“War President”

War PresidentI had another entry planned for today, but with the breaking news coming out of London, I figured it can wait a day or so.

I’ll likely be accused of hypocrisy, no matter what disclaimers I may offer in advance, and I welcome the feedback. But at least let me get one thing out of the way right off the bat — the blame for this attack lies with those who planned and carried it out. A lot of the reactionaries and protesters will start pulling Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson-type insanity, claiming that this is all really the responsibility of whatever completely unrelated group they happen to oppose, using whatever half-assed rationale they can to justify their lunacy.


I am not going to pretend that everyone else is completely without blame. It is a gross oversimplification to pretend that this attack — or others like it — would definitely have been prevented if, say, we hadn’t effectively abandoned our efforts to apprehend those responsible for the September 11 attacks, including most significantly Osama bin Laden. But the fact remains that that’s exactly what George Bush did, replacing a well-supported effort to stop those who had actually attacked the United States with a not-so-clearly-supported effort to wage a war of choice against a completely unrelated target.

Remember, I’m no dove; you’ll never find me out with the peace protesters. I understand the (real) rationale for invading Iraq. I was never convinced of either its necessity or its likelihood of success, and it sure as hell looks like reality’s bearing me out. As I’ve made clear, what I can never forgive is the deliberate attempt to deceive the American people into supporting the invasion of Iraq by both grossly overstating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and blurring the line between al Qaeda and Iraq. Presented on its merits, the toppling of Saddam Hussein was, in theory, a noble undertaking. But no doubt most Americans, if actually presented with the choice, would have agreed with me in saying not until we catch Osama bin Laden and stop al Qaeda.

And now al Qaeda is still active and claiming responsibility for this attack, Osama bin Laden — a significant figurehead if not personally directing operations — remains at large, and the United States is bogged down in a war the Tsar’s regime chose to undertake while we had an actual enemy still unconquered.

I found the attached picture while surfing around yesterday. It’s old news, now, but — sadly — still just as relevant (if not more so). It’s a photo mosaic composed of the faces of 960 of the (now more than 1,750) soldiers killed thanks to “Bush’s Folly.”

The image was originally created by American Leftist; it’s been updated several times as the body count has risen. The version I’ve got linked here (clicking on the photo will bring you to a much larger copy) originally appeared at the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York.

No, Mr. Bush, you don’t truly have to answer for the deaths in London, save for the (comparatively) minor role of your policy decisions in bringing them about. But you sure as hell have to answer for every one of these.


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