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Brent Budowsky: American Deaths In Iraq Surpass American Deaths On 9-11 and President Bush Wants To Escalate Again

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The decision by President Bush to launch a preemptive invasion of Iraq was the biggest military misjudgment in the history of the American Presidency.

The decision by President Bush to show contempt for his commanders in not using enough troops was the single most catastrophic military decision by any commander in chief in the history of the Republic.

The decision by President Bush to not supply our troops with adequate body armor, protected vehicles, bandages and helmets and other essential equipment led to more preventable casualties among our troops than any other President in the history of the Republic.

The decision by President Bush to justify the use of torture and try to cover it up, was the single most morally mistaken action by any leader of the free world.

The decision by President Bush to put partisan Republican operatives in key positions of the Iraq Reconstruction was the most incompetent action in the history of the American programs.

The decision by President Bush to allow more than $10 billion of Iraq Reconstruction money to be stolen, lost, robbed, and wasted made this financially the single most corrupted program in the history of American Presidents.

The decision by President Bush to surround this war with unprecedented claims of unilateral presidential power to overrule or ignore laws, statutes, provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was the single worst abuse of the idea of faithfully executing the law in the history of the American presidency.

The decisions by President Bush from the beginning of this war to this day, have done more preventable damage to the structure, readiness, deterrence and stability of the American military than any previous president in American history.

The decision of President Bush to treat Congress as a virtual vassal and not a co-equal branch of government in the conduct of this war was one of the most constitutionally disastrous decisions in the history of wartime Presidents.

The decision of President Bush to use this war as a partisan political attack strategy did more damage than every other American president combined in corrupting both the integrity of our democratic process, and the national unity, that previous presidents have sought to maintain, and this President deliberately sought to destroy.

He calls himself the Decider, as though he sits on a regal perch, above the rest of our people, our laws, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our allies, our Congress, our Courts and our commanders who he has disrespected more than any previous President in the history of the presidency.

He organizes his Party to attack war heroes because they warned against his policies, to demean generals because they warned against his war plan, to attack our NATO allies who were demeaned as Old Europe, even to blame the American people suggesting we are traumatized by the result of his catastrophe.

The President's decision to be the only American President since 1948 not to lead a genuine search for Middle East peace was catastrophic and allowed the Iraq conflagration to spread further and further across the entire region.

Middle East peace is a hard mission, but the decision of President Bush to refuse to even make the effort, has allowed the arc of chaos and death to widen without any American effort to appeal to the aspirations of the generation of young people in the Middle East and around the world.

The contempt for different opinion, the torture policies that led to Abu Ghraib and detention policies that led to Guantanamo, the arrogance of power and ignorance of foreign culture, the corruption of Reconstruction, the defamation of political opponents, the monarchical claim of unilateral power, these wrongs and more have led to the creation of more terrorists, more insurgents, more antagonism towards America than any other President in our history.

And now the President, having looked at the landscape of this disaster, has decided: keep doing the same things, only do more of them, and escalate. In his world our allies are wrong; our people are wrong; our Joints Chiefs of Staff are wrong; our elections were wrong; the Baker Hamilton bipartisan group was wrong; everyone is wrong except those who have been so wrong for four deadly years of this war.

It is imperative for the Democratic Congress to remember that the voters voted for wholesale change in our policy towards Iraq; they did not vote to escalate this war and repeat these mistakes.

It is imperative for Democratic candidates for President and leaders in Congress to emerge who will return American to our traditional role of leadership and renew the hard search for a broader peace in the Middle East. Why not begin today by calling on former Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton to spearhead a truly American seach for Middle East peace?

It is imperative to know how deadly things have gone wrong, and how urgently we must change to set things right.

More Americans have now died in Iraq, than on 9-11.

This is not a policy we want to double up.

This is a policy we want to end.

 

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)
 

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