Why the Bush White House is retarded

Christopher Hitchens noted in an op-ed several months back that he was only forced to make the case for the invasion of Iraq so loudly because the Bush White House seemed to think it didn’t have to talk at all.

I believe that the invasion of Iraq is defensible on multiple fronts–humanitarian, regional security, national security and the more cosmic aims of human liberty. If anyone would like to take me on one of those points, I’m happy to engage.

But why–with the most powerful pulpit in the world–have we not had Dick, Condi, Paul, Don and company out making the case week by week? Why should Americans not have it made abundantly clear (with speeches, powerpoints, detailed updates on progress) WHAT was horrific destruction and capricious terror ruled in Saddamite Iraq, WHY it is so valuable that we are there now, HOW people’s lives might be changed if we stay the course, WHY it is so vital that we not fall short in our current obligation to the Iraqi people…

Unfortunately some of the most vital info cannot be shared. Russian intel about Iraq because of our existing protocols with them. Israeli intel because Tony Blair did not want the Iraq cause tied to Israeli sources. And Jordanian intel because the Jordanians don’t want to be known in the Arab world for having tattled on Saddam to Western intelligence.

But all of that said… there is much to tell, much to explain that would vividly make the case for our decision to invade Iraq and our presence there now. The failure of the Bush admin to even attempt such efforts at public explanation is a colossal failing that has (I believe) its roots in the insular environment engineered by Dick Cheney. But whatever the reasons, the lack of clear public communication will go down as the worst mark for this administration.

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7 thoughts on “Why the Bush White House is retarded

  1. Stu, I agree. There were plenty of good reasons to go into Iraq. The admin seems to believe that the sheer goodness of their intent should be obvious because they assure us of its existence. I don’t understand that sort of arrogance. Why would politicians ever assume that they don’t have to provide explanations for their acts beyond “we thought it was a good idea, trust us”?

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  2. I, too, agree– indeed, one could make the case for perhaps two to three dozen countries (most in the Middle East and Africa) where people live horrible lives.My question is, why has this administration’s handling of virtually every aspect of this invasion– including the PR, as Stu mentioned– been done so poorly?!? I’m sutnned by the utter ineptitude of it all. We were constantly fed lines about how easy this would be. How they administration knew exactly what do to, and how short it would be. But as things got worse, you got the sense that instead of doing anything smart, all our leaders did was to disemble with comments (lies) about how, in fact, they <>didn’t<> think it would be short, easy, or inexpensive.And despite it all, Cheney, Rummey, etc., are all in power in high levels of government.

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  3. Let’s all pause to consider Lancer’s point. May I make a suggestion for this forum? We went to war, it’s done and dusted now, so let’s leave that alone. For continued discussion: why has the Iraq war been so tough? Has it, in fact, been tough (war is awful, remember)? And, even if we were right to go into Iraq (again, too late now), have we been incompetent, and should someone answer for it?

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  4. Isn’t one reason that the enemy is resorting to tactics that we aren’t or haven’t been prepared for. Our military is built to stop other armies. We’re the best in the world at it. Indeed, I read a few years ago that some military historians are saying that even in relative terms, there’s been no stronger military force ever before! (That is, even Rome (or Assyria?) in its heyday wasn’t as strong in relation to the rest of the world as the US is) But we’re not fighting another army. (We did, but we dispatched them in about a week!) It’s all this guerrilla tactis and suicide bombings. How do you fight that? Not with stealth bombers, that’s for sure.(But that said, the < HREF="http://www.f22fighter.com/" REL="nofollow">F-22<> rules!!)So we need to (and should have had) really smart, non-agenda-driven people thinking about this, and how to best combat it.

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  5. And I’m not trying to start a fight (Stu), because, as Ronan said, what’s done is done. I’m just concerned that our best chances to make a real difference in Iraq (a country I’m selfishly interested in) are being squandered.

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  6. But (and I am not saying that it is) if 24 is a remote example of what that sort of force would have to do, are willing ethically willing to allow it? Israel actually does a decent job of disrupting terrorist groups and guerillas. Are we willing to go to Israeli lengths to do it?

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  7. Are you really so deluded? We are there to make a difference? We lied about the reasons for going to war, violating international law. We lied about the costs. We are building long term hardened military bases at a cost of billions of dollars, proving we have no intention of leaving. We need to secure long term oil sources. This administration cares ZERO about the aspirations of iraqis for democracy. We have undermined democracies for decades when our commercial interests are threatened. There is a direct line from defense and energy industry lobbies through military bases and congressional districts pork barrel defense projects to Bush administration funders to foreign policy decisions to Iraq. We invaded and destroyed a country (can you imagine how you would feel if bombs rained on your city cutting off power, clean water supplies and utilities for years?)and the people are fighting back. We will spend a trillion dollars, destroy countless military families, lose our moral authority for decades, and instill bitter hatred in the Muslim world which will cause blowback for the rest of your natural life. We are there for money, for power and for revenge. Live with it.

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