Flip-flop-flip

T

he current election compels me to comment because it will directly affect me and you. We have an incumbent president who believes that it is sad but inevitable for American soldiers to die in Iraq, a nation that did not pose a direct threat to us. Now, I spoke of what seemed to be Bush flip-flopping last week, but I am compelled to take it up again because of comments that were made over the weekend. Please bear with me.

Intitially, President Bush and his administration suggested that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons, then was down graded to any weapon of mass destruction. Every intelligence agency–including the CIA–has concluded that Iraq does not have WMDs. His next argument was that Hussein had the capability to create WMDs and so it was right to prevent him from doing it. This was based in large part to the aluminum tubes they found, claiming that they were procured to create nuclear weapons. If this is truly his stance–and we all know that he is resolute, we all know where he stands and that he would never flip-flop on important issues in defense of our country–then what about countries such as Iran and North Korea, countries that we know to have nuclear capability, capabilities far greater than Iraq’s. When do we invade to Iran? When do we attack North Korea? But wait. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has stated that this was not necessarily the case. They could be “suitable” for nuclear weapons. Then our own State AND Energy Departments stated:

In INR’s (State’s Bureau of Intellignece and Reseach) view Iraq’s efforts to acquire aluminum tubes is central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors. INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose.

So let’s recap: Bush says we must invade Iraq because there are WMDs, but there are no WMDs found. Then he says we invaded Iraq because Saddam had the capability and materials to create nuclear weapons, but our own State and Energy departments dismisses the very evidence used by the administration.

This forced the administration to whistle a completely different tune. They have flipped their position and talked about Iraq’s relationship to terrorism. According to this administration–Cheney, Rumsfled, Rice, you name it–terrorists were tied with Saddam Hussein. This has since been disproved by the 9/11 Commission. And lest any of you forget, the BUSH ADMINISTRATION INITIALLY OPPOSED the creation of an independent committee to analyze the government’s response to 9/11. Why would they oppose it? Did the Bush administration fear that they would be proved wrong? And now, Donald Rumsfeld, Bush’s very own Minister of Defense, iced it. He stated in a Monday news conference: “To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two (Saddam’s Iraq and Al Qaeda).” Did he come to this conclusion before or after the invasion?

Does it look like they’re talking out of both sides of their collective mouths? Or is it just me?

But Bush–perhaps in anticipation of this admission by Rummy–has flopped toward a new reason: the removal of a bad man–Saddam Hussein–in the name of freeing the Iraqi people and establishing democracy in the Middle East. This is truly an honorable goal. But if this was his goal, why didn’t he state this in the beginning? And if this is his “doctrine” shouldn’t we be removing president Kim Jong Il from North Korea and freeing the North Koreans? How about those ugly warlords in Africa? If so, wouldn’t we need more troops?

Speaking of which, Howard Dean said something interesting this weekend on the Tim Russert Show. He “guaranteed” that if Bush is re-elected, he will reinstate the draft. According to Dean, the current situation in Iraq demands more troops. In response, the administration is already implementing a non-draft draft. That is, he is lengthening rotations for our soldiers, and requiring inadequately trained National Guard to serve in Iraq. Should the conflict remain at current levels, more troops will be needed. But where will he get the manpower that will allow him to “keep his word” and “stay the course”? The draft.

Do you want to be drafted? Vote Bush. Or so Howard Dean seems to suggest.

But hey, Dean can be maniacal, right? And Bush, at least, is striving for a noble cause: To free the people, to establish democracy. And the reasoning behind this is because democracy in Iraq will be a defeat of the terrorists and Al Qaeda who never had any connection with Iraq before the war–as Rummy admitted–but does now because we invaded it. Whew, are you getting all this? The Bush administration’s position on Iraq is pretty complicated. And perhaps it is not so much a flip-flop as it is a shift in perspective. Fortunately, they are no longer trying to convince everyone that Saddam had a nuclear weapons program in place…NOT.

On Sunday (10/3/04), Condaleeza Rice on This Week indicated that the administration still believed that the evidence points to a nuclear program, despite the fact that virtually every other agency in our government has conlcuded otherwise. Man, I thought we were over this. But if the National Security Adviser is still saying this, then the administration obviously still harbors these beliefs regardless of what now seems to be mere lip service in the face of John Kerry’s challenge.

Free Iraqis. Establish democracy. Yeah, right…

So we have a flip, a flop, and another flip. No wonder they are harping on Kerry’s flip-flops. It’s to take attention away from their own. This gets better every day, and today is the Vice-Presidential debate. You can be sure that Cheney will be asked to comment on both Rumsfeld’s and Rice’s comments. His response will be interesting.

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