Trust Me?

On my first day as a contributor to this weblog, the headlines conveniently provide an opportunity to get to the heart of how I feel about the Bush Administration. Earlier this week, outgoing Secretary Of State Colin Powell said he saw intelligence supporting a group’s claim that the Iranian government is developing nuclear weapons. Today CNN reports that U.S. officials are questioning the reliability of that intelligence. After the Iraq war intelligence fiasco, who are we to believe? I have a hard time understanding why the majority of American voters thought it was a good idea to re-elect an administration with such dangerous credibility problems.

Just think about this for a minute.

Powell sought support for the Iraq War by presenting faulty intelligence to the UN. It is no secret that Powell did not favor the war, that the policy was driven by the White House insiders who are now taking over the Bush Cabinet. This intelligence was provided by the CIA, which is now headed by a Bush loyalist, who is demanding that the agency's employees back the policies of the President. Isn't that the kind of thinking that opened this credibility gap in the first place?

I was entertained by Michael Moore's thought-provoking "Fahrenheit 9/11." I did not agree with all of the messages in the movie (I outright rejected many of them), which I consumed as a well-produced propaganda piece. One message of the movie that I specifically identified with was that Americans and The World should be able to assume that the White House will not try to pull wool over our eyes in order to garner public support for a march to war.

I am a former Democrat who registered Republican after Sept. 11, 2001 for two reasons, one practical (I live in the most conservative of New Jersey counties, where Republicans always win, so the only way that I can have a say in local elections is to vote in the Republican primary.), one knee-jerk (I was angry that the Clinton Administration had failed us by not rubbing out bin Laden when they had the chance, and I thought Bush was going to devote the full force of our military to taking him out).

Fast-forward to chaotic post-Saddam Iraq, with no weapons of mass destruction, with insurgents run wild. I became disillusioned with Bush. Moore's appeal to my emotions helped to seal the deal for me. I voted for Kerry, mostly on the issue of trust. I had a hard time understanding why most of America did not feel the same way.

After the election, America has to move on, hopefully to bigger and better things. That's a tall order, however, when the Administration has made it hard for any person of discernment to have confidence in America's credibility, especially in the foreign policy arena.

Is Iran developing nuclear weapons? I don't know. What I do know is that if the Bush Administration says so, I suspect it's a front for an agenda to invade. That's a big problem, and it is not easy to overcome.

While, I realize this argument is not a new one, it is very relevant today, and I hope it provides you with some insight as to where I'm coming from as a new WatchBlogger.

Posted by Joe Territo at November 19, 2004 4:17 PM