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The taking of the USS Lincoln: George Junior and the Imaginary Presidency

While George W. Bush plays Hero, an apologist for Islamism is appointed to oversee the creation of a constitution for Iraq.

by Jared Israel

[Posted 2 May 2003]


CNN described it in properly breathless terms:

[Excerpt from CNN broadcast starts here]

JUDY WOODRUFF (CNN): ...This may be one of the crowning examples of a White House trying to say it with pictures. From the dramatic jet landing of an aircraft carrier on an aircraft carrier just about 45 minutes ago, to the live televised speech Mr. Bush will make on board tonight. The images all say wartime leader. Even as the president prepares to announce the end of the major fighting in Iraq.

Let's go live now to CNN's Frank Buckley. He is aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Frank, the president made quite a dramatic arrival there a few minutes ago.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He did, indeed. Everyone eagerly anticipating the arrival of President Bush, concerned, of course, that the aircraft did make it in safely. It's always a potentially -- well, it is a dangerous event when an aircraft makes a landing on an aircraft carrier.

[Excerpt from CNN broadcast ends here] [1]

The Bush administration is remarkable for the degree to which we are fed public illusions of leadership, which are entirely separate from the real exercise of power.

Case in point: if Mr. Bush had something to say about Iraq on Thursday, he could have held a press conference. But people ask questions at press conferences, and answering questions is not Mr. Bush's talent and may be disadvantageous. So instead, George Junior's handlers staged the much-publicized stunt of landing him via jet plane on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

This would have been embarrassing enough - can you imagine how the dignified President Lincoln would feel having his name associated with such an obvious sales extravaganza? - if it had been spontaneous. However not only was the spectacle pre-planned and pre-packaged, but the USS Lincoln was held up from docking, awaiting the arrival of Mr. Bush. The big ship stayed off shore for 24 hours with thousands of sailors waiting to go home, at unknown cost to taxpayers. And while the Lincoln waited, the media reported and re-reported every detail of the plan whereby Mr. Bush would make a spectacle of himself.

Do we in the U.S. have a government or a circus? And if must be a circus, does it have to be so self-important and predictable? Perhaps there is a lesson here, such as that Mr. Bush is not the president at all; he is only an effigy, used to manipulate popular emotions...


The very image of a hero...


One can imagine the discussion earlier between George and one of the Handlers:

* George and the Handler *

['George and the Handler' begins here]

Handler: And then you get out of the plane, see, and you grin and say, "Yes, I flew it! Liked it? Of *course* I liked it!" Get it?

George: I dunno. That landing could be dangerous.

Handler: Now George Junior, that is the very point. This image will not only shout *wartime leader*, but the video of your daring landing, with the plane stopped by a steel cable, will show millions of viewers that you share the risks and tribulations of the troops.

George: Steel cable? I dunno. Couldn't we use a double, like Saddam?

Handler: But George, you *are* the double.

['George and the Handler' ends here]

While George Junior plays his part with spontaneous heroism, real power scorns publicity stunts.

Consider Zalmay Khalilzad, who handles the actual day-to-day negotiations with, and management of, the various Iraqi factions and their regional sponsors (Iran, Saudi Arabia).

Mr. Khalilzad is in charge of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and much more at the National Security Council. Mr. Khalilzad is not required to drop onto the decks of aircraft carriers. Nor is he required to phone George on the USS Lincoln to get permission before making one of his chess moves in the Gulf. [See 'Zalmay Khalilzad: Envoy for Islamic Terror,' at [2]

George Junior is not alone in combining theatrics with impotence. Other actors such as the omnipresent Richard Perle have been dispatched to make endless noise in the media. In Richard Perle's case this feeds the politically useful if loopy notion that pro-Israel Jews are dictating US policy. (Richard Perle is, we are endlessly told, a pro-Israel Jew).

The fact that US policy has a purpose entirely different from 'helping Israel' is demonstrated by the new job held by Prof. Noah Feldman.

Consider, for starters, the publicity associated with Prof. Feldman's appointment in Iraq.

