WHEN the veil from the eyes is lifted

I’ve said before that while we know that conservatives are to terrorism what gasoline is to a fire it is irritating that liberals that I respect like Sam Harris just don’t get it or aren’t listening. Maybe the way Wayne at Bad Attitudes says it might penetrate in a way that conservatives and those off the reservation liberals can understand, The Weakener-in-Chief

The matter needs to be stated plainly: we don’t hate Bush because he is fighting terrorism, we want to replace him because he is not good at fighting terrorism.

It’s not that Bush’s critics are against the war on terror; quite the contrary, it’s that we want George Bush out of the way because he has failed to launch an effective war on terrorism. We want to start one now. Five years too late, and against an enemy much strengthened by the Bush missteps and bungling, and without many allies by our side any longer, but we’ve got to start sometime.

Wayne wrote this in response to the NYT story on the National Intelligence Estimate. A rational person would look around and say that it is time to clean house. Not only are conservatives doing a miserable job of getting at the individual al-Queda type groups, they’re creating new terrorists. Why would a sane person, a person that claims to care about America’s security vote to continue self defeating dangerous policies.

Juan Cole makes an interesting catch of Chris Wallace discussing Bin Laden with Brit Hume, Wallace, Bin Laden, Republicans and Clinton

So on Wallace’s discussion show, Bin Laden is not important. But when he confronts Bill Clinton, suddenly Bin Laden is the end-all and be-all.

Click over to read the transcript. Time after time members of the administration have been allowed by Fox to ramble on about their missteps and screwy priorities without challenge. Then the Big Dog comes on the show to talk about something else and is ambushed. Bin Laden not so important when talking to the guys that haven’t been able to find him for six years, but of supreme importance when ambushing President Clinton. Mahablog has the transcript of Keith Olbermann’s observations of what has been obvious to many Americans for about five years, Covering Their Behinds, II

The distractions of 1998 and 1999, Mr. Bush, were carefully manufactured, and lovingly executed, not by Bill Clinton… but by the same people who got you… elected President.

Thus instead of some commendable acknowledgment that you were even in office on 9/11 and the lost months before it… we have your sleazy and sloppy rewriting of history, designed by somebody who evidently read the Orwell playbook too quickly.

Thus instead of some explanation for the inertia of your first eight months in office, we are told that you have kept us “safe” ever since — a statement that might range anywhere from Zero, to One Hundred Percent, true.

We have nothing but your word, and your word has long since ceased to mean anything.

And, of course, the one time you have ever given us specifics about what you have kept us safe from, Mr. Bush — you got the name of the supposedly targeted Tower in Los Angeles… wrong.

Thus was it left for the previous President to say what so many of us have felt; what so many of us have given you a pass for in the months and even the years after the attack:

You did not try.

You ignored the evidence gathered by your predecessor.

You ignored the evidence gathered by your own people.

Then, you blamed your predecessor.

That would be the textbook definition… Sir, of cowardice.

I’m not sure how productive hate is as an emotion, but if I or anyone wanted to hate Dubya his cowardice and that of his administration would be reason enough. They do remind me of school yard bullies that never take responsibility for anything and when confronted always slink back into deflection and lies.

Republican General: Rummy responsible for deaths, failure, Abu Ghraib

Donald Rumsfeld is not a competent wartime leader. He knows everything, except “how to win.” He surrounds himself with like-minded and compliant subordinates who do not grasp the importance of the principles of war, the complexities of Iraq, or the human dimension of warfare. Secretary Rumsfeld ignored 12 years of U.S. Central Command deliberate planning and strategy, dismissed honest dissent, and browbeat subordinates to build “his plan,” which did not address the hard work to crush the insurgency, secure a post-Saddam Iraq, build the peace, and set Iraq up for self-reliance. He refused to acknowledge and even ignored the potential for the insurgency, which was an absolute certainty. Bottom line, his plan allowed the insurgency to take root and metastasize to where it is today. Our great military lost a critical window of opportunity to secure Iraq because of inadequate troop levels and capability required to impose security, crush a budding insurgency, and set the conditions for the rule of law in Iraq. We were undermanned from the beginning, lost an early opportunity to secure the country, and have yet to regain the initiative.

I know that it is the conventional wisdom to blame Rummy, but it is not Donald alone. He would not have done what he has without Bush’s full and uncritical support. Of course Bush and Cheney know even less about warfare then Rumsfeld, but a good leader at least recognizes incompetence when he sees it.

WHEN the veil from the eyes is lifted
The seer’s head is gray;
When the sailor to shore has drifted
The sirens are far away.
Why must the clearer vision,
The wisdom of Life’s late hour
from Si Jeunesse Savait! by Thomas R. Lounsbury, Yale Book of American Verse. 1912.