A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Friday, November 11, 2005


AP: Bush Forcefully Attacks Iraq Critics---

TOBYHANNA, Pa. - President Bush, in the most forceful defense yet of his Iraq war policy, accused critics Friday of trying to rewrite history and charged that they're undercutting America's forces on the front lines.

"The stakes in the global war on terror are too high and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges," the president said in his combative Veterans Day speech.

"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said.

Bush's defense of his policy came at a time of growing doubts and criticism about a war that has claimed the lives of more than 2,050 members of the U.S. military. As casualties have climbed, Bush's popularity has dropped. His approval rating now is at 37 percent in the latest AP-Ipsos poll, an all time low point of his presidency.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who ran unsuccessfully against Bush last year, quickly challenged the president's charges.

"I wish President Bush knew better than to dishonor America's veterans by playing the politics of fear and smear on Veterans Day," said Kerry, who voted in 2002 to give Bush the authority to wage war but later voted against additional funds for Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction. Kerry argued at the time that Bush didn't have a solid plan to restore peace.

"This administration misled a nation into war by cherry-picking intelligence and stretching the truth beyond recognition," Kerry said.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said, "It's deeply regrettable that the president is using Veterans Day as a campaign-like attempt to rebuild his own credibility by tearing down those who seek the truth about the clear manipulation of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war."

The president spoke at the Tobyhanna Army Depot on a stage decorated with posters that said "Strategy for Victory."

His appearance came as his primary justification for the 2003 invasion — that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction — has come under fresh attack on Capitol Hill. Democrats have seized on the indictment of a now-resigned senior White House aide in the CIA leak case to shine the spotlight on how the president and other officials used intelligence about Iraq in the weeks and months leading up to the war.
The President ought to have done this years ago, rather than let the false statements and attacks of the anti-Bush Lefties erode his administration and the support for the war.

Kerry and Kennedy, in their "responses" to the President did not address the fact that the Democrats had the same intelligence and information that the President did and said the same sorts of things about Saddam Hussein and WMDs and the need to get rid of him.

The President needs to do more defending of himself, his administration, his policies, and his decisions. He needs to make his case to the American people.