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Friday, May 28, 2004

Where exactly does the buck stop?

Dan Kennedy assesses the nightmare developing in Iraq, and observes:

Abu Ghraib is only the most startling in a series of weird and terrible events that have undermined public support for the war. From the videotaped beheading of American civilian Nicholas Berg to the assassination of Iraqi Governing Council president Izzedine Salim, from the US attack on what may or may not have been a wedding party to the raid at the home of former neocon favorite Ahmad Chalabi, who’s been accused of spying for Iran, the news out of Iraq in recent weeks has been confusing, contradictory, and unrelievedly awful.

The Bush administration is being abandoned literally left and right. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman — arguably the most important liberal supporter of the war — wrote a piece two weeks ago that began, "It is time to ask this question: Do we have any chance of succeeding at regime change in Iraq without regime change here at home?" (Friedman’s answer: hell, no!) Conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan, a strong supporter of the war, recently wrote on his weblog, AndrewSullivan.com, "The one anti-war argument that, in retrospect, I did not take seriously enough was a simple one. It was that this war was noble and defensible but that this administration was simply too incompetent and arrogant to carry it out effectively. I dismissed this as facile Bush-bashing at the time. I was wrong." Conservative pundit Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a bastion of the Eastern establishment, has called for Rumsfeld’s resignation, as has the conservative and largely pro-Bush magazine the Economist. And USA Today founder Al Neuharth, as plain-vanilla an opinion-monger as you’ll find, recently wrote a column for his old paper calling on Bush to pull a Lyndon Johnson — that is, to end his presidential campaign and let the Republicans nominate someone else. Neuharth called the war "the biggest military mess miscreated in the Oval Office and miscarried by the Pentagon in my 80-year lifetime."

Folks, the buck stops with each of us on November 2.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 28 May 2004 at 5:28 PM

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