Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is that George Bush’s fault?

Byron York wrote in The Hill Ask yourself this question: What actions, or series of actions, could President Bush and GOP leaders in Congress have taken in the war on terror that would cause Democratic leaders to say, seven weeks before mid-term elections, “We are all united in a common effort to defeat the enemy. President Bush and Republicans in the House and Senate have brought us together like never before. We see no need to change leadership.”

They did not even say that right after 9/11. They supported the President's retaliation and security requests, because they knew that if they opposed them, the country would turn against them for so long that they would never have a chance of getting into power in the next 100 years.
Can you argue, with a straight face, that there is there any set of circumstances imaginable today, five years after September 11, that would lead to such a statement? I didn’t think so.
There is nothing Bush could do, regarding not just the war on terror that would cause the Dems to say that. If he shot Cheney on National TV, absolutely guaranteeing his impeachment, and Cheney not able to take over, they still would not be happy, because Hastert would become President. They might try to drag the impeachment out until after the election hoping to have a Dem Speaker sneak in, but that would be the only possible thing.   Read More
Their only plan is OEBD (Ooppose Everything Bush Does).
So why do so many people accuse George W. Bush of “politicizing” the war on terror? That war is just the biggest issue facing the United States today, and has been for five years. How could it not be — how should it not be — an issue for intense debate by, well, politicians?
They do not support the war in Afganistan either; they just look at the hole in the ground in a state they must win, and know they can't be too strong against finding those who caused that, but they can certainly lie when he goes after a related matter that is equally dangerous.
After the president’s 9/11 anniversary speech, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) released a statement which read, in full: “The president should be ashamed of using a national day of mourning to commandeer the airwaves to give a speech that was designed not to unite the country and commemorate the fallen but to seek support for a war in Iraq that he has admitted had ‘nothing’ to do with 9/11. There will be time to debate this president’s policies in Iraq. September 11th is not that time.”

By my count — actually by Microsoft Word’s count — the president’s speech was 2,623 words long. Of those words, 516, or a little less than one-fifth of the total, were devoted to Iraq.

The other four-fifths were devoted to general memories of September 11, to the government’s efforts to make the American public safer, and to the president’s steadfast belief that the spread of democracy will end terrorism — all perfectly reasonable topics.

But it also seems perfectly reasonable to argue that if the president were to give a speech about national security on the anniversary of September 11, that part of that speech — perhaps a little less than one-fifth — should be devoted to Iraq.

In fact, given that the war is a major part of the government’s strategy in the post-9/11 world, wouldn’t it have seemed a little weird if Bush’s speech hadn’t mentioned Iraq at all?

Not, apparently, to the Democratic leadership in Congress. Talking about Iraq in a speech on September 11 amounts to “politicizing” a national tragedy.
And the Dems bitching about it is not "politicizing" it?
Okay. So how, looking back on the last five years, could Bush have made Democrats happier?

What could he have done that would have brought Democrats together with Republicans in one united effort to defeat our terrorist enemies?

Listen to virtually any Democrat and you’ll hear the answer: He should have stuck to Afghanistan.

“We all voted to go into Afghanistan,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said recently. “We should have stayed there to get the job done. Instead, the president chose to be distracted from catching Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, and now, as was described earlier, Afghanistan is in a dreadful, dreadful situation.”
And that is because there are dreadful people there, but their wings have been clipped, and other equally dreadful people in Iraq are now also dead or in jail. Now what is between Iraq and Afganistan? Are there some dreadful people there? What should we do, march back to Afganistan through that dreadful country, taking care of any dreadful people we pass along the way?
“He took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said of Dick Cheney after the vice president’s recent appearance on “Meet the Press.”

“Congress responded in a bipartisan way [after 9/11],” Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said recently, “overwhelmingly giving the president the authority to go to war against al Qaeda, the Taliban in Afghanistan. We all stood together in that. We understood the enemy. We understood what we had to do.”

But now, Democrats say, we are bogged down in a giant distraction in Iraq. We should have kept our focus on Afghanistan.

But imagine this.

Imagine that George W. Bush had remained focused like a laser beam on the war in Afghanistan.

Not content with toppling the Taliban, he sent 130,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan in a determined effort to kill or capture every single member of al Qaeda.

He accomplished much, but Osama bin Laden remained in hiding, somewhere in the world’s most inhospitable territory in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
Should we have marched into Pakistan, and turned that country, the only Muslim Country with Nukes, against us, rather than being our "friend"?
Meanwhile, resentment against the American presence built. An insurgency rose up, using improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers to kill U.S. soldiers. The American death toll mounted.
Sounds like what Russia did, and they did not succeed.
Now, do you believe that, if that had happened, Democrats would still be supporting the president’s policy in Afghanistan?

Do you believe that Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, and others would not be accusing George W. Bush of pursuing a misguided strategy in the war on terror, charging that the president was so obsessed with tracking down every last terrorist in Afghanistan that he ignored threats from places like Iran, North Korea, and — yes — Saddam Hussein’s Iraq? Do you believe that Democrats today, seven weeks before Election Day, would be united behind the president? I didn’t think so.

Blue Crab blotted Byron York points out, quite correctly, that there is literally nothing whatsoever that the President could have done that would not bring criticism from Democrats in an election year. Nature of the beast and all that

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