This past weekend has been interesting. Here we are 5 years into the War on Terror and 2.5 years into the Battle in Iraq and President Bush has been quietly going about the business of freeing 50 million people while his political enemies have made all kinds of wild accusations against him personally as well as politically. He hasn’t said a word to directly counter these attacks(some legitimate, most not so legitimate).
Many of his “agents” have defended the policies of the President but they haven’t, and shouldn’t, have the weight of the President himself.
It’s like watching a boxing match where one fighter steps out of the corner and takes the punchs of his opponent for 5 rounds without so much as a hint of defense.
Then came this on, as fate would have it, Veterans Day:
While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.
Followed by this:
They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his
development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his
position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: ‘When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.’ That’s why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.
and then this:
The stakes in the global War on Terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America’s will.
Ahhh…refreshing ain’t it? Three solid punches that sent the “loyal” opposition to the Sunday talk shows with wobbly knees. I almost felt sorry for Senator Rockefeller when I read the transcript from Fox News Sunday at Powerline:
WALLACE: But you voted, sir, and aren’t you responsible for your vote?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: No.
WALLACE: You’re not?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: No. I’m responsible for my vote, but I’d appreciate it if you’d get serious about this subject, with all due respect. We authorized him to continue working with the United Nations, and then if that failed, authorized him to use force to enforce the sanctions. We did not send 150,000 troops or 135,000 troops. It was his decision made probably two days after 9/11 that he was going to invade Iraq. That we did not have a part of, and, yes, we had bad intelligence, and when we learned about it, I went down to the floor and said I would never have voted for this thing.
WALLACE: My only point sir, and I am trying to be serious about it, is as I understand Phase Two, the question is based on the intelligence you had, what were the statements you made? You had the National Intelligence Estimate which expressed doubts about Saddam’s nuclear program, and yet you said he had a nuclear program. The President did the same thing.
And Glenn Reynolds caught an interesting exchange on CBS:
SCHIEFFER: President Bush accused his critics of rewriting history last week.
Sen. McCAIN: Yeah.
SCHIEFFER: And in–he said in doing so, the criticisms they were making of his war policy was endangering our troops in Iraq. Do you believe it is unpatriotic to criticize the Iraq policy?
Sen. McCAIN: No, I think it’s a very legitimate aspect of American life to criticize and to disagree and to debate. But I want to say I think it’s a lie to say that the president lied to the American people. I sat on the Robb-Silverman Commission. I saw many, many analysts that came before that committee. I asked every one of them–I said, `Did–were you ever pressured politically or any other way to change your analysis of the situation as you saw?’ Every one of them said no.
See Mr. President? Come out swinging and you get some backup QUICKLY. They look to YOU, sir, for leadership.
Tonight the President will continue his rebuttle in Alaska with a few more punches:
Reasonable people can disagree about the conduct of the war â€“Â but it is irresponsible for Democrats to now claim that we misled them and the American people.
Some of our elected leaders have opposed this war all along. I disagree with them, but I respect their willingness to take a consistent stand. Yet some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. That is irresponsible.
So…here we are, well into the fight and my fighter is beginning to land some punches. Of course, it’s easy to win a battle of wits when your opponent is so incredibly unarmed.