It's been 4 1/2 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington which killed 3000 Americans. It's been over three years since the Busheviks marched on Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein. In the time since, there's been a complete lack of evidence connecting the fallen dictator to Osama bin Laden, as well as the government of Iraq to Al Qaeda. But that hasn't stopped the Repugs from morphing the two at every turn in their ongoing effort to legitimize the war and divert Americans' attention away from their misuse and abuse of intelligence to justify the invasion. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and Rice are the main protagonists in this story, but the supporting cast of characters is miles long.
Case in point, Sunday's Meet the Press, where NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell, subbing for Tim Russert, interviewed Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) about the Iraq war, terrorism and last week's Supreme Court blow to the Busheviks which prohibits military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees. Defending the administration, as well as his own vote for the war, McConnell said, "...The most important thing, we haven't been attacked again here since 9/11. We've been on offense. We've invaded Afghanistan, invaded Iraq, there are democratic governments now in both places....But these are the same kinds of people who attacked us here in the United States. They've not been able to do that again because the president made the fundamentally correct decision to get on offense, and we've gone after these people where they are, somewhere else, fighting them in places like Kabul and Baghdad so we don't have to have them again in Washington and New York.
Ah yes, the old fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here bullshit. Do they ever tire of this inane rhetoric? Even after all the years of evidence to the contrary, they still want us to believe that we stormed Baghdad to strike back at the 9/11 terrorists. We get the whole Kabul/Afghanistan thing. The Taliban. Al Qaeda. Everyone supported that mission. The whole world was behind us. That's where we were fighting the terrorists who attacked us. So why then did we have to go into Iraq? Oil? Revenge for pops? Small-dick syndrome? You decide. What we do know is that it had absolutely nothing to do with what the Busheviks, including McConnell, say it did. That over 2500 U.S. soldiers have died in this charade makes it even more despicable.
In a move that completely shot to shit McConnell's credibility on the subject of the war, Mitchell quoted him from April 2003: "American success in Iraq showed that 'arm-chair generals and New York Times reporters' were wrong in their assessments of how difficult the war would be," and that rebuilding Iraq will be much easier than rebuilding Afghanistan because of Iraq's well-educated population and the oil to finance reconstruction. "Iraq has the potential to be a jewel in the Middle East." Uhm, wanna try that again Mitch? When asked if that was a miscalculation on his part, he pulled a bait and switch and criticized Democrats. "Well, certainly the taking of Iraq was what is expected. The aftermath has been much more difficult. And I think it's gone, the fact that it's gone on a while creates the kind of debates the Democrats are having among themselves over whether we get out by the end of the year or get out by next summer or begin to get out at some point. And people do become impatient."
While I understand the political currency gained in the Repugs' accusation that Democrats are divided over the war, the simple fact is, Democrats are united in wanting an end to this quagmire, and an imminent withdrawal of the troops. The recent Kerry/Feingold resolution called for complete withdrawal by July 1, 2007 and was defeated 86-13. However, the Levin/Reed measure, a compromise effort urging the Bush administration to begin withdrawing troops but with no set timetable, lost by a vote of 60-39. That's almost all of the 45 total Democratic Senators voting for it. Is that not unity? But the Repugs would of course rather focus on the fact that only 13 Senators supported the Kerry/Feingold bill. What these kool-aid drunken dopes don't realize is that this too demonstrates party unity. A solid majority of 32 Democratic Senators voted against this resolution.
But the main thing, as Schumer said, is that "The Democratic Party is united in holding the president's feet to the fire on oversight." Voters, he said, want an end to the war, "and I think they respect the fact that Democrats do have divisions and are debating this, and not just marching in lockstep to whatever the president does, because they're not happy with what the president is doing, and that's going to help us."