Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bush Claims Critics Are Rewriting History. Let's Play A Game Of What If ...

President Bush, in his Veterans Day speech at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania, angrily pointed fingers at "some Democrats and anti-war critics" for trying to rewrite the history of the Iraq War.

This is the same president whose administration has given countless reasons for why we needed this war, and whose administration has been wrong nearly every step of the way.

Let's review, with a little game of "What if" ...

What if the White House had listened to a host of opinions, such as U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei, that there was no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?

The White House didn't, and it ultimately was proven wrong.

What if the White House had paid attention to caveats in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, instead of making urgent claims about Iraq's WMD -- claims not backed up by the NIE. Or a Defense Intelligence Agency report from 2002 saying that most of Iraq's chemical weapons had been destroyed before 1998. Or a CIA report from early 2003 that the intelligence community has no “direct evidence” that Iraq has succeeded in reconstituting its biological, chemical, nuclear or long-range missile programs in the two years since U.N. weapons inspectors left and U.S. planes bombed Iraqi facilities.

The White House didn't, and it ultimately was proven wrong.

***

Once the decision was made to go to Iraq, what if the White House had respected the opinion of the Army's chief of staff, Gen. Eric Shineski, who in March 2003 offered that an occupying force might involve several hundred thousand U.S. troops.

Instead, it respected the opinion of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who said Shineski's estimate was "way off the mark," because other countries would take part in an occupying force. Wolfowitz proved to be wrong.

***

Upon toppling Saddam Hussein's government, what if the U.S. military had immediately guarded Al-Qaqaa weapons depot, where 377 tons of explosives were looted?

Instead, the U.S. military made a concerted effort to protect the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

Is it fair to say that these two events simultaneously armed the insurgency, and left the last impression that the reason for the war was not Iraqi WMD or even Iraqi democracy, but instead Iraqi oil?

***

Once the looting had begun in Iraq, what if the U.S.-led forces had listened to the first head of what would eventually be known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, who championed using the Iraqi military to reconstruct Iraq -- akin to a "Works Project Administration," as he told UPI. "We really need to have a massive effort to employ the youth of Iraq," he said.

Instead, the U.S. retired Garner, and replaced him with L. Paul Bremer, who dissolved Iraq's 400,000-strong army soon after American forces overthrew Saddam's regime in April 2003.

The decision is now seen as a mistake because it drove many disaffected officers into the ranks of the insurgency, fearing they had no future in the new Iraq.

It did, however, allow for a host of companies, such as Halliburton, to swoop in and grab multi-billion no-bid contracts to reconstruct the country.

***

This is not "rewriting" history. It's simply documenting all the times -- in "real time," and there are plenty of others -- that the Bush Administration failed to listen to anyone but themselves.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Luke said...

What if Bush had admitted he relied on false data to make the decision to invade Iraq?

Then the DNC might actually be in bad shape as Bush's cridbility might have increased.

***

What if Kerry had challenged the Ohio voting corruption in the 2004 Presidential Election?

Then Kerry would have had to rely on SCOTUS to do the correct thing, and review/recount the votes - and they likely would have given Bush the Oval Office like they did in 2000.

***

What if Kerry had allowed Edwards to go on the attack during their failed campaign bid?

Bush would have contested the vote in OH, and relied on SCOTUS to give him the White House.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Edmond Dantes said...

What if Democrats stopped playing Monday morning quarterback and started working with President Bush in winning the war in Iraq? The war would probably be over by now. What does America, the nation and its people, gain by second guessing decisions made years ago? Nothing but endless partisan bickering. Meanwhile our enemies are laughing behind our backs and planning to kill our innocent women and children. Wake up, Man!

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...

Edmond, why don't you WAKE UP!

If Bush and Cheney and co. LIED to the American people, that's IMPORTANT. If they lied about the reasons for this war, then there are more than 2,000 UNNECESSARY DEATHS of U.S. soldiers, and countless thousands of DEAD IRAQIS who had NOTHING to do with 9/11 or even SADDAM HUSSEIN!

