Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Out, damned spot!

Sorry, Scott. That blood is as much your hands as it is Bush and Cheney's. I know a lot of my fellow anti-war bloggers are praising McCellan's recent revelations but the excerpts I read are disgustingly self-serving. To whit:


Most of our elected leaders in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, are good, decent people. Yet too many of them today have made a practice of shunning truth and the high level of openness and forthrightness required to discover it. Most of it is not willful or conscious. Rather, it is part of the modern Washington game that has become the accepted norm.

You were the Chief Poobah of Washington Bullshit, asshole. You have no moral standing - NONE - to criticize.

Oh, and a good portion of our elected leaders in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, are aren't good, decent people. Those kinds of people - people that oppose the Washington hive mentality you helped sell - are few and far between.


Ironically, much of Bush's campaign rhetoric (in 1999-2000) had been aimed at distancing himself from the excesses of Clinton's permanent campaign style of governing. The implicit meaning of Bush's words was that he would bring an end to the perpetual politicking and deep partisan divisions it created. Although Washington could not get enough of the permanent campaign, voters were seemingly eager to move beyond it.

Bush wasn't "elected" so "voters" weren't buying his crap. The way he took office, as the recent HBO film "Recount" reminds us, shows he didn't give a rat's ass about getting beyond "partisan divisions." The man lived for them.


Bush did not emulate Clinton on the policy front. Just the opposite – the mantra of the new administration was "anything but Clinton" when it came to policies. The Bush administration prided itself in focusing on big ideas, not playing small ball with worthy but essentially trivial policy ideas for a White House, like introducing school uniforms or going after deadbeat dads.

Pure, unadulterated crap Mr. McCellan. "Anything but Clinton" wasn't just a formulation against focusing the power of the federal government on trivial issues. It was a formulation against EVERYTHING the Clinton administration did, regardless of merit.

This meant a foreign policy that focused on bluster instead of diplomacy. An environmental policy that assumed science was partisan. A domestic policy that believed the rich were the ones that actually drive the economy and a security policy that believed the chief international threat to the United States wasn't loose pockets of islamic radicals but instead nation-states. A belief that led directly to the attacks on 9/11 I might add.

And it wasn't just Clinton administration policies that got the heave-ho. Treaties that had been negotiated by Republican and Democratic administrations alike were tossed out. Comity and decorum in the senate under control of both parties were thrown on the trash heap. The federal government became the plaything of people who were so full of hubris they believed they and they alone understood how the world worked.

"Anything but Clinton" was really "anything but reason." That's their fucking legacy, asshole.


When Bush was making up his mind to pursue regime change in Iraq, it is clear that his national security team did little to slow him down, to help him fully understand the tinderbox he was opening and the potential risks in doing so. I know the president pretty well. I believe that, if he had been given a crystal ball in which he could have foreseen the costs of war – more than 4,000 American troops killed, 30,000 injured, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens dead – he would have never made the decision to invade, despite what he might say or feel he has to say publicly.

Really? Because I don't think he cares. He's done nothing since then to correct his mistake. In fact he's compounded it with the surge and other efforts to make our presence there permanent.

But the point is HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. He's the President of the United States not the garbage man who missed your can. It's his job to know. If he didn't then he simply isn't qualified to be the president.

Which is what most of us have known for years.


Secretary of State Colin Powell was apparently the only adviser who even tried to raise doubts about the wisdom of war. The rest of the foreign policy team seemed to be preoccupied with regime change or, in the case of Condi Rice, seemingly more interested in accommodating the president's instincts and ideas than in questioning them or educating him.

This assumes Rice, Cheney, etc. were smart enought to know better or cared. I'm not willing to extend the President's advisors slack in either case. Or the president for that matter. And Powell can go jump of a bridge. He should've resigned the moment it was clear to him they were going to war. The man has no honor. None.

Most objective observers today would say that in 2003 there was no urgent need to address the threat posed by Saddam with a large-scale invasion, and therefore the war was not necessary. But this is a question President Bush seems not to want to grapple with.


