Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bush Responsible for Troop Surge

It just keeps getting worse. Bush is the proof the American people cannot afford to go to sleep and simply vote the party line or buy into ads that says little about who a candidate is or why anyone should believe they're qualified.

The more one reads about the troop surge, the more it comes down to an arbitrary decision by Bush and probably Cheney to just charge ahead and ignore any quality advice. They ignore the Iraq Study Group, they ignore the Democrats, they ignore the generals and, perhaps the most significant of all, they ignore the Iraqis. After all, the Decider-in-Chief and the guy who can't shoot straight know better. And the basis of their decision? Six years of blunders beginning with day one when they ignored warning that al Qaida would be their biggest problem. If I sound harsh, it's because the State of the Union is coming up and George W. Bush still thinks he has a license to do whatever he pleases regardless of the American people.

American Pundit has reviewed State of Denial by Bob Woodward and he offers one of the better summaries of the Bush presidency from Woodward's book:
In each book I read, I try to find a passage that sums it up. There's one such spot in Woodward's latest book where a high-ranking Pentagon official, referring to the Bush administration, says he's "never seen a group of people less able to advance their own interests."

These guys strut and brag and flap their arms and they can't even do what they say they're going to do. And sometimes, they threaten to do the very thing they shouldn't do in the first place such as start a war with Iran! I know, patience. We all have to be patient while Republicans in Congress come around to joining Democrats on putting limits on Bush before he can do more harm.

Here's the story on Bush's 'decision' from Michael Abramowitz and Peter Baker of The Washington Post:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had a surprise for President Bush when they sat down with their aides in the Four Seasons Hotel in Amman, Jordan. Firing up a PowerPoint presentation, Maliki and his national security adviser proposed that U.S. troops withdraw to the outskirts of Baghdad and let Iraqis take over security in the strife-torn capital. Maliki said he did not want any more U.S. troops at all, just more authority.

The president listened intently to the unexpected proposal at their Nov. 30 meeting, according to accounts from several administration officials. Bush seemed impressed that Maliki had taken the initiative, but it did not take him long to reject the idea.

(snip)

He never seriously considered beginning to withdraw U.S. forces, as urged by newly elected Democratic congressional leaders and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. And he had grown skeptical of his own military commanders, who were telling him no more troops were needed.

So Bush relied on his own judgment that the best answer was to try once again to snuff out the sectarian violence in Baghdad, even at the risk of putting U.S. soldiers into a crossfire between Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. When his generals resisted sending more troops, he seemed irritated. When they finally agreed to go along with the plan, he doubled the number of troops they requested.

It was a signature moment for a president who seems uninfluenced by the electorate on Iraq and headed for a showdown with the new Democratic Congress. Presented with an opportunity to pull back, Bush instead chose to extend and, in some ways, deepen his commitment, gambling that more time and a new plan will finally bring success to the troubled U.S. military mission.

George W. Bush is a flawed man who should never have become the president of the United States. Dick Cheney, an able administrator when someone else is in charge, should never have become vice president and given so much authority to implement his dark vision of the world. I have no idea what's going to happen in the next two years as Bush pursues one or two more foreign policy gambles, but we need to find some better people to send to Washington in 2008; and somewhere along the line, the American people need to confront why Bush and Cheney have combined to give us the worst administration in American history. They didn't do it alone—the sad truth is that they had help.

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