The Failed Columnist

A personal take on current events - political, social, cultural, educational, scientific, and other subjects.


All you need to know about me is that I have never called anyone a Macaca and I have never denied my heritage!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bush and the Price of Dishonesty

Is POTUS surprised that the American people no longer support his war in Iraq by overwhelming numbers? He should not be. The only person responsible for the public ‘cutting and running’ from ‘staying the course’ in Iraq is none other than George W. Bush himself.

Back in early 2003 when it seemed all but certain that the US was going to invade Iraq, I was arguing with one of my neoconservative friends about the impending war. He initially recited the administration’s often repeated lines that America had to go in there to remove weapons of mass destruction. However, when I debated with him that I really did not see the threat and that if that were really the case we ought to invade North Korea first, he finally conceded that in reality, invading Iraq was just a way to remake the Middle East into a peaceful democracy. I remember him saying distinctly that if Bush were to tell the American public this they would not support him. True or may be not.

You never know with the American people, may be we would have been willing to try such an experiment of bringing democracy to that region. But the point is that if the president had talked to the public as adults and told us the true reasons why we were going in and had been honest about the sacrifice that would be required, Americans would have made the hard choice on whether to support such an effort or not. Chances are that most Americans would not have supported it, but if they did they would still have been supporting the president through all the hard times in Iraq.

Instead, the president and the administration were never honest with the American people. First, we were going into Iraq to secure rogue weapons of mass destruction, those never showed up. Second, we were going to need only a few troops to get the job done, when General Shinsheki suggested we might need more; he was properly canned and showed the door. Third, we were told the war would cost less than $50 billion dollars mostly paid for by Iraqi oil. To date the war has cost more than $300 billion dollars all American taxpayer money and recent reports estimate that by the time this war is over, it would have cost us anywhere from $1 trillion to $2 trillion dollars. Finally, American troops were supposed to have been greeted with flowers and candy according to Cheney, instead they are greeted daily with IEDs and to date more than 2,500 US soldiers have been killed since Bush declared ‘Mission Accomplished.’

Now, that is not to say that the Neocon dream was impossible. It was a noble, difficult if not unrealistic dream, but not necessarily impossible. Although the means may not have been justified, the end would have been. If that had happened, History would have forgiven Bush for starting a war that was not justified if he had remade the Middle East into the Neocon dream. So with that in mind, you would have thought that after the public supported the initial war effort, this administration would have taken every step possible to execute this war competently. But no, Rumsfeld stood by and literally said, “Shit Happens” as Iraqis looted the government infrastructures in Baghdad after Saddam’s fall. One of the first acts of the Coalition Authority was to disband the entire Army, where were they going to get the replacements? The Coalition Authority we now learn was doomed from the beginning. Instead of hiring competent and experienced public servants, as we learn in the Book Emerald City, all you had to do was claim George W. Bush as your personal Christ and Savior and you were on your way to Iraq. So many books have been written on the war already and it is not even over. Yet, the theme remains the same, at every stage where a competent administration would have executed the war in a different manner, this administration failed woefully.

It has been evident for months now that the so called ‘stay the course’ strategy in Iraq wasn’t working but Bush ignored the public’s outcry and let more soldiers die unnecessary deaths in Iraq instead of admitting that the course was not working. Now with two weeks to election, Bush finally has a change of heart – he is willing to change tactics but not strategy (whatever that means). But it’s too little too late. The American people are mad – mad that the people in Washington were not honest with them and this November their voices will be heard clearly at the polls.

Upcoming Blog:

Mondaday, October 30 – Congratulations Senator Macaca! The Price We All Pay for Extreme Partisanship.

On Wednesday, November 8, the rest of the nation is going to wake up and wonder why Senator George Allen could be re elected to office after all the Macacas, Niggers, Pork Chops and Tax Filings. But we here in Virginia are not going to be surprised. All across America, the phenomena will be repeated. Republicans will win elections not because they have demonstrated competence, but because some Americans will rather vote for an incompetent, corrupt, out of touch Republican than vote for a Democrat who is competent, qualified and ready to change Washington.

Related Articles:

War Now Works Against GOP. Peter Slevin and Michael Powell, Washington Post. October 26, 2006 (

Why Bush Thinks We’re Wining. Dan Froomkin, Washington Post. October 26, 2006. (

Staying The Course Right Over A Cliff. George Lakoff, New York Times. October 27, 2006. (

The Arithmetic of Failure. Paul Krugman, New York Times. October 27, 2006. (

Iraq and Your Wallet. Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times. October 24, 2006. (

Trying to Contain the Iraq Disaster. Editorial, New York Times. October 24, 2006. (

A Shelf Full of Books Chronicle Iraq Policy, Strategy. NPR Morning Edition. October 24, 2006. (

All the President’s Enablers. Washington Monthly. March 2006


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