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The Bush administration has allowed the international image of the United States (and its citizens) to drain down the proverbial tubes. I'm not going to comment on the invasion of Iraq, whether or not it was justified. Occupation is stil justified by virtue of the fact that leaving is not an option at the moment.

But the way the administration has bungled the prisoner abuse scandal leads me to question the professionalism of Bush's cabinet. Ashcroft and Rumsfeld both have embarrassed themselves in front of congressional committees, talked down to senior members of those committees, and refused to admit defeat, to the point of refusing to hand over incriminating documents with a flat 'no.'

I don't care if the abuse came from the bottom of a few grunts' psyches or all the way from the top of the Defense and/or Justice Departments. I don't care if CIA or State was involved, or whether Bush knew about the abuses or not. Sometimes, torture is the only way to get information necessary to prosecute a counterinsurgency. I won't get into arguments about the accuracy of said information (people say a lot of things under duress).

But if the fact that not just word but pictures of the abuses got out wasn't damaging enough, Bush's administration is trying to play smoke-and-mirror games with Congress and the press and failing miserably. Simply put, they're making the U.S. look like fools. George Tenet, respected and able DCI for both the Clinton and Bush administrations, resigned. He only took part of the bullet for Bush, and the administration just provides more ammunition with each passing day.

But what is there to do? Elections are coming in November, but Kerry is reminiscent of an unenthused middle school math teacher on valium. He just doesn't have the personality to be President. Intellect has very little to do with the presidency. You don't need to be a scholar to do that job. Savvy and smarts are necessary, and despite all outward appearances I think Bush has more of that than Kerry.

Kerry could be hiding all his personality for the time being to lay low and allow this shitstorm to consume Bush. But you can't bank on that.

Bush needs to get out of this hole. The most extreme option would be a cabinet overhaul. It would allow for a PR fresh start, but removing the head of the DOD would turn the Iraq occupation into more of a clusterfuck than it has become. The administration needs to come clean with whatever involvement it had with the abuse and allow the Iraqi government to decide what to do about it. Control of the situation is out of the administration's hands, and it just needs to admit that and move on. U.S. prestige cannot sink much lower, so whatever damage a confession would do could not possibly irreparably harm American power and international support.

~Halcyondream~

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06.14.2004 01:20
time for an old halcyon standby: diatribe


last 5
goodbye diaryland - 06.19.2004
p.s.: i really should get a livejournal to keep up with the rest of you - 06.18.2004
another day, another dollar not earned - 06.14.2004
time for an old halcyon standby: diatribe - 06.14.2004
a new era in computing for halcyon - 06.11.2004


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