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A Nation Held Hostage

Jim Webb gets the job done

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, January 24, 2007.

If you heard our President’s recent State of the Union speech, and the reply by Senator Jim Webb of Virginia for the Democrats, and even if you were utterly unfamiliar with any of the issues broached, one shining conclusion would still be unavoidable. An ability to say things well and succinctly, even poetically, is not the mark of an elitist la-di-da, or a professional politico trying to misinform, dissemble, confuse. It is the stigmata of someone who knows of what they speak.

It is not the stigmata of George Bush. This President, whose lust to be compared to Great Men has been painfully obvious from the first, seems absolutely unaware of how that attempted series of comparisons work to his disfavor. Bush does not, and based upon what opportunity for spontaneity we’ve seen, cannot actually set his thoughts down coherently. As was pointed out today in various media, this is the sign that his thoughts are not coherent, that they make no sense once expressed next to each other, that they follow no linear development, that they’re nonsense. Even with the hand of the speech writer, Bush sounds more like an idiot with each increasing degree of seriousness you take him.

Compared and contrasted to Jim Webb, a conservative Democrat once part of Reagan’s government, Bush sinks beneath consideration. Webb did two things last night that I had yet to hear a national Democrat do: he encapsulated the Bush betrayal to his nation so simply that it can barely be improved upon, and can be used right through the coming Presidential election to force the Republican nominee to explain his position.

Quote: Like so many other Americans, today and throughout our history, we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues — those matters of war and peace, and in some cases of life and death — we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon us to go into harm‘s way.

The president took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War , the chief of staff of the Army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable — and predicted — disarray that has followed. Unquote.

In those 168 words, Webb both explains why many Democrats voted for a war their President said was needed, and why those responsible should be punished. It can be argued we should have investigated more, but at the time when any President says we have to act now, the assumption is he both knows what he’s talking about, OR at least has compelling reason for the decision and will stand behind those reasons, because he’s a patriot doing what’s best for his nation.

But President Bush lied. There’s no other conclusion possible any longer. There was no evidence of WMD’s in Iraq beyond the manufactured lies. He wanted a short, successful little war to build himself up, a war as dishonest and as divisive as the Mexican War of 1846, which only today is a clearly seen attempt to get territory for slave-holding states.

And Bush did not even stand behind the reasons he gave. He simply changed them, and pretended we were fighting for this, then that, and now we’re fighting to get out with as much pretend dignity as we can. We’ve lost the war in every way but militarily, and that may actually come sooner than later.

I have almost started to favor my emotional tendencies towards impeachment. Bush’s actions have left us hated, much weaker, and demoralized, and he smirks and delivers bromides he doesn’t believe and makes small attempt to convince us he does. And seeing him in the dock would be refreshing.

But justice may come anyway through the tenacity of Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor in the Valerie Plame Wilson case. Fitzgerald apparently has Scooter Libby so clearly in the bag that Libby’s attorneys blamed Karl Rove in their opening address to the jury yesterday only hours before Bush’s speech. Rather than claiming the innocence of their client, they’re claiming he’s an unwilling sacrifice. Libby, a creature of Vice President Cheney, and Rove, a creature of President Bush, are now in conflict, and this trial may very well reveal what Bush’s actual motivations for this Iraq war were, all distinct from Afghanistan and the so-called War On Terror, and leave the Bushies slowly twisting in the wind.

Whether or not the Bush administration is brought to justice, or justice brought to them, justice will be done after all. Man, that sounds familiar…………