Thursday, August 31, 2006
The President and His Attack Dogs
On the offensive in a last ditch effort to prevent a debacle in November or are they circling the wagons to save themselves ? One thing is clear. They are desperate. A day after Donald Rumsfeld spoke before the American Foreign Legion about critics of Iraq war as "extremists waging 'a new type of fascism'", President Bush begins the first of a series of talks over the next 20 days. The American public heard this before and were not convinced. Nothing has changed. Can they be persuaded to fall in line? "
President Bush and his surrogates are launching a new campaign intended to rebuild support for the war in Iraq by accusing the opposition of aiming to appease terrorists and cut off funding for troops on the battlefield, charges that many Democrats say distort their stated positions."
With an appearance before the American Legion in Salt Lake City today, Bush will begin a series of speeches over 20 days centered on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But he and his top lieutenants have foreshadowed in recent days the thrust of the effort to put Democrats on the defensive with rhetoric that has further inflamed an already emotional debate.
Bush suggested last week that Democrats are promising voters to block additional money for continuing the war. Vice President Cheney this week said critics "claim retreat from Iraq would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone." And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, citing passivity toward Nazi Germany before World War II, said that "many have still not learned history's lessons" and "believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased."
Pressed to support these allegations, the White House yesterday could cite no major Democrat who has proposed cutting off funds or suggested that withdrawing from Iraq would persuade terrorists to leave Americans alone. But White House and Republican officials said those are logical interpretations of the most common Democratic position favoring a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.