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Monday, April 30, 2007

for Bush, accountability is a one-way street

It seems to me that, even in 2007, the Bush Administration gets a free pass in regards to ANY benchmarks, timelines and yardsticks in Iraq.

Democrats are held, by the corporate media, GOP spin, and even fellow Democrats to a very narrow standard of consistency. ie. What Barack Obama says in 2003 is a big deal. Clinton and Edwards's votes for the Iraq authorization are still subject to media scrutiny. (The AP and the mainstream press are now giving Hillary crap about her name!!) In the midst of this Harry Reid is vilified on CNN and by David Broder for stating a patently obvious and widely-held truth: Bush's war is, indeed, lost and has been for the last four years.

If Bush's occupation of Iraq is not an outright failure, what is? Did the firing of Donald Rumsfeld mean anything? I guess not. Man, did they ever bury that one! The GOP loses an election and Bush fires the guy he "stood behind" for five long years regarding the build-up and dismal execution of the war in Iraq. In 24 short hours the President flipped from his previous statements of unqualified support for Rumsfeld. But it's now Harry Reid who is vilified for saying that Donald Rumsfeld execution of Bush's war was a failure! That's typical. For Rumsfeld, zero accountability for the utter and dangerous nonsense he spewed for five long years. He simply disappears. For Bush, zero accountability for his flip-flop and failed war. For Reid, total accountability for every last syllable. It's a one-way street.

Let's be real, the Bush Administration is held to absolutely zero standards. Bush doesn't even have to maintain consistency with statements from January of this year! On January 11th the President clearly stated: "the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November." The Iraqis are nowhere near attaining that goal. They will not attain that goal. In fact, they cannot attain that goal because the Bush Administration just threw that expectation out the window with this new talk of "outputs" that replace "outcomes." The Iraqi parliament, by the way, in honor of our "Surge" is about to embark on a two-month vacation.

It's galling. Bush is getting away with pushing the Surge deep into 2008...and with NO benchmarks to measure its failure or success. If Bush has his way the troops stay until...well...Bush says they don't. There is no measurable goal for success or victory in Iraq. There simply isn't. There are no metrics, just pie-in-the-sky posturing from our President. Take this typical example from the speech linked above:

over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents. When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq's Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace. And reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible.

George Bush, January 11th, 2007

Try to measure that!

2007 has been a great year for this President. George Bush wasn't remotely held accountable for rejecting the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report. It was a non-topic. Bush has been able, despite his losses in the mid-term elections, in the first four months of this year, to send 30,000 more combat troops to Iraq and demand that this Surge be funded with no limitations into 2008.

Neither the media nor the Democrats have been able to hold Bush accountable to any hard and firm deadlines or benchmarks. The Congressional GOP is holding firm and winning the frame in the debate over "funding the troops." The current bill before the President, even as it is likely to be vetoed, is more about the political pressure than the force of law.

So, my question is this: is there any development in Iraq or here in the United States that would make the crucial bloc of Blue Dog Democrats and Moderate Republicans say:

"No, Mr. President, there has to be some accountability here. You have crossed the line. We need yardsticks and measurements. Accountability is not a one-way street."

I am not seeing it. (Others concur.) Failure, inconsistency, a lack of holding this President to any standards, any benchmarks, or any timelines is what the Bush Administration has asked for and received from our press and, up to this most recent moment, our Congress. The President's current demand is for a blank check to continue to escalate the war in Iraq well into 2008. After his presumed veto, those will be the terms of the debate.

For as long as this situation holds, as long as standards and yardsticks and deadlines are only applied to one side and not the President himself, there will be no accountability and no end to the war in Iraq.

1 Comments:

  • Gee, how can this be, what with the great liberal media conspiracy out there? I have no doubt that Bush & company will continue to get little more than a tisk-tisk from the media.

    By Blogger LaPopessa, at 5:40 PM  

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