It is to our deep national shame--and ultimately it will be to the President's deep personal regret--that he has followed his Secretary of Defense down the path of trying to tie those loyal Americans who disagree with his policies--or even question their effectiveness or execution--to the Nazis of the past, and the al Qaeda of the present.If the President had hoped to cow administration critics into silence by dropping the N-bomb, that plan - like so many of their others plans - has failed miserably.
Today, in the same subtle terms in which Mr. Bush and his colleagues muddied the clear line separating Iraq and 9/11 -- without ever actually saying so--the President quoted a purported Osama Bin Laden letter that spoke of launching, "a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government."
Make no mistake here--the intent of that is to get us to confuse the psychotic scheming of an international terrorist, with that familiar bogeyman of the right, the "media."
It thus becomes necessary to remind the President that his administration's recent Nazi "kick" is an awful and cynical thing.
And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush:
"Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
Yesterday Senator Harry Reid, along with several other prominent Senators and Gen. Wesley Clark released "The Neo-Con", a report on the state of our War on Terror - and the scorecard for the Bush Administration would be a D- at best. Some of the harsest criticism has come from the Administration and it's supporters:
Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region.When the gravest of threats are eliminated,the freedom-loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace.As for the reaction of the Arab 'street,'the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation,the streets in Basra and Baghdad are 'sure to erupt in joy in the same way the throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans.'Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of Jihad.Moderates throughout the region
would take heart.And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced,just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991.Vice President Dick Cheney
(Speech to the VFW in Nashville,
North Korea is firing missiles.Iran is going nuclear.Somalia is controlled by radical Islamists.Iraq isn't getting better,and Afghanistan is getting worse … I give the president a lot of credit for hanging tough on Iraq.But I am worried that it has made them too passive in confronting the other threats.William Kristol,Editor of The Weekly Standard
(The Washington Post ,July 6,2006)
Things aren't getting better;they're getting worse.The White House is completely disconnected from reality … The reality is that we''re losing in Iraq.Senator Chuck Hagel
(Philadelphia Daily News,September 2,2005)
In this report,Third Way analyzes the Bush Administration record and measures its success or failure.Vice President Dick Cheney and Senior Advisor Karl Rove have repeatedly argued that “everything changed on 9-11 ” and that America must have a “post-9-11 worldview.” We hold the Administration to its own words and measure success or failure in the post-9-11 world across seven key national security indicators: Iraq,terrorism (broadly),Afghanistan,Iran,North Korea,the condition of the American military,and China.
In this report,the evidence leads us to conclude that the Bush Administration has failed.The number of terrorist attacks and recruits are up worldwide;many of our enemies are stronger;their reach is greater;their weapons of mass destruction are more developed,plentiful and available.At the same time,American influence with our allies has weakened:our “friends ” are not with us in Iraq..And a prolonged and troop-intensive war in Iraq has stretched our military and has left America less able to project power in troublesome hot spots than before 9-11.
The data leave little doubt that incompetence on the part of senior members of the Bush Administration has helped lead us to this dangerous situation.The data also suggest that the Bush Administration has failed in a more fundamental strategic sense. This Administration has underestimated our enemies,walked away from the negotiating table with would-be nuclear powers,selectively interpreted intelligence to suit prescribed solutions,fallen deeply in debt with one of our nation ’s toughest competitors,watched helplessly as allies ignored or shunned America ’s leadership, burned out the military,and put the capture and execution of one of the greatest mass murderers in American history on the back-burner.The numbers don ’t lie —the Bush strategy is not working.
It may be true as Neil Cavuto pointed out while debating this subject with General Wesley Clark, that America has not been attacked directly since September 11th 2001. However Spain, England and Russian have all suffered devastating attacks and bombings. We have now lost more soldiers and personnel in persuit of the Iraq war than were killed on 9-11, and that doesn't even begin to cover the civilian deaths including Iraqi citizens and journalists.
If this is indeed a Global War on Terror, then Globally - we are losing. Hamas and Hezbollah have become resurgent. Both Iran and North Korean have gone - or are going Nuclear. Pakistan just signed a treaty with the Taliban, which would allow them - and members of al Qaeda including Osama Bin Laden- sanctuary and safe passage.
That's not progress - that's not Freedom on the March.
It may seem unfair to some to dump all this at the feet of George W. Bush - but as he himself said - He Is the Decider! He's made the choices and made the decisions. Some even Republicans such as New Jersey Senatorial Hopeful Tom Kean Jr, as we approach the mid-term elections have begun to call for the resignation of Donald Rumselds. But the fact is that Donald Rumsfeld has already resigned - twice. He did so following abu Ghraib, but his resignation was rejected by - George W. Bush.
This Presidency is on a collision course with Reality and Fact - neither of which are in their favor. Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly failed our troops and our nation, yet he remains Secretary of Defense leading our military in the wrong direction. Railing at his critics, while the President stands by his side and froths at the mouth with him in unison and his grand plan to "Remake the Middle East" slowly turns to ashes.
In a CNN interview, Mr Rumsfeld said he was ready to take responsibility for the scandal over pictures showing US troops and staff mistreating prisoners.
But he said each time he offered to go, President Bush asked him to stay on.
It's not that all his ideas are wrong, I do not disagree that remaking the middle-east into a democratic and peaceful region is a worthy goal. The problem is you can't spread freedom and respect for the institutions of law at the point of a gun. Particularly when you do everything you can to ignore those very same institutions - habeaus corpus, probable cause, cruel and inhumane treatment, fair and open trials - at home.
This country is headed for a change, and if Bush keeps putting his foot in his mouth - a habitual action - that change is more likely to come sooner, rather than later.