In an interview, Bill Clinton came out swinging:
Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq "virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction."
The Iraq war diverted US attention from the war on terrorism "and undermined the support that we might have had," Bush said in an interview with an ABC's "This Week" programme.
Clinton said there had been a "heroic but so far unsuccessful" effort to put together an constitution that would be universally supported in Iraq.
The US strategy of trying to develop the Iraqi military and police so that they can cope without US support "I think is the best strategy. The problem is we may not have, in the short run, enough troops to do that," said Clinton.
On the US budget, Clinton warned that the federal deficit may be coming untenable, driven by foreign wars, the post-hurricane recovery programme and tax cuts that benefitted just the richest one percent of the US population, himself included.
"What Americans need to understand is that ... every single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows money from other countries to finance Iraq,
Afghanistan, Katrina, and our tax cuts," he said.
"We have never done this before. Never in the history of our republic have we ever financed a conflict, military conflict, by borrowing money from somewhere else."
Clinton added: "We depend on Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Korea primarily to basically loan us money every day of the year to cover my tax cut and these conflicts and Katrina. I don't think it makes any sense."
Good speech! Nothing wrong or inaccurate, everything Clinton said is substantiated and easy to verify. Was it rude? Yeah, you could say that. Could one make the claim that Bill was trying to boost Hillary's chances to be the next President? Probably, but the 2008 Presidential elections are a very long way off and I suspect Bill is more concerned with the immediae problem of boosting Democrats in general to be more aggressive in their criticism of Bush. By taking the lead and taking some fire for them, Bill makes it that much safer for other Democrats to follow his lead. Al Gore did much the same thing during the election campaign of 2004. By coming out early in favor of Howard Dean, Gore stiffened a lot of spines that sorely needed stiffening.
Here are some criticisms of the speech from Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, Powerline.
So, naturally, Clinton saw no urgency with respect to dealing with Saddam's regime. Of course, had Saddam facilitated a post-9/11 attack on the U.S. using chemical or biological weapons, you can imagine how harshly Clinton would have criticized Bush for his lack of foresight.
This follows considerable moaning and whining and bitching about how mean Clinton is being to Bush and is, of course, complete and utter hypothesis with absolutely no serious grounding in reality. Even if Iraq did possess such fearsome weapons, how would they have delivered them? Federal Express? They were under continuous surveillance and overflights as the US was protecting "Kurdistan" in Northern Iraq. They had no aircraft that wouldn't have gotten blown away the minute they crossed their borders in a hostile manner, they had no missles that possessed any kind of range and they had no alliance with al Qaeda that would have given them the capability to sneak a weapon into anyplace.
Clinton's assertion that there was "no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction" is a flat-out lie.
Um, okay. How on Earth does one have evidence of the existence of WMDs without their being WMDs? Obviously, had the evidence been any good, had the evidence been reliable or meaningful, then WMDs would have existed. When UN inspectors were crawling all over Iraq a few months before the US invasion, it was loudly noted by lefty bloggers and others that the US did not give UN inspectors any meaningful clues or ideas as to where to look.
Someone tell me: what did Clinton ever do, during his eight years in office, to build up America's armed forces or increase our power?
This is the classic problem of "the dog that didn't bark" from the Sherlock Holmes story. To see what's wrong with the statement, we look for what isn't there. If Clinton did such a lousy job of building up America's armed forces, then where were Bush's frantic efforts to build up America's armed forces before invading Iraq? What are the statements Bush made about being unhappy with the state of readiness he found in America's armed forces when he took office? Where were the sudden efforts at recruiting, spending, raising new divisions , building new ships, etc?
Note that when Clinton faulted the "authorities," he meant the Bush administration--although, as AFP points out, he "agreed that some responsibility for this lay with the local and state authorities." In fact, the entire responsibility lay with state and local authorities.
This statement is flatly, blatantly and clearly contradicted by the State of Lousiana formally requesting help from the Federal Government on August 28th. Bush has also since acknowledged that the Federal Government had a duty to assist and that it did not do so.
Again and again, President Bush has tried to work with the Democrats as if they were loyal Americans first, and partisans second. He has treated Bill Clinton with a friendship and respect that, candidly, is disproportionate to Clinton's meager accomplishments. Again and again, the Democrats have rebuffed Bush's overtures and taken advantage of his patriotism and good faith.
You know, when one is engaged in a political argument, there are not very many rules or standards, but here's a primary one: you don't get to make up your own facts!!! One needs to stick with documented reality. One cannot simply make shit up and pass it off as fact. This is an administration that glories in the "51% victory", that loves it when a measure of theirs squeezes through by just one vote, that refuses to take any measures that might water down their victory. This statement is complete and utter horseshit. Pandagon exclaims:
Of course, the GOP and its faithful adherents have treated the Democrats like the scum at the bottom of a septic tank for about, oh, 30, 40, 50 years, and we were being called traitors, murderers, and idiots long before Clinton DARED speak actual facts about Bush's tenure. Forgive me if the fuck I don't give grows to epic, perhaps Herculean proportions.
Hoo yah! Ditto ditto! What he said!