April 07, 2004
He's on the job
How has President Bush responded to the recent awful news coming out of Iraq?
At his ranch near Crawford, Texas, President Bush held a 20-minute telephone conference call to discuss the fast-breaking events in Iraq with top Cabinet officials including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, national security adviser Condoleeza Rice and Richard Meyers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Bush "received an update about the offensive military action" in Fallujah and other parts of Iraq and was told that U.S. and coalition troops were "performing well," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.
He said Bush, who is scheduled to stay at his ranch until Monday, would receive updates "as warranted."
All that brush won't clear itself, you know. Someone has to stay on top of it.
Via The Agonist, who notes that Bush has been on vacation all this week.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 07, 2004 to Iraq attack
He spends 20 minutes on our involvement in an incipient civil war. I just spent 90 minutes in a meeting on whether we want some functions to remain servlets or migrate to a new daemon.
I'm in the wrong profession (or he is).
I guess the troops are "performing well," on the eve of Easter, by shooting missles at an Iraqi church, even while the CPA is trying to get some Iraqi clerics to cooperate with them.
On any level--theological, political, strategic, tactical, practical--other than efficiency in killing (which no one doubts we can do), can anyone explain to me how this is "performing well"?
If we are going to bomb Iraqi churches and kill people who have assembled in them, there is no posssible way for America to salvage anything good out of this misbegotten war and foreign policy.
Crawford is a good place to have the second in command out of the way so he doesn't err during a vital period - Cheney's the man. He's still around.
The president doesn't think that 35 coalition deaths and a questionable (on every level) attack on a house of worship make this a good time to, you know, do his job?
didn't aWol go on vacation just after the war began last year? Correct me if I am wrong.
I think he just like to contemplate violence while he jerks off wearing a cowboy hat.
and you know, Muslims rever Christ as a prophet (although they do not think he rose from the dead), but this week is a bit of a religious one for them also.
Kuff, when you write snarky posts, you seem to attract more moonbat comments. So I feel obliged to balance the scales, I guess, with a wingnut perspective.
I suspect that if pressed, you'd acknowledge that it's better for the President whoever he may be not to be prowling the Situation Room at 3:00 a.m. hand-picking the next day's targets, or at his desk in the Oval Office scanning the previous week's usage of the White House tennis courts. And yes, I've just made a couple of equally snarky countercomments about a couple of past Presidents whose management styles I don't particularly admire. A President's management style including willingness to select and delegate to capable people, willingness to let them do their jobs, and willingness to then hold them accountable for results is a substantive issue worthy of debate. One can debate, for example, whether Dubya sometimes has valued loyalty and continuity over competence (George Tenet's name comes to mind).
But that he cuts brush on the ranch to get some exercise and blow off steam you surely don't mean that as a serious criticism, do you?
Church, mosques and other houses of worship are protected sites under the international Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). LOAC also provides guidelines determining other legal/illegal targets. Other places or things generally off-limits include hospitals, vehicles bearing a red cross or crescent, and historically important sites. LOAC also gives guidelines for choosing weapons. They must be proportional to the target (i.e. you can't nuke a sniper) and minimize the amount of casualties of noncombatants. There are more scenarios and conditions and they are covered every year during required annual training for every member of the US military.
This attack on the mosque was intentional but that doesn't neccessarily make it illegal. The LOAC protection of sites, is waived in the case of "perfidy". If the protected site is used by attackers to engage an enmey, it loses it's LOAC protection. It seems obvious that there was some determination that this was the case.
That said it is certainly reasonable to expect that there will be some inquiry by an interantional body to determine the legality of this attack. I suspect the commander that authorized the attack will be asked to produce evidence of a perfidy claim...and I suspect the commander will have that evidence. Even so one must question the wisdom of bombing a mosque, even if it were technically legal, when the forces you are facing are incited by Muslim cleric who is certain use it to rally more support.
Beldar, to address your points, I don't begrudge the man some vacation time (though let's be honest - he's taken a lot of it) and I don't expect him to micromanage. I do, however, think that this is a really serious situation, and that it would be more appropriate for him to be in Washington where he can be actively involved in managing that situation. He is, after all, the person in command. To drag out a business analogy for our "CEO President", would you expect Lee Iacocca to remain on vacation if a riot broke out at a Chrysler plant and shut the place down?
Simply put, I don't believe he's giving this mess, which is of his own making, the attention it deserves, and that angers me.