Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Bush has Done in Six Years

Courtesy of Eric Alterman on Altercation:

"September 11, 2007: "How I Spent the Last Six Years," A brief list that might easily have been written by George W. Bush.

Regarding the attacks:

  • Ignored persistent warnings of an imminent terrorist attack.
  • Continued reading The Pet Goat ...
  • Went up in Air Force One after having been informed it was a likely target.
  • Spent the day in a panicky runaround, leaving it to others to reassure and inform a shocked nation.
  • Later sold photographs of self on same day for purposes of Republican fundraising.
  • Purposely misled rescue workers and volunteers about the safety of the air quality around Ground Zero.
  • Declared, like Wyatt Earp, to capture Bin Laden "dead or alive."
  • Told the rest of the world either they were "with us or against us," like Superman or something ...
  • Ignored the fact that most of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia; pretended they were from Iraq.

Regarding Afghanistan:

  • Refused the help of NATO.
  • Squandered numerous opportunities to capture bin Laden, allowing him to escape at Tora Bora and elsewhere.
  • Rejected a more effective strategy of police work and targeting killings for mass bombings that helped alienate the population.
  • Allowed the Taliban to regroup and rebuild.
  • Allowed Al Qaeda to regroup and rebuild.
  • Allowed heroin production and exports to increase.
  • Allowed country to lapse back into chaos and threaten nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Regarding America:

  • Insisted on the right to arrest American citizens and hold them indefinitely without right to habeas corpus, thereby invalidating virtually the entire Constitution.
  • Kidnapped individuals for the purpose of "rendition" and certain torture, violating national laws at will.
  • Opened secret torture prisons in former police states and lied about it.
  • Wiretapped American citizens without warrant or lawful authority.
  • Monitored the actions of loyal patriotic organizations without warrant or lawful authority.
  • Attacked patriotism of everyone who questioned mindless path to self-destruction and attacked media sources who informed Americans of the actions of their government as having "blood on their hands."
  • Set up ineffective, scandal-plagued Department of Homeland Security.
  • Failed to protect obvious targets like nuclear and chemical power plants, ports, and the like.
  • Hyped phony arrests of unserious nutcases as victories in war on terrorism.
  • Refused New York City sufficient funds to protect itself from future attack.

Regarding Iraq:

  • Lied about evidence of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Lied about ties to Al Qaeda.
  • Lied about Iraq's nuclear weapons program.
  • Lied about infamous "Prague meeting."
  • Lied about lying about all of it.
  • Attempted to destroy reputation of loyal government servant, Joe Wilson.
  • Lied about willingness to fire anyone involved with doing so.
  • Failed to provide troops with sufficient body armor, vehicular protection.
  • Insisted on repeated stop-loss orders.
  • Cut medical spending for wounded veterans, resulting in substandard care for the wounded.
  • Refused to allow photographs of honored war dead.
  • Refused to attend funerals of killed soldiers.
  • Refused to give a military recruitment speech.
  • Told Americans to go shopping; offered further tax breaks to the wealthy, asking sacrifices of no one but soldiers and their families.
  • Opened and maintained a prison at Guantánamo that violated U.S. and international law, branding the United States as a rogue nation.
  • Misled Congress for purposes of securing war authority.
  • Failed to send sufficient troops for post-invasion occupation.
  • Failed to heed any postwar planning recommendations.
  • Failed to ensure restoration of order, post-invasion.
  • Failed to secure weapons sites, post invasion.
  • Failed to reach out to population.
  • Refused to count numbers of civilian dead and wounded.
  • Failed to set up functional government, police force, etc.
  • Arrested innocent individuals for the purpose of torture.
  • Lied, once again, about ties to Al Qaeda.
  • Failed to re-assess failed strategy, refused to replace incompetent subordinates.
  • Failed to heed message of 2006 congressional elections to draw down war, escalated it instead.
  • Failed to heed both Iraqi and U.S. population's repeatedly polled preference for withdrawal.
  • Squandered sympathy of entire world, drastically sinking global opinion of the United States.
  • Squandered hundreds of billions -- and, ultimately, trillions -- of dollars, destroying a functioning nation.
  • Strengthened Iran.
  • Strengthened Syria.
  • Strengthened Libya.
  • Weakened Israel.
  • Weakened Jordan.
  • Weakened Egypt.
  • Killed more than 3,000 Americans.
  • Wounded nearly 30,000 Americans.
  • Killed and wounded untold hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
  • Provided recruitment material for terrorists the world over.
  • Continually attacked the patriotism of those who suggested alternatives that might have avoided much of the above.
  • Redoubled "determination," "strength," "grit," etc., every time any of the previous disasters was discovered.
And perhaps most amazingly of all: Got most of the mainstream media to go along with almost all of it ..."

So much destruction in only six years. Breathtaking in its own way. We are weaker, poorer, less safe, on the verge of several disasters (economic, environmental, military), and yet a morally and intellectually retarded rump group in this country has just enough power at the polls and in the media that we cannot impeach this bastard.

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