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The War President

 
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Pols_R_Us



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 2606
Location: Wherever

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:32 am    Post subject: The War President Reply with quote

This was sent to me with this comment: "a War President ? just a one man eye leading the blind ! how lucky he was not in charge in WW2 or today, we will all be speaking German and Japanese."

The New York Times
June 24, 2005
The War President
By PAUL KRUGMAN

VIENNA

In this former imperial capital, every square seems to contain a giant
statue of a Habsburg on horseback, posing as a conquering hero.

America's founders knew all too well how war appeals to the vanity of
rulers and their thirst for glory. That's why they took care to deny
presidents the kingly privilege of making war at their own discretion.

But after 9/11 President Bush, with obvious relish, declared himself a
"war president." And he kept the nation focused on martial matters by
morphing the pursuit of Al Qaeda into a war against Saddam Hussein.

In November 2002, Helen Thomas, the veteran White House correspondent,
told an audience, "I have never covered a president who actually wanted
to
go to war" - but she made it clear that Mr. Bush was the exception. And
she was right.

Leading the nation wrongfully into war strikes at the heart of
democracy.
It would have been an unprecedented abuse of power even if the war
hadn't
turned into a military and moral quagmire. And we won't be able to get
out
of that quagmire until we face up to the reality of how we got in.

Let me talk briefly about what we now know about the decision to invade
Iraq, then focus on why it matters.

The administration has prevented any official inquiry into whether it
hyped the case for war. But there's plenty of circumstantial evidence
that
it did.

And then there's the Downing Street Memo - actually the minutes of a
prime
minister's meeting in July 2002 - in which the chief of British
overseas
intelligence briefed his colleagues about his recent trip to
Washington.

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam," says the memo, "through military
action,
justified by the conjunction of terrorism and W.M.D. But the
intelligence
and facts were being fixed around the policy." It doesn't get much
clearer
than that.

The U.S. news media largely ignored the memo for five weeks after it
was
<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1593607,00.html>released
in
The Times of London. Then some asserted that it was "old news" that Mr.
Bush wanted war in the summer of 2002, and that W.M.D. were just an
excuse. No, it isn't. Media insiders may have suspected as much, but
they
didn't inform their readers, viewers and listeners. And they have never
held Mr. Bush accountable for his repeated declarations that he viewed
war
as a last resort.

Still, some of my colleagues insist that we should let bygones be
bygones.
The question, they say, is what we do now. But they're wrong: it's
crucial
that those responsible for the war be held to account.

Let me explain. The United States will soon have to start reducing
force
levels in Iraq, or risk seeing the volunteer Army collapse. Yet the
administration and its supporters have effectively prevented any adult
discussion of the need to get out.

On one side, the people who sold this war, unable to face up to the
fact
that their fantasies of a splendid little war have led to disaster, are
still peddling illusions: the insurgency is in its "last throes," says
Dick Cheney. On the other, they still have moderates and even liberals
intimidated: anyone who suggests that the United States will have to
settle for something that falls far short of victory is accused of
being
unpatriotic.

We need to deprive these people of their ability to mislead and
intimidate. And the best way to do that is to make it clear that the
people who led us to war on false pretenses have no credibility, and no
right to lecture the rest of us about patriotism.

The good news is that the public seems ready to hear that message -
readier than the media are to deliver it. Major media organizations
still
act as if only a small, left-wing fringe believes that we were misled
into
war, but that "fringe" now comprises much if not most of the
population.

In a Gallup poll taken in early April - that is, before the release of
the
Downing Street Memo - 50 percent of those polled agreed with the
proposition that the administration "deliberately misled the American
public" about Iraq's W.M.D. In a new Rasmussen poll, 49 percent said
that
Mr. Bush was more responsible for the war than Saddam Hussein, versus
44
percent who blamed Saddam
. (Actually, unlike the First Gulf War, this time Saddam did all he could to avoid the invasion - this last comment is from me, Pols.)

Once the media catch up with the public, we'll be able to start talking
seriously about how to get out of Iraq.
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Le Saigonnais



Joined: 04 Mar 2005
Posts: 894
Location: Saigon, Sud Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the reason why I checked out of this place. Since when is intolerance, hate, self-righteousness, bigotry, neo-fascist religious evangelism, and misplaced nationalistic fervor a set of beliefs that we should adhere to as a country...If anything, Bush just brings out the worse in American people.

I'm more a moderate than anything, and at least fiscally conservative, but the sheer self-righteous smugness of the American right, and especially the so-called Christians ('cause God knows they don't demonstrate too many of His teachings nowadays) make this country look not better and leave no better impression in the world than pre-war Germany or current state Iran in many ways...Sorry, but we are not perceived as a great nation...Having lived and worked overseas for over 4 years in Asia and traveled in many countries in Africa, Australasia and Europe, I can attest to the fact that the vast majority of people despise the current adminstration and despise the bullying nature of our foreign policy. They laugh at our poor excuse for a health system and a crime-free society, they cringe at the uneducated viewpoints they see spewing from our conservative media (left wing media bias my ass!), and they see us as the biggest hypocrites around as we preach freedom to choose your own destiny while shoving a destiny WE believe OTHERS should have down their unwilling throats...
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