Thursday, June 28, 2007
My advice to Republicans Part VII
Remember when that gaggle of house Republican moderates went to the White House and had a frank one on one discussion with President Bush? One of the messages they had for the President was that he had lost all credibility with the American people regarding the Iraq war. If future statements on the situation in Iraq were to be believed, those statements would have to come from General Petraeus.
I knew when that meeting occurred that the President would not be able to help himself. Just today Americans were provided the latest example of President Bush taking the bully pulpit and providing less than candid talking points on the Iraq war. I don't know about the rest of you, but I really hate it when someone claims some sort of moral high ground for their position, which position is based largely upon lies and deceptive talking points. (Which position additionally is working at cross purposes to the best interests of the nation resulting in the wasting of blood and treasure on a biblical scale, but this little aside doesn't really fit with the theme of this post so I'll leave it at that.)
After getting through the pleasantries and acknowledging the notable attendies, Bush gets straight to dissembling with the very first substantive statement on affairs in Iraq:
Earlier this year, I laid out a new strategy for Iraq. I wasn't pleased with what was taking place on the ground. I didn't approve of what I was seeing. And so I called together our military and said, can we design a different strategy to succeed? And I accepted their recommendations.It must be considered instructive that the very first factoid Bush tosses forth after getting down to the meat of the speech is an outright, demonstrable falsehood. Rather than heeding the advice from the moderates of his own party and staying silent, or even taking care that his statements be above reproach in regard to honesty, the President launches his speech with a lie!
The fact is that the Generals who were in place when the President shopped the surge idea to them last fall did not approve of that plan, and were replaced. In fact The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously opposed the plan. In fact General John Abizaid, then head of CENTCOM very publicly expressed his opposition to the surge, and unequivocally stated under oath to Congress that every commander in Iraq was opposed to the surge as well:
I've met with every divisional commander. General Casey, the corps commander, General Dempsey--we all talked together. And I said, `In your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq?' And they all said no'In fact this surge was based upon a paper at a conservative think tank cranked out by two civilians, one retired military and the other a noted neocon. Nothing is further from the truth than the notion that the surge is a plan forwarded by commanders or any other such military planners. In fact the Generals who objected to the surge in Iraq were canned, despite all the hot air from the President justifying the surge based upon listening to the commanders on the ground.
In fact the President is an inveterate liar and can't help himself, which is the reason he has no credibility left, and only makes himself appear foolish when he makes his ridiculous claims... which are, in fact, not factual. He simply MUST promulgate the notion that the surge is the result of listening to the military because any other explanation for the bone headed approach he has taken would be met with wide spread derision. Well... even wider spread derision anyway.
The Republican moderates who tried to get the President to shut up and have Petraeus carry the banner on Iraq had the right idea. Just today we see the Presidents newest cause celebre going down to defeat. I remember turning to my wife the other day after seeing Bush spew some nonsense about the immigration bill and exclaiming, "if he really wanted that to pass he'd shut up about it!"
I think the day is coming very soon when this lesson will get through to someone who matters at the White House. For them to have any effectiveness at all going forward they must put a muzzle on Bush. He is wedded to demonstrably untrue talking points which he can not let go of. Simply consider the President's approval ratings! Why would anyone with approval ratings under 30%, and disapproval numbers over 60% think that continuing to speechify on your issues is going to result in the sudden turnaround of those numbers. The entire nation is yearning for the day this disaster of a President leaves his office, and he wants to rub it in our noses every day that he's still the decider guy. If the White House's intention is to harm the causes they champion and remind Americans every day why we detest Bush's leadership... just let him keep up the daily speeches and other such appearances.
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