By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
September 6, 2007
It seems obvious to just about all American voters: Bush lost all credibility somewhere after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. He couldn’t or didn’t regain it thus becoming one of the presidents’ with the lowest public support polling numbers in history.
I like President Bush. But when the American people believe you have lost just about all credibility their confidence goes down the drain quickly.
Just yesterday, when a reporter asked Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin about the impending report from General David H. Petraeus on the “surge” in Iraq, he answered, “The Bush report?”
“We know what is going to be in it. It’s clear. I think the president’s trip over to Iraq makes it very obvious,” the Illinois Democrat said. “I expect the Bush report to say, ‘The surge is working. Let’s have more of the same.'”
For right or wrong, President Bush has become the “more of the same” president. As a result, Hillary Clinton and others are running for the White House under a one word banner: “CHANGE.”
I asked a friend who is a registered Republican what he thought about Vice President Cheney and he said (I am paraphrasing a little here) “Cheney represents the worst aspect of American politics. Cronyism. Special interests influencing the White House. Halliburton. Waste fraud and abuse. Lying to the American public. You cannot trust this guy and he has tremendous influence over President Bush.”
Cheney, to many, is the Emperor of the Evil Empire. Karl Rove was just the executioner.
Vice President Cheny was my “boss” in a way at one time while he served as Secretary of Defense (during the first war in Iraq) and I served as a Naval Officer. But Mr. Cheney lost me when he made a long-winded “over the top” defense of President general Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, September 10, 2006. You have to read for yourself the transcripts (see references at the end).
Mr. Cheney is also close to President Karzai of Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai has made no secret of the fact that he believes the Taliban, al-Qaeda and perhaps Osama Bin Laden himself are hiding out in the tribal areas of Pakistan: the land governed by President General Pervez Musharraf. The tribal areas are along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. They form, as the name implies, a semi-autonomous region. Pakistan’s Army does not venture into the tribal areas without severe trepidation.
For more than a year, we at Peace and Freedom have had an almost daily dialogue with journalist Muhammad Khurshid from Khar, Bajaur Agency, Tribal Areas Pakistan. Muhammad has given us at Peace and Freedom, and we hope, many readers, an appreciation for Pakistan, President General Musharraf and especially the tribal areas.
Muhammad I trust. Mr. Cheney: no.
Mr. Cheney was also involved in “the great research project” which prompted the administration to practically guarantee that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and intended to use them. CIA Director Tenet told a room full of Oval Office luminaries this fact was a “slam dunk.” Mr. Tenet lost his job, not too long after that, and was smeared, some say, by the White House as a man without credibility or merit.
Cheney also engineered Secretary of State Colin Powell’s dissertation before the United Nations on Iraq, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction and the CIA’s “proof.”
Mr. Powell also lost his job and may have been the victim of a smear campaign engineered by the White House. Powell was “thrown under the bus.”
But it is President Bush himself who has disappointed most. Remember, “Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job” after Hurricane Katrina? He lost his job soon thereafter also.
Remember, “I looked into Putin’s soul and saw a man I could do business with”?
Just yesterday, President Bush said of China’s Hu Jintao, the architect or banker, perhaps, of the genocide in Darfur, “He’s an easy man to talk to. I’m very comfortable in my discussions with President Hu.”
President Hu regularly stabs America in the back at the United Nations and elsewhere. The fact that he smiles and is an affable lad is not relevant.
Mr. Putin and President Hu Jintao just cooperated in the largest combined Chinese-Russian military maneuvers ever. They also hosted an international conference that gave the podium to the likes of President Ahmadinejad of Iran. He naturally attacked the U.S. in his speech.
But President Hu is really best known as the villain in the worst Human Rights abuses and the worst violations of ecology on today’s planet earth. Never mind what President Bush sees in his soul. Ask Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nations, Greenpeace and other international human rights or ecology groups. God will mediate this one.
On China, President Bush has enemies on the left and the right. The right wing of the Republican Party says Bush is soft on China. The Democrat left says he does too little for Human Rights.
Remember Don Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, the architects of the war against terror in the Pentagon? Mr. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, opened a two-front war of words on Capitol Hill, calling the estimate by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki of the Army that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq, “wildly off the mark.” Pentagon officials put the figure closer to 100,000 troops.
Neither Rumsfeld nor Wolfie attended General Shinseki’s retirement. But the General, in hindsight, appears to have been right. Rumsfeld retired and Wolfie went to the World Bank where he crashed and burned.
But generally, commentators say, President Bush stands by his people.
President Bush stood by his pal from Texas Alberto Gonzales long past the time most president’s would have summoned, even driven the bus. The president will maybe go down for his loyalty to his guys: but not for his acute judgment.
And who in the United States is responsible for out “Hearts and Minds” effort in the war against terror?
To remind those that don’t even recall: Karen Hughes, another President Bush buddy from Texas.
In 2005 CBS News reported on Hughes’ role this way: “President Bush’s adviser Karen Hughes was named to a State Department post designed to change Islamic perceptions about America.”
And how are we doing on the “Hearts and Minds effort”? Miserable. A total failure (see references at the end about “misunderspinning”). Ms. Hughes still works at the U.S. Department of State.
President Bush and his vice president are serving out their terms. The next presidential election is a huge one.
But you knew all this. I was the one that only caught on slowly.