Today is the Veterans' Day. President Bush gave a speech to honor the veterans and to also guard his own back. What he said is this:
President Bush lashed out today at critics of his Iraq policy, accusing them of trying to rewrite history about the decision to go to war and saying their criticism is undercutting American forces in battle.
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decisions or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said in a Veterans Day speech in Pennsylvania.
Deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began? Ok, I won't rewrite anything. The way I remember the beginning of that war was that we had a real problem in Afghanistan, and suddenly a fall advertizing campaign said that we must now attack Iraq instead of focusing on international terrorism. Because Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, which he was told to have had for a very long time. But suddenly it was imperative to go after Saddam Hussein, because of the weapons of mass destruction, which might or might not exist. At least the UN inspectors couldn't find any.
I remember thinking that the whole thing was like someone practising heart surgery and deciding to leave it unfinished because an interesting wart was calling hard from the next operation room. So I marched against this idiotic war. Me! A goddess, marching! Had no effect.
So Bush went to war because of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Or possibly because the neoconservatives had decided to attack Iraq long before Bush even got elected and the whole terrorist scare was an unfortunate delay to their real plans?
This history is somehow a rewrite? I am asking who it is who is rewriting the history here. I think it is George Bush.
His second message to all us Doubting Thomasinas and Toms is this:
The president spoke at the Tobyhanna Army Depot near Wilkes-Barre. He talked not only about why Americans are at war - "the terrorists are as brutal an enemy as we've ever faced, unconstrained by any notion of our common humanity or by the rules of warfare" - something he has mentioned in almost every speech, but turned on his critics more directly than he usually does.
"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," he said. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will."
Before going to war, Mr. Bush said, Democrats and Republicans alike were privy to the same intelligence that indicated former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
The wrong signal thing again. America's will seems to be the will of George Bush.