Senior U.S. State Department official Alberto Fernandez who told Al Jazeera television that "there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq," has recanted his statements, claiming that he "seriously misspoke."
"This represents neither my views nor those of the State Department. I apologize," said Fernandez.
Officials at the State Dept. went even further, saying he was misquoted. As Reuters reported, State Dept. spokesman Sean McCormack came out before Fernandez recanted his statements, claiming the diplomat didn't believe the comments were an "accurate reflection of what he said."
Lots of republican jobs are threatening to come unglued in the coming months. Motivated by the prospect of being shackled to a lame-duck loser looking to commit the party to his Vietnam in Iraq for the rest of his term, more than a handful of republicans from the House have voiced election season jitters with Bush's 'stay the course' strategy. In the Senate, armed services committee chairman John Warner, Chuck Hagel, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snow, and now Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, have all called for a change in the Iraq mission.
But, who are they really fooling? It's not enough to just point to the quagmire now, two weeks before the midterm congressional election, and expect that to substitute and cover for their solid support and complicity in the entire Iraq lie from beginning to end. It's as if they want to be treated like children on the eve of their birthday, and have us overlook the spoiled rampage their party has been on, punch-drunk with absolute power assumed from majority control of all branches of our government. They're sorry they broke Iraq, and they promise to clean it up right after the election.
The explainer-in-chief put it all together for us in his radio address this weekend: "Side by side, Iraqi and American forces are operating in the city's most violent areas to disrupt al Qaeda, capture enemy fighters, crack down on IED makers, and break up death squads," he said. "As we engage our enemies in their stronghold, these enemies are putting up a tough fight. "
Bush called his generals to the White House this weekend, and allowed the talk about a change of course in Iraq to go on for a while until his flacks jumped in with the malarkey about generals deciding 'tactics' and Bush handling the 'strategy' of it all. What part of 'commander-in-chief' did Bush not understand? There's not a thing that this administration or his republican enablers will take responsibility for. Bush would have Americans believe that it's bin-Laden, not him needlessly putting our troops in harms way, offering them up as targets for resisters to Bush's occupation and junta.
How perfectly the Iraqi resistance group who calls itself al-Qaeda (in solidarity with the organization Bush has yet to apprehend) times their violence and their violent appeals to elevate Bush and his republican party at just the right moment. They rarely call Bush out by name, preferring to direct their comments to Americans and American soldiers. Bush pays them homage in his manifestos, as well, reading directly from the statements of the thugs. He'll tell crowds of Americans out on the campaign trail for his republicans, that, "because bin-Laden says so," because the 'terrorists' say they want us to leave Iraq, that means we should stay there for "as long as he's president."
Bush wants us to buy into his feeble-minded reasoning that anything bin-Laden says he wants, no matter how ridiculously inaccessible to him, like Iraq, should be supported to the tune of $10b a month, and at the cost of an average of 2-3 of our soldiers' lives daily beyond the 2800 Bush and his republicans have already sacrificed.
How perfect, five years after 9-11, to have the majority of those assuming to lead us dancing everytime bin-Laden and his al-Qaeda accomplices tug the strings. Here's the man our government says is responsible for the most horrendous attack on our nation since Pearl Harbor, on the loose with his cohorts, effectively keeping the bulk of our nation's defenses bogged down in Iraq with nothing more than the specter of videotaped fear which Bush dutifully quotes in his speeches. It's not hard to imagine Bush knowing the fugitive megalomaniac long dead and continuing, nonetheless, to exploit the fear of the bogeyman he's barely pursued.
"The terrorists are trying to divide America and break our will, and we must not allow them to succeed," Bush said.
How perfectly ridiculous to sit in Iraq with a chip on our soldiers' shoulders and wait for bin-Laden to appear there; wait for forces to build which resemble the hate and recriminations which have characterized the motives of most of the violence around the world against Americans, our allies, and our interests. The "arrogance" and "stupidity" of that 'strategy' is stunning. It doesn't take a diplomat to figure out that bin-Laden is perfectly comfortable, on the loose in Afghanistan/Pakistan, with our "overstretched" troops fighting and dying on one side of an escalating civil war, far away in Iraq.