Archive for osama bin laden

It’s Tough to Argue with Results

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by rottenart

For the past 20 years, one of the most effective attacks Republicans have used against Democrats is the ‘Soft on Defense’ barb. In actuality, one could make the case that Democrats have far more experience (and success) with military conflict but since when has reality had anything to do with politics? It’s been a pretty devastating tactic and one which Democrats have always had a problem defending against, even when it should have been easy.

That era, however, might be coming to an end.

Three distinguished former military members, former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, and retired Major General Paul Eaton, tore into the GOP field and strongly defended President Obama’s foreign policy after Tuesday’s debate. The attacks are pretty brutal, though entirely factual:

“While President Obama has kept his promises across the globe, the leading Republicans have been all over the map, offering sound-bite critiques and shifting positions with every change in the headlines as they seek partisan advantage,” Clark said.

“If you took any six of those candidates, you might find sixteen positions on any issue,” said Danzig. “If you added Governor Romney you’d probably find forty six positions.”

Ouch.

Of course, it has the added benefit of being true. Even leaving aside the end of the Iraq war, the steady dismantling of Al Qaeda, the overthrow of Qaddafi and the unwinding of the war in Afghanistan, Obama still has an ace in the hole that the right will have a hard time attacking: Osama Bin Laden. After ten years, it was this administration that killed him. That alone should be enough to neutralize the ‘Soft on Defense’ sop.

If the Republicans want to attack Obama’s foreign policy credentials, I’m sure it’s a debate the administration would heartily welcome.

 

Bush is Feeling Snubbed

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by rottenart

The NY Daily News is reporting that Bush declined the invitation from Obama to visit Ground Zero because he feels his team isn’t getting enough credit for the Osama Bin Laden mission success.

“I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
– G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

I wonder why he thinks he deserves credit?

Credit Where Credit is Due

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2011 by rottenart

In the wake of the truly monumental news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US special forces in Pakistan, there have been numerous reactions from the media. Not surprisingly, much of the commentary has to do with the political metrics and who deserves credit. Notice any name missing from the statements of some leading GOP hopefuls? Now, with the glaring omissions out of the way, let’s turn to the statements from a few other notable figures:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor:

“I commend President Obama who has followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Bin Laden to justice.”

Minnesota governor and GOP candidate Tim Pawlenty:

President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice — and we did. I want to congratulate America’s armed forces and President Obama for a job well done,” he said in a statement.”

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

“All of this was made possible by the relentless, sustained pressure on al Qaeda that the Bush administration initiated after 9/11 and that the Obama administration has wisely chosen to continue…”

Hmmm.I guess the fact that the mentioned Obama’s name is something. And, since Bush was president when the 9/11 attacks happened, I guess it’s fair to tie him to the effort to bring Bin Laden to justice.  But I seem to remember some words and deeds from the administration not long after the attack that don’t really jibe with Rummy’s assessment. Anybody recall what was going on at the time?

President Bush, March 13, 2002:

“And, again, I don’t know where he is.  I  —  I’ll repeat what I said.  I truly am not that concerned about him.”

Well, ok. Shrub never was the intellectual type. But surely, the military and intelligence communities were instructed to make it a priority, right?

New York Times Headline, July 4, 2006:

C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused on Capture of bin Laden

Well, that’s weird. But, obviously, if they’d had an opportunity to nab him, the order would have been given!

Washington Post, April 17, 2002:

U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight; Failure to Send Troops in Pursuit Termed Major Error

With a track record like that, it’s easy to see why some on the right want to give Bush credit. Steve Benen, speaking specifically of Rumsfeld, sums it up nicely:

“He either has a very short memory, or he’s lying and hopes you have a very short memory.”

In Case You’re Under a Rock or On the Moon

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2011 by rottenart

Front Page News!

Allah Help America

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2010 by rottenart

I’ve been away for a little while, so I’ve dodged the bullet of having to comment more than is necessary on the ridiculous non-issue of the Cordoba House. Countless other sane voices have weighed in on the “controversy” so you can just google it and be depressed. However, Steve brings up a good point that has gone overlooked in the wake of President Obama’s remarks about his support for the Cordoba Initiative’s constitutional rights. A new Pew Research Poll has found that the number of people who believe Obama is a Muslim has gone up, from 11% after his inaguration to 18%, in the midst of the Cordoba Crazies™.

