Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Why Would Saddam Capture Make Howard Dean Less Appealing?

Did Howard Dean every say, or imply, that we wouldn't capture Saddam Hussein? Has he asserted anything less that we must succeed in Iraq, and capture of Saddam or not, this success means self-determination, freedom, and Democracy for the people of Iraq.

Let's not give into delusion in the midst of our celebration. The mission in Iraq still hangs in the balance. Howard Dean has been right all along for calling the Bush administration on the carpet for destroying international solidarity in the aftermath of 9/11, lying, shifting and cheating about our case and justification for war with Iraq, and for pushing a radical foreign policy agenda without encouraging a full debate and recognition of its ramnifications.

As far as I'm concerned, Joe Lieberman is dead wrong. His attacks on Howard Dean for standing up on principle against the Bush Administration's maladroit war efforts and world-dividing is absurd and ridiculous. To further paint Howard Dean as now suddenly being discredited because Saddam was captured, which all of us expected to happen at some point or other, is disingenuous.

Joe and the other Democrats' desperate attacks (they know who they are) almost make me want to endorse Howard Dean right now. Almost. Though I must say that Howard Dean has by far the most impressive platform, message, and spine.

The glow from the capture of Saddam will soon fade, as we turn to the difficult and possibly embarassing task of determining how he will be tried. In the meantime, the resistance in Iraq will continue, and Americans and Iraqi civilians will continue to die. We will continue to spend vast amounts of money, much promised in no-bid contracts to Bush political cronies, or illegally to coalition partners at the misfortune of other excluded countries, while Congress cannot even find the will to extend unemployment benefits to those Americans without jobs, during the Christmas season, with joblessness at epic levels.

President Bush has done nothing about this, and indeed has limited his options in addressing it by moving when and how he did against Saddam Hussein. Instead of immediately deposing Saddam, we could have put people to work securing the homeland. The will was there. People were jobless, and the homeland, cities, and infrastructure were wanting and/or vulnerable. A vast army of Americans could have gone to work on these problems, and our government could have funded it, ensuring an expanding economy and more jobs.

Instead we lowered taxes, went to war, and left the homeland, to this day, still very vulnerable. Cheney loves reminding us about that, about how terrible it would be if we get hit by a chemical or nuclear weapon. Well please do something about it Dick, or shut up already.

As for Joe Lieberman, and the other Democratic candidates, are they actually defending George W. Bush and Dick Cheney by attacking Howard Dean in the manner they are doing so? Sounds to me like they want it both ways, especially Lieberman - they want to criticize Bush for going about Iraq the way he did, but also criticize Dean because acting on that very criticism would mean Saddam would still be ruling.

You can't have it both ways. Think about that.