Bush is right, it’s time for America to change course

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by Ed Kociela

The one thing George Bush got right during his speech to the nation Wednesday night is that it is time to change America’s course.

And that means cleaning house from the top down. After losing more than 3,000 lives, maiming more than 20,000 soldiers and spending more than $400 billion on a war that is now impossible to win, it is time for a change, a change of leadership.

Early on during his speech, Bush tried again to tie the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to Iraq, which even school children don’t buy any more. He sent a not-so-veiled warning to Syria and Iran, saying that the United States was prepared to cut the flow of terrorists from those countries to Iraq, which means the bombers are warming up their engines for sorties over both countries.

He underscored that by saying he has sent an aircraft carrier strike force to the region. And it all flies in the face of his best advisors, including loyal party members, who have encouraged him to scale back rather than escalate. It was as pathetic as Lyndon Baines Johnson addressing the nation after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of 1964.

And, just as transparent.

With Johnson, it was the CIA and military-industrial complex pulling the strings. With Bush, it’s Dick Cheney/Halliburton and a fanatic religious right that is so tightly wound that all it can see is a continuation of this modern-day Crusade. Bush said the terrorists have been swept from Afghanistan.

So, where does that put Osama bin Laden, at the Baghdad Hilton?

He said this action will help stifle the bloodshed already suffered by American and Iraqi troops, but what does he think is going to happen when he sends them, as he said, door-to-door in Baghdad to flush out the insurgents? He said that not only were there not enough troops in Iraq, but that “there were too many restrictions on the troops that we did have.” So, Abu Ghraib was just a garden party? A day earlier, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said that like Vietnam, “the only rational solution to the crisis is political, not military. Injecting more troops into a civil war is not the answer. Our men and women in uniform cannot force the Iraqi people to reconcile their differences.”

Tragically, the only differences that Bush has been able to reconcile are those that once separated the American public. Once divided on the Iraq war, the latest USA Today-Gallup Poll pegs approval of Bush’s handling of the war at a meager 26 percent.

Yeah, it really is time for America to change its course.

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