At a Monday morning press conference, when in reference to the ongoing violence in Iraq, a reporter asked President George W. Bush, "But are you frustrated, sir?" he responded in part by saying, "These aren't joyous times."
Well excuse me - but has anybody seen Sherlock Holmes around?
The president went on to speak about how the difficulty of current times was taking a toll on the "psyche of our country," and how "nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see the havoc wrought by terrorists," as well as questioning whether we have the "capacity and the desire to spread peace" by putting an end to terrorist ideology.
I don't know how anyone could avoid the frustration of it all, let alone the self-proclaimed "decider" of decisions surrounding the war in Iraq and American foreign policy in general.
But shouldn't we be frustrated when we turn on our TVs? Shouldn't we be angry at more than just the media overload of breaking news on a child murder case from 1996? Shouldn't the deaths of more than 3,500 Iraqi citizens in one month have some effect on the "psyche" of the country whose soldiers stand in the middle of the violence with guns in hand?
Last, but not least, how in any way does the current fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants game plan demonstrate either an American capacity or desire to spread peace?
The president speaks of how we must and will remain in Iraq until at least the end of his term and acts as though leaving Iraq would be as good as volunteering on a suicide mission for al-Qaida.
But Bush's 'til-death-do-us-part plan to hold fast in Iraq doesn't resemble any feasible solution at all. In fact, staying in Iraq to fight for "democracy" and "liberty" for the Iraqi people has conclusively left us with only one gory reality and predictable outcome - more dead soldiers and many, many more dead, innocent men, women and children.
The administration continues to off-handedly link 9-11 and al-Qaida to the civil violence that is actually happening in Iraq, spreading fear and confusion about terrorism throughout the world.
For example, some have allowed respecting the reality of actual terrorist danger to be confused with an excuse to be bigots, with some assumed right as citizens to profile human beings religiously, ethnically or any other way they can get the man with Arabic accent off the plane (I refer of course to the embarrassing scene some British passengers caused over two Asian men who had more than cleared airport security, but were escorted from the flight in order to subdue the fear-frenzied vacationers).
When asked what the attacks on the World Trade Center had to do with what's going on in Iraq, the president replied that we have to "take threats before they fully materialize."
If you ask me, unending death and violence without any end in sight is pretty threatening.
And unlike us, when Osama Bin Laden instigated his terror plot for 9-11 on America, he had something our administration is lacking - a plan. We've no plan for victory, no plan to bring the troops home. The time to leave is now.
We've got a bloody civil war on our hands, not to mention the other dire straights the world is seeing, and without any solution for success or salvation we will continue to become more like fish out of water.
Indeed Mr. President, these are not joyous times.