Monday, August 28, 2006

Bush Continues to 'Stay the Course'

Bush is back in full campaign mode. His effort to salvage his presidency with a full public relations blitz is on. But everywhere we look in the sixth year of his presidency, enormous problems remain. Signs of his failure are everywhere.

In the Bush Administration, "staying the course" means nothing more than doing the same thing over and over in foreign policy as well as domestic policy with the same incompetent advisers and cronies hoping somehow things will improve. Bush doesn't seem to get it. Nor does a Republican Congress that sits on its hands winking at the president and blocking every effort to restore competence to our government.

The war in Iraq was never supposed to go on this long. In the first six months after the fall of Baghdad, there was a lot of gloating from neoconservatives who seemed oblivious to the fact that they had opened Pandora's box with a war America did not need; the neocons weren't even bothered by the lack of WMDs after a period of effective spin; at the time, many of Bush's cronies and campaign contributors were too busy cashing in on privatization opportunities to notice that things were not well in Iraq. Those who warned about the problems coming weren't just merely lost somewhere in the bowels of the government but were chained, locked and gagged by those who didn't want to face facts or have their right-wing ideology challenged. We now have a fiasco and the mess goes on; here's Aaron Sheldrick of Bloomberg:
Seven U.S. soldiers were killed by roadside bombs and fighting in and around Baghdad yesterday, the military said, the same day as many as 60 Iraqis were killed in explosions and shootings.

Four soldiers assigned to the Multi-National Division - Baghdad were hit by an improvised explosive device about 3 p.m. local time yesterday, the military said in a statement e-mailed from the capital today. A soldier died about 11:20 p.m. last night when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb south of the capital, the military said in a later statement. Two others died earlier in the day, the military said.

Nearly 60 Iraqis were killed yesterday in suicide bombings and shootings across the country, Agence France-Presse reported, the day after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki got agreement from tribal leaders to reduce the fighting between Sunnis and Shiites. Maliki yesterday said Iraq isn't slipping into civil war.

``The violence is in decrease and our security ability is increasing,'' Maliki said on CNN's ``Late Edition'' program. ``Iraq will never be in a civil war.''

General John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, said on Aug. 3 fighting in Baghdad is at its highest level and threatens to push Iraq into civil war.

Members of the Bush Administration are pushing for a third war with Iran. After the incompetence that followed Katrina, after the incompetence that followed Iraq, after the incompetence that followed a once-winnable war in Afghanistan—just to name a few areas of failure—who in their right mind would trust these guys to handle a third war? Unfortunately, the answer is the current Republican leadership in Congress. We are badly in need of change.

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