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View Diary: Eureka! Great Kerry idea (246 comments)

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  •  also: Bush's double leadership failure in Fallujah (4.00)
    This is in tomorrow's Washington Post.  The general on the ground confirms that Bush ignored his own commanders twice in the Fallujah debacle.  Details in my diary
       http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/13/165718/130
    (or see below)

    I think this can be worked into a hard hitting point for Kerry -- or at the very least one of his surrogates, but I think Kerry himself should take it.  I've sketched out a line of attack...  

    ----------------------

    Here's a way the Kerry campaign could hit both the Iraq and the failed leadership issues HARD without getting into the rationale for the war as a whole.  In Fallujah, Bush ignored his commanders on the ground twice in a row, with disastrous results.  Josh Marshall at TPM has it here (citing an article from tomorrow's Washington Post).

    the White House first ordered the assault on the city (in response to the killing and mutilation of four US military contractors) over the advice of the commanders on the ground. Then, again over the advice of those same commanders, they ordered the end of the assault before the mission had been accomplished.

    That rapid turnabout managed to achieve most of the ill effects of an iron fist policy (lots of deaths, radicalization of civilians and terrible effects on world opinion) while preventing any of the possible positive ones from being realized.

    I remember hearing at the time that Bush had personally gone ballistic over the contractor mutilation, and ordered the assault on the city.  While in many ways Abu Ghraib may have been the real point of no return from probable to almost certain disaster, Fallujah is more simply and obviously tied to the current deterioration of the US position in Iraq, and, unlike the prison scandal, I think with some finesse it can be deployed successfully as a campaign issue:

    Bush is a failed leader.  People say he's steadfast, but actually he's reckless.  Now in a tough fight that might be okay if he had follow-through.  Instead, he let our troops down: not only did he ignore their commanders about the actual military situation, he wouldn't even back them up when they followed his commands into harm's way.

    In the end, despite his strong words, he appears weak, without even the courage of his own convictions.  That appearance of weakness [I'm softening this a bit for TV consumption; I'm sure Begala and co. can refine it far better than I] plays right into the hands of the terrorists.  

    Stirling contended at the time that the whole body descration photo op was right out of Mao's playbook: pick a city where you already have some support; commit an atrocity to provoke an overreaction, radicalizing the population; now you have a new base of operations.

    the White House first ordered the assault on the city (in response to the killing and mutilation of four US military contractors) over the advice of the commanders on the ground. Then, again over the advice of those same commanders, they ordered the end of the assault before the mission had been accomplished.
    That rapid turnabout managed to achieve most of the ill effects of an iron fist policy (lots of deaths, radicalization of civilians and terrible effects on world opinion) while preventing any of the possible positive ones from being realized.

    •  W (none)
      W is weak
      W is wrong
      W is ....
      •  Some more (none)
        W is whacked-out
        W is walleyed
        W is wanton
        W is washed-up
        W is waspish
        W is wasted
        W is wastrel
        W is waxy
        W is wayless
        W is well-fixed
        W is well-worn
        W is wet
        W is whip-sawed
        W is wicked
        W is wigged-out
        W is wild-eyed
        W is willful
        W is willy-nilly
        W is wimpy
        W is windward
        W is wishy-washy
        W is ... someone have an OED?
      •  not really a fan of the W but... (none)
        W is for Wallet.  

        As in take it out when Bush comes around.  If you're rich you'll be filling it up.  The rest of us will digging for bills, credit cards and soon to be useless social security cards.  Not to mention pictures of our kids, who have been handed the largest tax increase in history...

        Now if Kerry could dig into his pocket and start waving it around, that might get some play from the media.

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