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The Three Stooges
(Charley Reese, Antiwar.com, December 18, 2004)
Anybody who has any doubts that George Bush is a true believer in himself should finally be convinced by his awarding the Medal of Freedom to the three blunderers of the war in Iraq. Gen. Tommy Franks allowed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to browbeat him into planning a war with fewer troops than were needed. He no doubt noted that when Gen. Eric Shinseki and the secretary of the Army publicly said many more troops were needed, they were gotten rid of. Shinseki was humiliated when the Pentagon announced his replacement a year and a half before he was due to step down. Secretary of the Army Thomas White was fired. Today, there is no doubt that Shinseki and White were correct, but Franks, who sacrificed his professional judgment to Rumsfeld's ideological rigidity, gets the medal. Then there's Paul Bremer. Nobody could have made more mistakes as head of the occupation than Bremer. He and Franks allowed the looting that proved disastrous. He fired all the civil servants who could have helped run the government, and he disbanded the army. All the problems we face today in Iraq stem directly from these blunders. But he gets the medal. And finally there is George Tenet, the former CIA director. He failed to detect the attack on 9/11, and he padded the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to please the president. "It's a slam-dunk," he said. Sure. He makes a blunder of stupendous importance and gets the medal. What should alarm people is the president's iron-tight refusal to acknowledge that any mistakes have been made. That's exactly what he was saying when he handed out those three medals: I have not made any mistakes whatsoever. Rumsfeld, Franks, Tenet and Bremer have made no mistakes. The only people who are wrong are people who disagree with me. Such arrogance is characteristic of fanatics. Apparently, when the president and his ideologues get an idea into their heads, they view any facts to the contrary as evidence of hostility and disloyalty. Nobody in recent history has been more arrogant and more wrong than the Bush administration has been in its dealing with Iraq. When a leader makes it clear that he doesn't want anyone around who will tell him things he doesn't want to hear, he guarantees that he will be surrounded by sycophants and manipulators.
COMMENT*****Personally, I don't put much faith in this Administration not making more major mistakes. As long as Bush continues to believe that he has a mandate from God to crush and control the Muslims there will be no peace and security. But, as this is what Bush and Company want - the more uncertainty and disharmony in the US the more they control through fear and rhetoric - I don't see much chance of a change of philosophy. But that is just this old Curmudgeon's opinion.******

posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:27 AM

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