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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Cheney on the soap box

Yahoo! News - Cheney Blames Democrats for Gas Prices
"Cheney said the heart of the strategy for the war in Iraq is to do what the coalition is doing in Afghanistan and Iraq training, supporting and equipping locals to take over the political and security responsibilities for their own country.
'We don't want to leave too soon and leave a mess there,' he said. 'The bottom line is ... to leave behind the kind of government that will never again be a safe haven for terrorists.' "

I guess I must have snoozed off at some point...when were Iraqi terrorists bothering us before the war? You can dicker all you want about how mean Saddam Hussein was. That's fine. No arguments here. Saddam was a real jerk. But if you're going to argue that the whole point of this war was to leave a government where terrorists won't be protected, you might need to take another look at the map. That was Afghanistan silly! You've started a new war since then!!

Cheney's statement doesn't even stand up to the faintest scrutiny, and thanks to the American media, it didn't. There were no Iraq / al-Qaida ties before the war. How much longer can the vice president insinuate or say that there were? It's not being misleading, it's being flat-out dishonest.

While we're on the subject...for those who don't remember,(and apparently there are some who don't remember because they're still running the executive branch of our government), where did 15 of the 19 hijackers come from? Saudi Arabia. And who's buddies with the Saudi royal family? The president? You're right. That's downright peculiar, but it probably doesn't have anything to do with all this.

So...we invaded and toppled a secular (granted, very very bad) regime that was doing a very thorough job of repressing Islamic fundamentalism, opened a new front in the 'war on terrorism' while Afghanistan was still a mess, and all the while we've ignored the (also brutal) Saudi regime? All in the same of American security? Why is this ok? Let me get a few things straight, too. I don't see how the neo-con's were ok with this; the oil we'll get out or Iraq can not possibly be worth the tremendous military commitment we've made (not to mention hurting our ties with Europe, giving bin Laden a new front, and driving the deficit through the roof). At some point the Republicans who still have opinions independent of the White House are going to have to debate seriously whether Kerry better represents the traditional/historical (excluding, obviously, the evangelistic) interests of the republican party. McCain might have lost the primary 4 years ago, but with hindsight it's pretty clear that his administration would have been more "in the mainstream" than Bush's has been.

Furthermore, I'm not advocating war with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, or any where else that is obviously a more likely sponsor of Islamic fundamentalism than Iraq, but I'd gently suggest that burying our military for the foreseeable future in a country where it wasn't needed for American security was, uhm, dumb. So the Republicans can gleefully call Kerry a flip flopper and keep it comprehensible for the NASCAR crowd, but the way I always figured it, when you make a mistake (as the Bush administration's dubious handling of pre-war intelligence allegedly was) you learn from it. If Americans really believe that changing your position when you've been deliberately mislead is a sign of weakness or stupidity, America deserves another four years of Bush and whatever atrocities that come with it.