In the latest of an astounding string of gaffes, George W. Bush has encouraged Iraqis who are angry with the United States to attack the American soldiers who are occupying that country. In a prepared speech caught on camera, Bush says.
There are some who feel that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring them on.
To understand the basic nature of this statement, let's shorten it down to its essential elements:
There you have it. Plain as day, George W. Bush, the man who occupies the position as Commander-in-Chief of the American military, is inviting Iraqis to attack the soldiers he commands. Apparently, Bush is feeling tough, like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Maybe we should call him Dirty Georgie.
Of course, it's easy for George W. Bush to get all tough about war. He's not the one who's fighting. In fact, George W. Bush has never been to war. The evidence suggests that during Vietnam, Bush's father used his political influence to keep young W. from going to Vietnam.
It's easy for George W. Bush to talk tough about the war in Iraq. He didn't send either of his own children over to fight. Vice President Dick Cheney didn't send his kids either. It's easy to tell the Iraqis to bring on their guerilla ambushes when your own children's lives aren't on the line. For ordinary Americans whose children have to do the hard work of soldiering because the Republican government has destroyed all other economic opportunities for them, it's not so easy to be flippant about war. Bush told the Iraqis to bring on the attacks, and then their American sons and daughters were maimed and killed. Back here in the United States, that kind of thing is referred to as inciting civil disorder, and it's a crime.
All across the country, Americans have responded to Bush's invitation to violence with shock and dismay. "I am shaking my head in disbelief," said Senator Frank Lautenberg. "When I served in the Army in Europe during World War II, I never heard any military commander -- let alone the commander in chief -- invite enemies to attack U.S. troops."
Iraqis are obliging George W. Bush's call for more attacks, with what U.S. generals describe as an increasingly organized and intense "guerilla war." One or two American soldiers are being killed almost every day, and even more are being seriously injured. Hundreds of Americans have died as a result of Bush's war, and even since Bush declared an end to "major hostilities" at the end of May, ninety Americans have been killed.
We want to see the Iraqi opposition disappear," Lautenberg continued. "We want to see law and order restored to Iraq, which will allow the Iraqi people to live in security and freedom. These should be our goals Ð rather than encouraging more violence and bloodshed,"
Senator John Kerry, a Vietnam combat veteran who is campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President in 2004, reacted by describing Bush as, "Unwise, unworthy of the office and his role as commander in chief, and unhelpful to American soldiers under fire... The deteriorating situation in Iraq requires less swagger and more thoughtfulness and statesmanship."
Bush's "bring them on" invitation to Iraqi fighters to attack American soldiers creates the strong impression that Bush actually enjoys being at war. It seems that Bush is worried that the war might end before he can have more fun play-acting a tough guy, posing with grim faces for the cameras. It sounds like Bush really wants American soldiers to be attacked. Well, the rich are strange people.
If only George W. Bush would show such eagerness for his battles with the truth, American soldiers might not be dying at all right now. When it comes to Iraqi ambushes of Americans in Iraq, Bush says "Bring them on," but when it comes to the American public asking questions about the so-called evidence used to persuade the country to go to war, Bush can only say, "Go away!"
Bush lied when he told the American people that he had clear evidence that the Iraqi government had restarted its nuclear weapons program. It turns out that no such evidence exists.
Bush lied when he said that he had absolute proof that the Iraqi government had massive stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. It turns out that the Bush Administration was just making what they thought was their best guess, based on outdated information and hearsay.
Bush lied when he said that American intelligence agencies knew exactly where Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were. Months have passed since hundreds of thousands of American soldiers have occupied Iraq, and still, they haven't found any evidence of weapons of mass destruction at all.
Bush lied. People died.
You'd think that with such a controversy on his hands, a tough guy like George W. Bush would want to clear things up right away. You'd think he'd want to take on his critics with a clear debate on the substance of the growing scandal. You'd think that he'd be consistent.
The funny thing is that when it comes to his "evidence", Bush seems to be playing games with the American public, doing whatever he can to keep from having to reveal the whole truth. He says that the case is closed and that everyone should just forget about it all, go home, and wave their flags for him.
Hans Blix and his international team of weapons inspectors have offered to go into Iraq and help Bush look for any evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Oddly, Bush not only declined the offer, but he forbade Blix and his team from conducting weapons inspections in American-occupied Iraq. Even Saddam Hussein didn't refuse to allow weapons inspectors into Iraq. Why is Bush doing so now?
Harry S. Truman famously proclaimed, "The buck stops here." Truman took responsibility for everything that happened under his watch. Not so with George W. Bush. Bush doesn't seem to care where the buck stops, so long as it's with somebody else.
Confronted with evidence that he lied in his State of the Union Address, Bush was quick to pin the blame on somebody else. He blamed George Tenet, director of the CIA. Like a good soldier, Tenet fell on his sword and said it was all his fault for not telling the President that the evidence for an Iraqi nuclear weapons program was shoddy.
Oops. Two days later, the American public found out that George Tenet really DID tell the Bush Administration about the unreliable nature of the evidence for an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. George Tenet warned Bush way back in October, three months before the State of the Union Address!
Never the one to accept responsibility, Bush has now pinned the blame on British intelligence sources. Bush says that his statement in the State of Union Address was "technically correct" because he said that he was relying on British soldiers. Thus, Bush stabs Tony Blair in the back after receiving years of unwavering support from Blair. With Bush, the buck always stops somewhere else.
Every day, there are new revelations of deception and manipulation about Iraq from the Bush White House. Every day, more Americans are calling for open, independent investigations into the extent of the fabrication of evidence by the Bush Administration.
Faced with such alarming allegations, an honest and courageous President would open himself up to scrutiny. An honest and courageous President would tell the truth, the whole truth. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that Bush is ready to be an honest and courageous President. It seems that when his own skin is on the line, Bush isn't so tough.
Enough is enough! We've had it with Bush lies and half-truths. We've had it with Bush's lawyerly evasions of important questions. We think it's time that Bush get as tough with himself as he likes to get with other people.
Open, independent investigations? Bring them on!
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We are also eagerly awaiting original submissions of quality irregularity.