Bush Launches Campaign to Blame War Failure on Critics

The Pentagon’s attack on Hillary Clinton’s patriotism yesterday may be the opening salvo in an aggressive new disinformation campaign from the White House, according to Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown last night:

“This, sir, is your war. Sen. Clinton has reinforced enemy propaganda? Made it impossible for you to get your ego-driven, blood-steeped win in Iraq? Then take it into your own hands, Mr. Bush. Go to Baghdad now and fulfill, finally, your military service obligations. Go there and fight, your war. Yourself.”
- Keith Olbermann

…For days, possibly for weeks, there have been these murmurs and rumblings in places that this was the next political tactic to be taken by the administration, that it was time to get out the blame the critics, it‘s the antiwar faction‘s fault, if only they had not said what they said, did what they did, protested violations that they protested, this all would have gone well in Iraq.

Earlier in the week, Sen. Clinton wrote to the Pentagon to inquire about the status of planning for a redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, the senator’s request was hardly out of bounds. And yet the response from the Pentagon came in the form of a barely veiled allegation that even by inquiring about withdrawal she wasaiding and abetting the terrorists:

“Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq,” [Under Sec. of Def. Eric] Edelman writes, “reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia.”

Edelman adds: “Such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks.”

Edelman, a partisan Republican, was said to have written the letter under the direction of the vice president. (It sure doesn’t sound like Sec. Gates.) Sen. Clinton responded by calling Edelman’s accusations “outrageous” and “dangerous.”

Olbermann was less restrained. He accused the president of attempting to make his critics the scapegoats for his own failings as a war president:

Let your minions try to spread the blame to the real patriots here, who have sought only to undo the horrors you have wrought since 2002.

Let them try it, until the end of time. Though the words might be erased from a million books and a billion memories, though the world be covered knee-deep in your lies, the truth shall prevail.

This, sir, is your war.

Sen. Clinton has reinforced enemy propaganda? Made it impossible for you to get your ego-driven, blood-steeped win in Iraq?

Then take it into your own hands, Mr. Bush.

Go to Baghdad now and fulfill, finally, your military service obligations.

Go there and fight, your war. Yourself.

Good night, and good luck.

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