Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Disastrous Presidency

S.W. Anderson of Oh!pinion, responding to Donkey Path and John Dean, remembers George W. Bush from 2002 as I do:
"I remember so well, in 2002 when Bush was out day after day hard-selling his plan to invade Iraq. During press conferences, a reporter would ask for specifics, for some more evidence of WMDs, specifics about how and why the alleged threat was not only real but imminent.

In response, Bush would repeat what he'd already said, only louder, a little slower and more emphatically, as though repeating it to a child who he knew had heard him the first time but was trying to be difficult.

Often, Bush's voice would rise in indication of a certain frustration. The implication was:

I'm telling you how it is. I'm the president, so when I say that's how it is, that's how it is and that's all you need to know.

Now, why are you determined to be difficult about something that's so simple?"

Now some of my Bush-supporter friends and family remind me often that many Democrats "voted for the war in Iraq" or "also believed Saddam had WMD". That is a half (or less) truth. Most of the Democrats that these folks cite supported giving the President authority to use force IF NECESSARY. Many believed Saddam had SOME SORT OF clandestine WMD development program. FEW (if any) believed Saddam an imminent threat to the United States. MOST believed Saddam was WELL CONTAINED by the air blockade. Most supported giving the UN inspectors MORE TIME. They ALL knew, AS DID BUSH, that there was NO significant connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda. That there was a rush to war by Bush and his neo-con advisors was plain to anyone paying attention.

Not just Democrats, pinkos, "anti-Americans" and Bush-haters, but MANY conservatives, saw it as a rushed, dangerous, and/or mistaken adventure:

Robert Novak,
"As the U.S. gets ready for war, its standing in Islam -- even among longtime allies -- stands low.
Pat Buchanan
"Why are we going to war? Why are we about to attack, invade and occupy a country that has not attacked us, does not threaten us and does not want war with us?" - February 2003

Charlie Reece ,
"Every day that passes, Americans will be less welcomed in Iraq, and I wouldn't take lightly the warning of an Iraqi cleric who said, "You should leave before we force you out."

An army that won't fight is one thing. Twenty million people willing to stab you in the back, cut your throat or toss a grenade in your soup are quite another. Our Army is trained and equipped to fight set battles against other armies. It is not trained to cope with a hostile civilian population. It will not do well, and if we insist on staying, the Iraqis will force us out, just as the Lebanese forced the Israeli army out.

And remember, life isn't a TV show. The plot won't unfold rapidly. Slowly and gradually our victory over Saddam will turn to dust, and all those snazzy plans of the arrogant neoconservatives for a new, enlightened Middle East will turn to ashes. The Middle East is full of the ruins of superpowers." - May 2003

Sen. Chuck Hagel, Republican Senator and War Hero
"America must steer away from actions that could produce the unintended results of fracturing those very institutions that have helped keep peace since World War II. Allowing a rush to war in Iraq to create divisions in those institutions and alliances that will help sustain American security and world stability is a short-sighted and dangerous course of action." - February 2003

Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Treasury Secretary under Reagan
"An invasion of Iraq is likely the most thoughtless action in modern history."

James Webb, Reagan's Secretary of the Navy and War Hero
"The issue before us is not whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years." - February 2003
former President George H. W. Bush,

--- Well, OK, we'll just have to imagine what the former President has thought about a son who has so completely rejected the foreign policy of his father. There are reports that the pair have had words. ---

Please read the John Dean piece.

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