Friday, September 17, 2004

The Pinocchio President

The Pinocchio President

September 17, 2004

With the number of casualties and wounded in Iraq rising daily, and entire cities destabilized by insurgent forces, President Bush's chest- thumping message of progress appears increasingly out of touch and counterproductive. Although the president's own intelligence officials have warned him for months that Iraq was dangerously unstable, his administration has sugarcoated the sobering reality and failed to make necessary changes to win the war.

* The president's own intelligence estimates conclude that Iraq will remain dangerously unstable through 2005. The 50-page National Intelligence Estimate – ignored by President Bush – provides a “dark assessment” and concludes that Iraq is headed toward major political, economic and security difficulties in the coming months, including possible civil war.

* Efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and create democratic institutions cannot move forward while insurgents run free. The president claims Iraq is on the path to democracy, but months before scheduled national elections, major portions of the country remain under attack as the nationalist insurgency continues to grow. Reconstruction has failed to move forward and the United Nations remains unable to fully assist in planning for the January elections.

* President Bush's grandstanding on Iraq does not help the situation. Putting his own reelection needs ahead of the welfare of American troops and the Iraqi people, the president continues to deny that serious problems exist in his strategy and refuses to make necessary changes to win the war and build peace in Iraq.