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Trick Or… | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Trick Or…

It's fitting that the last seven days of a presidential campaign fall during Halloween week. Scare tactics are the order for each day. The difference this year is the Republicans only have innuendo, while the Democrats can simply point to facts on the ground.

Bush's recent attack ad tried to cry wolf, but those dogs won't hunt. The real fear factor is Mesopotamia, where M is for Massacre, Mutiny, and Missing Explosives. In Iraq, everyday is the Day of the Dead. The tragedy is that this tragedy was not inevitable.

It is clear the Administration's handling of the occupation of Iraq goes beyond incompetence into the realm of negligence. As the situation went south in the Sunni Triangle, Bush punted, refusing to either increase the number of troops in Iraq or withdraw them. He did neither, preferring to dither on with a failed policy. Bush is not a war president; he's a war criminal president.

Even worse, Bush blames the "commanders-in-the-field," claiming that they say they have enough troops. Of course, they can't disagree publicly. When General Shinseki, the then Army Chief-of-Staff, told Congress we needed more troops to secure Iraq, the Bush Administration retired him early, shooting the messenger. When Paul Bremer, the second Bush appointed civil administrator of Iraq, privately asked for more troops, he was ignored.

Bush has spent his adult life in costume, pretending to be a Texas good ole boy. What he actually is, however, is the anti-Midas. From Arbusto to the Texas Rangers to the US surplus, everything golden he touches turns to lead. We can't afford to bail him out for four more years.

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