October 30, 2004

Impeach George Bush. Impeach Him Monday

I have long thought this sufficient reason for the immediate impeachment of George W. Bush. And it still is. He should be removed from office immediately:

Holy Zarqawi - Why Bush let Iraq's top terrorist walk. By Daniel Benjamin: Why didn't the Bush administration kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when it had the chance? That it had opportunities to take out the Jordanian-born jihadist has been clear since Secretary of State Colin Powell devoted a long section of his February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council. In those remarks, which were given to underscore the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, Powell dwelt at length on the terrorist camp in Khurmal, in the pre-invasion Kurdish enclave.... Neither the Khurmal camp nor the surrounding area were under Saddam's control, but Powell provided much detail purporting to show Zarqawi's ties to the Baghdad regime. His arguments have since been largely discredited by the intelligence community. Many of us who have worked in counterterrorism wondered at the time about Powell's claims. If we knew where the camp of a leading jihadist was and knew that his followers were working on unconventional weapons, why weren't we bombing it or sending in special operations forces—especially since this was a relatively "permissive" environment?

In recent months, the mystery of the administration's inaction has only grown.... Despite numerous press inquiries and questions from Capitol Hill, the administration has never given a straight answer about why it held back. Some officials have offered the excuse that there was no certainty that Zarqawi would be present at the camp when an attack took place. This is unpersuasive. Even if there was no guarantee—and recently retired military officials say the terrorist was, in fact, living at the site—there should have been some urgency about destroying a camp where jihadists were producing ricin. This isn't a parlor gamer: In early 2003, British police dismantled a jihadist cell that was linked to Zarqawi and was planning attacks involving ricin.

What seems evident is that the administration viewed Zarqawi as a lower-tier concern, despite his well-known history of running an Afghan terrorist training camp and conducting terrorist operations in Europe. The White House was unwilling to divert any effort from the buildup for war in Iraq to this kind of threat.

The idea that states are the real issue and terrorists and their organizations are of secondary concern has been present throughout the Bush presidency.... In the Pentagon's conduct of operations in Afghanistan, the overwhelming focus was on unseating the Taliban, the effective state power, while less attention was paid to pursuing al-Qaida, which had just killed nearly 3,000 people on American soil. Thus we had the debacle at Tora Bora, where our subcontractors, the militias of Afghan warlords, allowed Osama Bin Laden to escape.

Similarly, the relentless focus on Saddam Hussein has led to the removal from Afghanistan of key intelligence and special operations assets, including much of the elite commando unit Task Force 5. This, like the case of the pulled punch against Zarqawi, suggests that the Bush team continued to believe that states were the key threats in the post-9/11 world; terrorist groups could easily be swept up after the rogue nations had been dispatched. The much vaunted doctrine of pre-emption was employed against Iraq—a state that was effectively deterred from attacking the United States—while undeterrable terrorists were left to their own devices.... It is an added irony that the administration's inability to fully assimilate the threat from "non-state actors" is leading, thanks in part to Zarqawi, to the failure of its effort to reinvent Iraq as a stable democracy in the Middle East.

Posted by DeLong at October 30, 2004 10:56 AM | TrackBack
Comments

For those wondering why GwBush chose to focus on Iraq instead of terrorist here is a good article that points to motive. War was all about building political capital

http://www.kfi640.com/timages/page/media/JNKFEC.pdf


money quotes:


“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”

"...George W. Bush’s beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House – ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. “Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.”"


Posted by: ken at October 30, 2004 11:35 AM

Ken, there's the rub. Mr. aWol doesn't know his geography. "Small" means Grenada. Anything much larger becomes exponentially more difficult to occupy. Bush is just now learning how large Al Anbar province is.

Posted by: Charles at October 30, 2004 11:45 AM

He should not just be impeached - he and his gang should be tried for war crimes (per the JH/Lancet research:100,000 dead Iraqis - and that's not just a Haloween scary movie). Here is a 2003 article which should prove interesting arguments in support of a war crimes indictment!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,200-587146,00.html?gavalidate

February 25, 2003

"Are Bush and Blair breaking the law?
by Danny Lee
International experts are divided about the legality of war with Iraq



Tony Blair and George W. Bush could be guilty of war crimes in preparing for an attack on Iraq, Professor Nicholas Grief, a barrister and head of the School of Finance & Law at Bournemouth University, says. He is part of a coalition of global lawyers and jurists who presented an appeal to the UN on February 13 calling for force to be used against Iraq only as a last resort.
“Even if the Security Council authorises the use of force, it will still be illegal. In addition there is a body of opinion that not only would Blair and Bush be violating the UN charter by going to war but they may already be violating the Nuremberg charter of 1945 in their preparations for war.”

Article 6 of the latter describes a crime against peace as including planning, preparation or initiation of war, Grief says. It also includes the “participation in a common plan or conspiracy for any of the foregoing. Crimes against peace carry individual responsibility, therefore Blair and Bush could be personally responsible.”

