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November 24, 2006

Crumbling Facades

It began with the publication in October of Bob Woodward's latest book, State of Denial.   Now nearly the entire Republican establishment, along with the chattering class, is walking away from support for the Iraq war and the Administration.

When State of Denial was published in early October, the nation got its first inside look at the dishonesty at the core of the Bush administration.  From an interview with Mike Wallace on "Sixty Minutes" on Oct. 1st:

Woodward spent more than two years, interviewed more than 200 people including most of the top officials in the administration and came to a damning conclusion. He tells Mike Wallace that for the last three years the White house has not been honest with the American public.

"It is the oldest story in the coverage of government: the failure to tell the truth," Woodward charges.

Woodward detailed conversations with Administration and military insiders that indicated they knew long ago that the violence in Iraq was huge, was escalating and was out of our control.  They also reported, as Jack Murtha, had been saying, that "Defense  Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has so emasculated the joint chiefs that the chairman of the chiefs has become 'the parrot on Rumsfeld’s shoulder.'"

Then, of course, the voters spoke.  And suddenly the entire chattering class, Republicans as well as Democrats, behaved as if they had been released from a trance.  I remember seeing David Brooks on The NewsHour right after the election.  He looked like a man freed from a sorcerer's spell.  And he was not alone.  In the weeks since the election, we as a nation are back to talking about events with some level of reality.  That's a part of why it has all of a sudden seemed so much worse in Iraq.  We are actually hearing more of the truth.    

On Nov. 19th, Bill Kristol told Fox News that Republican support for Iraq will "crumble in 3 months".   The same day the WAPO's Peter Baker reported that Ken Adelman and Richard Perle, both strong neo-con supporters of the war and both members of the Defense Policy Advisory Board, had lost hope for the war and for Bush's ability to make good decisions or implement any plan.

In his opinion piece yesterday in the New York Times, David Brooks, of all people, called Dick Cheney the "secret emperor" and said that Cheney has "subverted the normal workings of government" and "avoided the normal checks and balances that might have helped to avoid the fiasco that is Iraq today".  Even more telling, he says,

"First, the vice president can’t have his own secret policy channel. He can’t sit silently at meetings and then, during private lunches with the president, countermand all that was accomplished."

The international community is not holding back either.  The New York Daily News reported a few days ago that former President George H. W. Bush had to defend his eldest son in front of a usually Bush-friendly audience at the World Leadership Summit in the United Arab Emirates held earlier this week.  Bush senior was there as an invited and presumable highly-paid speaker.  Here's a couple things he was forced to listen to after his talk was over during the Q&A session:

"We do honor Americans, and I believe that they are highly respected in our country. However, we do not respect your son, and we do not respect what you are doing all over the world," college student Nevine Al Rumeisi told the former President at a leadership conference in the United Arab Emirates.

Her comment was roundly cheered by the business and political leaders gathered in once pro-American Abu Dhabi.

The elder Bush just looked stunned.

<snip>

Another audience member said "he thought American wars are designed to open markets for U.S. companies - drawing more cheers and whoops". 

The timing is likely to be opportune for the Democrats.  (Clearly it would have been much better for the country, the world and especially the people of Iraq had it come four years ago but . . . given that this is where we are now)  It allows them to concentrate on making plans to rebuild the country while the Republicans and the media take on the job of dismantling the remains of the facade that we allowed these idiots to construct.

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 24, 2006 at 11:47 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink

Comments

This perfectly illustrates why the Iraqi people want us gone, and why the rest of the Arab world hates us. Apparently, it really is U.S. policy to humiliate them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9A_vxIOB-I

(h/t to SwimDeep at www.deepconfusion.blogspot.com)

Posted by: shoephone | Nov 25, 2006 6:43:11 PM

Wow. That is disturbing. I so want to bring our folks home so that no more of our young people are in the position of having the worst of them come out. What a legacy there, here. It's so hard to think about.

And for those of you who haven't seen it. It is not overtly violent. We know there have been far worse things people have done but what did they say about the Germans in WWII - the banality of evil.

Posted by: Lynn | Nov 25, 2006 9:06:23 PM

Talk Left has a story up on a story from Newsweek (which I rarely read) from Michael Isikoff regarding two choices Nancy Pelosi is considering for House Intelligence Chair. {"One is Rep. Norm Dicks, a onetime strong Iraq-war backer who has since joined ranks with Murtha and now wants a phased troop withdrawal. The other is Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a quiet Texas lawmaker and former Border Patrol official who opposed the Iraq war from the outset."}

What about Mr. Dicks?

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/11/26/135459/07

Posted by: Kitt | Nov 26, 2006 12:20:34 PM

Pretty interesting. I think I'll write a piece on that. Thanks for the tip.

Posted by: Lynn | Nov 26, 2006 4:44:25 PM

{Another audience member said "he thought American wars are designed to open markets for U.S. companies - drawing more cheers and whoops".}

I think it was in 'Iraq for Sale' where Chalmers Johnson says something about our military budget is 25%, which is one reason war is such a good business. Of course foregoing the warning from Ike regarding the military-industrial complex.

Posted by: Kitt | Nov 26, 2006 6:52:06 PM

That's a very interesting piece on the Intelligence Committee brouhaha. However, it's been reported that Norm Dicks will be chairing the Appropriations Committee, where he will have his hands full. Since he has not been serving on the Intelligence Committee it doesn't make sense that his name is being floated. Personally, I'd like to see someone who has lots of intelligence experience and NO outstanding ethics issues. Sylvester Reyes and Rush Holt seem to fit the bill. If Pelosi chooses Reyes, I certainly hope it is because he has the experience and seniority, rather than as a way to throw the Hispanic Caucus a bone. Democrats need to show they can lead, and considerations of "political correctness" should not be part of the decision-making process.

Posted by: shoephone | Nov 26, 2006 7:56:10 PM

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