Monday, April 30, 2007

Bush Never Much Thought About His War

The most powerful man in the world never much thought about why he was going to war in Iraq. That's pretty much one of the key points that George Tenet has made about George W. Bush. It's not news though. We already knew that President Bush doesn't think much about anything. He's the kind of guy who shoots from the lips and shrugs when things don't go his way.

Here's an AP article from over the weekend about the chaos in Iraq and the death of 9 Americans:
A car bomb exploded Saturday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala as the streets were packed with people heading for evening prayers, killing at least 58 and wounding scores near some of the country's most sacred shrines. Separately, the U.S. military announced the deaths of nine American troops, including three killed Saturday in a single roadside bombing outside Baghdad.

With smoke clogging the skies above Karbala, angry crowds hurled stones at police and later stormed the provincial governor's house, accusing authorities of failing to protect them from the bombings usually blamed on Sunni insurgents. It was the second car bomb to strike the city's central area in two weeks.

Several more Americans have died since then raising the total of Americans dead in April to 104; the combined coalition casualties for April are the highest since the Iraqi elections of January of 2005. It should be noted that the British are having increasing problems in what was once the relatively peaceful areas of southern Iraq which is predominately Shiite. As Bush stubbornly continues to ignore the advice of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, right wing Republicans in Congress and around the country should think long and hard about supporting an incompetent president who thinks he has all the answers.

Dan Froomkin of White House Watch has some thoughts on Tenet's somewhat tardy revelations:
As President Bush drove the country to what has turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq, did he ever have any doubts about whether it was the right call? Did he ever even consider there might be another way?

The new book by former CIA director George Tenet adds more evidence to the conclusion that once the president's mind was made up, there was no looking back. Inside the White House, the only debate about the war would appear to have been about how to sell it.

The administration's response to this latest charge has been angry -- yet vague. Bush's defenders are still unable to offer up one concrete piece of evidence suggesting that the costs that could (and would) be suffered by American troops and the Iraqi people weighed heavily enough upon the president that he ever seriously questioned his initial decision.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that Bush was interested in invading Iraq long before 9/11; certainly Rumsfeld and Cheney were interested in the project before Bush became president. But we have an incompetent in the White House surrounded by ideologues who have a poor understanding of the world. Bush is the kind of man who does not harbor doubts, who has all the answers and who doesn't believe he makes mistakes; combine that recipe for disaster with sheer incompetence and there's going to be trouble no matter where such a man is put. Putting Bush in charge of the most powerful government in the world will go down as America's greatest strategic blunder.

Technically, you can only impeach a president for treason and high crimes and misdemeanors but not for gross incompetence; perhaps the words 'gross incompetence' should be inserted in the US Constitution. But it's increasingly clear Bush has actually committed any number of crimes that are impeachable; he is protected, however, by a stubborn right wing base, a compliant media (though less so than three years ago) and an increasingly deluded group of politicians who are unable as yet to acknowledge his crimes and failures. But dissastisfaction with Bush is growing even among Republicans. And there is still the matter of ignoring the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that included Republicans and was led by a Republican. Bush has no explanation for his inadequate performance.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tenet is just one rat fleeing a sinking ship - trying to save his skin. I don't believe his hands or conscience are any cleaner than Bush's or anyone else in that mess of a white house.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Timing is everything. Now, with his book out in print, Tenet has tales to tell. That is to say now, when he calculates speaking up will most benefit himself.

If Tenet had been more outspoken three and four years ago, he might've done the American people some good. He might've benefited Iraqis too.

If Tenet had been more assertive in the months before the '04 election, we might not have an incompetent for our president and his pack of loyal, ideologically warped lieutenants mismanaging and corrupting the federal government.

Ever mindful of which side of his bread has the butter, Tenet was compliant with Bush and Cheney, too. Now, realizing that aspect of his story probably wouldn't sell books, he stresses how unquestioning Bush and his crackpot crowd were prior to the invasion.

The picture of where he belongs comes through. It's his photo on my dartboard, not his tome on my bookshelf.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

It's worth noting that James Woolsey and George Tenet both served Bill Clinton as CIA Director and both have not served this country well in the last six years, though for different reasons. Woolsey wound up in the neocon camp. Tenet bears a strong resemblance to those media types who pay more attention to being a Washington insider, or member of the club, than doing their job.

S.W., I'll have a post up in the next day or two on the Gilded Age. I think it'll interest you.

1:31 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Thanks, Craig. I'll watch for it.

1:11 PM  
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6:04 PM  

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