26 September 2003

Don't Blame Bush's Speechwriters

These long months of weirdly combining tough talk with inadequate force have not only stood on its head Theodore Roosevelt's sage advice to 'speak softly and carry a big stick' but also seem almost to dare, taunt, and provoke our enemies into renewed attacks on American and British troops, friendly Jordanian officials, and supportive Iraqi police and religious authorities.

Perhaps, in order to induce other countries to send their troops to serve under an exclusive American command in Iraq, the president should promise to keep quiet. Unfortunately, on Tuesday at the United Nations the president was back at it again, declaring, 'Across the Middle East, people are safer' and proclaiming that the terrorists in Iraq 'will be defeated.' So, do not blame the speechwriters for the president's willful, wishful prevarications. Do not blame the US military for his initial unilateralism and inadequate force. And to our critics in Europe, I have this: Do not blame the American people -- they voted for Gore.

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