Keith Olbermann’s special comment on George Bush’s escalation speech focused on the total lack of credibilty that Bush has brought to this nation and the presidency. He closed it with the following list (full video embedded at the bottom of this blog):
I read this list last night, before the president’s speech, and it bears repeating because its shape and texture are perceptible only in such a context.
Before Mr. Bush was elected,
he said nation-building was wrong for America.
Now he says it is vital.
He said he would never put U.S. troops under foreign control.
Last night he promised to embed them in Iraqi units.
He told us about
He has told us the war is necessary:
Because Saddam was a material threat.
Because of 9/11.
Because of Osama Bin Laden.
Terrorism in general.
To liberate Iraq.
To spread freedom.
To spread Democracy.
To prevent terrorism by gas price increases.
Because this was a guy who tried to kill his dad.
Because — 439 words in to the speech last night — he trotted out 9/11 again.
In advocating and prosecuting this war he passed on a chance
to get Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
To get Muqtada Al-Sadr.
To get Bin Laden.
He sent in fewer troops than the generals told him to.
He ordered the Iraqi army disbanded
and the Iraqi government "de-Baathified."
He short-changed Iraqi training.
He neglected to plan for widespread looting.
He did not anticipate sectarian violence.
He sent in troops without life-saving equipment.
He gave jobs to foreign contractors, and not Iraqis.
He staffed U.S. positions there, based on partisanship, not professionalism.
He and his government told us:
America had prevailed,
the resistance was in its last throes.
He has insisted more troops were not necessary.
He has now insisted more troops are necessary.
He has insisted it’s up to the generals,
and then removed some of the generals who said more troops would not be necessary.
He has trumpeted the turning points:
The fall of Baghdad,
the death of Uday and Qusay,
the capture of Saddam.
A provisional government,
the trial of Saddam.
the death of Saddam.
He has assured us:
We would be greeted as liberators — with flowers;
As they stood up, we would stand down.
We would stay the course;
we were never about "stay the course."
We would never have to go door-to-door in Baghdad.
And, last night, that to gain Iraqis’ trust, we would go door-to-door in Baghdad.
He told us the enemy was
and now Iran and Syria.
He told us the war
would pay for itself.
It would cost $1.7 billion.
Half a trillion.
Last night’s speech alone cost another $6 billion.
And after all of that, now it is his credibility versus that of
the Iraq Study Group,
voters last November
and the majority of the American people.
Oh, and one more to add, tonight:
Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
Mr. Bush, this is madness.
You have lost the military.
You have lost the Congress to the Democrats.
You have lost most of the Iraqis.
You have lost many of the Republicans.
You have lost our allies.
You are losing the credibility, not just of your presidency, but more importantly of the office itself.
And most imperatively, you are guaranteeing that more American troops will be losing their lives, and more families their loved ones. You are guaranteeing it!
This becomes your legacy, sir: How many of those you addressed last night as your "fellow citizens" you just sent to their deaths.
And for what, Mr. Bush?
So the next president has to pull the survivors out of Iraq instead of you?
The president who cried wolf
Jan. 11: In a special comment, Keith Olbermann says Bush’s plan for Iraq is a failure because it is dependent on the president’s credibility.