The conservatives DON'T WANT TO LOOK BACK because that means ADMITTING FAILURE.

This is very important for our country today, but also for our country next year, when it once again has a chance to BRING COMMON SENSE BACK TO WASHINGTON -- in the form of Democrats to the House and Senate.

Then, we can decide if BUSH LIED, and whether his administration should be IMPEACHED.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous bullimiami said...

isnt it obvious by now. if they blame someone for it, they are doing it.
they are trying to rewrite the history we can see every day in black, white and color.

it wont work unless we learn to doublethink.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous madinmaryland said...

What if . . . Bush had taken heed of Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) of August 6th, 2001, and put security measures into place?

9/11 may never had happened, and hence all of the issues that followed would never had happened.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous BOSSHOG said...

Rewrite History
- bush served honorably in TANG
- bush was an honest businessman at Harken
- bush is a born again christian
- bush loves the poor

3:13 PM  
Anonymous MadisonProgressive said...

JABBS is da bomb!

3:14 PM  
Anonymous dazzlerazzle said...

what if he would have pressed harder and actually gotten Saddam and his family to leave Iraq and thereby accomplished something with no loss of lives or destruction? now that would have been a legacy!!!

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the Florida 2000 vote
suppression had failed and Gore had
been President? 9/11 would never have
happened. Richard Clarke had a plan
to go after al Qaeda financially and
militarily. Clinton had already
ordered the CIA to kill Osama, Sandy
Berger had already asked for commando
raids on the camps and but for the
transition action would have commenced
before the inuaguration.

Bush ignored Clarke's plan and ordered
the FBI to shut down investigations
of suspected terrorist financiers. '
The Predator drone stayed on the
ground. Warnings from 11 foreign
countries and three FBI offices were
ignored. The 8-6 "Bin Laden
Determined to Strike in US" memo was
ignored--but Bush had 24-hour fighter
cover while he ignored it. Vlidimir
Putin warned of suicide pilots raining
for attacks in the US. The Mossad
warned of 19 terrorists in the USA
that were planning to strike--and it
named names. Four of the names have
been released, all of them alleged
9/11 hijackers. One was the alleged
ringleader Mohammed Atta.

When warned of a potential al Qaeda
attack Clinton put together a task
force among FBI, Justice, and the CIA,
and they met every day and he told
them to call in every favor and shake
every tree. And they caught the LAX
Millenium bomber. There's every
reason to believe Gore would have been
just as competent. 9/11 wouldn't have
happened, Iraq wouldn't have
happened, Afghanistan wouldn't be an
opium farm, and the world wouldn't
hate us.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous SoCalPundit said...

You know how you can tell when the President is onto a watershed idea? When the liberals spend all thier time trying to rip apart the arguement he is making.

Bottom line: The American people may indeed be unhappy with the conduct of this war, but Democrats claiming ignorance in the issue of pre-war intelligence is not going to sway the nation into putting them back in power.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Democrats aren't claiming ignorance, SoCal.

Democrats are saying that we should admit the truth. It's the Bush Administration, led by George W., who want to rewrite history, and hope that the American people are too ignorant to know better.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How Orwellian of SoCalPundit.

Democrats are saying that Bush ignored facts at the time. Bush is saying that Democrats are rewriting history. Who's telling the truth?

Democrats weren't given all the facts at the time -- some of these revelations were only declassified afterward -- but certainly the Bush Administration had access to all the CIA and DIA reports.

The polls are showing the American people are catching up. It's up to the Democrats to keep the momentum going heading into next year's elections.

7:47 PM  
Blogger mgs said...

What bugs me about this whole discussion is the implicit argument that HAD Iraq actually possessed WMD, then of course we would have supported the invasion. Hence Howard Dean's (the best the Democrats could do as a national antiwar voice) suggestion to wait four months before starting the war.

I'm sorry, but I'd like to stake the future of the antiwar movement (not to mention that futures of 24 million Iraqis) to a party a little bit more consistent in its opposition to war.