In theory our Prime Minister and the US President could be charged for these crimes in one of their national courts. Even though such a scenario is unlikely, the idea that the two men could be entering the same legal territory as the Nazis does focus the mind....."


Posted by: LibertyGuard at October 30, 2004 12:16 PM

Frank Wilhoit: Partly, but they really do think in state terms-- they think of themselves as the country, not the party or faction. And remember that when bush said he wasn't worried about OBL, it wasn't because OBL was hiding somewhere but because he wasn't running a government anymore.

Here's what somebody really needs to explain to me. Half of these people are Straussians. The whole bunch of them exist, expand, exercise influence, acquire power by developing and using an incredible matrix of non-state institutions. Why then do they have this fixation on state actors, and say that non-state networks aren't worth paying attention to?

Posted by: Altoid at October 30, 2004 02:06 PM

Update for Liberty Guard: Kofi Annan has already said the Iraq war was illegal. As if anyone needed to have it confirmed.

What's sad is that so many on the right don't remember why "preventive war" is a war crime, indeed, the primary war crime: Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: Charles at October 30, 2004 02:56 PM

The whole bunch of them exist, expand, exercise influence, acquire power by developing and using an incredible matrix of non-state institutions. Why then do they have this fixation on state actors, and say that non-state networks aren't worth paying attention to?

LOOK! OVER THERE! BAD GUYS! (Just ignore us over here. Nope, we ain't doing nuthin'. Nuthin' at all ...)

Reminds me of J. Edgar Hoover, fixating on the Interational Communist Conspiricy while denying the existance of organized crime.

Posted by: lightning at October 30, 2004 04:38 PM

The whole bunch of them exist, expand, exercise influence, acquire power by developing and using an incredible matrix of non-state institutions. Why then do they have this fixation on state actors, and say that non-state networks aren't worth paying attention to?

LOOK! OVER THERE! BAD GUYS! (Just ignore us over here. Nope, we ain't doing nuthin'. Nuthin' at all ...)

Reminds me of J. Edgar Hoover, fixating on the Interational Communist Conspiricy while denying the existance of organized crime.

Posted by: lightning at October 30, 2004 04:44 PM

The whole bunch of them exist, expand, exercise influence, acquire power by developing and using an incredible matrix of non-state institutions. Why then do they have this fixation on state actors, and say that non-state networks aren't worth paying attention to?

LOOK! OVER THERE! BAD GUYS! (Just ignore us over here. Nope, we ain't doing nuthin'. Nuthin' at all ...)

Reminds me of J. Edgar Hoover, fixating on the Interational Communist Conspiricy while denying the existance of organized crime.

Posted by: lightning at October 30, 2004 04:52 PM

Agreed that Bush has no excuse for not having taken out Zarqawi. Impeach him. Hell, beat him on Tuesday and then arrest him.
But Benjamin has it wrong when he interprets it that "The idea that states are the real issue and terrorists and their organizations are of secondary concern has been present throughout the Bush presidency...."

The chosen targets being state or not state-structured is totally besides the point. When Bush entered office his larger team was heavily populated by people salivating for a chance to get at Saddam -- the Cheney-Wolfowitz-Perle cabal. After routing the Taliban in Afghanistan, Bush simply dropped the ball on Osama et al because this group was determined to go after Saddam. The Pentagon wasn't ready; it didn't matter.

Couching this position in analytical language of "state" or "non-state" targets is assigning a structured approach that simply wasn't there. The neocons had simply, and bizarrely, convinced themselves that dethroning Saddam was some linchpin to bringing peace and love to the whole world. Everything else was ancillary. It's that simple. And ridiculous.

Posted by: paulo at October 30, 2004 06:48 PM

What's simply ridiculous, Paulo, is you'all's belief that this NeoCon cabal cares about war crimes, or is going to just let go of the ball on Tuesday and slink off to Crawford, or under whatever rock Cheney can find to crawl.

Ain't gonna happen, dude. Bush to win. Whether he's popularly elected, or crowned by Supremes.

You should be working on updating your passport, and using a different cell phone for every call.

Posted by: Tante Aime at October 30, 2004 09:41 PM

Sad, but Brad De Long,
true blue liberal and wrong,
awaits Tuesday's gong.

Posted by: Bad Poet at October 31, 2004 06:03 AM

If the election goes to Kerry maybe the readers of this blog should perform a service to Bad Poet by sending his poem back to him in multiple copies all day long. Maybe all year long?

Posted by: dibert dogbert at October 31, 2004 06:37 AM

Tante Aime, as I have written, there is no escape. We have to win this battle here.

Posted by: Charles at October 31, 2004 11:24 AM

Little to add to the sentiments above. After I read the Herskowitz article, I had the smoking gun that confirmed my earlier belief that Bush didn't care beans about Weapons of Mass Destruction or anything else. He wanted to be a Fredrick the Great (who incidentally spoke French as his first language). Where he got the deluded notion that he is a leader will give psycho-historians a lot to work on, if we have the good chance to toss him out on Tuesday. But the bottom line is -- and we knew this a long time before from the mouths of the very babes that foisted this disaster on us -- they chose WMD as a pretext for war, because it was the only one that they could sell. They never believed in it, and that is why they took no precautions to secure the weapons. All they wanted was to find some evidence to justify an invasion they had decided to do no matter what.

