Mind you, I didn't want things to go too bad - but I couldn't have ever imagined that they go nearly as badly as they have.
Noone could have. Or could they?
From Crooks and Liars.
Cheney now says he didn't anticipate the insurgency's strength
On June 20, 2005 (a year ago)-Dick Cheney said that the insurgency was in it's last throes. He was talking to the National Press Club today and said:
Q: Do you think that you underestimated the insurgency's strength?
Cheney: I think so, umm I guess, the uh, if I look back on it now. I don't think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we've encountered....
"I don't think anybody anticipated"...is a phrase that sounds quite a bit familiar. Just who said that? Could it be President Bush last August on Good Morning America?
Bush on GMA
Here's the interview today with Diane. "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." Video-WMP
Isn't that interesting? It's just too bad that someone did anticipate the breach of the levees - they faxed details about it over to the White House.
A dire warning email was sent to the White House situation room by the Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) 48 hours before the landfall of Katrina that said based their Hurricane Pam simulations they predicted "breached levees, massive flooding, and major losses of life and property."
And that they even the himself President was told about it in a briefing.
During the 9-11 Commision hearings Condoleeza Rice claimed that "No one could have anticipated" that someone would fly planes into buildings, the problem with that is that her own chief Terrorism Officer - Richard Clarke - had already done exactly that.
(AP) Video-WMP Video-QT
Federal officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief of possible devastation just before Hurricane Katrina struck. Six days of video footage from briefings and transcripts were obtained by The Associated Press. The warnings were that the storm could breach levees, risk lives in the New Orleans Superdome and overwhelm rescuers.A-P reports Bush didn't ask any questions during the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck on August 29th.... read on"
In 1996 Clarke, mindful of Ramsey Yousef's plot to blow up 12 747's over the Pacific Ocean, asked this question during a planning session for security at the Atlanta Olympics. From "Against All Enemies" - Page 106.
"What if somebody blows up a 747 over the Olympic Stadium, or even flies one into the Stadium?".
Too bad Condoleeza spent the first 8-months of the Bush Administration ignoring Clarke and his warnings about Al Qaeda, she could have learned a thing or two.
So now we have Dick Cheney claiming that nobody anticitpated the insurgency. Well nobody except for Paul Bremer and Gen. Shinseki.
General Zinni "I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn't fit what I knew."Video-WMP Video-QT
ZINNI: I saw the - what this town is known for, spin, cherry-picking facts, using metaphors to evoke certain emotional responses or shading the context. We know the mushroom clouds and the other things that were all described that the media has covered well. I saw on the ground a sort of walking away from 10 years’ worth of planning. You know, ever since the end of the first Gulf War, there’s been planning by serious officers and planners and others, and policies put in place - 10 years' worth of planning were thrown away. Troop levels dismissed out of hand. Gen. Shinseki basically insulted for speaking the truth and giving an honest opinion.
The problem though is that simple facts simply do seem to be convincing in today's political climate. Approaches like (the very much UNindicted) Karl Rove's attacking of Democrats such as John Kerry and John Murtha as "cut and runners" sadly does have the likelyhood of gaining traction. Even though Murtha himself did great job of pushing back on Meet the Press this past Sunday.
Murtha to Rove: He's sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big- fat backside- saying stay the course! From Meet the Press: Video-WMP Video-QT
Russert: Cutting and Running
MURTHA: He's in New Hampshire. He's making a political speech. He’s sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside-saying stay the course. That’s not a plan! We've got to change direction. You can't sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying seventy pounds on their backs, inside these armored vessels-hit with IED's every day-seeing their friends blown up-their buddies blown up-and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, DC.
But the most important thing about what Murtha said, besides debunking the BS Spin that we "couldn't have gotten Zarqawi" if we had followed Murtha redeployment plan - we could drop a 500 lbs bomb on somebody from just about anywhere in the world - the important fact and goal in this mission has to be having the Iraqi forces stand on their own. Yes, they do finally have a Government, and the President has had his Victory Lap in the Green Zone. So why aren't the 250,000 trained Iraqi troops taking over the bulk of the security duties from our 130,000 troops?
The simple fact is that we are in the Iraqi's way. Both the Iraqi President and Vice President asked Bush for Timetable for Withdrawal. The Iraqis want it, the Troops want it, the American People want it - the only people that don't want it are in the White House and the House of Representatives.
"As Iraqi forces gain experience and the political process advances, we will be able to decrease our troop level in Iraq without losing our capability to defeat the terrorists,"Bush was Wrong to ignore Bin Laden in August of 2001, he was wrong to ignore Saddam's declaration (five months before the war) that he "HAD NO WMD's", he was wrong to interrupt the inspectors before they could confirm that fact, he was wrong in failing to anticipate what most of the career military knew was going to happen in Iraqi with too few troups, he was wrong to ignore warnings about the dangers of Katrina and HE'S WRONG NOW.
He rejected calls by some members of Congress that U.S. forces withdraw immediately.
"Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorist tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder and invite new attacks on America," Bush said.
"To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander-in-chief."
At a certain part, you have to let kids ride their bike without training wheels. Ya gotta let have the keys to the car and drive alone. It doesn't have to happen all at once, it should be a gradual step by step progression - where improvements are being made each time.
But improvement aren't being made in Iraq. Instead of kidnapping civilians and journalist, the insurgents are now kidnapping American Soldiers. I know the desire to get Pay-back can be very strong, but we have to realize that we're now the third party in the midst of a domestic dispute -- and both sides are gradually turning against us. We have to do the right thing, not just stroke our own ego.
The Iraqis have to work out this issue for themselves. The leader of the foreign fighters who made up Al Qaeda in Iraq is now dead. Future terrorists and insurgents can be and should be taken out the same way. The Iraqi forces need to be at the forefront of this conflict, and yes we should certainly be backing them up logistically and with heavy artillery and/or air resources -- but our troops simply don't need to be in harms way anymore.
It's not a matter of cowardice, it's a matter of strategy.
Bush and his supporters continue to claim that now, three years after the start of the war, the Iraqi forces still "just can't handle it". Well, if that's true exactly whose fault is that?
The soldiers have done their jobs properly, it's time for them to start leaving - with honor. It's time to let the kids take the hotrod out for spin. If they still can't handle it, then maybe they need a brand new set of driving instructors in Congress this year and in the White House in 2008.
People who know how to fucking anticipate the bumps and curves in the road ahead.
People like John Murtha of course, but also John Kerry and Russ Feingold who today posted a call for a specific Timetable for the the Iraqi forces to stand up sot that American withdrawn from Iraq, and help protect our security around the world, not just in one lone corner of it.