Of course not because at it's core it's a moral question and he's a sociopath.


But as history moves to render its judgment in the coming years and decades, we can't gloss over the hard truths this book has sought to address and the lessons we can learn from understanding them better. Allowing the permanent campaign culture to remain in control may not take us into another unnecessary war, but it will continue to limit the opportunity for careful deliberation, bipartisan compromise, and meaningful solutions to the major problems all Americans want to see solved.

Bite me, Scott. You need to be dragged off to the Hague and tried for war crimes along with the rest of this administration. I'm sure your entire book is full of this self-serving tripe. YOU are just as responsible as Bush and the rest of his administration for the idiotic war in Iraq. YOU have blood on your hands.

I look forward to Baghdad Bob's book. I'm sure it will be just as factual.

15 comments:

Don Snabulus said...

No, I mean, tell me how you REALLY feel.

I felt similarly about McClellan's book after reading the reviews. One thing it might indicate is that he expects bad things to go down later and he doesn't want to get caught in the wreckage.

Dissenting four years after the fact is disengenuous. Your last sentence was apt...he really was Baghdad Bob but too much of America lapped it up unlike the Iraqis who were familiar with BS when they heard it.

Arkonbey said...

McClellan isn't just disengenuous, he's a chickensh1t who didn't have the stones to do the right thing when there were actual consequences to doing it.

Where was his conscience when it mattered most? It was hiding behind his fear. He is no hero for writing this book.

It is good that this is coming out. Though he was a relative bit player, he was still a deep insider (unlike say, Gen. Clark) and the world will now the truth. Though all the "I told you so"s in the world won't make a whit of difference.

Bradda said...

This is a tough one Dean. I agree with you across the board but Scotty gets a bit of a pass for this from me. Not a big one mind you. I just think this could lead to more people who have stopped drinking the Kool-Aid, hopefully more will follow his lead. We'll see...

Hypatia said...

McCellan's referral to the Clintons "essentially trivial policy ideas" is pure crap.

Does he mean like Healthcare reform? The budget surplus they got going to ensure Social Security...that's now blown to hell on their little Iraq/Afganistan war games?



Arkonbey said...


Where was his conscience when it mattered most? It was hiding behind his fear.


I disagree, it was hiding in his big fat wallet, and now instead of just confessing it privately (to a priest if Catholic or straight to "god" if not)...he's making EVEN MORE off his so-called guilty conscience.

Liberality said...

Don't buy his book. He does not deserve one thin dime of our money!

Dr. Zaius said...

At least he said something. He could have continued to shill for the administration.

McClellan was out of his depth from the beginning. Then again, so was the president!

Dean Wormer said...

don-

No, I mean, tell me how you REALLY feel.

Betrayed? Bewildered?

I guess I dislike the guy so much because he tried to feed us so much crap for years. You don't just talk your way out of that.

I think you're right that he may be looking for a get out of jail free card here.

arkonbey

Where was his conscience when it mattered most? It was hiding behind his fear. He is no hero for writing this book.

Damned straight. It's not heroic to jump on the train of convential wisdom. Bush is at 27% approval right now. Offly courageous of you, Mr. McCellan.

bradda-

Fair enough. I would encourage you to read through the exerpt on the WSJ that I quote here. It doesn't look to me like he stopped drinking the Kool Aid. It seems to me he just recognizes that most people don't like those that do drink the Kool Aid.

Just my take.

zaius-

Bush would be out of his depth in a kiddy wading pool.

hypatia-

Does he mean like Healthcare reform? The budget surplus they got going to ensure Social Security...that's now blown to hell on their little Iraq/Afganistan war games?

Exactly. The Clinton administration did see the big picture. The Bush administration in contrast is myopic.

But even the "trivial" Clinton stuff like midnight basketball did more for kids than Bush's supposed Big Picture policy of no child left behind.

liberality-

Not one red cent from me!

Randal Graves said...

dean, go on with your bad self. I couldn't agree more. I am so sick of these fuckers when they are out of the game playing the 'woe is me' card.

