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Wednesday | October 08, 2003

Bush launches defense of Iraq

Once upon a time, Bush and his Chickenhawk cabal hoped to ride the Iraq War to an easy reelection victory, and four more years of warmongering.

But even the best laid plans go awry.

Now Bush is being forced on the defensive, launching a PR offensive to defend the war.

The attempt to gain control of the Iraq debate comes as Bush's job approval ratings have been falling and the White House has been on the defensive over a leak investigation and failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq [...]

The campaign coincides with the six-month anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein, a period marked by daily guerrilla attacks on U.S. forces and complaints from Iraqis about the slow transition to Iraqi self-rule from U.S. control.

Washington in the next six weeks will send several Cabinet secretaries on high-profile visits to Iraq to highlight various progress being made, such as the new Iraqi currency coming on line in coming days.

In addition, Bush will give interviews to regional news outlets next Monday and will devote his radio address to the subject every Saturday this month.

Good. Maybe Bush can use the opportunity to let Rumsfeld know he is fired from running Iraq.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that he was not told in advance about a reorganization of the Iraq reconstruction, which he heads. He said he still does not know the reason for the shake-up.

Rumsfeld said in an interview with the Financial Times and three European news organizations that he did not learn of the new Iraq Stabilization Group until he received a classified memo about it from national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on Thursday.

Rumsfeld was asked several times why the changes were necessary. "I think you have to ask Condi that question," he said, according to a transcript posted on the Web site of the Financial Times.

Pressed, he said: "I said I don't know. Isn't that clear? You don't understand English? I was not there for the backgrounding."

And then Bush can segue skillfully into why a WMD-less Iraq was worth the lives of 377 US and allied troops, or nearly two dead per day.

After that, he can fill us in where that $87 billion (on top of a previous $70+ billion) to fund his wars is coming from. Remember, he has repeatedly stated that he won't burden our children and grandchildren with the problems of today. So does that mean that his rich buddies will pony up and spare the taxpayers a half trillion dollar deficit?

Then he can try to remind us why we went to war. And no, it wasn't because of Saddam's human rights abuses. Otherwise, we had lots easier targets (Liberia, for one. Bush ally Uzbekistan another).

And then he can tell us all about those massive stockpiles of WMDs that we didn't find. And how his administration manipulated intelligence to make a case the evidence didn't support.

So yeah, it's good Bush wants to talk Iraq. He's got a lot of explaining to do.

Posted October 08, 2003 08:11 AM | Comments (79)


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