"But," you might point out, "there has *been* no publicity associated with the appointment of a Prof. Noah Feldman in Iraq. In fact, I never heard of this Noah Feldman. Who is he?"

And that is precisely the point. Prof. Noah Feldman's role has so far gone *unmentioned* by the NY Times, the Washington Post, CNN, or any of the other U.S. media which we check daily using the media search engine, Lexis-Nexis.

How curious.

The general line in the Western media is that:

"...[the] more radical leaders [of Iraq's Shiites] are boldly challenging Washington's plans for a secular, democratic future for the country." [3]

But does 'secular' really figure in Washington's plans for Iraq's future? Or is Washington's supposed fight with the "more radical leaders" in Iraq being staged so that Washington can *appear* to give in to the 'inevitable'?

Prof. Noah Feldman is General Jay Garner's assistant in charge of overseeing the creation of a Constitution for Iraq.

Prof. Feldman is a specialist in constitutional law, a student of Islam, and an enthusiastic apologist for Muslim fundamentalism. For example, in several interviews he has made the absurd argument that the AK Party in Turkey is an example of a democratically orientated Islamist party with no desire to destroy secular society. He also seems to have - ludicrously or dangerously - misdescribed Turkey as an "Islamic democracy." Does this mis-description betray Washington's plans for Turkey's future?

Or, to take another example, in presenting his startling analysis of jihad, or Islamic holy war, (he claims it has basically fizzled out), he conveniently deleted the joint US and Saudi (and Iranian) role in recruiting and sponsoring the Islamic terrorist mujahideen in Afghanistan and Bosnia. And Chechnya. And Macedonia. And Kosovo and Kashmir. And Palestine, where the CIA has been openly training the terrorists for 9 years. [4]

Professor Feldman lies to a purpose. About which more coming soon in, "Liar's Poker: Noah Feldman brings Islamism to Iraq."

-- Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes

[Footnotes and Further Reading Follows Appeal]


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Footnotes and Further Reading


[1] Cnn
Show: Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics 16:00
May 1, 2003 Thursday
Transcript # 050100cn.V15
Section: News; Domestic
Headline: President Bush Set To Announce End Of Combat In Iraq; Clinton Stays Away From Fight Between Kerry, Dean

[2] Who is this U.S. Official in Charge of Afghanistan and the Iraqi Opposition?
Zalmay Khalilzad - Envoy for Islamic Terror
Compiled with comments by Jared Israel

[3] Chicago Tribune April 23, 2003 Wednesday, Chicago Final Edition Section: News; Pg. 1; Zone: C Headline: Imams Exercise Newfound Clout; Mosques Gaining Postwar Power Byline: By Paul Salopek, Tribune Foreign Correspondent. Tribune Foreign Correspondent Tom Hundley In Qatar Contributed To This Report.

[4] * On Bosnia *
"U.S. & Iran: Enemies in Public, but Secret Allies in Terror
The US and Iran have long cooperated to sponsor Islamist terror," by Jared Israel, Francisco Gil-White,
Petar Makara, and Nico Varkevisser

* On Kosovo *
"Stranger than Fiction: NATO and the US Sponsor Terror in Kosovo and Macedonia," by Jared Israel

* On Palestine *
"Palestine is Our Land and the Jews are our Dogs" - the whitewashing of the Palestinian leadership
Note: As mentioned elsewhere, we have a whole file of newspaper articles confirming that the CIA has been training terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza for at least 9 years. It also appears that the original plans for a Palestinian state originated with the CIA. As soon as time permits we will post this material. -- JI

* On Macedonia *
"The Terrorists Attacking Macedonia Are Nato Troops, Not 'Rebels,'" by Jared Israel with research by Rick Rozoff, George Thompson and Max Sinclair.

Note added April 27, 2004 - For more on what lies behind the Iraq war, see Jared Israel's series, "How the Lies of Scott Ritter Reveal the Strategic Goals of the Bizarre Iraq War"
Part 1 is posted at

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