Friday, May 20, 2005

Gasp...sputter...choke...

Newsweek relied on less-than-trustworthy sources in printing a false story that caused the US some embarrassment, and the Bush administration goes nuts. The Bush administration relied on less-than-trustworthy sources in promoting a war that caused the deaths of more than 1600 American soldiers.

Now, with that in mind, understand my stunned disbelief at what I'm hearing on NPR's "Radio Times" as callers complain about the reckless media. Bush got it wrong about war and he got rewarded in November 2004. Newsweek got it wrong about flushing a book down a toilet and people are assembling the crucifixion tools. Does this cause anyone else to want to run bitch-slapping down Market Street?

BTW, "Revenge of the Sith" was quite good. Of course the dialogue sucked and the characters flat, but that's a part of the "Star Wars" legacy so get over it. Good action, good visuals, and a nice completion to a story begun nearly thirty years ago, may the Seven protect us. Go see it.

Back to politics. Until now, I've been operating under the uneasy conclusion that Bush and Company did not lie about Iraq; rather, they looked at the data in a very biased manner and read there what they wanted to read. I'm beginning to suspect, however, that I've been far too generous in my estimation of their behavior. I think they knew, or at least suspected strongly, that there was no real cause for war other than, "We wanna get that Saddam guy." I think they hoped they'd find evidence of WMD's, and they carefully crafted the intelligence to make it seem as though such evidence existed. Yeah, yeah, I know that even Bill Clinton believed those weapons existed, but keep in mind that Bill Clinton didn't try to invade Iraq either. Maybe he knew that his administration could not meet the high standard of evidence required to justify the historically unprecedented step of preemptively invading another sovereign nation. Unless, you know, they cooked the evidence.

Hans Blix and his UN compatriots, who were in Iraq just before the invasion, said they weren't finding the weapons Bush said he was sure were there. A prudent leader would have taken this warning to heart, and stayed his hand until confirming evidence emerged. That did not happen. Bush charged ahead, evidence (or lack of same) be damned After the invasion, a humble leader would have admitted the intelligence was bad and taken responsibility for the mistakes of his administration. That did not happen. Bush instead blamed the CIA, and all of his lieutenants pointed out that "grave and gathering", which is how Bush described Iraq's threat potential, was not the same as "imminent." Given this colossal blunder, a wise leader would have learned that military force should be used only extremely reluctantly. That certainly did not happen. Bush is now rattling the saber against Iran, and perhaps next against Syria.

Bush is not prudent, humble, or wise, and I'm starting to think he's not even honest. He lied.

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