Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

June 14, 2004

The Abyss

Former Vice President Al Gore delivered a foreign policy speech at New York University sponsored by MoveOn PAC. It was a scathing and impassioned address which placed the blame on the Iraqi prisoner abuses squarely on the shoulder of the Bush Administration and its disastrous policies in Iraq. Some excerpts:

"The abuse of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib flowed directly from the abuse of the truth that characterized the Administration's march to war and the abuse of the trust that had been placed in President Bush by the American people in the aftermath of September 11th... He has created more anger and righteous indignation against us as Americans...The unpleasant truth is that President Bush's utter incompetence has made the world a far more dangerous place and dramatically increased the threat of terrorism against the United States."


He also called for the resignation of key members of the Administration, from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputies Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and intelligence chief Stephen Cambone, to National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice and CIA Director George Tenet:

"We desperately need a national security team with at least minimal competence because the current team is making things worse with each passing day. They are endangering the lives of our soldiers, and sharply increasing the danger faced by American citizens everywhere in the world, including here at home."


He quoted several military brass, both former and current, who have called the Iraq situation an "abyss", "headed over Niagara Falls" and called the Administration's actions as "true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility, at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption."
In
response to the speech the Republican National Committee issued a statement that "Al Gore's attacks on the president today demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror, or he has amnesia."

An unnamed GOP strategist even said they are delighted by Gore's speech because it is the "coalescing of the 'blame America first' wing of the Democratic party that has been largely absent from the stage since 1984" and that "it was an anger-filled speech before an angry audience belonging to an angry group" and that it is "a turnoff to people."

They just don't get it. Al Gore has crystallized the opinion of many about the Bush Administration and its policies. The anger and indignation people feel about the Abu Ghraib scandal is not going away, especially when agencies like the Red Cross and Amnesty International charge that the abuses are not isolated incidents but rather systematic and widespread, conducted in a calculated manner to bypass international law.

Calling this Administration to task is not "blaming America first". The last time I checked, the Administration is not the nation but the servant of the nation, and as long as this war is being waged in our name and our soldiers continue to die, we have the right to demand answers and hold it accountable for its actions.

The usual vague rhetoric of "stay the course" isn't acceptable anymore, and in the end we can register our displeasure where it matters. As Vice President Gore says:

"The answer is, we go where we always go when a dramatic change is needed. We go to the ballot box...We, as a people, at least the overwhelming majority of us, do not endorse the decision to dishonor the Geneva Convention and the Bill of Rights... I believe we have a duty to hold President Bush accountable - and I believe we will. As Lincoln said at our time of greatest trial, "We - even we here - hold the power, and bear the responsibility."


posted at 1:30 AM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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