Monday, September 19, 2005

Clinton One Day Later - Bash Bush

Clinton launches withering attack on Bush on Iraq, Katrina, budget

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former US president Bill Clinton sharply criticised George W. Bush for the Iraq War and the handling of Hurricane Katrina, and voiced alarm at the swelling US budget deficit.

Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq "virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction." (uuummmmmmm ... Bill ... you read the news lately where everyday more and more proof that YOU knew of these things are coming out? Is this just damage control because of that?)

The Iraq war diverted US attention from the war on terrorism "and undermined the support that we might have had," Bush said in an interview with an ABC's "This Week" programme. (oops ... they are in such a hurry over at AFP to bash Bush that they insert his name in anywhere they can.)

Clinton said there had been a "heroic but so far unsuccessful" effort to put together an constitution that would be universally supported in Iraq. (Ours took how long? Amended how many times?)

The US strategy of trying to develop the Iraqi military and police so that they can cope without US support "I think is the best strategy. The problem is we may not have, in the short run, enough troops to do that," said Clinton. (Agree, but neither you nor I know what they actually have. Thats why 'in the short run' ... we stay.)

On Hurricane Katrina, Clinton faulted the authorities' failure to evacuate New Orleans ahead of the storm's strike on August 29.

People with cars were able to heed the evacuation order, but many of those who were poor, disabled or elderly were left behind.

"If we really wanted to do it right, we would have had lots of buses lined up to take them out," Clinton.

He agreed that some responsibility for this lay with the local and state authorities, but pointed the finger, without naming him, at the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA boss Michael Brown quit in response to criticism of his handling of the Katrina disaster. He was viewed as a political appointee with no experience of disaster management or dealing with government officials.

"When James Lee Witt ran FEMA, because he had been both a local official and a federal official, he was always there early, and we always thought about that," Clinton said, referring to FEMA's head during his 1993-2001 presidency. (And you had Governors asking you to come in timely ... thus keeping you from breaking laws that protect 'States Rights'.)

"But both of us came out of environments with a disproportionate number of poor people."
On the US budget, Clinton warned that the federal deficit may be coming untenable, driven by foreign wars, the post-hurricane recovery programme and tax cuts that benefitted just the richest one percent of the US population, himself included.

"What Americans need to understand is that ... every single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows money from other countries to finance Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, and our tax cuts," he said.

"We have never done this before. Never in the history of our republic have we ever financed a conflict, military conflict, by borrowing money from somewhere else."

Clinton added: "We depend on Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Korea primarily to basically loan us money every day of the year to cover my tax cut and these conflicts and Katrina. I don't think it makes any sense." (No ... it doesn't.)

The tax cuts were right, but the financing of them shouldn't come from borrowing, it should come from real budget cuts. Cut the pork, cut the social programs that states, and private agencies should fund. The problem here is these social programs and pork make the government more socialistic, and our system was never intended to be that way ... nor should it ever. The country was founded on States having power, not the Federal government which was meant to be there to settle disputes between States.

While the actual 'tirade' doesn't live up to the hype of the AFP headline, it is not unexpected to see them do as much.

At the same time former President Clinton, whom I praised yesterday, deserves a glance of disgust for these words. While he is entitled to his opinion, which this all was, he has a responsibility to not air it in this manner. (Maybe hillary got to him and told him what to do ... again.)

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