Tuesday, October 03, 2006

No More Free Passes For Bush and Company on Iraq

As everyone may know by now, Bob Woodward has out a new book in which he takes the Bush Administration to task for their mismanagement of Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

In the book, there are several explosive revelations about the Bush team and post war Iraq. They include: (from Wiki)
  • Andrew Card resigned because of concerns about how the public would perceive the administration's handling of Iraq in the future and that he had twice tried to persuade President Bush to replace Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld[2].
  • The book alleges Tony Blair repeatedly complained the U.S. government denied U.K. security services access to intelligence, and even after George W. Bush promised to address the problem, officials within the The Pentagon side-stepped the issue by creating a parallel secure network.[4].
  • Although members of the Bush administration publicly said the situation in Iraq was improving, internal reports and memos distributed between various government agencies, including the White House and the The Pentagon, acknowledged the situation was worsening.[1]
  • Condoleeza Rice, hired old friend Philip D. Zelikow to go to Iraq and give her a detailed report (and gave him authority to go anywhere and ask anything). On February 10, 2005, two weeks after Rice became Secretary of State, Zelikow gave her a 15-page, single-spaced memo. According to Woodward, Zelikow wrote: "At this point Iraq remains a failed state shadowed by constant violence and undergoing revolutionary political change."[6]
  • Robert D. Blackwill, the National Security Council's top official for Iraq, was deeply disturbed by what he considered the inadequate number of troops on the ground there. He told Rice and Stephen J. Hadley, her deputy, that the NSC needed to do a military review. Rice had made it clear that her authority did not extend to Rumsfeld or the military, and the matter was dropped.[6]
  • When Stephen J. Hadley replaced Rice as National Security Advisor, he assessed the problems from the first tearm. Woodward quotes him telling a "colleague" on February 5, 2005, "I give us a B-minus for policy development and a D-minus for policy execution."[6]
  • General John P. Abizaid, head of U.S. forces in Iraq, visited U.S. Representative John P. Murtha in Murtha's office and held up his index finger about an inch from his thumb, telling Murtha "We're that far apart" on Iraq policy.[6]
  • "One of Kissinger's private criticisms of Bush was that he had no mechanism in place, or even an inclination, to consider the downsides of impending decisions. Alternative courses of action were rarely considered."[6]
As you can see by the points above, Woodward pretty much confirms what everyone already suspected: Bush and company are in denial about how bad things are in Iraq and continue to insist we stay the course despite widespread opposition from numerous well respected experts.

This has to change. Clearly, it is time for a new vision in Iraq. It is time to implement new ideas and new strategies so we will actually have a chance of victory there.

We cannot have any more rubber stamp Republicans in the Senate like Bob Corker who will continue to go along with the President and his failed policy.

We need to send someone to the Senate who actually has some new and innovative ideas of how we can succeed in Iraq and someone who will stand up to the President when he is wrong as he is on Iraq.

Harold Ford Jr. is just the man for the job. He was one of the first members of Congress to call for Donald Rumsfeld to go and has offered the President a real plan for Iraq that contains bold solutions.

It is time we hold the President and this administration accountable for their actions and help out our brave men and women in Iraq.

Send a message this fall by voting for Congressman Ford.

Tell them no more stay the course and no more rubber stamps!