"Well, Al Qaeda’s Number Two guy firmly supports Bush’s decision to veto the withdrawal plan... Wow, I never thought I’d have a chance to call Bush a terrorist appeaser, but there you go: Al Qaeda has endorsed the “flypaper theory” of the war in Iraq, only they see us as the flies."
"My greatest fear is that at some point Al Qaeda will give up on the high profile stuff, which is hard to plan and hence requires that its operatives take more time, use more people, and generally make themselves easier to catch, and instead just send a few guys to plant various improvised bombs. If that happens, and if the American people react the way that I fear they will, then we will be truly screwed. Indeed, my nightmare terrorist scenario is a guy blowing himself up in the security line at the airport. All those people gathered in line, at a place that serves as a focus for so many fears. The result would probably be the end of air travel as we know it.* tristero:
I guess that I am a bedwetter, in a way, but I’m not scared of the terrorists. I’m scared of what we’ll do in response. We need more straight talk like the column in today’s Post."
"But also, of course, exactly what's meant by accountability is left unsaid. Well, here's how to hold them accountable:
1. Impeach Cheney and Bush - not necessarily in that order.
2. Hand over Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle, Shulsky, etc, etc, to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes.
Think it's gonna happen? Think any of it's gonna happen? If so, I urge you to take a course in American politics 101 - and also get professional help - not necessarily in that order. But that's what accountability means.
Now, gettting these people out of office, marginalizing the American extreme right - yes, that is doable and there are many encouraging signs. And don't get me wrong - that's gonna take a lot of hard, hard work and is no small achievement! But accountability - impossible. Even with Bush at half his current approval rate. Like it or not, the American government and public life doesn't work that way. The murderous Nixon was pardoned, The murderous Kissinger not only was never indicted, he went on to earn a huge fortune and is thought by the MSM an honored statesman. Accountability's a non-starter for America's rotten Republican elite. If the Worst President Ever is a part of that rotten elite, then no jail, no indictments, no nothing. No accountability. Maybe a few scapegoats, but Rumsfeld? Cheney? Bush? Never.
But is accountability really all that important? Let's put it this way. Once Bush stole his way into the White House, America entered a period of decline. Declining influence in the world, declining pre-eminence in science, and declining trust in international affairs. Some of this is normal and some of America's decline is not necessarily such a bad thing. But a lot of it is very bad news indeed. Perhaps the worst decline is that last one I mentioned, trust that the American system will, at the very least, place major checks upon, the megalomania of mentally unstable executives. And here's the nut of the problem:
Even assuming the next president makes Lincoln look like a log, would you trust this country if you were a foreign leader, knowing that not only had it enabled a George W. Bush to run the show but, worse, never held either him or his administration accountable for its serial crimes and failures? What - you think it's gonna be easy to say it's the dawning of a new era? Y'think the next President can just appeal to multiculturalism and s'plain away Bush? Like "it's just our culture" to let monumentally incompetent and murderous fuck-ups get off scot-free?
No. Until the Whole Sick Crew of Bushites is held accountable, this country will continue to lose influence and trust. It will mean that life for Americans who deal with other countries - that means all of us, Chucko, 'cause of the importance of our imports - will become increasingly more inconvenient. And the United States on many fronts, will continue to become less secure. It's hard to build alliances with assholes. But, as cynics are quick to point out, it's also true that when it comes to international relations, most governments can be best described as rectally empowered. The problem is that after Bush, if there is no "catharsis" as Rich delicately puts it - and there won't be - many governments will conclude they're still dealing with an unpredictable, incontinent, and explosive asshole which also happens to be the largest on the planet.
That's one of the worst tragedies of the ongoing disaster that is Bush. Even assuming no Giuliani (no god could be cruel enough to permit a Rudolph Giuliani to occupy the White House. I hope.), the problems Bush caused - deliberately caused - will be with us for years and years to come."