frank rich calls bush on his bs

Frank Rich’s column in the New York Times today, “The Longer the War, the Larger the Lies,” says instead of ignoring Bush’s blather of his September 11th speech, let’s experiment, let’s take him at his word. Interesting:

On Monday night, for instance, Mr. Bush flatly declared that “the safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad.” He once again invoked Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, asking, “Do we have the confidence to do in the Middle East what our fathers and grandfathers accomplished in Europe and Asia?”

Rather than tune this bluster out, as the country now does, let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s pretend everything Mr. Bush said is actually true and then hold him to his word. If the safety of America really depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad, then our safety is in grave peril because we are losing that battle. The security crackdown announced with great fanfare by Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki in June is failing. Rosy American claims of dramatically falling murder rates are being challenged by the Baghdad morgue. Perhaps most tellingly, the Pentagon has nowstopped including in its own tally the large numbers of victims killed by car bombings and mortar attacks in sectarian warfare.

And that’s the good news. Another large slice of Iraq, Anbar Province (almost a third of the country), is slipping away so fast that a senior military official told NBC News last week that 50,000 to 60,000 additional ground forces were needed to secure it, despite our huge sacrifice in two savage battles for Falluja. The Iraqi troops “standing up” in Anbar are deserting at a rate as high as 40 percent.

“Even the most sanguine optimist cannot yet conclude we are winning,” John Lehman, the former Reagan Navy secretary, wrote of the Iraq war last month. So what do we do next? Given that the current course is a fiasco, and that the White House demonizes any plan or timetable for eventual withdrawal as “cut and run,” there’s only one immediate alternative: add more manpower, and fast. Last week two conservative war supporters, William Kristol and Rich Lowry, called for exactly that — “substantially more troops.” These pundits at least have the courage of Mr. Bush’s convictions. Shouldn’t Republicans in Congress as well?

After all, if what the president says is true about the stakes in Baghdad, it’s tantamount to treason if Bill Frist, Rick Santorum and John Boehner fail to rally their party’s Congressional majority to stave off defeat there. We can’t emulate our fathers and grandfathers and whip today’s Nazis and Communists with 145,000 troops. Roosevelt and Truman would have regarded those troop levels as defeatism.

The trouble, of course, is that we don’t have any more troops, and supporters of the war, starting with Mr. Bush, don’t want to ask American voters to make any sacrifices to provide them. They don’t want to ask because they know the voters will tell them no. In the end, that is the hard truth the White House is determined to obscure, at least until Election Day, by carpet-bombing America with still more fictions about Iraq.

It’s a pity NYT places Rich behind the TimesSelect barricade—his columns are exactly the antidote needed to the poison spewed by the current administration and its chickenhawk sycophants.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16/06 at 08:54 PM
  1. The NY Times barricades Frank Rich behind a subscription wall because they don’t want the larger common public to be able to read him. They’re afraid people will wise up and decide definitively to dump the newspaper that is guilty as nearly no other of pushing this false, pernicious, disgusting war. Shame on the NY Times!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/16  at  10:27 PM

Comments are welcome, but moderated. Spam won't be published, so don't bother.

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below:


<< Back to main