"For President Bush to send Rudolph Giuliani out on television to say that the 'actual responsibility' for the failure to secure explosives lies with the troops is insulting and cowardly.
“The President approved the mission and the priorities. Civilian leaders tell military leaders what to do. The military follows those orders and gets the job done. This was a failure of civilian leadership, first in not telling the troops to secure explosives and other dangerous materials, and second for not providing sufficient troops and sufficient equipment for troops to do the job..."
Juan Cole also skewers Giuliani and others who blame the troops:
A new low was reached in the Republican Party, out of panic at this story, by Rudi Giuliani, who blamed our troops for the al-Qaqaa catastrophe, saying, ''No matter how you try to blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?" So let's get this straight. Bush sends only 100,000 US troops to Iraq, when 500,000 are needed to secure the country. Then when the troops don't have te personpower to do their jobs properly, you blame them? The refreshing thing about Giuliani's remark is its honesty. Surely a lot of fatcat Republicans who are always draping themselves in the flag and exploiting the heroism of US troops actually view them as little more than kitchen help, who can be blamed if the banquet doesn't come off as brilliantly as hoped. Remember the images of Bush in white tie toasting his "base" among the super-wealthy, in Fahrenheit 9/11? It is not the corporals in the US army whom he was toasting.
Drudge is screaming (in his predictable sky-is-falling fashion) about the terror tape looming out there in the hands of ABC.
I can't help but think that Drudge and his ilk are rather disappointed we haven't had a terror attack before this election and he's hoping that peddling the fear that accompanies these terror-warning videos by these complete shitheads (in this case the turd known as Adam Pearlman) might drum up a few more cheap votes for his man, Bush.
Are we going to allow Adam Pearlman, a deadbeat America-hating dude from Southern California, to dictate the results of the American election?
The Bush administration is hoping Adam will be the next big TV star.
UPDATE: Drudge has his little flashing-light icon above a headline saying that ABC held back part of the terror tape from the CIA. Drudge (along with FOX) is apparently (and most likely) fed this information by a federal official from the Pentagon. ( We can safely assume ABC wouldn't tell him a thing ). This only leans toward proving this is a political stunt, and I wouldn't even be surprised if the Pentagon made up the terror tape themselves or at least engineered the timing of this whole thing to scare voters away from the polls. It's sad to hear me saying something like that, because there's nothing more I'd appreciate, in this age of terror, than to be able to trust American leadership. The hard truth is that more than half this country see Drudge, FOX, Bush, and the Pentagon as unworthy of our trust. The Bush administration has lied before, and I truly believe they are so desperate to hold onto American power that they would do anything - and I mean anything - to keep it.
Rush Limbaugh appeals to the lowest common mental denominator by telling his talk-radio audience that "numerous terrorists are on record here endorsing John Kerry and admitting that they're doing everything they can to harm George W. Bush."
At Baghdad Burning, you will see a most unusual endorsement of John Kerry. Since Bush brought Mr. Allawi here to our Rose Garden to give a rousing campaign speech for him, I figure it's fair game to present another side.
I was surfing on BlogExplosion today and came across something that stopped me in my tracks. I wanted to share it with you. It's a woman's final words to the blogging world. She has a limited amount of time left to enjoy life and wanted to share some wisdom and advice with us before it comes her time to go. If you think you have troubles, they may seem smaller after reading this. It's really a beautiful message.
Common Sense (2004)
by my fellow Daily Kos diarist 'kid oakland'
In the media snow storm of these last days of the campaign....we would do well to listen to someone from our history...he has some words for us to take to heart today:
"The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent--of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed time of continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; The wound will enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters."
"PARIS One would think it was their leader being elected - and many Europeans believe it is, in a way. In a tremendous show of interest unseen in previous U.S. presidential campaigns, Europeans on both sides of the Channel have been riveted by the coming American vote, obsessing about the future of the United States as if it were their own..."
Drudge has his front page smeared with rantings about a blame-the-Russians Washington Times piece. John A. "Jack" Shaw, deputy undersecretary for international technology security is quoted as having "reliable information" that Russia is behind the 342 tons of missing explosives from al Qaqaa.
Since trust is an important factor in this campaign season, you should know that John Shaw is not the poster child for trust. After disguising himself as an employee of Halliburton Co, Shaw urged government officials to fix the alleged problems he found when he got access to a port in southern Iraq, directing multimillion-dollar contracts to companies linked to his friends, without competitive bidding. According to an LA Times story of July 6, 2004, Shaw has also tried to steer a contract to create an emergency phone network for Iraq's security forces to a company whose board of directors included a friend and one of Shaw's employees. The inspector general's office has turned over an inquiry into Shaw's actions to the FBI.
