President Bush is right when he says that politicians and media who insist he “lied” or “mislead” America into the Iraq conflict are damaging the war effort and hurting the country. Many Americans are tired of hearing Howard Dean and The New York Times whine about “misleading.” If you have verifiable information that the President knew there were no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction but went ahead and invaded anyway, please post said information. If not, please go back to demanding all Supreme Court justice nominees embrace abortion.
And by the way, please consult Dan Rather and Mary Mapes if you are going to use documents to prove President Bush a liar.
For me, the issue is fairly easy. Bob Woodward, the hero of Watergate, reported that CIA chief George Tenet told Mr. Bush face-to-face that Saddam’s possession of WMDs was a “slam dunk.” I believe Woodward and Tony Blair and a variety of foreign intelligence agencies who have acknowledged believing Iraq had WMDs. Forgive me, but I don’t believe Howard Dean.
Anyway, let’s do what’s best for the country, shall we? Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise for all Americans? Let’s get out of Iraq as quickly as possible without allowing the terrorists a victory. Can we do that?
Maybe. President Bush must know the Iraq campaign is not turning out the way he thought it would back on that Naval ship a few years ago. The mission of removing Saddam was accomplished, but many of his merry men are still running around blowing up people. And no military machine on earth can stop that. Terrorists will be assassinating folks long after all of us alive today are dead and buried. If a nut wants to blow somebody up, chances are good the nut will succeed.
The problem for America now is that we have politicians trying to get elected using the chaos of war. This is wrong. The USA is far better off if Iraq becomes a stable ally against the terror jihad. There is no denying that. So why all the undermining? Let’s win the damn thing.
But there must be a time limit. Mr. Bush and his crew have to understand that American blood and treasure is not unlimited. It is not undermining the war to suggest giving the Iraqis a realistic private timetable to defend themselves. Basic training for a U.S. soldier is six weeks. We’ve been training the Iraqi army for almost two years now. Even Gomer Pyle would be up to speed.
The polls show most Americans have turned against the war, and who can blame them, with the media pounding home a depressing picture every day. And there are plenty of depressing images to show. Although most of the country is pacified, Baghdad remains a nightmare. And that’s the big dog.
Fox News correspondents tell me they can’t go out for a cup of coffee in the capital city because it’s too dangerous. That’s brutal. Based on that scenario, the war is not being won.
But voting is happening, and business is being done. So let’s build on that and give the Iraqis a realistic time frame to fight their own fight. I don’t want to mislead anyone, but that’s what the USA should do. We need to get out of there.