THE REMARKABLE CONSISTENCY OF MR. BUSH
By Jack Random
“A president has to wait for all the facts before jumping to a conclusion.”
-- GW Bush on the campaign trail, October 2004.
Have we forgotten March 21, 2003, the day of Shock and Awe, so soon? Have we forgotten the pleadings of United Nations inspectors Hans Blix and Mahamed ElBaradei for the Security Council and the Bush administration to wait for the facts before we jump to the conclusion that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction? Have we forgotten that they were right, that the administration was wrong, and that Iraq did not in fact possess weapons of mass destruction?
The president lambastes his opponent for not waiting until after the election to level the charge of executive malfeasance in the loss of mass quantities of conventional explosives. It has been a year and a half since the invasion of Iraq. There is no question but that the administration was officially warned about the Al Qa Qaa facility well in advance of the war. We can assume, then, that the administration has had plenty of time to determine the facts and come to a reasoned conclusion. That they have either not done so or have chosen to bury the facts until after November 2, is all the revelation we require. The administration ought to know where the explosives went yet it appears they do not. The commander-in-chief ought to have gone to great lengths to secure the facility yet clearly did not.
That the president has been less than forthcoming with the American people is nothing new. His entire presidency has been based on the policies of exploitation under the cover of deceptive propaganda, with the all-too-eager cooperation of a corporate media. Questioning the president’s competence in his handling of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is also nothing new. It has never been a challenge to the courage or competence of our troops on the ground.
When we failed to capture or kill Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora, it was the commander’s call. When we failed to take out Abu Musab Zarqawi in northern Iraq before the war, it was the commander’s decision. Finally, when we opted to guard the Oil Ministry before turning our attention to massive caches of explosives, it is the commander’s responsibility.
These are by no means the central issues of this election.
The president has taken the nation to war based on a package of lies and deceptions that millions of Americans still believe: that Saddam Hussein was connected to Al Qaeda and the attack on this nation; and that Iraq possessed massive stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. From all accounts, we know that the deception was planned and deliberate.
As a result, over 1,100 American soldiers and 100,000 Iraqis are dead.
On the central questions, the facts are in and they allow only one conclusion: The reign of George W. Bush must end.