The Puppie Ad, the Cole Bombing, and the Delenda Plan
I was going to write this Monday but the missing explosives story took off. And good thing I waited as I just saw the latest Bush-Cheney pathetic ad. Showing pictures of Carter and Dukakis to suggest Democrats can’t be tough with pictures of Reagan and Bush41 as if Republicans are always tough on the enemies of America. Why not Nixon who won the Vietnam War and insured the safety of the Cambodians? Wait, the Killing Fields and the fact that the North Vietnamese did win after we left. Never mind. But Reagan? Lebanon? And I’m sure Dick Cheney was glad Bush41 stopped at the Kuwait/Iraq border. Speaking of Bush41? I guess the GOP forgot how he utterly messed up in Somalia.
But then we have this line from the Wolves Ad: “And weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm”. Since the alleged $6 billion cuts in intelligence spending has been proven to be another Bush-Cheney lie (see this from Slate’s Fred Kaplan), Ed Gillispie said on Meet the Press:
Tim, anyone who believes that we need to go back to a time when terrorism was a nuisance…It wasn’t a nuisance when the USS Cole was blown up and 17 servicemen died, or when our embassies were bombed and 225 Americans died. It’s never been a nuisance. We have to win this war.
The latest ad shows the Cole, which was bombed three months before Clinton turned over the Presidency to George W. Bush. After the embassies where bombed, the Clinton Administration demanded that the Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden. When they refused, the Clinton Administration warned that one more Al Qaeda attack would mean that the U.S. would take out the Taliban government. That attack was indeed the Cole bombing.
So what happened after the bombing? Sandy Berger asked Richard Clarke to come up with what was later called the Delenda plan. This was ready to go in December and Berger informed Condi Rice. Clinton was ready to declare war as soon as it was confirmed that it was Al Qaeda.
That this confirmation came only after Bush was sworn in should not have mattered. But it did. Now Dr. Rice at first denied ever receiving an invasion plan but we now know Clarke presented the plan to her again on January 25, 2001. Rice’s next excuse was that it was not a viable plan. Yet, she dusted off the same plan on September 4, 2001 as if it might work. And the plans that Clarke devised were brilliantly executed later in 2001 by General Franks.
Why did the Bush White House not execute these plans in early 2001 BEFORE 9/11? After all, “weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm”. And of course, Bush really never let our troops finisn the job against Al Qaeda.
My #1 reason to vote for John Kerry is that George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice are terrible at foreign policy and national security. They have undermined Clinton’s efforts to obtain peace between Israel and Palestine. They have enraged even our own allies. They have been incompetent in Iraq. And when it comes to Al Qaeda – Bush displays either neglect or cowardice. It is time to get the successful Clinton foreign policy and national security back into the White House. Besides, this habit of the Bush family to use national security as a wedge issue strikes me as unAmerican.