Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cheney: "full speed ahead" on Iraq

By Michael J.W. Stickings

There was so much misguided outrage on the right over Kerry's botched joke, with desperate Republicans looking to use it to attack the Democrats more broadly on national security just days before the midterms, but the real outrage is that Dick Cheney, one of the prime architects of the Iraq War, and one of its most virulent defenders, seems to be so removed from reality and at odds with the American people on the war itself. Consider what he said in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos to be broadcast on Sunday:

We've got the basic strategy right... It may not be popular with the public -- it doesn't matter in the sense that we have to continue the mission and do what we think is right. And that's exactly what we're doing. We're not running for office. We're doing what we think is right.

Persistence is one thing; stubbornness is quite another. Policy should not be determined by popularity, perhaps, but what if the policy is so misguided that public opinion turns against it? That's what's happening with the Iraq War. That's why Republicans around the country are running not just against the Democrats but against Bush and the war -- and one of the reasons why Democrats are up in the polls and in a good position to take back the House and possibly the Senate next Tuesday.

The Iraq War has been a mistake of historic proportions. It is a war based on the manipulation of intelligence, even on outright lies. It is a war that has been grossly mismanaged from the very beginning. It is a war that has left thousands of Americans dead. It is a war that has taken the lives of countless Iraqis. And Iraq itself, nowhere near the capacity for self-government, is descending ever further into chaos and civil war. And Americans have had enough.

And all because Cheney and the rest of the warmongers are doing what they think is right even when their war has been proven to be so disastrously wrong. This isn't stubbornness. It's delusion.

What is a botched joke compared to a botched war?

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