So I didn’t play the Official State of the Union Address Drinking Game last night. In fact, I didn’t even bother Tivo-ing the thing so I could watch the commercials. But I did catch some soundbites on NPR this morning, including a nice example of him saying “nucular.” And in reading through the full text I was struck by a few key phrases that, to my mind, cut both ways. Like this one: “Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world.” Yeah, and in the 21st century a certain cadre of western oilmen has done the same thing. Also this part: “International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape… If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.” And what of the folks using these exact same techniques in places like Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan, to whom we’ve taken to turning over our prisoners, along with lists of questions we’d like answered? The world is a simple place for dubya, and that works in his favor when delivering speeches intended for the similarly simple-minded. But there remains that subtext of arrogance, the slap in the face for those who would question his authoritah. All in all, though, I have to give dubya credit: It was a well-done (which is to say, a frightening) performance. The Washington Post has a nice roundup of other views. Update: Foreign Policy in Focus has a really nice point-by-point clarification of the reality underlying many of dubya’s State of the Union statements.
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