"Mr. Bush, the question is no longer “what are you thinking?,” but rather “are you thinking at all?”
Last night, in his Special Comment, he read a list of things that Bush has said over the years about this debacle in Iraq. I knew all this stuff, but to hear it read back to back to back like that really drove it home, just how wrong-headed this President is, just how awful he has been for this country.
- Before Mr. Bush was elected, he said nation-building was wrong for America.
- Now he says it is vital.
- He said he would never put U.S. troops under foreign control.
- Last night he promised to embed them in Iraqi units.
- He told us about WMD.
- Mobile labs.
- Secret sources.
- Aluminum tubes.
He has told us the war is necessary:
- Because Saddam was a material threat.
- Because of 9/11.
- Because of Osama Bin Laden. Al-Qaida. Terrorism in general.
- To liberate Iraq. To spread freedom. To spread Democracy. To prevent terrorism by gas price increases.
Because this was a guy who tried to kill his dad.
- Because — 439 words in to the speech last night — he trotted out 9/11 again.
- In advocating and prosecuting this war he passed on a chance to get Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
- To get Muqtada Al-Sadr. To get Bin Laden.
- He sent in fewer troops than the generals told him to. He ordered the Iraqi army disbanded and the Iraqi government “de-Baathified.”
- He short-changed Iraqi training. He neglected to plan for widespread looting. He did not anticipate sectarian violence.
- He sent in troops without life-saving equipment. He gave jobs to foreign contractors, and not Iraqis. He staffed U.S. positions there, based on partisanship, not professionalism.
- He and his government told us: America had prevailed, mission accomplished, the resistance was in its last throes.
- He has insisted more troops were not necessary. He has now insisted more troops are necessary.
- He has insisted it’s up to the generals, and then removed some of the generals who said more troops would not be necessary.
- He has trumpeted the turning points:
- The fall of Baghdad, the death of Uday and Qusay, the capture of Saddam. A provisional government, a charter, a constitution, the trial of Saddam. Elections, purple fingers, another government, the death of Saddam.
- He has assured us: We would be greeted as liberators — with flowers;
- As they stood up, we would stand down. We would stay the course; we were never about “stay the course.”
- We would never have to go door-to-door in Baghdad. And, last night, that to gain Iraqis’ trust, we would go door-to-door in Baghdad.
- He told us the enemy was al-Qaida, foreign fighters, terrorists, Baathists, and now Iran and Syria.
- He told us the war would pay for itself. It would cost $1.7 billion. $100 billion. $400 billion. Half a trillion. Last night’s speech alone cost another $6 billion.
- And after all of that, now it is his credibility versus that of generals, diplomats, allies, Democrats, Republicans, the Iraq Study Group, past presidents, voters last November and the majority of the American people.
You have lost the military. You have lost the Congress to the Democrats. You have lost most of the Iraqis. You have lost many of the Republicans. You have lost our allies.
You are losing the credibility, not just of your presidency, but more importantly of the office itself.
And most imperatively, you are guaranteeing that more American troops will be losing their lives, and more families their loved ones. You are guaranteeing it!
This becomes your legacy, sir: How many of those you addressed last night as your “fellow citizens” you just sent to their deaths.
And for what, Mr. Bush?
So the next president has to pull the survivors out of Iraq instead of you?
I'm glad, finally, that people are speaking up, that Congress and the Senate are fighting back, that the Democrats have the majority in both houses, but what the hell took so long? How did so many people allow themselves to be persuaded by this guy? Was everyone really that afraid? Did everyone decide that they'd rather give up their personal freedoms on the off chance that we might be safer some day? Did no one think that going in to the Middle East was only going to increase how pissed off the fundamentalists were going to get? I don't get it. I've never gotten it. Bush is now able to listen to our phone conversations, read our emails and intercept our regular mail and he's done all this via special signing statements, not by going through the normal routes and getting warrants. No, just because he says he can, thus, hey, presto, he can. How does this not outrage everyone? Why are people just sitting back and saying "Ok, go ahead, read my mail, listen to my phone calls, I don't care." Well, you bloody well SHOULD care!
The November elections were a great start. Now, please, please, please, can we elect someone in 2008 who can act more like a President and less like a dictator?