Sunday, October 29, 2006
Don't blame Bush...
Let's just look at the war in Iraq.
Sure, he didn't tell folks that there were huge doubts about the intelligence suggesting there were WMDs in Iraq. He didn't tell the American people that he, himself, recognized that the intelligence was weak. But that's not his fault; George Tenet told him it was a "slam dunk", so, really, it's Tenet's fault. The CIA is the agency that overhyped the intelligence.
And that bit about uranium from Niger? That wasn't his fault. Sure, the trip that Joseph Wilson made was pretty convincing; Wilson showed that if Iraq had purchased uranium, it would have raised red flags everywhere, and he found out that Niger had everything to lose if they broke the sanctions around Iraq, and, honestly nothing to gain. Sure, there were some people who were asking questions about "expanding trade relations"... but the word "uranium" never came up. But, that's not Bush's fault. See, this was all done under the authority of the CIA, and they were always trying to cripple the Bush administration, by not giving strong intelligence supporting Iraq's WMD programs!
The war planning, well, sure, a lot of career military men said it would take hundreds of thousands of soldiers to provide security, and Bush sent less than 200,000, but that's not Bush's fault. He had other generals that said they could win the war on the cheap, and he listened to them instead. How can you blame Bush for following bad advice?
And when it was clear there weren't enough soldiers to provide security, that wasn't Bush's fault either. With the Democrats harping on his every move, how can you expect him to stop listening to the generals who gave him bad advice, and start listening to the people who turned out to be right? A real man doesn't admit to errors; a real man keeps people from seeing such weaknesses, right?
And that America had to rule Iraq for a long time, that wasn't Bush's fault. Sure, Ahmed Chalabi was a fraud and a scammer, and had fed the US bad intelligence, and wouldn't have been able to work with other Middle Eastern nations, but how as Bush supposed to know that? He had a war to plan, and that's hard work!
And it's not like he could just appoint another government! No, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani insisted on free elections. Bush suggested caucuses, but, no, Sistani insisted on elections. And with security going to hell, elections would take time to set up, so that wasn't Bush's fault, either.... neither was the security going to hell, that was the fault of the insurgency. Sure, maybe more troops would have helped out, but the generals didn't request more troops, and Bush trusts his generals... even when things get worse, and worse, and worse, he keeps trusting those generals. You wouldn't want a commander in chief who goes to a general and says "You clearly can't handle this situation; I'm putting in someone who can," do you?
And the 600,000 Iraqis who've probably died because of this invasion? That's definitely not Bush's fault. You can't blame him; Saddam Hussein was an evil man, and if taking him out meant killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, well, that's just what a strong leader has to do, right? Good leaders don't fuss and fret about the deaths of innocent people... they do what's necessary.
Look, George W. Bush is doing a hard and thankless job, okay? And he's doing it all alone. All those Represenatives and Senators can't give him advice; he can't listen to it because he's the unitary executive. And plus, if they disagree with him publicly, it might hurt Republican chances of winning the elections in November, so they can't do that. Plus, it must be awfully lonely since he dismissed one of the most repsected military men on the planet, Colin Powell, who advised him not to start this war.
Just think about this: it's hard work to send men off to war, to toil for countless hours in a land far from home, never knowing if the next day might bring killing or death. It's hard work to sit in the Oval Office aware that, even now, events might be spinning out of control, because of a war you pushed for. It's hard work to think that we could lose thousands and thousands of more soldiers before this is done, some of our best and brightest, and certainly some of our most self-sacrificing. It's hard work to think of all of the wounded people, those who've lost limbs, those who've lost friends, and those who've lost hope.
It's hard work to think about all of those things. It's hard work to start a war that leads to all of those things.
Don't blame George Bush. He's working hard... can't you just hear the sincerity in his voice when he says so?
I can't... but it must be there, because I've heard so many Republicans agree that it is.