And if you folks think that assessment is a little harsh, consider this: the reason I've put the Reuters (via Yahoo!) article behind the lj-cut is because it contains a phrase that IMHO is a bit beyond the pale. I mean, look through the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League websites and see whom else that phrase is connected to. And what groups.
Being a proponent of Free Speech i'll defend his right to say it, but Bush or his speechwriters should know that the use of such a phrase demeans the truth of a 20th century atrocity that killed more people that the all the combined actions of Hussein had, would, or could have killed. To be fair to the President here --more fairness here than he deserves, IMHO-- we liberals have been using equally inflammatory phrases like "Nazi" and "Fascist" when it comes to this Administration. Aside from the fact that it's inaccurate --this Administration is more Totalitarian than Authoritarian-- this is wrong and I hope it will stop.
Yet I'm reminded of an incident that journalist John Lukacs reported in his history of Watergate. Just as the crisis was unfolding, one of the conspirators, H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, spotted the Democratic operative and political prankster Richard Tuck. Enraged in that whiny, victimized way Republicans tend to be --where they justify their misdeeds by saying that the Democrats do it too (and imply that it's morally right for them to do it as well)-- he walked over to Mr Tuck. Whom, it must be said, had played some mean but clever and (believe it or not) perfectly legal pranks on his boss when he was running for Governor of California in 1962.
"You S.O.B.!" Haldeman railed, "You started this!"
"Yeah, Bob," retorted Tuck, "But you ran it into the ground."
(Sighs in frustration) This is yet another example of how the Conservative Movement that runs the GOP is rapidly running out of interesting ideas about where to take America and is falling back on that party's tradition of running things into the ground.
Bush Blasts 'Revisionist Historians' on Iraq
Mon Jun 16, 1:48 PM ET
By Randall Mikkelsen
ELIZABETH, N.J. (Reuters) - President Bush countered those questioning his justification for the invasion of Iraq on Monday, dismissing "revisionist historians" and saying Washington acted to counter a persistent threat.
"Now there are some who would like to rewrite history; revisionist historians is what I like to call them," Bush said in a speech to New Jersey business leaders.
Referring to the ousted Iraqi president, Bush said, "Saddam Hussein was a threat to America and the free world in '91, in '98, in 2003. He continually ignored the demands of the free world, so the United States and friends and allies acted."
The president did not mention Iraqi unconventional weapons in his remarks, although accusations Iraq had chemical and biological weapons were central to his prewar campaign to build support for an attack. No such weapons have yet been found.
Many critics have said the administration exaggerated intelligence on the threat posed by Iraq to justify the invasion that topped Saddam. Bush has denied the accusations.
The Washington Post on Monday cited a former National Security Council counterterrorism aide under Bush as saying the administration's focus on Iraq undermined domestic security and counterterrorism alliances and could fuel al Qaeda recruiting efforts.
The aide, Rand Beers, resigned shortly before the Iraq war and is now security adviser for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
The Post quoted Beers as saying the evidence used against Iraq was "pretty qualified" and that many of his government colleagues thought Iraq was an "ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy."
"I continue to be puzzled by it," he told the newspaper. "Why was it such a policy priority?"
Bush said, "This is for certain, Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States and our friends and allies."
Bush said the U.S. global war on terrorism, begun after the Sept. 11 2001 attacks and which he said encompassed the war on Iraq, would continue.
"This government will use whatever technologies and skill is necessary to secure America by hunting down those who would harm us one person at a time."