Thursday, January 15, 2004

More on O'Neill

More on Paul O'Neill:

  1. The Bush apologists still haven't figured out whether the proper response to O'Neill is to claim that he is a liar, or simply say that everyone knew that Bush was going after Iraq and so O'Neill's revelations, while completely true, are not news. They can't have it both ways. Another official, who was at the same early 2001 National Security Council meetings as O'Neill, completely confirms what O'Neill has said, so claiming he is a liar is becoming difficult. Nevertheless, Rumsfeld has further embarrassed himself by essentially claiming that O'Neill is either a liar or too stupid to know what was going on.

  2. The anonymous official said:

    "The president told his Pentagon officials to explore the military options, including use of ground forces. That went beyond the Clinton administration's halfhearted attempts to overthrow Hussein without force."

    This is an absolutely key point, which the Bush apologists and the Bush Administration are trying to hide. Bush himself said:

    "The stated policy of my administration toward Saddam Hussein was very clear - like the previous administration, we were for regime change."

    The Bushites are claiming that Bush just continued Clinton's policies, but that is completely unfair to Clinton. Despite the entreaties of the neocons, including a specific letter written by PNAC, Clinton resisted the step that Bush took, which was regime change by war. Clinton wanted Saddam out, but that is not identical to removing him by war. Fudging the distinction between war and other methods of regime change is the way that the neocons think, but we must not fall into the same trap. It is Bush's war that is the disaster which breached international law and ruined the reputation of the United States, not to mention cost innumerable lives and billions of dollars. By claiming that Clinton wanted the same thing as Bush, the neocons are ignoring the distinction between Clinton's good sense in this matter, and Bush's foolishness. Faced with the same situation, the same Saddam, and the same basic goals of the American government, Clinton did not attack Iraq and Bush did, and Bush started the stark change in American policy from the time he came into power. Much as they may try, they can't pin this one on Clinton.

  3. It is not surprising that O'Neill is now backtracking a bit. When he goes to his club, all the old geezers in there probably give him the skunk eye for betraying the Republican cause of big business. O'Neill is an honest man, but he is still a Republican, and he must have heard an earful from all his cronies. The striking thing is that he has not taken back any of the substantive claims that he made, but is merely trying to fit them within the 'Clinton did it' standard Republican position.

  4. It is also not surprising that the boot lickers are calling O'Neill every name in the book. 'Disgruntled' is the favorite term. He was capable enough to run Alcoa, but is now incapable of sizing up a moron or reading clear briefing materials in a National Security Council meeting. This predictable nonsense from the Bush apologists is an excellent indication that O'Neill has come way too close to the truth for an Administration which thrives on lies.