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Accountability Is On The March - Get Outta The Way!

For the past two Sundays on Meet The Press, moderator Tim Russert has assembled two panels each of four old White males, to discuss the situation in Iraq. First, was a forum made up of 3 retired Generals and 1 military expert, the second, a panel of all sitting U.S. Senators, 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans.

I was willing to overlook Russert's earned preference for bucking the model politically correct lineup of guests, because he asks the toughest questions. Too bad they're wasted on career politicians and Pentagon apologists, who are equally adept at responding with answers devoid of candor and honesty.

Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes has been admirable, as he continues undeterred offering up rational, plausible alternatives for getting the administration out of its latest jam in Iraq.

But now, I really wish he would just stop.

Anticipating yet another Republican publicly distancing themselves from Donald Rumsfeld, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card hit the Sunday chat show circuit with more fodder for late night comic monologues, insisting his boss thinks Rummy is doing a 'superb job'. But more incredulous, was hearing the same tepid, prepared and lone criticism of the Iraq debacle on CNN's Late Edition, from yet another group of four old white male civil servants just back from Baghdad. Seems even Democrats like Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. Evan Bayh are only willing to go so far as faulting the administration for disbanding the Iraqi Army. And, on who's orders was this carried out? Why, one of this weeks Medal of Freedom recipients, L. Paul Bremer!

In the wake of such Senate Democrats as Diane Feinstein, Chuck Shummer and Hillary Clinton giving their tacit approval to Bernard Kerik's confirmation as the new Homeland Security Secretary, my opening salvo of a rant questioning his qualifications and whispered past was intended merely as a self-indulgent swipe of no consequence.

I'm still kicking myself for that one.

Apparently, the reality of our soldiers in Iraq is not the frustration over proper vehicle body armor, tours of duty suddenly being extended at the last minute (many of which learn this news from reporters, and not Command), and a disturbing rate of suicide and mental health problems, just to name a few. According to the recently returning Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), 'moral is very high'. As to those recent reports confirming the leading Shiite Party (led by the powerful Cleric Al-Sistani) expected to prevail in next month's election are being funded and supported by Iran, Sen. Bayh sees no reason to worry:

"The Iranians are trying to exert their influence. We do have some intelligence about how they're doing that. But don't forget, Wolf, they're a different ethnic background than most of the Iraqis. I think a lot of the Iraqis look at Iran and say, "You know, we're co- religionists, but that's not the kind of government we want."

So, we should be proactive against a nuclear weapon possessing Arab Theocracy - apparently still nursing a vengeful hatred of America since 1978 (or the last time our Intelligence could actually confirm it) - but not fret about their influence on the Wolfowitz Doctrine's first experiment in remaking the Middle East?

* * * *

Think of it as a learned political reflex when the Right went after MSNBC's embedded war correspondent Kevin Sites, for breaking the story of the alleged murder of an unarmed, wounded Iraq Insurgent. The same goes for their fixation with the meddlesome Charlotte Observer reporter, who Conservatives like Michelle Malkin accused of duping an oblivious, innocent soldier. Of course, when all else fails (meaning no convenient partisan fall guy), theirs always the Democrats and the MSM (Mainstream Liberal!! Media).

There is a very good reason why President Bush's approval fell 6% percent in one month (the lowest first month rating of a second term Incumbent ever), and why a clear majority of Americans want Donald Rumsfeld ousted - the Bush Apologists don't have John Kerry and the Democrats to scapegoat anymore. And, nowhere is that more prevalent than in the minds of the American people.

The Right had no one to blame a Kerik witch-hunt on, thus the revelations stretched out in the media (tarnishing Rudy Guliani's halo in the process) more than a week after his withdrawal. John Kerry spoke often during the campaign about the lack of body armor in Iraq, however the recent controversy could not be obscured by CNN's Wolf Blitzer's dutiful regurgitation of White House bullet points distorting the Senator's voting record on military appropriations. As amazing as it sounds, there are those throughout the Conservative Echo Chamber right now defending Rumsfeld in the Auto Pen Signature controversy. Just when you thought the Right can get no lower than partisan attacks on the 9/11 families, what doe it say when parents of dead American soldiers are apparently 'fair game'?

You can now count me as an enthusiastic supporter of our duly elected President and his confirmed 'mandate' to govern. Which reminds of an apropos quote from the 1990 Republican candidate for Texas Governor, Clayton Williams.

Talking to reporters about the weather, he joked that bad weather is like rape: "as long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at December 29, 2004 12:55 AM