Thursday, December 28, 2006
That's Gonna Leave A Mark!
The guy whose most famous act was pardoning a crooked President has some harsh words from beyond the grave for the current occupant of the White House. From the front page of the Washington Post this morning:
Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration. In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney -- Ford's White House chief of staff -- and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief. "Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."It gets better:
"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford said, referring to Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people." But the former president said he was skeptical "whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest." He added: "And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security.At first, I was ticked off that these comments didn't come out in 2004. But the truth is that they wouldn't have been given as much weight then as they are now, Bush wouldn't have listened anyway, and they might not have been enough to counter the Swift Boating Kerry was getting. But their release now, just as Bush was hoping to get a sympathy bounce out of Ford's death, is definitely going to harsh the Boy-King's mellow.
Gerald R. Ford:
1. Pardoned Nixon
2. Economic plan consisted of issuing pins saying, "Whip Inflation Now"
3. Lost 41 lives of servicemen, including three Marines abandoned who were executed by the Khmer Rouge, trying to rescue the crew of the Mayaguez from an island they on which they weren't being held. There were additional ironies. The Khmer Rouge used Swift Boats captured from the US Navy to grab the Mayaguez and the incident almost led to a breach of relations with the last US ally in the region, Thailand.
4. Almost beat one of the few genuinely moral men to occupy the presidency.
RE: the July 2004 media climate -- Would Ford's comments have made a dent in the media's 24/7 enabling of the SBVfT bozos?
Their ridiculous lies had been categorically debunked almost before they were made, yet as late as October of 2004, the press was not only still treating these lies as if they might have been true, but CNN and the other networks were still running the damned Swift Boat ads!
The press was bound and determined to see Bush win. No statements from Gerry Ford would have done anything to change that.
And it's not as if Bush can be shamed (then or now) into pulling out the troops. He flatly refused to take the big fat gimme offered up to him by the Iraq Study Group now, when it's obvious to everyone that invading Iraq was a Bad Move: Why should he have listened to Ford nearly two and a half years earlier, back when Bush and his press enablers could still kinda-sorta pretend that they hadn't made the biggest military cock-up of all time?
Fast-forward 2.5 years. Ford's comments are revealed just as Bush is trying to get the members of his own party to stay in line after a midterm election in which the Republicans were punished by the voters for invading Iraq. This just might be what encourages some Republicans to reach across the aisle to help the Democrats craft a veto-proof plan (say, a withdrawal of funding or some such) that gets us out before Bush leaves office.
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