Weekend Roundup: Bush "Wrong" on Iraq

Republicans began doing the job of the Democratic party, this weekend, criticizing President Bush's war on Iraq. Using words like "mistakes" and "incompetence" they gave it to the Bush/Cheney ticket on a round of Sunday political forums:

Leading members of President Bush's Republican Party on Sunday criticized mistakes and "incompetence" in his Iraq policy and called for an urgent ground offensive to retake insurgent sanctuaries.

In appearances on news talk shows, Republican senators also urged Bush to be more open with the American public after the disclosure of a classified CIA report that gave a gloomy outlook for Iraq and raised the possibility of civil war.

"The fact is, we're in deep trouble in Iraq ... and I think we're going to have to look at some recalibration of policy," Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"We made serious mistakes," said Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has campaigned at Bush's side this year after patching up a bitter rivalry.

McCain, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," cited as mistakes the toleration of looting after the successful U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and failures to secure Iraq's borders or prevent insurgents from establishing strongholds within the country.

He said a ground offensive was urgently needed to retake areas held by insurgents, but a leading Democrat accused the administration of stalling for fear of hurting Bush's reelection chances.

McCain said he felt Bush had been "clear" regarding the war, but that he felt he could be "clearer". Now, perhaps it's just me, but clear doesn't have different levels. There's clear as in transparent, there's translucent and there's opaque. It seems to be that Bush has been opaque, translucent at best, since he admits there is a war, but won't discuss how terribly it's going. How he can be clear, but need to be clearer is, well, just silly.

Australian news sites happen to have posted some of the comments I felt were most important coming out of these Sunday morning shows:

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard Lugar says the failure of the administration to spend more than about five per cent of the $US18-billion Congress had allocated for reconstruction amounted to incompetence.

He said: "We've got to get the reconstruction money out there."

Fellow Republican Senator John Mcain says the administration cannot afford to delay an offensive against insurgent strongholds. "I think that every day that goes by the more expensive it's going to be," he said.

That's right: while Bush berates Kerry for giving him the ability to ruin our country via this unwinable war, the money Kerry approved for rebuilding sits around doing nothing. Not even 10% of it has been used yet, and here were are 16 months after "mission accomplished". I think incompetence is the word I'm looking for.
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