told the 1,700-strong Iraq Survey Group (ISG), responsible for the hunt, has wrapped up physical searches for weapons of mass destruction and will now gather information to help U.S. forces in the guerrilla war.

Charles Duelfer, the CIA special adviser who led the ISG's weapons search, is back home and will issue a final addendum to his September report concluding quietly that Iraq had no stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons and its nuclear program had deteriorated before last year's U.S.-led invasion.

So, in the words of Country Joe McDonald, "What are we fighting for?"

Bush is trying to answer that one. Just not very well.

He's spinning. But it's painful.

"I felt like we would find weapons of mass destruction ... like many -- many here in the United States, many around the world," Bush told ABC's Barbara Walters in an interview aired last week.

Bush said, "We need to find out what went wrong in the intelligence gathering" and that the invasion was "absolutely" worth it even if there were no weapons of mass destruction.(More)

Too bad the chips he's playing with are the lives of Americans, soldiers and citizens. And when he raises the ante, you know some families in other parts of the world are going to be paying for it...