Knowing that Shaw used the rebuilding effort in Iraq to reward associates and/or political allies makes him less than a credible source, especially in the last week of the presidential campaign season. I think Shaw is doing it again. He's lying again while trying to secure a great job for one of his cronies. This time it's George W. Bush.
At a time when Putin is practically campaigning for Bush, it's interesting that anyone in the Bush administration would make these accusations about Russia. You would think this would be a time when the administration would be particularly sensitive toward Russia. After all, Russia has suspected the U.S. has supported anti-Russian Chechen forces in an effort to keep Russia pinned down. After the Beslan incident, Presidents Putin and Bush could have been holding an anti-terrorism summit and the two countries could have been expanding security cooperation with a focus on anti-terrorism. British prime minister Tony Blair has understood the importance of playing a leading role in developing a strong relationship with Russia after the Beslan terror attack. It is not so with the Bush administration. The Bush campaign has found it politically necessary to accuse Russia of ripping off the 342 tons of explosives. Another Bush International Affairs blunder.
The Russian embassy in Washington has rejected John Shaw's current claims as "nonsense", saying there were no Russian military in the country at the time. "I am unaware of any particular information on that point," said Larry Di Rita, Pentagon spokesman.
The Russian Defense ministry calls Shaw's claims "farfetched".
Russia has called for the United Nations Security Council to discuss the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq following the disappearance of the 342 metric tons of high explosives in the country. U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Danforth, did not back new UN involvement in weapons searches in Iraq. Danforth said the most immediate need was to find out when the explosives disappeared and what happened to them. He said this was a job that would be best carried out by the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said he was shocked by the report of the missing explosives, adding: "Looks to me like somehow the multinational force didn't stay on top of this." Mr. Armitage agreed the missing explosives had created a dangerous situation, according to a transcript of his Monday interview with the Arab-language newspaper al-Hayat released by the State Department.
Bush remains mum about the missing explosives. He is concentrating upon publically accusing John Kerry of milking the story in the heat of the presidential campaign, avoiding any accountability, action that has become the hallmark of Bush's lack of character.
This story is the unintended October surprise. I'd been expecting the surprise to come from the other side.
Karl the Goliath Rove has been taken down by a systematic dismantling of the myth he'd created. It was the myth of Bush's great leadership.
The October surprise is simply the truth catching up with Bush's lies, ineptitude, hubris, and secrecy.
..How do we begin to repair this jagged hole? There is no cure-all, but three big things would help. One is a different U.S. approach to the world. The Bush-Cheney team bears a big responsibility for this hole because it nakedly exploited 9/11 to push a far-right Republican agenda, domestically and globally, for which it had no mandate. When U.S. policy makes such a profound lurch to the right, when we start exporting fear instead of hope, the whole center of gravity of the world is affected. Countries reposition themselves in relation to us.
..When the world liked Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, America had more power in the world. When much of the world detests George Bush, America has less power.
...If the Bush team wins re-election, unless it undergoes a policy lobotomy and changes course and tone, the breach between America and the rest of the world will only get larger. But all Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney have told us during this campaign is that they have made no mistakes and see no reason to change.
...The real question is, What if we get a new Iraqi government but the same old Bush team incompetence? That would be a problem.
Friedman's article reminded me of "The Deeper Wound", something I read by Deepak Chopra shortly after 9/11:
"All this hatred and anguish seems to have religion at its basis. Isn't something terribly wrong when jihads and wars develop in the name of God? Isn't God invoked with hatred in Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and even among the intolerant sects of America?
Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity?
If there is a deep wound, doesn't it affect everyone?
When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks, and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us? If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?
Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Is patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism?
What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening? Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?
Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul? Isn't this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?"
"...Clearly, the president's oft-repeated claim that American efforts are paying off because "more than three-quarters of Al Qaeda's key members and associates have been killed, captured or detained" - a questionable claim in itself - means little to jihadists. What matters to them that the invasion of Iraq paved the way for the emergence of a movement of radical Sunni Iraqis who share much of the Qaeda ideology.
....It seems clear that, while the administration insists that we are acting strongly, our pursuit of the war on terrorism through an invasion of Iraq has carried real costs for our security. The occupation is in chaos, which is emboldening a worldwide assortment of radical Islamists and giving them common ground. The worst thing we could do now is believe that the Bush administration's tough talk is in any way realistic. If we really think that the unrest abroad will have no impact on us at home - as too many thought before 9/11 - not even a vastly improved offense can help us."
"President Bush's misbegotten invasion of Iraq appears to have achieved what Saddam Hussein did not: putting dangerous weapons in the hands of terrorists and creating an offshoot of Al Qaeda in Iraq.."