Thursday, November 27, 2003

W., in all of his patriotic glory, blessed U.S. troops with his presence in Iraq on Thanksgiving Day. It was a spectacular photo-op, but it might come back to haunt him. Iraq's been producing dead American soldiers at a respectable rate for a while now. I'm not a Pentagon strategist, but how intelligent can it be to send Air Force One on a top-secret mission so W. can pose with a baked turkey while wearing an Army jacket?

The admiring talking head covering the "story" made W.'s secret flight to the Gulf sound like the stuff of action movies -- and in W.'s eternally child-like mind, talking it up with a bunch of grunts in fatigues while waiting for his private plane to take him back to civilization probably was action, in the same way that swaggering around an aircraft carrier in a flight suit seemed oh-so-cool.

Here's an unsettling possibility: What if word of Air Force One's abrupt departure had made it to Iraqi Evil-Doers? And what if they had downed the plane with a rocket-propelled grenade, like they do to U.S. military helicopters on a near-daily basis? Let's be generous and assume that W. survived the crash. Can you imagine W. taking on The Enemy under cover of darkness and making it to the nearest U.S. camp, to be greeted with cheers and back-slapping military camaraderie?

Skeptics would pounce. They'd maintain that the "crash" was staged and that the Evil-Doers were actually U.S. soldiers in fake mustaches and phony uniforms following classified orders. Objective: turn W. into a war hero. Of course, there'd be no reason to tell W. Let him think he really took on Iraqi rebels; then maybe he'd be less likely to let the truth slip at his next press conference.

And then there's the inevitable TV movie: "Behind Enemy Lines" (or some such shit), probably starring Don Johnson as Bush. And of course the obligatory American Hero action figure (fully compatible with Flight Suit Bush and accessories) -- just in time for Christmas.

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