George Bush Is A Failure Like No Other
For anyone who’s read my blog before, the title of this post is redundant, I know, but now, for the first time since Bush was selected President in 2000, the country, the press and even most of the members of his own Party agree that not only have his policies failed, but that he himself is a failure as well. All we had to do was look at his track record to see that this was surely coming. He has failed at everything he’s attempted to do in his life, why would running (ruining?) this country be any different?
I’m struck, daily, by the change in tone of the discussions about Iraq and about Bush’s job performance in general. A few short months ago, Bush had his allies, on the Hill and in the press, on television every single day talking up the war and propping up this administration. Since the midterm elections, they all seem to have gone into their holes, hiding from their own lies that they willingly showered on the public. Many of us in the blogisphere have been screaming at the top of our lungs for the past year that this war is lost, but consensus takes time and even if it did take too long in my opinion, I’m glad to see the country unified in our distrust of, and disgust with, this President.
My gut tells me that the course in Iraq is set and Bush will not change his mind. He’s an obstinate, delusional boy with a dream and this boy has no regard for the fact that his dream has unleashed a nightmare on the rest of the world. This boy lives in his own reality (remember, according to them, the Bush administration creates their own reality) and his goal is at odds with what is best for this country as well as the one he has chosen to occupy. There may be a showdown in Congress and perhaps even within the Republican Party, but unless Bush is forced to accept defeat, he will continue to plug away at his plan to bring democracy to the Middle East at the barrel of a gun (and he’s not afraid to use it) leaving blood, death, mutilated bodies and devastated families in his wake.
The Iraq Study Group has presented its findings and charted a course for the President to follow. James Baker in testimony on the Hill yesterday said, "I hope we don't treat this as a fruit salad, and say, 'I like this but I don't like that.’" But with this President’s penchant for cherry picking, I think that is exactly what he will do with this report. Bush said as much yesterday in his press conference with Tony “lap dog” Blair. He will look at the report, pick just enough recommendations to implement in order to give the appearance that he’s listening to reason, and then go on his merry way shoveling more of our treasure into the sinkhole of Iraq in a quixotic attempt to save his legacy.
I’m having a hard time watching Republican Senators and Congressmen feign angst in front of the cameras as they pretend to come to terms with the devastating reality of what they have supported over the last few years. I don’t buy it for a second. Nothing in the Baker-Hamilton Report is news to them, they have known that this war is lost for a very long time, they just didn’t know that they’d be caught with their pants down and be forced to explain why they’ve been lying to the American people. Senator Gordon Smith, Republican from Oregon, gave a speech yesterday (TPM Muckraker has the transcript) in which he laments his collision with reality. He explains his silence regarding his concerns in how the Iraq occupation has been handled by quoting (several times) a soldier he met in Iraq who apparently told him, “Senator, don't tell me you support the troops and not our mission.”
Well Senator, if that is the logic that works for you, that makes such an impression as to silence you completely and prohibit you from voicing concerns about how this war has been handled, then try this one on for size. Don’t tell me you support this President and not “staying the course”. If you are going to stand on the floor of the Senate and support withdrawing our troops from Iraq (what those of us on the left have been advocating for all along), you don’t get to defend this President at the same time. You lament our having to pull our troops out of Iraq before the job is done, well you can lay this defeat squarely at the feet of President Bush. He failed in Iraq. He lied in order to get our troops there, he has lied every single day since in order to keep them there and you’d be hard pressed to cite one thing he’s done right in the execution of this war.
However bad an idea it was to go into Iraq in the first place, there were plenty of opportunities to make it turn out all right. This president could have studied history, he could have armed himself with knowledge of the region, he could have put the Iraqi people first and put them to work rebuilding their country, but instead he opened the doors to that country, invited his friends in to steal their resources while simultaneously collecting American taxpayer dollars for jobs not done. The premise was flawed and the execution was disastrous. While George Bush is no stranger to failure, I doubt even he knew he was capable of fucking up quite this badly. Anyone willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point is as obstinate and delusional as he is.