According to this story, Arabs are shocked and awed by the level of stubbornness Bush has displayed in endorsing Don Rumsfeld:
“After the torture and vile acts by the American army, President Bush goes out and congratulates Rumsfeld. It’s just incredible. I am in total shock,” said Omar Belhouchet, editor of the influential Algerian national daily El Watan.
“Bush’s praise for Rumsfeld will discredit the United States…and further damage its reputation, which is already at a historic low in the Arab world,” he added.
Analysts have said the damage from images seen worldwide of U.S. soldiers abusing naked Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison would be indelible, incalculable and a gift to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Personally, I’m in total shock over how absolutely awful the prosecution of the Iraq war has been, from the very beginning until now, and specifically how rapidly the situation has deteriorated over the past two months. And not only has the civilian leadership not done anything right, but they’ve been able to parlay their dogged and obstinate pursuit of failed strategies into an image of strong and decisive leadership.
I used to think comparisons to Vietnam were premature. However, at this stage, we really have to consider that if Bush is reelected, America may actually be on its way to losing another war and empowering the terrorists in the process.
But according to Them, the mounting casualties — American soldiers, American credibility — are signs that we are winning. Up is down. Black is white. 2+2=5.
Stated aptly by George Will:
This administration cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and, having thought, to have second thoughts….Being steadfast in defense of carefully considered convictions is a virtue. Being blankly incapable of distinguishing cherished hopes from disappointing facts, or of reassessing comforting doctrines in face of contrary evidence, is a crippling political vice.