Skip to comments.Clinton launches withering attack on Bush on Iraq, Katrina, budget
Posted on 09/18/2005 2:48:44 PM PDT by wallcrawlr
Former US president Bill Clinton sharply criticised George W. Bush for the Iraq War and the handling of Hurricane Katrina, and voiced alarm at the swelling US budget deficit.
Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, 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 Hurricane Katrina, Clinton faulted the authorities' failure to evacuate New Orleans ahead of the storm's strike on August 29.
People with cars were able to heed the evacuation order, but many of those who were poor, disabled or elderly were left behind.
"If we really wanted to do it right, we would have had lots of buses lined up to take them out," Clinton.
He agreed that some responsibility for this lay with the local and state authorities, but pointed the finger, without naming him, at the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA boss Michael Brown quit in response to criticism of his handling of the Katrina disaster. He was viewed as a political appointee with no experience of disaster management or dealing with government officials.
"When James Lee Witt ran FEMA, because he had been both a local official and a federal official, he was always there early, and we always thought about that," Clinton said, referring to FEMA's head during his 1993-2001 presidency.
"But both of us came out of environments with a disproportionate number of poor people."
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."
Yup, he's withering, alright.
I guess we all should consider ourselves lucky that when Hillary gets in office she will be able to save America.
We need to email this article in hordes
to W!! Maybe he'll finally get it!!
He's prepping for Hillary. He wants back in the whitehouse any way it takes.
What a slug!
He also broke the tradition of not ravaging interns in the Oval Office. LMAO
The man is a pathological liar.
A tradition he benefited from, now he tramples.
Drudge has bubba and a headline that reads..
"CLINTON TURNS ON BUSH"
Do you think W will finally GET IT?!! Turning the other cheek is getting old real quick!!
I'm so glad that Daddy Bush and President Bush have been so nice to clinton. It really has paid off, big time.
Just like being so nice to Teddy Kennedy paid off. Democrats are always so grateful when you are nice to them.
I guess he has to start charging the engines for billary. Complete with dnc talking points. Oh yeah bill STFU !!!!
Hey, this is what the Bush family gets for being nice to old Bill. A lesson to all: you can't be nice to Democrats, unless you're willing to be played for a fool.
IOW HITLARY can't attack bush and maintain her "viability" so she uses her husband.
Could it also be that clinton is busy pandering to world leaders at the UN via his little parties?
Any reporter who goes to that "exclusive party" is suspect.
Clinton first linked al Qaeda to Saddam
By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Clinton administration talked about firm evidence linking Saddam Hussein's regime to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network years before President Bush made the same statements.
The issue arose again this month after the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States reported there was no "collaborative relationship" between the old Iraqi regime and bin Laden.
Democrats have cited the staff report to accuse Mr. Bush of making inaccurate statements about a linkage. Commission members, including a Democrat and two Republicans, quickly came to the administration's defense by saying there had been such contacts.
In fact, during President Clinton's eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton's defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.
Mr. Bush cited the linkage, in part, to justify invading Iraq and ousting Saddam. He said he could not take the risk of Iraq's weapons falling into bin Laden's hands.
The other pronouncement is contained in a Justice Department indictment on Nov. 4, 1998, charging bin Laden with murder in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
The indictment disclosed a close relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam's regime, which included specialists on chemical weapons and all types of bombs, including truck bombs, a favorite weapon of terrorists.
The 1998 indictment said: "Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq."
Shortly after the embassy bombings, Mr. Clinton ordered air strikes on al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and on the Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.
To justify the Sudanese plant as a target, Clinton aides said it was involved in the production of deadly VX nerve gas. Officials further determined that bin Laden owned a stake in the operation and that its manager had traveled to Baghdad to learn bomb-making techniques from Saddam's weapons scientists.
Mr. Cohen elaborated in March in testimony before the September 11 commission.
He testified that "bin Laden had been living [at the plant], that he had, in fact, money that he had put into this military industrial corporation, that the owner of the plant had traveled to Baghdad to meet with the father of the VX program."
He said that if the plant had been allowed to produce VX that was used to kill thousands of Americans, people would have asked him, " 'You had a manager that went to Baghdad; you had Osama bin Laden, who had funded, at least the corporation, and you had traces of [VX precursor] and you did what? And you did nothing?' Is that a responsible activity on the part of the secretary of defense?"
I doubt it. Bush will never get it. Sometimes I think he is as stupid as the democrats say he is. First he stands and says its all his fault then he asks Bubba to help gather donations giving him a platform. then he has Condi Rice attend Bubba's Global head job in New York. He has yet to stand up for himself, he has yet to play hardball with Congress. And now he wants to build a new land under the sea by rebuilding New Orleans, at taxpayers expense.All the while knowing we have an immigration problem and kissing Vincente Fox's butt. I am a Bush supporter, but its getting harder.
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