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Friday, September 17, 2004

Bush Lied and Soldiers Died 

The NYT is still trying manfully to toe the party line on WMDs -- Weapons Inspectors: Iraq Study Finds Desire for Arms, but Not Capacity But it doesn't matter anymore -- after a thousand deaths and 7,000 injuries (or maybe twice that, really) -- America doesn't care anymore what a delusional Saddam might have wanted to do at some mythical future time. This NYT story is a meaningless bleat in the roar of outrage building over the July National Intelligence Estimate.
This report has, I think, hit the average American like a bomb - a Witness to Mass Delusion, so to speak. People like me had been saying for months (I said it in June, actually) that the United States is losing in Iraq. But the so-called average American doesn't read little-ole-me, or other blogs like me. A goodly proportion of good people, including a lot of the news media and the pundits, went merrily along through the summer under the vague impression that basically things were improving in Iraq except for a few bad areas.
Over the last week, this impression began to change as a few generals began speaking out. Uneasiness was growing, a feeling that Iraq was turning to the worse.
Then, yesterday, everybody finds out about the NIE report -- its not just bad news from a nattering nabob of negativism, a democrat, a leftie, a blogger. Its the National Security Council, official government policy.
And not only are Americans now finding out that they are losing in Iraq, they're also realizing that the Bush administration knew six weeks ago that Iraq was a disaster, but Bush didn't tell them. They heard nothing but upbeat, happy talk from him about Iraq all through August, all through the convention, all through September, while more than 100 American soldiers died -- and he did NOTHING to change it. Hey, don't bother me, I'm too busy making jokes about Kerry and getting teary-eyed about 9/11!
Suddenly, the basic truth of the Buzzflash slogan, Bush Lied and Soldiers Died, has become obvious to America.
Tonight, Hardball actually stopped talking about the CBS memos to interview Richard Holdbrook about Iraq and the NIE. Lou Dobbs stopped talking about outsourcing jobs to interview Evan Bayh about Iraq and the NIE. Yesterday Judy Woodruff stopped covering Hurricane Ivan to interview General McPeakabout Iraq and the NIE - "I've commanded troops in combat. The least he could do is level with the troops here, let alone coming clean with the American people. This is a wall-to-wall disaster that the president has engineered our way into here. And we simply have to get rid of this administration and get started on fixing it."
The outrage is sincere, and meaningful In the NYT, Bob Herbert tracks down the last American soldier who died for America's last mistaken war. "Wars are all about chaos and catastrophes, death and suffering, and lifelong grief, which is why you should go to war only when it's absolutely unavoidable. Wars tear families apart as surely as they tear apart the flesh of those killed and wounded. Since we learned nothing from Vietnam, we are doomed to repeat its agony, this time in horrifying slow-motion in Iraq. . . When the newscaster David Brinkley, appalled by the carnage in Vietnam, asked Lyndon Johnson why he didn't just bring the troops home, Johnson replied, "I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war." George W. Bush is now trapped as tightly in Iraq as Johnson was in Vietnam. The war is going badly. The president's own intelligence estimates are pessimistic. There is no plan to actually win the war in Iraq, and no willingness to concede defeat. I wonder who the last man or woman will be to die for this colossal mistake."

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