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Ground Control to Major George | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Ground Control to Major George

There is something profoundly disturbing about the fact that the Commander in Chief is in better shape than his Army, that he has time to ride his bike around his ranch for hours while the wheels are coming off the war in Iraq, that he had time to attend fundraisers but not to meet Cindy Sheehan.

Bush's disengagement from reality is reaching the freakish level. In America, Republicans are abandoning his war as they face re-election in '06. Chuck Hagel compared Iraq to Vietnam. More than 60 percent of Americans think the invasion was a mistake, and we are not winning. And now the first Democratic senator, Russell Feingold, has broken ranks and called for a timeline for withdrawal.

In Iraq, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds are seriously debating if they really want to be a unified country, whether women will be treated as equal citizens and how much Islamic theocracy to put into the constitution. Outside the Green Zone, the Shiite militias are arming themselves for civil war, while American soldiers are dying at a faster and faster clip.

And yet in Texas, Bush has taken five weeks to cut brush. He mouths the same platitudes about freedom and democracy he was using three years ago. And he cross-trains. The President doesn't just need a plan to get us out of Iraq; he needs an intervention to get him back to planet Earth.

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