Kerry Blasts Bush's "Unbelievable Incompetence" In Losing Iraq High Explosives
John Kerry is capitalizing on the Bush Administration’s "unbelievable incompetence" in allowing over 300 tons of high explosives in Iraq to disappear right after the toppling of Saddam’s regime. Blasting the administration for their incompetence, the campaign will now be able to undercut the whole rationale that Bush has used the past week and plans to use this week whereby Bush/Cheney have claimed that they are better able than Kerry to protect the country from terrorists.
So much for that argument and ad campaign.
The IAEA confirmed the loss of these explosives a short while ago, and it must be remembered that Bush bears direct responsibility for this fiasco. Why? Because it was the Bush Administration that kept the IAEA from reentering Iraq after the invasion to inventory the stockpiles and resume looking for WMDs, preferring instead to handpick the leaders of the Iraq Survey Group, first led by David Kay, and then led by Charles Duelfer, so that a friendly face was in charge. Now it turns out that not only did their handpicked guys not find the WMD stockpiles, but Bush’s refusal to let the IAEA back into Iraq quickly to verify the disposition of these high explosives, something the IAEA was uniquely qualified to do due to their knowledge of where these explosives were, significantly contributed to the violence and deaths of our troops since the occupation began.
Bush is not only responsible for these deaths, he is negligent as well.
On a separate question, I wonder if Bush is finally grappling with the prospect that he may lose next week. Note that the campaign’s last gasp late this week is for Bush to film a 60-second commercial talking to undecided voters, where he is basically begging to keep his job. Then, according to the AP and during an interview on ABC this morning, there’s this:
Asked in the interview if he has considered the fact that he could lose, Bush replied, "I'm not there yet."
Yet? Perhaps Bush should prepare himself for a loss. It appears that Bush and Rove may manage to lose all three of the “Big Three” battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, something that was unthinkable days ago. Although Zogby noted last night that Bush is ahead in both Ohio and Florida, other polls show Kerry ahead in both states, and this is before Clinton makes his visits. For his part, Zogby showed Kerry ahead in Colorado and Minnesota too. So in all these states it will come down to turnout efforts and how effective the GOP is at depressing the Democratic turnout and stealing/destroying Democratic ballots.
And from the Post yesterday, there is concern inside the GOP at this development, no matter what bravado we hear from the top.
GOP officials who talked to Bush-Cheney campaign leaders said the leaders have grown more worried about Ohio, Florida and other key states where Bush lacks a lead with just 10 days until the election. A poll by Ohio University's Scripps Survey Research Center, completed Thursday night, found Kerry leading 49 percent to 43 percent among registered voters, with a margin of error of five percentage points.
Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), campaigning with Vice President Cheney in northwestern New Mexico, told the crowd that the GOP ticket will lose the state without a lopsided local victory in San Juan County, because of heavy Democratic activity elsewhere in the state. "Without a huge margin in this county . . . we can't win this election," he said.
One Republican official described the mood at the top of the campaign as apprehensive. " 'Grim' is too strong," the official said. "If we feel this way a week from now, that will be grim."
Anything that Kerry, Edwards, Clinton, and Gore can do to lock down the Big Three early in the week will allow the campaign to focus on shoring up some of the smaller battleground states like Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, and perhaps steal a couple of other states later in the week.
Any more revelations or October Surprises like this for Bush will make that job easier.