Evidence continues to accumulate that the pretext for invasion (WMD and links to AQ) are not going to manifest and President Bush is in full dissemble mode. Note the Discussion at the end for implication of domestic politics and forecast of the situation on the ground in 2004. (Ed. 10/2/2023)
The CIA’s going to get drug through the mud on this one, but the bottom line is no secret. The administration (back then and even up through now) simply didn’t want to hear alternate viewpoints to their own theories. (Heck, Rumsfield still continues to refuse to characterize the action in Iraq as guerrilla warfare.) Now the administration and cabinet is involved in a backward-looking reshuffling of events and playing the blame game, a Clinton classic, rather than a forward-looking “what do we do to resolve the situation at hand”. My only advice, don’t wag a finger Bush, it may come back to haunt you. $10 says that within two weeks dated memos from the CIA clearly indicating the information was false and delivered to the senior white house (VP or Def. Sec offices) will surface.
Do you think this will matter significantly by election time?
By election day:
Uranium purchase from Nigeria flap? No.
150,000+ US troops still stationed in Iraq are being attacked daily with still no concrete evidence of any of the major claims: WMD and firm ties to Al-Queda. Yes.
I think there may also be a slowly building frustration amongst conservatives and liberals alike on Bush’s strict adherence to repetitive platitudes, rather than discussion of issues or at least acknowledgment that there are problems.
The last weighty consideration he publically revealed considering all the sides on was stem cell issue in the summer of 2001. Afghanistan was a no brainer, so was Homeland Security given the public sentiment in 2001. Pre-emptive war with Iraq required more public perception of deliberation from the administration than it got. And lately he’s been all about “bring it on” rather than “yes, it’s tougher than we thought, but we’ll hold through it”.
See my post above, if (ret) Gen Wesley Clark enters the race all bets are off for 2004 though Bush is still a favorite.