Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
According to comments made in the past several days by Tony Snow, the US Commander in Iraq, Gen. Casey, US Ambassador to Iraq, Khalilizad, Scott McClellan, and George Bush himself, the Bush Regime has now set forth what they have previously referred to as a “cut and run” strategy for Iraq. That is they have proposed a timetable for American withdrawal and full Iraqi takeover of “security” within the next 18 months or so. Funny how “traitorous, unpatriotic, loser talk about dates certain and scheduled withdrawal” suddenly becomes Georgite policy, but what the hey. It does present the O’RHannibaugh Privatized Ministry of Propaganda with a spin design project of monstrous proportions, but they will figure out a way, I’m sure. I have said elsewhere that I was sure this was going to happen, because the Georgites have achieved their two principal objectives in Iraq: the carving out of a Kurdish US protectorate, with all of that oil, and the completion of the string of US bases in the Iraqi Western Desert. But I thought that it would wait until after the elections and the formal deliverance of the “Baker Report” so that Bush would not once again look like the flip-flopper he is. However, the Georgites, having made the decision on policy already, are now going to use it to their best advantage to try to defuse what is one of the three major issues favoring the Democrats, the other two being the true state of the economy despite the numbers and massive Republican corruption/incompetence. Does this mean that the Democrats, who have been gradually getting bolder on the war issue, need to back off from attacking the Georgites on national defense and national security issues? Not at all.
Especially since events have proved the anti-war Democrats to have been correct, they should if anything become bolder. Now is absolutely the time to attack Bush where the Privatized Ministry of Propaganda keeps telling us that he is the strongest, but he really is the Emperor without clothes. He ain’t strong. He’s weak. He’s a loser. He has sacrificed our nation’s strength, its honor, and its Constitution for the benefit of the massive corporations that put him and his puppet-master Cheney in power. Let’s go for it. 1. Protecting the nation from terrorism? 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch, despite ample warnings. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor warned Rice. Richard Clarke tried to warn Bush. There was the starkly worded August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing from the CIA. There were the myriad FBI warnings about the flight “students” not caring about taking off or landing, only flying level. There were the Air Defense mess-ups on 9/11 itself. There was Ashcroft turning down an FBI request for $800 million in additional funds to fight terrorism — on 9/10/06. Protecting the nation from terrorism? Hah! Why should we trust you with that task? 2. In the two initiatives he took, Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush has proved to be a loser. Both wars are going badly, and it appears that they can only get worse, both for us and for the peoples of those two nations. 3. If the Georgites did not mis-lead about the reasons for going into Iraq, as the recent report of the Senate Intelligence Committee showed, they were totally incompetent in handling the intelligence information about what the true situation was. Why should the nation continue to trust them?4. As an increasing number of retired US generals are telling us, the Georgites have depleted and weakened our armed services in fighting two wars for which it is ill-equipped and not properly trained. 5. They have turned the world against us (see Pew Research international poll from early summer 2006). 6. According the recent National Intelligence Estimate, they have created large numbers of new terrorists, not reduced their ranks. 7. They have done very little to strengthen homeland security and what they have done has been only grudgingly undertaken in response to repeated Congressional prodding. 8. They are totally incompetent in handling natural disasters. They could be even worse in handling man-made ones. 9. They have depleted the national treasury by going to war on borrowed money while making the nation’s rich even richer with their ever-expanding tax cuts. 10. They love military solutions to problems that cannot be solved using the military. 11. Safer now than five years ago? That’s a laugh. Just consider: rising troop deaths, declining military strength (except for nukes and very expensive, highly profitable weapons systems that are of absolutely no use against the kind of insurgency we face in Iraq.) Moribund Constitutional Democracy. The growing, reborn Afghani insurgency, plus the largest heroin crops ever. Osama’s still out there. N. Korean nukes. Iranian nukes. Finally, some Democrats say, “oh, but there is the sound bite problem.” In a recent speech before the Reserve Officers Association, Bush shouted: “You don’t increase terrorism by fighting terrorism.” A friend commented: “Good line. Punchy. A classic sound bite. Meaningless, also. But we just don’t have good ones.”Well, some folks give up too easily. Here are a few sound bites for you. “This Administration has never fought terrorism. It’s about time we started.” “You don’t fight terrorism be creating terrorists.” “You don’t fight terrorists by destroying countries.” Then there’s this one: “‘Cut and run?’ How about ‘Stay and drown.'” It’s not the phrases that are tough. It’s deciding to attack instead of defend that’s tough.
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This column was originally published on BuzzFlash on Wed, 10/25/2006 – 7:54am.
http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/jonas/024 Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) a weekly Contributing Author for The Political Junkies (www.thepoliticaljunkies.net) and a Columnist for BuzzFlash.(This column is based in part on my column “Democratic Ideas XIV: Attack on Defense Revisited, that appeared on The Political Junies.net on October 12, 2006)