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.