Bush hoisted himself above the rest of the nation Tuesday as he ripped into Democrats and others who dared to question the scope of his power in prosecuting his manufactured 'war on terror'. The man who was president at the moment when our nation suffered its worst attack since Pearl Harbor, and who has let the prime orchestrators of that attack run free for over five years, was taunting his detractors at republican fundraisers Tuesday with his newest vile character attack in the latest installment of his fear and smear campaign; the likes of which would make Joe McCarthy cry foul.
Time and time again, the Democrats want to have it both ways," Bush complained in a calculated line which he repeated at the next republican fundraiser. "They talk tough on terror, but when it comes time -- when their votes are counted, their softer side comes out," he said.
What could Bush possibly be talking about? Could it be the majority Democratic opposition to the torture and detention bill? The legislation, in it's conception, was a denial, led by senior members of his own party, of Bush's own aspirations for unlimited authority to detain and prosecute without any measure of justice or due process at all. Still, it eventually developed into it's own special evil, and his republican enablers in Congress gave Bush even more imperial gifts to enhance his increasingly autocratic rule. That vote gave Bush the swagger he used to lie to his republican crowd and claim he's on one side defending the nation against some unidentified threat, and Democrats on the other side letting 'terrorists' go and putting the nation at risk of some secret attack he says the CIA's torture foiled.
Bush has yet to explain why he let al-Qaeda operate cells within our own country, under his nose, as intelligence reports flagging the growing threat were waved off by him, and by his unconcerned and otherwise pre-occupied advisers. Rice says she was unaware . . . doesn't recall . . . doesn't remember the meeting where CIA director Tenet laid out, before Bush's then-National Security Adviser, warnings of an imminent attack from al-Qaeda forces. Nothing to Rice appeared "actionable" to her, or to her boss, Bush, about a Presidential Daily Briefing entitled, 'Bin-Laden Determined to Strike Within the U.S.',which surfaced a full month before the 9-11 attacks.
The 'clear record' of Bush's stewardship of our national security is a tragedy of continuing failures; a blundering overstretch of our military defenses; and an arrogant refusal to change course, even as 16 intelligence agencies warn that his militarism is actually increasing the risks to the nation instead of lessening them, as he repeatedly claims. If he spent as much time reading his own administration's intelligence reports as he does listening to Rove and Kissinger, he would have actually done something, anything, about the threats from al-Qaeda which passed through his office more than once before the September 11 attacks.
"They say that Iraq is a distraction in the war on terror. "I strongly disagree," Bush said. I think Iraq is a central front in the war on terror, and we must defeat the enemy in Iraq if we want America to be secure."
It's all so convenient for Bush to claim Iraq as the center of his terror war. He's closed down the al-Qaeda unit which was supposed to be coordinating the search for bin-Laden. He's already gotten whatever he could torture out of the 14 prisoners the CIA gave up to Gitmo. Iraq's the one place Bush can point to where he can direct our troops around like toy soldiers while he postures as protector from the violence he's recklessly stirring up. "There are some who feel like that conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is 'bring them on'," Bush told reporters in the White House Roosevelt Room in 2003.
Sadly, American soldiers serve as targets in Iraq, and their lives are no less important than ours here in the states. Inviting attacks on Americans overseas is an amazing retreat from the peaceful influence of a great nation of justice; humbled by bloody, devastating wars; and witnessed to the power of liberty, and to the freedom inherent in the constitution we would wisely defend with our peaceful acts of mercy, charity, and tolerance. But, Bush is unconcerned with the safety of those he places in the way of his "ideological struggle" that he wages with the lives of our soldiers. Over 2700 U.S. soldiers' lives have been sacrificed by Bush in Iraq to satisfy his imperialistic ambition to own Iraq for his own aggrandizement, and dominate the Middle East by virtue his ability to direct the overwhelming force of our nation's military from there, to unleash wanton death and destruction across sovereign borders on a whim.
It is as a result of the spoils of our political system, as well as the collective cowardice of Congress, that one party has been able to prop Bush up and enable him to pilfer almost every measure of power and control that was on his wish list. The torture and detention legislation is no exception. It's an election-season document; its constitutional value not worth any more than the scant attention Bush gives any law. It's not terrorists that Bush is interested in at all. He's eagerly willing to shame the office he was gifted with by the American people as he uses the security of our nation as a mere pawn in his cynical political campaign to hold on to the power.
If Iraq is truly the 'center' of his focus in his 'war on terror', then we have no hope in securing our nation; not if he holds to his promise to stay in Iraq "as long as he's president." The American people should have had enough of being called "soft" and "weak" for disbelieving Bush's lies about Iraq. They're accused in his fear and smear campaign (along with their Democratic representatives in Congress) of putting the country at risk of terrorism - like Bush himself allowed in 2001- for demanding a check on the unconstitutional power his republican enablers are granting him under the pretext of 'protecting' us from the chaos that his own military bungling has caused.
Fifty-seven percent in the poll say the conflict has made the U.S. less safe from terrorism; unconvinced by Bush's boasting that his policies and actions have "made America safer and the world a better place." Sixty-one percent say they oppose the war, and 66% percent say they disapprove of Bush's handling of the occupation in Iraq. Bush's answer?
"The first thing I would ask the Democrats is, do they truly believe the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein still in power?" Bush asked the fundraiser crowd. "And if so, they need to say it loud and clear -- because I know full well that this state sponsor of terror, a person who had used weapons of mass destruction, a person who invaded his neighbors, the sworn enemy of the United States, someone who was shooting at U.S. pilots, someone who defied the United Nations resolution -- removing him from power has made America safer and the world a better place."