Saturday, November 12, 2005

A time to attack

President Bush yesterday chose to attack those who question the decisions for going to war in Iraq, suggesting that they are undermining the war effort (and, presumably, less American). I have some problems with this speech he gave.

First, it was Veteran's Day. This is a day to honor, remember, and thank those who donned the uniform and defended this country. It was a day for ALL Americans to show their respect and thanks. The decision to attack one demographic on this national holiday suggests that President Bush, who promised to be a uniter, not a divider, has foregone that promise and chosen to pander to his partisan baseline. Personally, I'm offended by this decision and strongly disagree with the choice to attack on the day he did. He could have chosen any day for shameless politicking, and not detracted from the sacrifices made by the millions of Americans who have served over the years.

Second, his speech was inaccurate. He said that Congress had the same access to intelligence that the Executive staff had - hinting that Congress should look in the mirror before looking at the Commander in Chief. His statement is partly true. The overwhelming amount of information suggested that Iraq had weapons of mass destriction. However, as the holder of the intelligence information, the executive branch had exclusive control over dissemination of said intelligence. This means that Congress certainly did NOT have the same amount of access to intelligence as the President and his advisors had. It means that whatever they got was a selected group of information, not unlike a trial brief, showing the strongest argument for one side of the argument.

Third, the President suggests that Democrats are the only ones who want hearings into this, and suggest that they are trying to "rewrite history," calling such an act "deeply irresponsible." This conveniently ignores the Republicans who want inquiries, or who suggest there were problems. To dismiss those people are "RINOs" would be to further the rift that has grown at a clip faster than at any point in the last 20 years.


English Professor said...

Great post, Steve, with added credibility because of your military service.

I am always leery of anyone leveling the charge that someone is "rewriting history," as if at any point there was A definitive history that all parties would agree was accurate. "Rewriting history" is what historians (and perhaps investigative reporters) do: they unearth new sources, they examine new evidence, they develop a fuller picture--never complete--of a time or event.

I feel quite confident that histories of the last election as written by a Democrat and a Republican would bear scant resemblance to one another.

Michelle said...

Fab post Steve! I just finsished watching much of it on tv. I am going to the White House site so i can download the transcript. I feel Bush was much more forceful with this speech......probably because of his immediate audience...he felt more confident. lets face it he probably feels like a goose....proof no wmd' link to saddam re 9/11 more Americans killed in iraq in the last 12 months since he declared war.........very interesting.It isn't re writing just the truth.