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ChiefJoJo

Frontline: Bush's War

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I watched last night's episode, and it was outstanding in it's depth of nearly every major decision made in the run-up to war, beginning with 9/11. Tonight focuses more on the war itself and the aftermath.

Here's the website, where you can view the show in it's entirety, and view tons of interviews from many of the major players.

In case you ever thought the choosing a President isn't that important or perhaps doesn't affect you, I think this series will change your mind very quickly.

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^Thanks for posting that. I meant to watch this, then totally forgot it was on last night. I'm off to watch part one now.

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For any people in RI MA and CT the host if the special will be spewing at Bryant University about the special

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This would be like Sean Hannity doing it for the other side. Frontline is an agenda driven program passing itself off as neutral journalism.

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This would be like Sean Hannity doing it for the other side. Frontline is an agenda driven program passing itself off as neutral journalism.

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The truth can also be spun in many different ways. If you have a problem with the way some the prisoners were treated in Gitmo, you would also have a problem with the solitary confinement that we put many American prisoners into. All of this of course is up to what your interpretation of cruel treatment is.

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If you really want to think about how we are perceived in Iraq due to Bush's War, take the recent visits of McCain and Ahmadinejad. This isn't spin, it is what it is.

McCain (and Bush or Cheney when they've visited) has to travel with unannounced plans with ultra-heavy guard getting whisked in and out of areas but mostly staying in the Green Zone or on our military bases.

Ahmadinejad travels into Iraq to fanfare, parades and cheering crowds, and is a welcome guest of the government with plenty of advance notice about his visit and where he'll be.

We are and will always be hated by most Iraqis for destroying their country and killing tens of thousands of them. I'm not saying this is my position, but they don't see us as the good guys at all.

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..... you would also have a problem with the solitary confinement that we put many American prisoners into. All of this of course is up to what your interpretation of cruel treatment is.

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I posted this because I had never seen the type of depth of coverage that covered the run up to war in such depth and detail. I would really like to see intelligent comments from those who watched the entire program.

Those on the right will exclaim that this is left-wing anti-Bush propaganda without even taking the slightest look at the evidence revealed/discussed in the program. Separating this discussion from the current situation in Iraq (ie, whether to remain or whether to leave), I believe there is very clear evidence, corroborated by a vast number of senior officials (Rep and Dem) who were intimately involved (CIA, DOJ, State, Defense, Army), that documents how the systemic poor decision-making within the Bush Administration from 2001 thru 2006, led us to numerous bungled efforts in Iraq... from flawed CIA intel, decision for war alone based on flawed intel, no plan for occupation, de-Baathification order, disbanding of Iraqi military, ignoring insurgency, no plan for defeating insurgency, ignoring advice of military leadership, Abu Grabe, stubbornness of flawed strategy, keeping Rumsfeld too long, etc...

What I took away was that Bush probably isn't guilty of as much blame for personally making these decisions as he gets credit for. Certainly, the buck stops with him, and that makes him undeniable responsible for this war. But, he is probably more guilty of trusting and ceding too much power to Cheney and Rumsfeld, who had a fundamentally flawed outlook of the entire situation, and dominated all decision-making involved in decisions related to Iraq. It was amazing to see the ways in which Powell--by all accounts a borderline national hero and widely respected military expert--was consistently undermined and even embarrassed over and over. From the piece, I never got the sense that Bush was very clear on how to proceed on many of these crucial decisions related to the war in Iraq and on terror, but that he consistently let Cheney and his buddy Rumsfeld, have free reign in these matters. It is clear to me that Bush's weakness was his inexperience, lack of personal knowledge of the mid-east, near blind trust and loyalty of Cheney and Rumsfeld.

My takeaway is that a President's education, personal world view and background are critical, but very under appreciated. We rely too much on policies and traditional views of evaluating experience and judgment. I think it's fairly clear that Bush, himself, was not well-versed on the intricacies of foreign affairs, and so he had to rely too much on the advice of others, to his detriment. Bush is the son of a well-connected political family and to my knowledge, never had really demonstrated an ability to lead, independent of the influence of the many surrounding him.

It is also incredibly important for a President to surround himself with the right people. They should be seasoned experts in their fields (as much as possible), be of diverse personal backgrounds and viewpoints (something often lost in today's hyper-polarized political climate), and should have demonstrated the ability to lead under tough circumstances.

I believe that Bush's personal inadequacies, his poor cabinet choices, blind trust of myopic political cronies, and his pure stubbornness led to the failure in Iraq. We should be mindful of these mistakes so we do not select a Commander-in-Chief who makes them again.

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^In fact Bush's achievements in the past were great indicators that he would completely fail at the job, which he did. His history is one of personal irresponsibility, numerous business failures, and if you take almost any relevant measure, his tenure as governor of Texas took the state in the wrong direction. (though I would guess that many there would disagree)

Bush could have never gone to war with Iraq without widespread support of the American people and I do give Bush & Co. credit for the political skills to have pulled that off. They took the issue of making an unprovoked attack on a defenseless country and side lined that with the issue of American not being dictated to by Western Europe. (Mainly France, Germany & Russia) They knew if they turned this into America vs "Old Europe" that support for attacking Iraq would be overwhelming because Americans have very short attention spans. The fact that Iraq became an issue that revolved around "Freedom Fries" and pouring French wine down the toilet is testimate enough of that. Iraq is as much about the failure of American society to make sensible intelligent choices.

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^he also failed with the texas rangers. Word is that after Bud he may be the next comish. so he can ruin MLB too :D

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^In fact Bush's achievements in the past were great indicators that he would completely fail at the job, which he did. His history is one of personal irresponsibility, numerous business failures, and if you take almost any relevant measure, his tenure as governor of Texas took the state in the wrong direction. (though I would guess that many there would disagree)

Bush could have never gone to war with Iraq without widespread support of the American people and I do give Bush & Co. credit for the political skills to have pulled that off. They took the issue of making an unprovoked attack on a defenseless country and side lined that with the issue of American not being dictated to by Western Europe. (Mainly France, Germany & Russia) They knew if they turned this into America vs "Old Europe" that support for attacking Iraq would be overwhelming because Americans have very short attention spans. The fact that Iraq became an issue that revolved around "Freedom Fries" and pouring French wine down the toilet is testimate enough of that. Iraq is as much about the failure of American society to make sensible intelligent choices.

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People often forget that the world was once on our side post 9/11. We had support among our allies in Europe for action in Afghanistan and increased anti-terror measures through policing, intel, etc. We even had some in the middle east on our side. The free world realized--correctly--that our 9/11 could have easily been theirs, so as a result, we had a broad coalition in our corner at one time. Unfortunately, it's largely gone at this point.

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