But the crosstabs are important. the numbers coincide with t he same people who are opposed to Obama anyway. In fact, for those who correctly identify him as a Christian, his approval is as high as it has ever been, while those same wing nuts who think he’s a secret double Muslim inflitrator have always thought he’s a failure. Steve rightly points out the obvious: the term “Muslim” has now become a code word for failure.

That’s just super. If the Right Wing continues to marginalize, demonize, and disparage Muslims the way they have been, perhaps they can just get another Crusade going and send their checks directly to Osama Bin Laden. After all, his major tenent is that the West is at war with Islam. Isn’t it obvious that this thesis is exactly what the Republicans are proving with their unabashed xenophobia? It’s really hard to believe that the “professional right” is willing to side themselves with our enemies, seemingly without shame, but there you go. I won’t hold my breath that the useless media will call them out on it anytime soon either. With one of the major players dropping any pretense of objectivity, I can’t see how the other corporate mouthpieces would be willing to inject sanity into the debate.

In the meantime, I’ll just put in a small request for Allah, or God, or whomever to show them the error of their ways. I’m not sure we can regain any standing in the world while the crazies are free to state their hatred with impunity.

Lies, Damned Lies, And The Iraq War

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by rottenart

Even though Tory David Cameron has taken over as PM in the UK, you would be forgiven for thinking nothing had changed in our ‘special relationship’. Cameron was in Washington this week, exchanging pleasantries and artwork and reassuring us that BP was absolutely not behind the release of the Lockerbie Bomber and they certainly won’t be opening an investigation, thank you very much! This is all well and good, but it was a statement by the former head of M15, Eliza Manningham-Buller, that made me think that Cameron is being a little more forthcoming with criticism than Gordon “Placeholder” Brown or Tony “Lapdog” Blair were. Shocking no one with their eyes open from 2001 onward, Manningham-Buller’s words are just one more piece of evidence that the previous administration could fuck up an ice cream sundae in the middle of July:

Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Manningham-Buller said the threat posed by Saddam Hussein before the US-led invasion in 2003 was low.

But the toppling of Saddam allowed Osama bin Laden to gain a stronghold in Iraq and radicalised young Muslims in Britain, she said.

In evidence that undermined the case for war presented by the former prime minister Tony Blair, she was asked whether it was feared Saddam could have linked terrorists to weapons of mass destruction, facilitating their use against the west.

“It certainly wasn’t of concern in either the short term or the medium term to me or my colleagues,” she replied.

So, the person in charge of intelligence for Great Britain pokes yet another hole in the bullshit apologist argument that the Iraq War was somehow necessary for our security. Even though we are slowly, s l o w l y pulling our forces out of the embattled country, it will forever remain a war of choice. And, let’s not forget, it was one in which 4731 American soldiers died (to date) essentially for nothing. Ms. Manningham-Buller states in no uncertain terms that the Iraq War, in fact, made our country less safe by radicalizing Muslims and giving Osama Bin Laden another foothold in the Middle East. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight decided it would be a good thing to invade a sovereign nation at a whim and here we are, 7 years later, with nothing but debt and bodies to show for it.

What makes it especially galling is that any one of these liars will tell you (to this day and directly to your face) exactly how necessary the war was and is. They’ll bring up WMDs (false), links to 9/11 (false), harboring terrorists (false), Saddam’s brutal regime (I’ll give them that one, but why don’t we go after Saudi Arabia if we’re worried about brutal regimes?)… Basically, all the reasons that were shoved down our throats for a year leading up to the invasion were deceptions. No wait, I mean prevarications. No, that’s not it either. I guess the word is LIES. Our leaders lied repeatedly to drag us into a war that we didn’t want, didn’t need, can’t afford, and harmed our national security.

I know the pointless talking heads on cable news channels will never, ever bring themselves to say it, but I think it needs repeating every couple of days. The Bush administration lied us into a war. It’s costing us millions of dollars and American lives. They should never be able to live that down. I’m sure the former head of M15 won’t change any neo-con minds, but it’s good to hear someone of importance besides me say it out loud.