"I couldn't have known! And then when I did know, I didn't say anything."

"That's okay, you were just doing your job and you need to put food on your family."

FUCK OFF.

Westcoast Walker said...

It would be interesting to know the particulars of McClellan's book deal. We can all safely assume it was lucrative enough to help him hold back from going public with his outrage for a few years longer and persist comfortably with what must have been a staggering case of cognitive dissonance.

The outrage is justified and I agree that his criticisms are a tad too late. Had he taken this stance during all the saber rattling and concerns about WMD's he would have had a bigger impact, as we now already know how big a douche bag Bush really is, so it's kind of a moot point (my apologies to any real douche bags for the unfortunate comparison)

BAC said...

Dean I agree with what you have written. Scott, Bush, Cheney, Colin, Condi and the rest should all be facing war crimes trials right now, instead of living comfortable lives.

This book is simply telling us what we already knew.

You might have heard me yelling at my television set this evening as I watched Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw take part in a complete cover-your-ass interview. It was such bullshit. I have to question why I bother watching.


BAC

Joe the Troll said...

"Oh, and a good portion of our elected leaders in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, are good, decent people."

So I hear, but never believe. Good, decent people don't want that kind of work. We could probably save a lot of time, money, and heartache by automatically jailing anyone who wins an election. :-)

"The budget surplus they got going to ensure Social Security...that's now blown to hell on their little Iraq/Afganistan war games?"

It was blown to hell before 9/11 even happened. It went away with those $300 refund checks we got in 2001, remember? All that "It's your money and the Democrats just want to take it from you" crap.

I agree that McClellan just wants to save his own ass. I disagree that most Republicans are seeing the truth about the war. Most have gone against it not because it was unjust, unnecessary, and highly criminal. They've turned against it because it didn't work the way it was sold. They were told it would be over quickly and pay for itself with oil, and that the dividends would continue well into the future with cheap oil from a giddily appreciative young democracy. If anything like that had happened, Bush would probably have the highest rating of any president in history. They don't care about the loss of life, but there's no return for investors except those that own Haliburton stock or have a munitions company. Bad business, and Republicans don't like that. As with the businesses that he owned, Bush didn't get the PROFITS that would have kept his party in office.

If I were wrong, I think McCain would have a lot less support than he has going now.

C.J. said...

YAWN......

Not one damn thing new in this book. I have better things to do with my time than read the sniveling of a former member of Satan's army.

Nice blog here!

Dean Wormer said...

randal-

Damned straight. I heard a clip of McCellan on the Today Show this morning where he was asked why he didn't do anything at the time. His answer was pathetic. He said something about a "post 9/11 mentality" and that Bush and Cheney were "decent people" and even decent people can be wrong.

Not about war they can't.

westcoast walker-

We can all safely assume it was lucrative enough to help him hold back from going public with his outrage for a few years longer and persist comfortably with what must have been a staggering case of cognitive dissonance.

That's pretty astute. McCellan's book is #1 on Amazon right now. He's making a ton of blood money off of his silence.

BAC-

You might have heard me yelling at my television set this evening as I watched Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw take part in a complete cover-your-ass interview.

That was you? I wondered why my chihuahua was hiding under the couch.

joe the troll-

I had a typo between "are" and "aren't." I fixed it in the original post.

As a consequence I think we're actually on the same page when it comes to the jerks in Washington. Most are a bunch of very bad guys.

It was blown to hell before 9/11 even happened. It went away with those $300 refund checks we got in 2001, remember? All that "It's your money and the Democrats just want to take it from you" crap.

I'd forgotten about the surplus being blown well before 9/11. Thanks for the reminder.

Is it possible to dislike him even more?

c.j.-

Thanks!

Joe the Troll said...

"As a consequence I think we're actually on the same page when it comes to the jerks in Washington. Most are a bunch of very bad guys."


It seems we are at that!

Tengrain said...

I agree with you, DW, too little, too late.

And frankly, I don't believe in death bed conversions, either.

Regards,

Tengrain