Dubya's half apology was lame... Should have fallen on his sword.. As C in C he should have stood up and said the actions of those involved were sh*t and all would be punished to the full extent of the law [ US military code of justice -short prison stay, maybe, dismissal, dishonourable discharge, loss of pensions and benefits -] then told the Arab community on a big, bended knee, mea culpa... Would have cost him nothing, would have shut up the detractors and would have made him look like a rare statesman in the eyes of the world instead of yet another weasely politician trying to cover his ass and save himself from being turfed come the Nov. election..
Let's remember that these incidents happened last year [ Oct to Dec ] and were discovered and dealt with..the sh*t is now because the rabid media got hold of it.. [ nothing stays buried anymore - the ' reality ' of our wired global community ] this is old news..
What is more troublesome is the blurred line of command and the serious issue of accountability...put a poorly trained ranker in the field and a dumb-ass officer , more concerned for his promotion opportunities than what those under his command are doing and you'll get this crap all the time...
I was going to say something about your query but you got me...Bush comes across as a nice guy, ordinary joe [ despite his wealth and family connections ] who would like to do the right thing when he can.. part of that " Aw shucks - born again " image..
So you figure he's got some sense of the ' rightness' of things and would want to do what's good if not wise..
No man is an island..and in the realm of world political leadership.. these guys surround themselves with advisors, think tanks, researchers, analysts, .. whole slews of experts.. these legions of deep thinkers are paid big bucks to parse every nuance, to extrapolate ever ramification..to poll and focus group where on one has gone before - yet.. they make the dumbest, most obvious and blatant lapses in plain common sense one can imagine...they can't see the obvious result of their proposals or the ' down side ' to anything they do.. and then instead of saying " oops " they spend millions more trying to ' clarify, explain and spin ' the issue to avoid taking blame..
what happened to the statesmen of the past who stood up and told it like it is, took the punch up side the head when warranted and got on with making things better for all instead of spending their time trying to foist the blame on someone else and denying that they ever knew anything...
No wonder no one makes important and quotable pronouncements anymore, they're all more worried about covering their ass than governing and leading.. I'm afraid we'll never see the likes of Churchill again..no politician of this age wants to put their neck out anywhere near that far.. Guess that's why the Brits made Churchill their Greatest Historical Figure a bit back..
The actions of the US prison guards is mind boggling stupid. They have jeopardised their countrys entire mission in Iraq.
However the hypocrisy of the Arab media is also breathtaking - if the prisoners pictured were in a Syrian or Iranian prison they wouldn't be telling their stories to the media with their jailers facing trial for mistreating them - they'd be dead and buried in a pit!
I don't recall the Arab media foaming at the mouth with righteous anger at the scenes of Japanese `prisoners' being violently assulted by masked thugs screaming "god is great'.
Nor did they clamour for justice after the US contractors were murdered in Fallujah, their burnt bodies chopped into pieces with shovels, dragged through the streets behind a car and hung from a bridge.
I think those guys would have gladly worn a pair of women's underpants instead!
I think that Bush's problem is not that he is stupid, but just inexperienced. That in itself would not be so bad, if he had good Secretaries of State and advisers. Though Reagan was a little... absent minded, he was surrounded by an experienced and talented crew, who could could translate his simple vision into some sort of coherent policy. Reagan also had a good twenty or so years of experience of office when he was elected.
Bush on the other hand, seems to be surrounded by people who live in a Neo-conservative, Tom Clancy-influenced dream-world. (stand-fast Colin Powell, who, spookily enough, is one of the only ones to have actually seen combat). Bring back Fat Billy C, thats what I say. At least he had entertainment value