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August 31, 2005

Kabuki Theatre??? Noh!
Posted by Michael Signer

Kabuki_theater2The Kabuki Theatre of the Absurd continues, with President Bush likening Iraq to World War II, and Japan specifically... and Haley Barbour stumbling into a Japan metaphor for Katrina.  From the Rove Diaries:  "When grasping for straws, always  exploit America's greatest moral victories, however tortured the parallels."

To wit -- here's how WaPo reported what the President said today about Iraq, referring to FDR:

Reaching back into history, Bush repeatedly cited Roosevelt's steadfastness as the model for today's conflict, comparing the Japanese sneak assault on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the al Qaeda terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001. Much as Roosevelt fought pre-Pearl Harbor isolationism, Bush urged against a return to what he called the "pre-9/11 mindset of isolation and retreat."

Well, isn't that just the craziest thing.  Just as the war is becoming the utter debacle its foes feared, the President starts likening it to our conflict with Japan. 

Of course, Iraq didn't attack us (unlike Japan, which did).  And Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq (unlike the Japanese nation, which actively supported their bellicose policies).  And we've created more terrorism by our half-hearted occupation of Iraq (unlike our invasion of Japan, massively supported by the American people, which so dominated the country that resistance was unthinkable). 

But these are just quibbles.

The Noh mask slipped a little bit, though, when Haley Barbour, now installed as Governor of Mississippi (and an ascendant Presidential figure himself?) likened Hurricane Katrina TO JAPAN DURING WORLD WAR II!  He said:

"I can only imagine this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago."

Huh.  So who does Barbour remind himself of?  General MacArthur?


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To be fair, I think Barbour was comparing levels of destruction.

In which case, he might be accurate.

"Huh. So who does Barbour remind himself of? General MacArthur?"

More likely the japanese emperor. Bush has helped reduce his city to rubble and is now sending in the troops.

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