We need to all stop talking about who exactly knew what when. Of course Bush lied, just as Clinton lied when he bombed the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan (the only one in the country) because it was making 'VX gas,' just as Johnson lied about the Vietnamese sinking our boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Presidents lie to cover up for their imperialist motives. It isn't new, and it certainly isn't just Republicans.

The difference between Clinton and Bush is not the quality of their intelligence (yes I intend the double-meaning), but the fact that pre-Sept. 11, Clinton could only bomb Iraq every day; after Sept. 11, Bush could actually invade.

A caveat: their is a second difference. Clinton (Gore, Kerry, Clinton II, etc. etc.) want to use the U.N. for their dirty deeds, to stave off potential challenges from Europe and China by integrating them into a global framework of security cooperation. Bush (Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc. etc.) went for broke, invaded on their own and thought they could get away with it. Either way, Iraq (and the people of the world, not to mention ordinary people here in the U.S.) suffer.

Howard Dean wanted to wait four months. That's the difference. Keep that in mind in 2008.

12:59 AM  
Blogger don dzikowski said...

In a matter as gravely serious as how the country was dragged into a ruinious war, it's all about the truth. It's not about partison motivations as many of the above commentators would like to imagine.
My response to Edmund. Let's stop right now the baseless notion the Democrats have never attempted to forward a workable strategy for Iraq.
The Democrats have been thwarted by the majority Republicans at every turn. The Republicans had held with Bush to "stay the course" and that to make any hint of a working plan or timetable sends a wrong signal to the enemy. But the passage this week of bipartison legislation suggests the Republicans have finally accepted some of the long-held Democratic viewpoints.
People forget it has also been the Republicans and independents as well as the Democrats raising questions about Bush's handling of pre-war intelligence and the war in general.
So let's stop playing the game of the mainstream media. Let's stop contributing to obscuring the truth through attempting to shove triangular-shaped arguments for and against the war into round Republican and Democratic holes.
Secondly as for SoCalpundit's fantasy of the Democrats proclaiming ignorance as an attempt to win back power. I think the Democrats, and some Republicans, represent the majority of Americans who believe sound evidences that Bush manipulated intelligence to sway the country into war are well worth looking into.
I would assume Republicans who thought Clinton's lie over a blowjob represented such a threat to national interests would agree.
Besides, many smart people of either persuasion believe you cannot solve a problem unless you fully comprehend how it was started in the first place.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Thad Enouf said...

Great post, Don. The Republican spin machine is in full force on this one. It's sad how the party of Personal Responsibility can only side with the Democrats when they are being blamed for their absolutely piss-poor leadership. They set the Dems up by claiming they have nothing to offer, yet they are the ones in power and use that power to set up roadblocks whenever a sensitive issue comes along. In reality, they are the party of excuses, doublespeak, and deception and the price the Republicans will pay for their incompetence will be lost elections for the next decade or so. Their selling of the Iraq War should be on every Republican opponent's points list for '06, '08, and beyond.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Larry Epke said...

To edmond dantes, who wrote:

"What if Democrats stopped playing Monday morning quarterback and started working with President Bush in winning the war in Iraq? The war would probably be over by now. What does America, the nation and its people, gain by second guessing decisions made years ago? Nothing but endless partisan bickering. Meanwhile our enemies are laughing behind our backs and planning to kill our innocent women and children. Wake up, Man!"

Just for the sake of argument, what actions by Democrats are keeping the Administration from "winning" the war? We have the war Bush wanted, with the number of troops he wanted. The cost to the U.S. is unlimited, there are no limits on what the troops can to do civilians or captives, no restrictions on weapons (except no nukes). There are a handful of Democrats, mostly those without elected office, criticising the war, and according to you, it's THEIR fault the war isn't won! What you be changed if this discussion weren't going on?

9:12 AM  
Anonymous texpatriot2004 said...

Well said. Bravo.

10:27 AM  

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