Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I watched Bush's speech earlier this evening, and that's always a mistake. For some reason I always end up with a three foot pile of bullsh*t on the floor in front of the TV.

The one overriding theme in his address was that Iraq was somehow part of the war on terror. But how? Sure, three years ago we were told Saddam had weapons of mass destruction out the wazoo, had ties to Al Qaeda, and was an immediate threat to the United States. But as we've since learned, that intelligence was wrong at best and deliberately cooked at worst.

The President also kept emphasizing that we were battling religious fanatics in Iraq, and trying to keep them from doing there what they did in Afghanistan. This ignores the fact that while Hussein may have been a brutal dictator, Iraq under him was also a highly secular state. The country even had a thriving christian community living side-by-side with the majority muslims. There was nothing fundamentalist about his government, nor was there any danger of it becoming so while he remained in power.

But has Bush admitted to any mistakes? No, of course not. He simply added a new justification for the invasion of Iraq, and that is to spread freedom throughout the middle east. Sure, those are noble sounding words, but unfortunately that was never given as an initial reason for the war.

What's even worse is that tonight's speech again strongly implied that Iraq was somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks. That has repeatedly been demonstrated to not be the case. Bush, in fact, has on occasion come right and admitted as much himself. But then he turns around and delivers these carefully worded speeches that make it sound like Iraq was behind 9/11 without actually saying it and thus getting caught in a baldfaced lie.

Even Karl Rove is now engaging in this doubletalk. Last week in a speech to a New York group, Bush's deputy Chief of Staff said "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." This speech was given in the context of justifying what was happening in Iraq, again implying that Saddam was behind 9/11.

And what's sad is that a sizble percentage of Americans continue to buy into that lie.

As I have said before, I consider myself a conservative republican. I continue to believe Ronald Reagan was a great President. That doesn't mean, however, that I'm going to blindly follow Bush off a cliff simply because he's also a republican.

The fact of the matter is that a man named Osama bin Laden is the man responsible for what happened at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in the Pennsylvania countryside. It is bin Laden who killed 3000 people that otherwise beautiful September day. So where is he? Well, no one knows, do they? And instead of devoting this nation's full resources to tracking him down, Bush has our soldiers wasting their time and lives in Iraq, in some nonsensical quest to bring freedom to the middle east.

What's ironic is that Rove's words pretty well summarize how I felt on September 11, 2001. I was glad we had Bush in the White House. He pretty much had the same foreign policy team that his father had during the first Gulf war, and they had certainly proven themselves competent during that earlier conflict. I remember thinking that if Gore had won the election, he would have been content to lob a few cruise missiles in the direction of those responsible, and that would have been the end of it. But it was Bush who eventually won that election, and I--like millions of other Americans--had faith that he would do the right thing.

Perhaps that is why I am so disappointed in what has happened to this administration. I'm disappointed that a President with so much promise failed so miserably to deliver; I'm disappointed that bin Laden has not been killed, tied to the back of a New York city fire truck, and his body dragged through the streets of Manhattan; dispppointed that instead of making a genuine difference in Afghanistan, we opted to split our resources and therefore help no one; and I'm disappointed that all the good will the world showed us in the fall of 2001 has been squandered.

But most of all I'm disappointed that George W. Bush chose to betray the trust that this country placed in him on that terrible day four years ago.

0 thoughtful ramblings: