The Mess in Iraq * Retired Justice O'Connor speaks out about "those who strong-arm judiciary" *
Veni Vidi Vici (I came,I saw,I conquered
). That was the message sent to Rome by Julius Caesar in 47 BC after he defeated the army of Pharnaces. Our warrior president,flush after the army walked into Baghdad and toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein, put on an aviator's suit and crowed in front of a banner reading "Mission Accomplished". That was on May 2, 2003. Three years after the president's victory speech, 2270 soldiers have lost their lives (at the end of April 2003 the figure was 139, today it is 2309
). The mission remains far from being accomplished. Iraq is a mess, largely due to faulty planning for civilian rule after removal of Saddam Hussein. The president not only failed to install a handpicked regime, the much vaunted election resulted in emergence of Shiites with close ties to Iran which was not in his game plan. The neocon scenario for post-war Iraq is in shambles. Iraq is no longer secular; mullahs are in power. The end of sectarian violence is nowhere in sight. Americans are questioning the direction of the war and the president's handling of it. Billions of dollars pouring into Iraq have meant immense profits for some favored contractors and corrupt Iraqi officials without much effect on rebuilding of the infrastructure. The president is on record that he does not pay any attention to polls. Right, and Karl Rove is an alien from outer space! War, war, the president needs another war. Time to democratize Iran
and liberate the Iranians? "I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. And again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true."
---President Bush on NBC's 'Meet the Press' - Sunday, February 8, 2004; 12:03 PM
No wonder that the latest USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll
reflects the president's failure to persuade the American people to support him. "The latest results show only 36% of those polled saying they "approve" of the way Bush is handling his job. Bush's previous low was 37%, set last November
." No matter what he says to lessen the negative impact, the president is no longer able to convince people. Republican lawmakers faced with mid-term elections are staying away from hanging on to his coattails. The Democrats,too, are paying a price for being without a clear message and for their failure to oppose the war. Opportunity to change the imbalance in Congress exists. If the Democrats cannot win back enough seats to make a difference then they might as well give up.
Sandra Day O'Connor on attacks against the courts by Republicans
No, not a wacky liberal but retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor expressed her concern about attacks by Republicans against the courts for liberal bias. Addressing a meeting of corporate lawyers at Georgetown University on March 9th, Ms O'Connor said: "We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary." She pointed to autocracies in the developing world and former Communist countries as lessons on where interference with the judiciary might lead. "It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings."Nominated by late President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor became the 102nd justice and first female member of the Supreme Court.*