July 20, 2007

Editorial:

The Iraq War, The Bush Legacy, and Democracy

After 9/11, President George W. Bush requested that Congress give him executive power to declare war on terrorism. President Bush went into Afghanistan to crush the terrorists, Al Qaeda and capture, “dead or alive,” Osama Bin Laden. Terrorist are still in Afghanistan and Bin Laden is alive and apparently doing well.

Bush then took his War on Terror to Iraq, where he went looking for “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and found none. The focus of the war then shifted to ousting the Dictator Saddam Hussein. That was accomplished but the terrorists and fighting continued on. The war then shifted to bringing Democracy to the region and stabilizing the country. So far, Bush’s war has failed to even come close to achieving these goals.

The final leg of Bush’s rationale in waging war in Iraq was to keep the United States safe from terrorists’ attacks, to take the war to them in their backyard so that the terrorists could not bring their war to U.S. soil.

This week, the U.S. intelligence community presented their first comprehensive examination of the domestic terrorist threat in 20 years. The document, formally titled the National Intelligence Estimate on the Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland, represents the consensus view of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. According to their assessment, “after the United States set out to crush Al Qaeda, the terrorist network has ‘regenerated key elements’ of its ability to attack targets in America and is intensifying its efforts to put operatives inside the country.”

At every turn, the focus and goals of Bush’s war in Iraq has only been met with failure, yet Bush has determined that he will stand strong on his commitment to continue with his war. The U.S. Senate debated, this past week, a troop withdrawal plan, with Bush promising to veto the bill if it reached his desk, stating that he and the generals would determine the future of the war.

What is apparent is that we are losing. Bush is hoping that somehow his troop surge will yield positive results, which to date there has been little to crow about, making the September progress report vital to Bush. He needs more time. The question is though, what will a six month surge accomplish that a six year effort has failed to provide?

The American people are tired of this war. Poll after poll shows the lack of support for the war and Bush’s approval ratings hover at 34%. Bush and his people are now trying to find a way out of this war without saying they have lost, like Vietnam. They will be looking for a scapegoat to blame their loss on and Bush and the Republican Party will try to salvage their reputation.

President Bush has often stated that history will vindicate him, prove him right in trying to bring democracy to the Middle East.

We don’t need the passage of time to judge Bush’s presidency: from losing the popular vote but winning the electoral vote, with the Florida miscount and hanging chad fiscal, the lies, deceit and corruption during his term; the torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, the loss of civil rights; the failure of the Iraq war and the final straw in clemency for I. Scooter Libby. Bush will go down as one of the worst presidents ever. Bush and his Vice President Dick Cheney have put themselves above the law. It has gotten so bad that what once was only whispered about in back halls and only amongst extremist, it is now out in the open – the talk of impeachment!

For now, the Senate and Congress will take a wait-and-see attitude, waiting for the September troop surge report. Barring a miracle it will be more of the same – failure!

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