Thursday, November 17, 2005
The Right Question
It's been a big week for Bush and his little war in Iraq. The week began with a Democrat attempt in the Senate to introduce a timetable for withdrawing U.S troops from Iraq. Although this was rejected, in what some are calling a defeat for the President, the Republican controlled Senate instead urged Bush to outline his plan 'for a successful completion of the mission'. In other words, they want to be sure that the White House has an exit strategy. Funny, but I thought the White House strategy was apparent ie. actively wait in Iraq, whilst all the while hoping that somehow everything will work itself out. Bush is a man of faith after all. This Senate activity comes the same week as former President Bill Clinton spoke out against the war effort in Iraq. Clinton called the invasion a 'big mistake' before doing humanity the service of finally explaining the reason for the mess that is Iraq. According to Bill the chief mistake made was....wait for it, the failure to plan for what would happen after Saddam was overthrown. The old 'he won the war but lost the peace' argument. Thanks for the insight Bill. In fairness Clinton did however acknowledge some positive aspects of the effort. These included removing Saddam, ratifying a constitution for Iraq and the holding of elections, or succinctly put, bringing democracy to Iraq. In further blatant 'Monday morning quarter-backing', accusations that Bush purposefully misled the public regarding pre-war intelligence have continued in America. This has prompted V.P Dick Cheney to come out fighting against his lefty political opponents, calling the allegations 'the most dishonest and reprehensible charge ever aired in this city (Washington D.C)'. It frightens me to say this, but Cheney is right, or at least half right. I mean is George Bush really so smart that he could dupe 295,734,134 people into electing him twice, whilst simultaneously creating a convincing illusion that Iraq was a 'threat, a real threat'. As pointed out on American Prospect, "the biggest and most important of Bush's deceptions -- that Saddam Hussein was likely to give a nuclear bomb or other mass-casualty device to al-Qaeda -- was a deception was well-understood among those who cared to inform themselves about the matter beforehand. The administration's more subtle manipulation of the WMD intelligence was less obvious at the time, but an inquisitive member of Congress could have gotten a fairly clear picture of things were he or she interested in doing so". Thus, one can't help but detect a hint of hypocrisy in those who, having supported and voted for the War beforehand, now complain that they were duped. Is it me, or is that argument unimportant at the moment? I'm all for the playing the blame game, but not when the blame game distracts from a more pressing issue. As we saw with hurricane Katrina, sometimes cleaning up a mess you're in is a hell of a lot more important than trying to find out who caused the mess, or why you got into the mess in the first place. That can wait until the danger and crisis are over. This is why I applaud the U.S Senate this week. At least they are now beginning to ask the right questions.