Jewish World Review July 28, 2003 / 28 Tamuz, 5763
Hearts and minds
Before the demise of the torture twins, Mr. Bush was riding low. His intelligence apparatus was in chaos. The Hussein boys, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and a bunch of other evildoers were still doing bad things, and the CIA seemed clueless as to how to stop them. Also, the weapons of mass destruction continued to be MIA, and Tony Blair had to fly in to calm things down. Let's not even mention the president's poll numbers.
So seeing Uday and Qusay on slabs was a respite for the Bush White House, which remains a tense place. The anti-Bush ideologues are running wild, and the president, himself, refuses to confront them. This is a great mystery because the Democratic Party is actually split on the issue of Bush's leadership. The left wing of the party is calling the president a liar and incompetent, and the moderate wing led by Senator Joseph Lieberman is saying that's nonsense, the war made sense and the WMDs were there. Even Bill Clinton now says Bush did not lie but made a very understandable mistake about nukes in his State of the Union address.
According to the polls, the American people are not buying the lying scenario, seeing it as a weak excuse to demonize Bush. The folks are, however, exceptionally concerned about a body-a-day coming back from Iraq. The guerrilla war over there is especially unsettling because we were not prepared for it. The bluster of Donald Rumsfeld did not cover the possibility of a protracted fight after the fall of Saddam.
The Bush administration won the war but did not fully defeat the enemy, and therein lies the president's main problem. The Pentagon allowed most Iraqi soldiers to go home totally unsupervised. Some of these guys have lived to fight another day. Now we have to beat them all over again.
There is no plan B here for Mr. Bush. The USA has to stay in Iraq at all costs. To withdraw would be a catastrophic failure and would not only ruin the president, it would embolden America's enemies the world over. So there is really no choice in Iraq. We must subdue the guerrillas and stabilize the place.
With that in mind, the president needs to send in more soldiers and convince some of our allies to help. Russian troops are definitely needed. A combined American and Russian force would send a powerful message to the troublemakers of the world.
President Bush must level with Vladimir Putin. The USA has pumped up Russia's economy with billions of dollars. Now that debt must be paid, or all future economic help will be severely cut back. Americans have become the wallets of the world, and when we need help, chits should be called in, or the giant wallet will be closed in the future.
The fortunate deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein have given
President Bush a temporary reprieve. George Tennant, the CIA chief, also
gets a small amount of slack. But the Bush administration better find
Saddam, Osama and Omar, and it better explain the WMD situation. If it does
not, history and the American people will render judgment, and it will most
likely not be kind.
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