|Norm's Soapbox- My corner of Hyde Park|
Is it appropriate to question Bush policy? In a democracy it must be. In a democracy, we are all responsible for the policies he implements, and therefore must be aware and cautious of supporting what is done in our name. This is always the case, no matter who is doing what.
This president is subject to more questions. He is a minority president. He has abrogated treaties. He has taken actions in violation of the United Nations Charter, of which we are a signatory. He maintains we can not afford to maintain funding of many social programs while claiming we can afford military adventures, as did Reagan-Bush. His administration has factors that suggest greater care must be given in investigating its claims.
Members of this administration have advocated an aggressive invasion of Iraq before the election occurred, disproving that it is being done due to connection to Ossama Bin Laden's terrorists, who are as much for this attack for other reasons, as the administration. Indeed, Richard Perle, recently resigned due to possible conflict of interest prosecution, wrote much of this policy years before 9/11, and previously supported giving Saddam arms, including what are now called "weapons of mass destruction" in opposing Iran.
Dick Cheyenne claimed, in trying to gain support for the Gulf War in George H.'s administration, that Iraq had 1500 troops and heavy armor ready to invade Saudi Arabia. All evidence, including careful inspection of commercial satellite photos, find no support for this claim.
Lt. Colin Powell was the first officer to to review My Lai, and found no problem, as superiors hoped. He repeated claims in the U.N. that George W. Bush had made, and had been refuted by hard evidence.
Bush claims this war is to prevent terrorist acts. He further claimed that the war was to stop Al Qaida, and its leader, Ossama Bin Laden, was allied to Saddam. In truth, Ossama called for Saddam, a secular heretic, to be removed from power, and America to be attacked if it attack muslim brothers in Iraq. Most people studying the field, not in the administration, agree that the war has provided the motivation for a generation of terrorists.
The "Coalition of the Willing" seems to be the willing to be bought, for even Turkey fears the Kurds more than it fears Saddam, and each statement of support seems to have a price tag.
The administration keeps saying that we are freeing the Iraqi people, and they are happy to be free of Saddam, and every action against the U.S. is ordered by Saddam. The attack on U.S. soldiers by a U.S. soldier was not ordered, and the evidence on the ground suggests many of the people of Iraq are about as happy with the U.S as with Saddam.
Support of Democracy is something the administration keeps claiming is America's goal in the world. The world keeps remembering Machiavellian support of the Shah of Iran, Sadat, Mubarak, Marcos, Mobutu, Suharto, Pinoche, Franco, Papa Doc, Baby Doc, and other despots. George H. Bush and Reagan worked to get Saddam and Ossama Bin Laden removed from the list of terrorists in order to arm them. Bush has stated he sees nothing wrong with assassinating Saddam. In other words, the classic values of democracy, opposing despots, terrorists, and assassins is in fact the opposite of this administration's priorities.
This administration, as all, will end. We will live with the results. Surpluses and debts, friends and enemies, solutions and problems all tend to outlive an administration. We will live with the results, even as we pay for Reagan-Bush support of Saddam a generation later.