Monday, November 14, 2005

"I Take Responsibility....."

"I take responsibility." There are few phrases in the English language which purport to mean so much but which actually, without redress, mean zilch. I know I rarely pick on lefties these days, but former senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards is begging for it with his Washington Post op-ed today titled "The Right Way in Iraq". As support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq (a sovereign nation which posed absolutely no threat to us) continues to plummet in this country, lefties who voted for the war are scrambling for the exits, feigning shocked outrage at the way they were "duped" into voting for war. Some claim they were simply led to believe that they were presenting a united front, giving Mr. Hussein incentive to cooperate fully with UNMOVIC, believing we'd never actually invade. Others, like Senator Edwards, are claiming that they were presented with invented and trumped-up evidence that Iraq was a clear and present threat to the US and its allies.

These claims are disingenuous. These public servants had access to FAR more information than we had at the time, and we had the following:
  • UNSCOM had spent about 6 years in the country dismantling Iraq's weapons program. We knew that this, in conjunction with their defeat in the Gulf war left them unable to defend themselves much less threaten anyone else. Hans Blix repeatedly told us this.
  • UNMOVIC had unprecedented access and free rein in Iraq (including the presidential palaces previously untouchable) in the weeks leading up to the war and repeatedly told us they could get the job done given more time.
  • There were several under-reported CIA leaks from mid-level intelligence analysts discounting Iraq's threat to us.
  • The invasion and occupation had no UN authorization and virtually no world wide support, with the exception of lapdogs Blair & Berlusconi, and a few insignificant countries who owe us money and/or were depending upon future aid ("the coalition of the coerced & bribed"). Oh, and "don't forget Poland!".
In addition we now know through many insider kiss-and-tells that invading Iraq was a topic in the White House the day the Bushies took power and rose to a thunderous roar on 9/12/01. Surely given the Beltway's reputation for gossip some of this would have sifted back to congress.

While I think the good senator makes some excellent points on what we should do going forward, and I hope W and Co. take them seriously, his statement "I was wrong" means nothing when he then claims to have been misled. Those two things in concert simply mean "given the same circumstances I'd do the same thing!". I am so tired of leaders using the hollow phrase "I take responsibility" without redress, and without being accountable. Accountability means forsaking image to do everything in your power to make it right, or resigning your position as a courageous and symbolic gesture. Senator Edwards could do this by either sparing us his platitudes and fading quietly into private life or by coming clean with the real reason he voted to go to war: he had future political ambitions and wanted to dodge the rightie bullet that lefties are soft on national defense. For this he has blood on his hands.

Senator, many dems had the fortitude to vote against war. You did not. You were wrong. You still are.

Wonkette's impression.......

And may I add that Rick Santorum is quite an ass. My opinion.

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