Saturday, September 03, 2005

What George Does On Summer Vacation...


In August, 2001, while on a month-long vacation at his Crawford pig farm, the President of the United States was provided with a Presidential Daily Briefing note from the security agencies indicating that Al Queda was determined to strike the United States. The President did nothing.

On September 11, 2001, four planes were highjacked by terrorists. Two were flown into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into the earth as other passengers tried to wrest control of the plane from the terrorists. More than 3,000 people died.

War was initiated in Afghanistan in an attempt to destroy the training bases of Osama bin Laden, head of the terrorist organization responsible for the attack, and to capture bin Ladin.

Even before Afghanistan was secured from the Taliban and Osama bin Ladin captured, the US began plotting an invasion of Iraq. Certainly no later than July, 2002, the President had decided that war with Iraq was necessary and desired. Facts were "fixed" (according to the Downing Street Memos) so that the UN and the rest of the world could be circumvented. In March, 2003, the US with its allies invaded Iraq.

The initial reason given for the invasion was that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. When no wmds were found, the reason changed time after time. In the meantime, more than 1800 American soldiers died because the invasion turned out not to be the cake walk promised by the Administration. Too few soldiers(this according to career military advisors) were sent to manage the post battle field. There were no plans in place to to deal with Iraq after the main battle was over.

Basic infrastructure, aged and unmaintained for years, failed, and there weren't enough boots on the ground to secure what still worked. Instead of working with the Iraqi specialists in every field imaginable, the Administration handed over the 'rebuilding' to a consortium of private US contractors (mainly Halliburton). Baghdad still does not have reliable power, water, and communications.

Insurgents left out of the power grab by the US grew in strength, and in addition to the 1800+ dead Americans, there are tens of thousands dead Iraqi civilians. Security simply does not exist in Iraq outside of the few block square area known as the "Green Zone." Most feel the US will be bogged down in Iraq for years to come.

In August 2005, while on a month-long vacation at his Crawford pig ranch, the President was advised that a category 4-5 hurricane was poised to strike New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The President declared a state of emergency and urged people to evacuate New Orleans. Period. That, apparently, is all he did.

No mobilization of National Guard units (what few remained in the US)was ordered before the hurricane struck. No emergency naval vessels were dispatched to an area which would allow for a speedy move to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast just as soon as the hurricane moved inland and weakened. No emergency teams from FEMA, with supplies, were sent to staging points so they could move rapidly into the most devastated areas as quickly as possible to alleviate the suffering attendant to such a disaster. No assistance was offered to the states expected to be hit and hit hard to assist in the evacuation effort urged by the President.

On the Monday the hurricane struck, the President kept to his schedule and went to several western states to talk up the Medicare Prescription program. More than five days after the hurricane hit, some military units have finally arrived in New Orleans with emergency supplies. There are still thousands stranded without food, water, and basic sanitation in the New Orleans Super Dome. There are still thousands of Americans stranded on the streets of New Orleans and other Gulf Coast towns and cities.

Time after time, this administration has shown itself to be incompetent. This time, the incompetence rises to the malevolent level as the poor, those who are now American refugees suffer needlessly because they received no help from their own government.

Such malevolent incompetence surely rises to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors." In my opinion, the incompetence now has reached the level of an impeachable offense. Let the hearings begin.


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11:35 AM  

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