The culpable parties in all this are the press and in some measure the Democratic opposition, who didn't put these criminals to the test. This is a catastrophic breakdown in the American political system. The only thing comparable is 1845-1860, and at least then there was an identifiable economic interest at stake. This misadventure was a work of pure imagination. It's a little late now that we've lost 1100 men and women, and will surely lose at least that many more before we are out of there. We haven't begun to bear the cost of this utter folly.

Posted by: Knut Wicksell at October 31, 2004 05:32 PM

Knut has lit on the really icky part, both about the article and about Bush. He thinks he knows what a leader is. He thinks he's a leader. Leaders go to war and don't admit mistakes.

Take off the top layer of paint and leadership comes down to killing foreigners, at the cost of US lives lost on the way, and lying when the truth is against you. Bush is as shallow as he seems, as venal, as bad.

Posted by: kharris at November 1, 2004 06:20 AM

Don't just impeach the bastard - indict him and his whole filthy crew for treason.

Posted by: Tom Beck at November 1, 2004 07:17 AM

The Case Against Bush.

Posted by: Wayne Mattson at November 1, 2004 10:02 AM

Tom Beck reminds us of a critical point: don't forget the "whole filthy crew" - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Ashcroft, Rice, Wolfowitz, Blair, Howard. They are all equally if not more to blame. At least George Bush can plead ignorance.

Posted by: Steve at November 1, 2004 12:57 PM

The entire Iraq fiasco was in the works BEFORE the election. Iraq thought they had paid their blood money by pumping billions to the right companies and families. But the real money had decided to take Iraq for themselves and pay the bill in GI's blood. We tore up a country and killed lots of folks - just to make billionaires into trillionaires. I think these folks have their eyes on Iran and Syria. Take a look at www.stolennation.com

Posted by: Sgt Paul at November 1, 2004 10:43 PM

Here's a comment or two: WW2 was bad; our soldiers were welcomed back though, with open arms and thanks. Vietnam soldiers came home to ridicule and confusion. Now it seems Americans don't want soldiers to fight. Somewhere between WW2 and the present, America has decided that rules for war are just like rules during peacekeeping. To me, this goes along with these stupid organizations that keep good things from happening due to gaping holes in the law so they snooker and squander to get their way. It also goes along with the rising generation of teens that get away with craziness at school, don't learn a thing, and make babies that are doomed from day one (I hope you are all aware of the alarming number of teens that are illiterate and mean that are making babies because their friends are-it's a status thing). My take on it is that why stop when you have nothing to lose? After all, they get a welfare check for that kid, so keep on rockin' and poppin' em out, right? WRONG. Dubya needs to fix that situation before our morally corrupt country destroys itself.
Some people join the Army, etc. to get money and not to fight, and they do a double take when they are told they are soon to be stationed overseas. Why enlist if your attitude is so bad? Why not pour cement or work at a pizza joint?
I know the war on terrorism is the thorn in Bush's side. All the time I wonder what he would be doing if he didn't have to deal with it and could focus on other things. What would those "other things" be? Would he focus on teenage pregnancy and getting those girls that think it's so cool to have kids some bills to pay? Would he focus on the problems with public schools right now and see that we need to be able to spank some of those rotten kids' butts? Would he focus on that trillion dollar national debt that may collapse our economy any second? Or gas prices (remember 81 cents a gallon in 2001)? What does our country need to be the good ol' U.S. of A.? We need to conquer Iraq and help them to establish a peaceful country. We need crystal clear negotiations with the other strong countries in the world (and good rapport as well). We need the world to look at us and say, "Don't mess with the U.S.A.; they're tough. They're no joke. They are strong and have strong beliefs. They'll kick our butts."
Instead, America is having problems in itself. Some issues are political, some are of heated racism. Many people create problems unnecessarily and it is becomming a habit. Lord, we need a helping hand before we have another civil war. Corrupt Americans are good at one thing: gossip. It is slaying what we stand for.
I know times change and people do too, but changing to what I see us changing to is no good. I love my country and would never wish to move away, but something's gotta give.
I am fortunate to have a loving family, a good job, friends, electricity, cable, food, etc. and I don't have it as bad as the majority of the people in the world; I guess that gives me time to observe things and see that many, many others wouldn't have it as bad if we could stop and think for a second about what in the world we are doing here on Earth.
I am going to stand behind President Bush in whatever he does this second term in office. I am going to see what he's up to as far as these problems I've listed and if he's attempting to conquer any of them.
I am going to check this web page soon to see who read this. Whether you like what I said or not, it doesn't matter; everyone has an opinion and I've expressed mine.

Posted by: Ben Davis at November 18, 2004 06:32 PM

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

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