Jean-Marcel Bouguereau | A Black Month of July
A Black Month of July
By Jean-Marcel Bouguereau
Le Nouvel Observateur
Thursday 17 July 2003
For George Bush, this month will be the worst of his presidency. A black month of July. Added to the Pentagon telegrams announcing to their families the deaths of 82 American soldiers since the first of May when Georges Bush had declared the end of hostilities is a record deficit of 455 billion dollars due to the expenses of a never-ending war and a recovery that has not so much as shown the tip of its nose. The result: the American President s popularity has seriously declined, favorable opinion falling 14 points since the war s end. The situation on the ground in Iraq is looking more and more like the worst nightmares: yesterday a series of rocket-launcher and grenade attacks came to celebrate the anniversary of Saddam Hussein taking power 26 years ago. The day before, the Pentagon had pushed the return to the United States of a part of the prestigious 3rd infantry division, some 10,000 men, back to the fall, Georges Bush himself having acknowledged that there was a security problem in Iraq.
All this comes at the worst moment when the White House, with regard to the weapons of mass destruction, is in the process of rather clumsily defending the indefensible , as the New York Times writes, trying to stop up the leaks opened by the gross forgeries the intelligence services supplied with regard to Saddam Hussein s uranium. Alarmist reports written by Donald Rumsfeld s special envoy in Iraq indicate that troop moral is starting to sag. That the daily pigeon shoots make an army uneasy that was rather well prepared for war, but in no case to be a police force, nor a fortiori an army of anti-insurrectionist repression. Because that s what it s about: the report sent to Donald Rumsfeld describes the situation as continuous looting on an industrial scale by bands of Mafiosi who are taking over Iraq while escapees from Saddam s militia and the Baath party harass the soldiers and pressure the population. Up until now Bush had sailed on the emotional wave of September 11. That page appears to be imperceptibly turning.
Jean-Marcel Bouguereau is Editor-in-Chief of the Nouvel Observateur. He is also an editorialist for the R publique des Pyr n es, for which this article was written.
Translation: TruthOut French language correspondent Leslie Thatcher.
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