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May 28th, 2007

I second TPM’s desire to quote Maureen Dowd:

The president said an intelligence report (which turned out to be two years old) showed that Osama had been trying to send Qaeda terrorists in Iraq to attack America. So clearly, Osama is capable of multitasking: Order the killers in Iraq to go after American soldiers there and American civilians here. There AND here. Get it, W.?

The president is on a continuous loop of sophistry: We have to push on in Iraq because Al Qaeda is there, even though Al Qaeda is there because we pushed into Iraq. Our troops have to keep dying there because our troops have been dying there. We have to stay so the enemy doesn’t know we’re leaving. Osama hasn’t been found because he’s hiding.

The terrorists moved into George Bush’s Iraq, not Saddam Hussein’s. W.’s ranting about Al Qaeda there is like planting fleurs du mal and then complaining your garden is toxic.

Had we not gone into Iraq, Iraq would still be a relatively stable wedge nation, keeping Iran and Saudi Arabia in check; yes, Saddam would have continued as a bloody tyrant, but he would have wreaked far less harm and damage in Iraq than George W. Bush has. Al Qaeda would be far less popular in the region, far less rich, and far less awash in volunteers. The American military would have done far better and probably would have succeeded in Afghanistan, bin Laden may even have been captured, al Qaeda would have been dealt a much more severe blow; our military would be in far better shape, and our budget deficits far lower; our name would not be so horribly sullied and resented worldwide, our standing and influence would have been much higher. Three and a half thousand American soldiers would still be alive, a few ten thousand more would still be in one piece.

But George W. Bush may have lost an election. So, in the end, I guess it was all worth it.

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  1. Tim Kane
    May 28th, 2007 at 22:02 | #1

    Ah yes, Mareen Dowd, when she’s not picking on John Edwards hair style, or Al Gore’s attire, or wondering why there are no good men left in the world suitable for her to marry, she’ll say something worth while.

    One can only imagine what Afghanistan might be like today had we showered it with a half trillion dollars over five years.

    The banality of the Bush administration is becoming entirely and utterly naked to all but the deranged and the willful and wanton few (some of who are my reletives, sad to say).

    The real reasons Bush wanted to attack Iraq are hard to reckon. Yes there’s the inferiority complex with his dad, yes there’s the oil, and yes there’s the desire to turn Iraq into a political satelite on Isreal’s eastern beam which would have gained Israel nearly 360 degrees of security with only Isreal and Lebanon a minor irritation.

    But the big reason has simply to do with power. Bush had a negative mandate upon entering office. But he’s the consumate bully. He doesn’t want to bargain with anyone. How do get that kind of power in a democracy when one has a negative mandate? Our system affords a president exaggerated powers during war time – that’s how.

    If Bush was serious about fighting terror after 9/11, he would have called for a draft on 9/12. But a draft would confine his actions to those that made sense to the public’s interest. So no draft. That makes the Army his personal play thing to do whatever he wants, in essence. And after 9/11 few politicians wanted to be seen as being soft on terrorism, so no problem getting war resolution votes.

    I can’t foresee what the day of reckoning will be like. But if there is any justice, it won’t be pretty.

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