President Bush continues the murder spree
It finally happened. Last week, hell officially froze over. That’s when veteran GOP Sen. John Warner issued an ultimatum to a sitting president of the Republican persuasion. The silver fox told George Bush in no uncertain terms to start getting troops out of Iraq by Christmas.
I am reminded of a meeting between Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon during the height of the Watergate impeachment scandal. Up until then, Nixon stood his ground, professed his innocence and vowed to fight on. But not long after his powwow with the Arizona cowboy, Nixon became the first president to resign from office.
Of course, Bush and Nixon are two completely different people. Nixon, despite his paranoia, arrogance, occasional racial slurs and disregard for the law, actually possessed some semblance of moral fiber. More importantly, Nixon was brilliant and politically savvy. He knew when to fold ’em, and he understood that reversing his position (rather than engaging in a protracted legal battle) would eventually allow him to become an elder statesman. His instincts were correct.
Bush, on the other hand, is so stupid that he can’t grasp the enormity of the damage he’s done to America’s credibility or to the Iraqi people. That’s why he probably won’t listen to Warner. He should though, if for no other reason than the casualties which are mounting daily.
As of last week, over 3,700 US soldiers had lost their lives simply because Bush,Cheney and Halliburton invaded the wrong country and lied about their motives. Now, our men and women in uniform have become police for a civil war and targets for snipers and bombers. And let’s not forget about the innocent men, women and children who have lost their lives.
In December 2005 Bush estimated that only about 30,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed up to that point. His figures proved to be off just a tad. According to an independent team of US and Iraqi epidemiologists and Johns Hopkins University, over 655,000 Iraqi civilians have died since Bush’s invasion in March 2003 – 600,000 of them died from violence and the rest from illness and disease caused by the war. It is not surprising, then, that Iraqis are fleeing Baghdad in record numbers. Prior to the latest troop build-up in February, 449,000 Iraqis had evacuated their homes to escape the war. Since then, that number has doubled to over a million refugees. And who can blame them for leaving their homeland? If they stay, Bush will just kill them.
And if Sen. Warner’s veiled criticism doesn’t register with the president, then perhaps Bush can have one of his staff read him the latest combined report from 16 US intelligence agencies. They all concur that Iraqi politicians are not capable of healing sectarian rifts by next year, if at all. Civil strife existed in Iraq before we invaded, and it will exist long after we leave – if we ever do.
Over the past four years, several politicians and numerous columnists (myself included) have called for Bush to be impeached. I even suggested that he be tried for war crimes. There was hope among us patriotic critics that Pelosi and Reid could turn things around after they took control of congress last fall. Surely they would put a halt to Bush’s insane military strategies and illegal domestic policies. Surely they would pull the plug on Iraq spending, and have all of the troops home by now. But our hopes were dashed. Nothing has happened because the Democrats are as weak as the Republicans are stubborn. Only Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich has a plan for immediate withdrawal of all troops, but unless the election is held next week, and unless Kucinich wins, then his courageous views are moot. Unfortunately, it’s just about too late to stop or punish the criminal Bush because his term is all but over.
We can hope that boy George will heed Warner’s warning, but we all know that he won’t. In fact, we probably won’t see any troop withdrawals until he leaves office. Bush is a dangerous man who has murdered hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians for nothing. The terrorists who attacked us on 9-11 came from Bush’s beloved Saudi Arabia, and they are still wreaking havoc throughout the region. Bush only cares about big oil and the scurrilous contractors who have helped him and his family over the years. It follows then that a man like that, who stands by and lets people die, is unlikely to be affected by what one senator has to say.
Yes, hell may have frozen over, but the devil just doesn’t care.
Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today, which can be seen Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7), and Sunday nights at 10 p.m.