Friday, October 08, 2004

Punditry, Bush and the Unravelling Cassus Beli 


I would sell my mother to the Bedouins just for the chance to beat some of these cable news pundits into a bloody pulpy mess. When Howard Fineman was an “expert political commentator” during the Democratic Convention, Rev. Sharpton was delivering a terrific rousing speech. It was hellfire and brimstone sermon and Bush was Satan. It was clever and inciteful and well said. Cut away to Fineman who brings up Tawana Brawly. It was at that moment that I had realized that sometime pundits are despicable and really don’t know it. At that moment, I realized all of punditry is little more than a gossip who floats in high circles. Ah, the pundit, who sits on the sidelines, out of firing range, and deconstructs people by bringing up their worst moment is the ultimate commentary on the state of journalism in America. Consider all the retread themes one sees in a single night and you can see that there is apparently very little to talk about that truly matters to Americans beyond Michael Jackson’s fetishes and Laci Peterson’s bloated soaked corpse. So pundits aren’t really reporting on anything, they are gossiping about the edges of the news. Or what some people call news.

But now pundits are serving the public interest, if only incidentally, and accidentally, by retreading some themes that probably need retreading: The war in Iraq wasn’t worth it. Saddam was no threat and the last valid cassus belli has all but evaporated. And Bush and Cheney will not admit wrong doing under any circumstances.

I would ask anyone supporting Bush this question: If the CEO of your company made this many mistakes, refused to account for them and refused responsibility, would you want him replaced?

Here’s what Howard Fineman says in a moment of lucidity.

One new poll out shows that half the American people now think the war in Iraq was a mistake; as that number rises, and it will, Bush's fortunes will decline, as they are now doing. History shows that only one challenger in modern times has been behind in the AP poll on Labor Day and come back to win. That challenger was Ronald Reagan. Now Kerry is no Reagan, not by a long shot. But if people conclude that Bush was profoundly wrong to have gone to Iraq, Kerry doesn't have to be Reagan.

And here are some things other stringers and analysts are saying in regards to the new Duelfer report. Forexample, here is what David Kay, Duelfer’s predecessor had to say about Dick and Bush’s fantasy world:

A report by the Iraq Survey Group that Kay ran until he quit at the start of the year found Iraq had no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons when Bush was saying that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was a growing threat.

The White House has insisted Saddam was a threat to the United States and had weapons of mass destruction capability, but Kay told NBC television: "All I can say is 'denial' is not just a river in Egypt."

Newsweek is also writing extensively about the deteriorating situation in Iraq and how Paul Bremer, who oversaw one of the worst insurgencies privately admitted that we did not have the troop strength to go into Iraq.
It seems that he is no longer a lockstep liar and his words elicited threatening phone calls from the White House. Fucking thugs.

Oct. 6 - It wasn’t very long ago that the Bush administration saw L. Paul Bremer III as a true-blue loyalist, a favorite of the president’s who had a good chance at a senior position in a second term, perhaps even as secretary of State. So there was considerable surprise and distress inside the White House this week when Iraq’s former administrator let loose with what he intended to be off-the-record comments criticizing the administration’s handing of Iraq—remarks that were quickly picked up by the Kerry campaign.

Bremer was playing Monday-morning quarterback on Iraq, suggested one White House official. Another described teeth gnashing among Bush aides when the comments became public. Some viewed Bremer as seeking to absolve himself of responsibility for the mistakes made in Iraq, the first official said, many of which could be traced back to decisions made by Bremer himself, particularly the decision to disband the Iraqi Army.

On Tuesday—the same day after Bremer’s critical remarks were made public by The Washington Post—he received no fewer than three calls from top White House officials asking for an explanation, NEWSWEEK has learned. National-security adviser Condoleezza Rice, chief of staff Andrew Card and Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby all spoke to Bremer to make sure his comments were being reported accurately. One Bush official said Libby called from the road because Cheney was about to go into a debate with Democratic nominee John Edwards in Ohio, and it was obvious he would be asked about the Bremer remarks. Rice, he said, called for a similar reason—she was doing television interviews.

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