Sunday, September 24, 2006

Some Truth About Iraq, and More Reluctant Conclusions

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat

I once believed that George W. Bush was "God's man" in the White House. I once believed that he was fundamentally an honorable, honest and faithful man. I also once believed that time would reveal him to be one of the greatest presidents we've had.

I no longer believe any of these things, and I find that as I commit myself to a dispassionate examination of the evidence (this blog is called, after all, "One for Truth") that critics of George Bush have on balance had the facts on their side. In fact, it doesn't seem very close.

Warnings are ignored. Scientific and intelligence reports are edited by political appointees. Studies are ordered with the conclusions already arrived at. Ideology triumphs over the facts on the ground.

I could lay all this out in detail, but this really isn't the forum for deconstructing this or any other administration. This is an opportunity for one man to depressingly, reluctantly conclude that his commitment to Truth is making him question the honor and values of George W. Bush and his closest advisors. There was a time where my loyalty to party and ideology would not permit me to take a position that was occupied by my ideological opponents. But I find myself increasingly in agreement with those who criticize this administration for its mishandling of this war and its commitment to ideology to the exclusion of reality.

So I'm watching now, as the intelligence community is advising this president that one of the only remaining rationales for this war--that it reduces terror by confronting it at its source ("Iraq is the front line on the war on terror")--has been contradicted by the facts on the ground. Will the administration openly acknowledge this and alter its policies and rhetoric accordingly? Time will tell, but doing so would go a long way towards restoring the good name and honor of this president.


At 7:45 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Thanks for your honesty.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger dorsey said...

I'm beginning to share your disappointment. Do you think the President has been particularly malicious and opportunistic, or is he, himself, blinded by what he sees as the righteousness of his cause?

I know a pastor who frequently ignored any consideration of ethics, and once, even committed a felony (insurance fraud) in his effort to care for and protect the church. He never, ever believed he had done anything wrong because of the sincerity of his motives. I'm reminded of that pastor when I think of the President.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

Yeah Dorse, I can see that--although I think that it's ideological commitment that blinds and compromises this administration.

Now I would say that at the heart of this ideology is a desire to serve the interests of the country (as opposed to lining their own pockets, an accusation I tend to dismiss).

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Scott said...

What if the accusation of lining one’s pockets was veiled by idealism? I’ve considered this myself and think that it may be a viable option. Bush insulates himself with people he trusts and respects, perfect conditions for a psychological scenario called group think.

From Wikipedia: Groupthink is a mode of thought whereby individuals intentionally conform to what they perceive to be the consensus of the group. Groupthink may cause the group (typically a committee or large organization) to make bad or irrational decisions which each member might individually consider to be unwise.

Unfortunately, the people Bush relies on are all former business and political colleagues. Additionally, he surrounds himself with other really smart people who may not be willing to succumb to the pressure exerted by said friends (i.e., group think).

Now, Bush may be relying heavily on an ideology, and in one sense that is admirable, but I think his cronies’ agenda may rely on the almighty dollar and power in mind.

In the interest of space, I have not fully laid out all of the nuances of this idea but you get the gist. Now, I know it sound like a conspiracy and I may be crazy but I’d like to get your opinion on the idea.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

I certainly see a lot of insularity among Bush's core advisors (Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Armitage, et al) and there's no denying that the oil industry is widely and deeply represented on his team. Whether that translates into the use of their offices for their own personal financial ambitions is unknowable.

What's apparent is that this team has a very disturbing tendency to play fast and loose with the facts to serve their goals. Are they personal more than ideological? One can only speculate. In some cases, perhaps, but I think that's less likely the higher up you go. We are probably talking about guys who think that they are directing their nation through a new era and they are so confident in their beliefs and their abilities that they have made compromises around key principles like truth, transparency, cooperation and restraint in service of their goals.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Wasp Jerky said...

If there were more people like you, this country would be in a much better place.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Believe it or not, I would be sympathetic with your views my friend.

I was thinking last night about something. We all know that politics are corrupt. You may not be aware of the Southern Baptist politics, or have chosen to remain clean from the atrocities commited, but even within the Southern Baptist Convention great politics occur. If you would like to know more, ask my brother, he could go on and on about SBC politics.

But I thought, if we have such corrupt politics within a Christian organization (convention), that is national, yes, but does not include everyone within the nation, why would we think that American politics would be better?

I know, I know. You are going to say, 'no one does think American politics are better'. And this I know. We all agree that American politics are corrupt and, shall I say, almost evil.

But even when we recognize that American politics are corrupt, we still have this optomistic view that out of this political game came an outstanding leader of Christian ethics and biblical morality.

Seriously, if the SBC, with its corrupt politics, cannot produce a leader that cares more the soul of men, rather than the numbers of men dunked, then why would we think that American politics can produce a man that cares, genuinly cares, for the well-being and good of America.

I think we have all been shown to have a little bit of egg on our faces.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Wasp Jerky said...

Part of the problem is Christians for some reason have this belief that a Christian is better capable of doing something than a non-Christian. Personally, I'd rather go to a atheist doctor who knows what he's doing than a Christian doctor who is going to end up killing me. And I'd rather have a non-Christian President who knows how to lead than a Christian President who is an incompetent liar.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Scott said...

You raise a good question: Does being a Christian make one "better" or more qualified for a Job? relationships? anything?

I don't think so. If that's the case, why put the little Jesus fish in the phone book next to your businesses ad?

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

I suspect that some trust Christians more than others for the same reasons Armenians trust Armenians, and Greeks trust Greeks, and the like... because we prefer to work with people that we feel are most like us.

At 5:41 AM, Blogger Scott said...

This is a sad comment but if I know someone goes to church, it makes me trust them less. I feel I have to be more careful around them.

Regarding businesses that advertise via thier chritianity (which is a very popular activity here in the southern US)...I avoid them. If you use Jesus to pimp your business, you've lost my business...


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