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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bush Summarizes His Own Failures

President Bush's address to the nation included a statement that summarized what he feels will result from our victory in Iraq:

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship. But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world -- a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people. A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them -- and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and our grandchildren.

Read those bold items again. According to Bush, his new strategy constitutes the best (only?) chance to produce a democracy in Iraq that

1) polices its territory
2) upholds the rule of law
3) respects fundamental human liberties
4) answers to its people

The irony of choosing these indicators of success for an effort initiated by democracies who have FAILED in all of these categories in prosecuting this very war is simply astounding.

1) The United States is still clearly incapable of securing our own borders from poor day laborers seeking work harvesting lettuce or roofing McMansions, much less smart determined terrorists aiming for mayhem.

2) The United States is being led by an Administration which has repeatedly ignored decades of established precedent in legal practices involving intelligence gathering and a President who issues "signing" statements which reserve the right for the President's Administration to alter their enforcement of laws enacted by Congress as they see fit.

3) The United States, Great Britain and our allies have repeatedly engaged in extraordinary rendition of "terror suspects" from territories not within the borders of those performing the rendition to other third countries which are not the home country of the suspect so those suspects can be tortured outside any limits remotely in the range of treatment allowed by the Geneva Conventions.

4) The Bush Administration is initiating the EXPANSION of our military commitment within Iraq while it rattles sabers, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines against other mideast "enemies" (Iran and Syria) and provides not-so-subliminal back-channel support (and more? -- who knows) to Somalia, essentially fanning more war across more trouble spots. All of this within two months of an election in which the American voters served a stunning rebuke to Bush's Iraq "strategy" (or lack thereof) and a do-nothing Republican-led Congress that failed to hold the Administration accountable for the flawed process that initiated the war, failed to hold the administration accountable for the flawed execution of the war, and failed to hold the military responsible for BILLIONS in fraud and outright MISSING CASH lost in the fog of incompetence.

Bush's address wasn't a speech or a summary of strategy, it was a prayer. His attempt to rope in the "Author of Liberty" as our guide through trying times should send shivers down the spine of anyone listening to or reading his words. We've already had enough "faith based initiatives" from this man. Faith based initiatives are what produced more than 3019 dead American soldiers, 47,657 wounded Americans, probably 60,000 dead Iraqi civilians, and absolutely zero improvement in the security of Iraq, the United States, or the world.