What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Support for Bush, Iraq War, Wanes

Could it be that the American public is finally coming to its senses about the deadly war in Iraq? A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows support for the war in Iraq is starting to decline. 56% of responders said the war in Iraq was not worth fighting. 70% felt that the casualties in Iraq were "unacceptable."

The release of this poll comes at the heels of an attack at a military cafeteria near Mosul, leaving 24 dead and at least 60 wounded. 13 of the dead were U.S. soldiers.

It's clear the insurgents are going to do everything in their power to halt the elections in Iraq next month. And the Iraqi troops we're training? They're not up to the task, says President Bush. At a press conference held on December 20, Bush said, of the Iraqi military, "They've got some generals in place and they've got foot soldiers in place, but the whole command structure necessary to have a viable military is not in place."

Also, Bush acknowledged, some Iraqi soldiers have fled from the scene of battles. "Iraq will never secure itself if they have troops that, when the heat gets on, they leave the battlefield," Bush said at the press conference.

Meanwhile, Bush's approval rating stands at 48%, while 57% disapprove of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. 52% said Bush should fire Donald Rumsfeld.

Ah, It's No Worse Than a College Hazing Ritual

New reports of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib have surfaced, in the form of FBI memos, obtained by the ACLU in a Freedom of Information Act request.

The alleged abuse occurred after the abuses at Abu Ghraib had been made public. In one memo to FBI director Robert Mueller, sent via e-mail on June 24, abuse allegations included strangulation of prisoners, beating, burning prisoners by putting lit cigarettes into the prisoner's ear and unauthorized interrogations.

One memo even accused military police of impersonating FBI officers in order to "interrogate" prisoners and by-pass rules of interrogation set for members of the military. The impersonations were allegedly approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

Apparently, the Bush administration believes it can do what it wants, when it wants, with no consequences.

Conservatives, of course, will condone the abuse, saying Iraqis had it much worse under the rule of Saddam Hussein. While true, the fact that our torture isn't as bad as what happened under Saddam Hussein is no justification. But that's the conservative mindset: it's okay if we torture prisoners, as long as we don't go too far in the torture.

It sounds like we've already crossed that line. And the Bush administration remains unaccountable to anyone, with the legislative branch not doing its duty to keep the executive branch in check. The beatings, and torture, will undoubtedly continue.


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