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By Bill Gallagher

"My job's as much educator in chief as it is commander in chief." -- President George W. Bush speaking at the Grand Ole Opry House, Feb.1, 2006. еее

DETROIT -- He admits to acting on what "my gut tells me." He's all visceral, no cerebral.

But our president with the negative learning curve has bestowed upon himself a new title. He's now on a pedantic crusade to teach the ignorant American people, explaining to us his "path to victory" in Iraq. Pay attention, folks, and take notes.

First, understand that facts and reality don't matter. The world of President George W. Bush is all about illusions, delusions, deceptions and lies wrapped in his repetitive talking points, which are then dutifully propagated by the complicit corporate media.

Speaking to the crowd at the Grand Ole Opry, Bush sounded like Minnie Pearl -- minus the humor -- talking about her Uncle Nabob and her dim-witted brother. With condescending paternalism and that Alfred E. Neuman "What me worry?" look on his face, Bush added worrier in chief to his growing list of titles.

"I clearly see the threats to America," Bush assured folks. "My job is worrying about those threats. That's not your job. We've got a lot of people in government worrying about those threats so you can go on with your life."

This is the man who did nothing -- not one damn thing -- when he got a intelligence report one month before Sept. 11 titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." While detailed reports prepared by his own administration warned that New Orleans was vulnerable to catastrophic flooding in a major hurricane, "Bubble Boy" Bush gushed, "I don't think anyone anticipated a break in the levees." Is there a sane soul in our nation who wants this guy doing the worrying for us?

Bush defended his unconstitutional domestic spying program in his Grand Ole Opry performance, as well as in the State of the Union skit the night before. He has declared everything he does as commander in chief is perfectly legal and should not even be questioned.

Bush's Orwellian flacks have dubbed the illegal spying the "terrorist surveillance program," a phase that several news outlets and pundits have adopted in all reporting on the topic. The American Pravda serves its White House masters with shameless reliability.

Dubya did his best to contort the issue and distort the facts with mendacious simplification. He told the crowd in Tennessee, "Let me put it to you in Texan: If al-Qaeda is calling the United States, we want to know." Bush knows that can be done within the law, but he's trying to suggest critics want to stop legitimate surveillance.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, ran interference for the Busheviks, defending the wire-tapping of thousands of Americans without warrants or any offer of probable cause. Chambliss wants critics silenced. "Those folks who continue to go out front and talk in a negative way about this program may be aiding and abetting the terrorists," he said last week at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Chambliss is one of the most loathsome vermin ever elected to Congress. He won his Senate seat by lying about the record of the incumbent, Sen. Max Cleland. Chambliss used TV ads that morphed the image of Cleland into pictures of Osama bin Laden and Saddam.

Cleland is a triple amputee who was wounded in Vietnam. Chambliss sat out the war claiming a bum knee, which never prevented him from being a jogger. After Sept. 11, Chambliss said he wanted to protect Georgia and would "turn the sheriff loose and arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line."

Bush campaigned extensively for Chambliss in his 2002 Senate race. Bush praised him for his "good vision," and urged Georgians to support Chambliss. The very sight of Chambliss makes me physically ill and his political success teaches you all you need to know about Bushevik Republicans.

Bush's claims to unlimited executive powers to do anything he wants to "protect" us should make every freedom-loving American shudder. A helpful Republican reader who voted for Bush in 2000 -- "My greatest mistake ever," he says -- provided me with the apt German term to describe what Bush is asserting: Der Fueherprinzip.

Legislators adopted it into German law and this "principle" gave Hitler absolute authority over all aspects of German life, as well as the conquered territories. The Reichstag -- filled with the Saxby Chambliss clones of the day -- made a declaration that the Leader was above the law. No law bound the Leader and he alone could interpret the law however he wished. There was no appeal. There's not a dime's worth of difference between what the German Leader got and what our Shrub is claiming. That should give thinking Americans a threat to worry about every day.

Bush only supported the McCain anti-torture bill when he realized there were enough votes in Congress to override his threatened veto. But when Dubya signed the legislation, he included an important codicil that effectively says he will shrug off the law if the mood moves him.

Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor of Slate online magazine, exposed Bush's penchant to use presidential signing statements as "a means of reinforcing the executive's message and consolidating its power." Bush has never vetoed a single piece of legislation. If he doesn't like it, he just drops in a little P.S. declaring he will ignore the law.

That's just what Bush did with the McCain anti-torture bill Our educator in chief has come up with yet another lesson plan to teach us about the dangers of thinking that the war in Iraq is a disaster. Bush, the great internationalist, now brands critics of the monstrously bad idea of invading Iraq as isolationists.

"America rejects the false comfort of isolationism," he bellowed in the State of the Union address. "Isolation would tie our hands in fighting enemies, it would keep us from helping our friends in desperate need." Then, not so subtly placing him in a pantheon of presidents where he certainly does not belong, he said, "American leaders from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan rejected isolation and retreat."

So, instead of defending his policies and the quagmire in Iraq, Bush chooses to caricature his critics who warned of the disastrous consequences of the invasion and occupation. This is an unnecessary war of choice that weakens our national security, spawns Islamist extremists and terrorists, and leaves Iraq sliding into civil war.

Bush's mad war has isolated the United States from the rest of the world more than at any other time in our national history. We have ignored and angered friends and given our enemies an invaluable propaganda gift they can use for decades. We are seen as America the aggressor, marching an army into the oil-rich Middle East, into the heart of Islam, and branding the adventure as "fighting for freedom" and spreading the "seeds of democracy."

Like that lying fraud, James Frey, author of the fictional "A Million Little Pieces," Bush fabricated the reasons for invading Iraq because "it made a better story" to sell. Frey now admits, "I altered events all the way through the book." The truth wouldn't sell, so Frey lied "to have dramatic arcs, to have the tension that all great stories require."

Frey's lies sold more books. Bush's lies have killed thousands of people.

We are now learning more about the fraud Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair sold, claiming they were striving to avoid war in Iraq and seeking to get Saddam to disarm voluntarily. Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and author of "Lawless World," a book that shows how the British and American governments have broken the global legal order to promote their economic agenda.

In the new edition of the book, Sands reports a British government legal memo that reveals "Mr. Bush told Mr. Blair that the U.S. was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of 'flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours.' Mr. Bush added: 'If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach of UN resolutions.'" Sands describes how Bush and Blair plotted to invade Iraq and didn't give a hoot about what weapons inspectors did or didn't find. Their "diplomatic" efforts were a sham.

We learned from the Downing Street Memos that Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, the British intelligence service, realized the Busheviks wanted to invade Iraq and, in the summer of 2002, were fabricating reasons to justify the war.

In a stunning admission, former secretary of state Colin Powell's one-time chief of staff has come clean about the lies he helped sell in the march to war. Lawrence Wilkerson told the PBS weekly newsmagazine "NOW" that much of Powell's monumental speech before the UN making Bush's case for war was false.

"I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council," Wilkerson confessed. The British have the documents to prove it and now we have an eyewitness account, both teaching us this lasting truth: Bush's war was sold with lies.

After listening to our educator in chief tell us war was a "last resort" and we are fighting "evil" and to "end tyranny in our world," discerning Americans have learned that what Bush says is hollow and meaningless. He's a soulless liar aspiring to be a two-bit tyrant.

Those who continue to believe him and support his madness are drunk with delusion. Let me put it to you in Texan: They ain't lurnd nuttin.

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Feb. 7 2006