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Okay, in the back-to-school spirit of things, I’m going to give y’all a little quiz. (Don’t worry, it won’t be graded. This one’s just for fun.)

Who said the following?

“[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”

Rep. Murtha, perhaps? Maybe Carl Levin?

How about this one?

“I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today.”

Any thoughts on that one, kiddies? It seems to me to be a rather eloquent attack on a trigger-happy president with a misguided and ill-conceived war on his hands. Pretty much sums up every problem with President Bush’s war in Iraq.

Okay, almost done, I swear. Last question, worth a hundred and ten percent of your grade on this quiz. Who said:

“I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long [U.S. troops] will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”

The answers are a) Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), ex-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), and… then-Gov. George W. Bush (R-TX), to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on June 5, 1999.

The war they were talking about?

Bosnia, a peacekeeping operation President Clinton entered into with NATO and UN support.

Another little gem for you—Bush, to the Houston Chronicle on April 9, 1999, describing his foreign policy views: “Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”

It seems we’ve got a little case of amnesia on our hands…

Let's contast that with the Bush of last week, who said "Still, there are some in our country who insist that the best option in Iraq is to pull out, regardless of the situation on the ground. Many of these folks are sincere and they're patriotic, but they could be -- they could not be more wrong... If America were to pull out before Iraq can defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable -- and absolutely disastrous. We would be handing Iraq over to our worst enemies... Victory still depends on the courage and the patience and the resolve of the American people."

Now y’all already know how I feel about the war in Iraq, so I won’t repeat myself. Instead, I’ll let Tom DeLay do it for me:

“Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly. We must stop giving the appearance that our foreign policy is formulated by the Unabomber.”

Setting a deadline for a conflict with no clear end in sight isn’t surrender. It’s just sanity.

1 comments:

Andrew Kim, ak362 at georgetown dot edu said...

Guess who lost their memory of this quote?

"I mean, we're going to have kind of a nation building core from America? Absolutely not. Our military is meant to fight and win war. That's what it's meant to do. And when it gets overextended, morale drops. I strongly believe we need to have a military presence in the peninsula, not only to keep the peace in the peninsula, but to keep regional stability. And I strongly believe we need to keep a presence in NATO, but I'm going to be judicious as to how to use the military. It needs to be in our vital interest, the mission needs to be clear, and the extra strategy obvious."

You guessed it, President George W. Bush. Change your rhetoric, Mr. President?