Monday, April 03, 2006

Rice Visits Iraq In Complete Reversal Of Last Week's Comments

A week ago when Senate Minority leader Harry Reid called on the Bush Administration to take constructive steps to put pressure on the Iraqi government to form some sort of a consensus and to begin to rule the country, as elections were held nearly four months ago, the Bush Administration claimed there was no need to put pressure on the Iraqis. Now this weekend, in a complete reversal, Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice and her British counterpart, Jack Straw, visited the Iraqi government to put some pressure on the Iraqi government.

It was a constructive call by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid which was at first brushed aside by the Bush Administration as though it was a partisan political call. But indeed not everthing in politics is partisan. There are many reasonable statements by some members of both parties that are somehow brushed aside. There is such a defensive nature in the Bush White House right now, where nearly everthing constructive is treated with a siege mentality as being partisan when often it is not that at all.

This weekend some conservative Blogs attacked the call by Gen. Westley Clark to find Osama Bin Laden. This was also dismissed as merly political as well. However it would prove to be a huge benefit to the Bush Administration to capture Bin Laden, but also a huge liabilty if another large terrorist attack takes place in the U.S. for the Bush White House, which then would look very ineffective. Somehow some conservatives have failed to see this benefit versus liability standard which could really benefit Mr. Bush's sagging support if successful.

But there is also the real problem of whether taking out Bin Laden would do much to damage the Al Qaeda organization. And there is evidence that Bin Laden may be hiding in deep caves in either Afghanistan or Pakistan that only a very bloody U.S. extraction raid or the dropping of a huge bomb may or may not be effective.

If Bin Laden is hidden in a deep mountainous bunker, it would take a huge bomb to even pentrate these bunkers. Yet during the 9/11 attAck it was clear that Al Qaeda targeted the Capitol building and top U.S. political leadership with the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. The White House was actually too small of a target for such a large plane traveling at a high rate of speed. And also the Pentagon was targeted as well. If this terrorist organization felt that attacking the top U.S. political and military leadership was a high priority, then there is no reason for the Bush Administration not to consider Osama Bin Laden as a legitimate target.

Why so many conservatives are so fussy about this is a very good question. But this "bunker mentality" misses some important constructive comments by the critics of the Bush Administration's war on terror who are offering some important policy notions, rather than merely seeking to score some political points for themselves.

At least the surprise visit to Iraq by Rice and Straw may be a sign that someone in the Bush Administration is finally beginning to realize that some real constructive policy comments are sometimes being offered that are intended to help the current foreign policy problems. Hopefully more of this open minded approach can help some of these sticky and dangerous problems.

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