Monday, February 21, 2005


Bush's Track Record

Mr. Bush is using the same methods to "sell" his "Charles Keating Memorial Social Security Reformation Policy" that he used to "sell" the Iraq War "product." The Iraq War didn't work out as planned, as the New York Times' Bob Herbert notes:
The Times ran a front-page article on Sunday March 16 (2003), in which a senior counterintelligence official said: "An American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a recruitment tool by Al Qaeda and other groups. And it is a very effective tool."

On the same day The Washington Post reported that "specialists inside and outside the government question whether a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq would deliver a significant blow against international terrorism. Experts warn that war and occupation could also have the opposite effect by emboldening radical Islamic groups and adding to their grievances."

All warnings were given the back of the administration's hand. Mr. Bush launched his invasion and many thousands died. Now fast-forward to last week's testimony of top administration officials before the Senate Intelligence Committee. If the war in Iraq was supposed to stem the terrorist tide, the comments of these officials made it clear that it hasn't worked.

Porter Goss, the C.I.A. director, told the committee, "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists." He added, "These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focus on acts of urban terrorism."

The war, said Mr. Goss, "has become a cause for extremists." In his view, "It may only be a matter of time before Al Qaeda or another group attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons."

Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said: "Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment. Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world."
Source: Bob Herbert, New York Times Iraq, Then and Now Feb 21, 2005. (Emphasis added.)

Mr. Bush is currently ignoring all warnings about the disasterous side-effects of privatizing "personalizing" Social Security. We must do all we can to ensure Mr. Bush's track record on the consequences of his Iraq war promises are kept in mind by folks evaluating his "Charles Keating-style" Social Security Reformation package.

(Charles Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan talked retirees into moving their retirement savings from FDIC-secured accounts into high-risk market investments. Many of these retirees lost their life's savings and had nothing to live on except their Social Security checks. Bush now wants to attack this last program keeping the elderly from living under bridges.)


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