Letter to the Editor:
The Journal News
March 28, 2004
George W. Bush, Condi Rice, and Richard Clarke
The real story of 9/11 starts to emerge!
Was George W. Bush really focused on terrorism,
or his obsession with his father’s failure in Iraq?
“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”
Abraham Lincoln -1864
For better or worse, I was a willing and enthusiastic supporter of regime change in Iraq. Therefore I supported George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Did he “cook the books” to convince the world and the American public of the urgency of this effort?
In regards to that question, only history will judge. But for sure, there is much evidence supporting that conclusion.
I have always felt that George H. W. Bush’s decision to leave Sadaam Hussein in power was a disastrous mistake. From my political perspective, it had a great deal to do with Bush’s ultimate defeat. Can you imagine an incumbent president with a 95% popularity rating after the war, loses the election to a virtually unknown border state governor with only 37% of the vote? His vote total may have been the lowest total by a defeated incumbent president in our history.
As an immediate result of Gulf War I, 14 out of 17 Iraqi provinces were in open revolt against Sadaam Hussein. But our limitations on Hussein’s use of airpower was limited to fixed-wing craft and not helicopters. Of course we did nothing to support these insurgents, and Hussein used his helicopters to bring in loyalist troops to suppress and eliminate the revolts.
Today I watched Richard Clarke on Meet the Press hosted by Tim Russert. Clarke answered, with great creditability and poise, all of Russert’s questions, and all of the counter-rationale by the Bush team of “spin-doctors.” There is no doubt, in my mind, he was certainly able to reiterate, with a strong defense, his assertions made in his recent book and his testimony before Congress. The Bush administration has an invidious history of going after “whistle-blowers” and still has to answer for the statements by the former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, the Medicare expert Richard Foster, and the leaking of the name of the CIA operative.
From my perspective, Ms. Rice, who has spouted her views all over the networks, but has been hiding behind “the separation of powers,” should be made to testify in “open session” and under oath. If she wishes not to testify she should be asked to resign. The President and his staff’s conduct should be answerable to the public. President Bush’s obsession with his father’s failure in Iraq, has unfortunately led this Nation into a morass with no end in sight. It is obvious to any unbiased observer, that our involvement in Iraq has increased greatly the interest and support for Al Quieda in the Islamic World. By not being able to quickly win the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have opened a “Pandora’s Box,” that has entered us into a “dark period” of terrorism for the foreseeable future. By stretching our forces thin, by hemorrhaging our budget, by alienating our Allies, George W. Bush has succeeded, in a far greater manner, with his bungling than Bin Ladin and his brigands could imagine. Yes, we now are the chief urban renewal director and “savings and loan” lender in Iraq, so what? Richard Clarke has described in detail the false premise that George W. Bush was focused and concentrating on the “terror” threat before 9/11. Again, Bush’s campaign rhetoric about 9/11, and his supposed “superior” skills in confronting terrorism has been brought acutely into focus.
Richard J. Garfunkel