Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Mistakes that Were, and the Mistakes that Weren't

I don't like the Bush administration. I never voted for him, for which I feel proud and vindicated. There were several mistakes made by the Bush administration with regard to the war in Iraq. But we shouldn't let liberals have a pass on reality when they make some outlandish, unproven allegations.

I think I finally support Rocky Anderson and Dennis Kucinich and everyone else who wants an impeachment of Vice President Cheney to proceed. Because I'm sick and tired of all the innuendo, and it would be good to know what the facts are. Plus, it would stop congress from causing any more damage for a while.

The Bush Administration has made its share of mistakes--no question. I have pointed them out here on this site. But just for good measure, let me list them, along with some that don't relate to Iraq, including some that I haven't listed before.

1. Standing by his attorney general when his attorney general is a schmuck. The Clinton's had enough of the same kinds of personnel problems as Bush, by the way. I think that the Republicans (Specter doesn't count) don't generally play the part of good vultures. Democrats, on the other hand...

2. Not sending enough troops to Iraq. His generals told him that there needed to be more troops. But many of his advisors told him that it would be a cake walk. Wrong.

3. Disbanding the Iraqi military and government ministries from top to bottom. I wrote about this as being the greatest mistake in the Iraq war.

4. Not bowing to Democratic power when it comes to the obvious truths of global warming. Just kidding--I had to throw that one in! This is one thing he's actually doing a good job on.

5. Not explaining to the Iraqi people, and the American people for that matter, what our end goals are. Just not being a very good communicator overall.

6. Not pardoning border Agents Ramos and Compean, who did a magnificent job on the US-Mexican border, and who are currently being unjustly imprisoned. Not being a stronger advocate of keeping illegal immigrants from our country. Being an advocate of the North American Union superhighway.

7. Not planning for contingencies in Iraq. Not understanding (much less having and implementing) counter-insurgency tactics. Such as what happens after we get there? What if we don't find any weapons of mass destruction? What if suicide bombers start killing throngs of innocent Iraqi civilians?

That's definitely not a litany of his mistakes, but it highlights some of the worst. Now, on to the other part. Let's talk about what mistakes were not made, in light of the fact that allegations have been made that such mistakes were made.

I wish to reply to a letter to the Deseret News by BYU professor Warner Woodworth. One of the best classes I ever had at BYU was from Mr. Woodworth. Let's just say, however, that we don't necessarily agree politically. I include below one applicable paragraph from his opinion piece in DesNews, to which both of my barrels will respond.

Let me count a few ways Cheney has diminished our American ideals: using false premises for war, condoning illegal wiretaps on citizens, justifying Abu Ghraib, managing Halliburton unethically, continuing use of vulgarities, firing federal prosecutors who weren't "Bushie" enough, and on ad nauseam.

1. Using false premises for war. The claim that the Bush administration knew that Iraq possessed no WMD is the bedrock upon which nearly every other allegation against the war is made. What happens if the bedrock is shifting sand. We often think we knew a lot about something before it happened, when in reality, what we know now is what we came to know only after it happened. David Kaye, a United States lead inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency, was sent to Iraq to seek out the WMD that the Bush administration claimed was there. Kaye went, because he was convinced that he would find something. He was shocked when he did not. Regardless of what might have happened to them or whether they were ever there, the fact that experts expected to find WMD shoots the 'Bush-lied' theory down.

2. Condoning illegal wiretaps. It is interesting to note that the Council on American Islamic relations initially raised concern about Bush administration wiretapping, before it caught on like wildfire in the liberal and media (woops, same thing) communities. Whether it's wrong or not (which hasn't been proven), it is important to remember that democratic administrations have used the same techniques. The Bush eavesdrops on conversations between Americans and suspected al Qaeda operatives. If he exceeds this mandate, he should be removed from office, but prove to me that he has rather than just making a boatload of claims.

3. Justifying abu Ghraib. Maybe what Mr. Woodworth is referring to is an allegation by Newsweek magazine that new tactics to fight the war on terror turned into a de facto justification for the tortures at abu Ghraib. The reality is so much more complicated that I don't know where to start. Let me just say that abu Ghraib happened because (1) there was not a clear counter-insurgency plan, and far too many Iraqi men found their way into prison than should have, and (2) there was a much smaller contingent of military police at abu Ghraib than should have been to handle the influx of prisoners.

4. Managing Halliburton Unethically. I saw how efficient Halliburton was when I served in Iraq. I cannot think of too many companies that could have done the job that Halliburton has done there. Can you? Halliburton got the contract because they were deemed by the government to be the most qualified.

5. Continuing use of vulgarities. Did Mr. Woodworth think this about President Clinton and members of his administration? Vulgarities are vulgar, for sure, but football coaches use them all the time, for pete's sake. We shouldn't use them, I agree, but I am not qualified to cast the first stone. Maybe Mr. Woodworth is, but isn't this just litany-padding to add such a charge?

6. Firing Attorneys. He had more right to fire them than the Clinton administration had a right to fire the people in the travel office!

I assume "ad nauseam" includes the standard "blood for oil" claim, as well as the "Guantanamo is eeevviilll" claim as well. But I've seen no proof of these either.

So let's get these impeachment proceedings proceeding! I want to know what the truth is. Somehow, I don't think the liberals really want too, though. Because they already have their minds made up. And to think that perhaps they are being led by a ring in their nose which was installed by the truly patriotic Council on American Islamic Relations.

It cannot be a matter of us hating someone so bad that we expense our own military members simply because we want to win a political battle. If these things are true, then let's find them out in impeachment proceedings. But otherwise, let's keep our yaps shut. The terrorists are listening. Our politics are their "CSI", "Survivor", and "Simpsons" all rolled into one.

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