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Apprehension 2008 begins

Scott Bannon Posted by Scott Bannon

buxtohispano’s first look at the ’08 presidential race – Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

In early 1998, several of my friends told me that George W. bush would be our next president. Of course I laughed at them. Since then, I’ve learned to pay closer attention to what my friends say–and to pick better friends.

Recently, these same friends have been touting Giuliani’s name as our next Republican presidental candidate. They haven’t exactly pinned him the winner yet, but I’m seeing the writing on the wall.

Like most folks outside of New York, my factual knowledge of Giuliani and his positions is somewhat limited and skewed. I know a little about his efforts as Mayor of New York, and that after 9/11 he became America’s Mayor, but if he’s going to be a serious presidential candidate I want to know more about him, so I decided to do a little research. I sat down at my computer and fired up my favorite News sites and Google to begin searching. One of the very first things I found…has become the very last thing I need to see.

Let me begin with a little story. A true story, about a weapons dump just south of Baghdad, called al Qaqaa. We knew (or should have) in the early days of this war that when going into Baghdad this site would be important to secure because it had been one of Hussien’s leading locations for developing his nuclear weapons program. We knew this way back as far as the first Gulf War, U.N. Inspectors had previously been to this location and even sealed over 300 tons of the highly powerful explosive, HMX into bunkers there. We knew all of this, and since we were there to find WMD’s that made this a significant and strategic location.

When that time arrived and U.S. forces had taken the weapons dump there were no WMD’s, but there were over 375 tons of high explosives stockpiled there. To provide perspective, one report claimed there were enough explosives there to supply every man, woman and child in Iraq, all nearly 30 million of them, with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). Our troops were never given an order to secure the location however, so only stayed in the area for a brief period before proceeding to their goal in Bahgdad and leaving the munitions, unsecured, behind.

With 20/20 hindsite, we know now that we entered without enough troops to secure the post-war Iraq. This lack of troop levels filtered down into many early operations in Iraq, such as the securing of al Qaqaa. One commander there at the time said they would have needed four times as many troops to secure the numerous munitions dumps they found along their way to Baghdad from the looting.

The White House first tried to spin the story themselves, claiming they believed the explosives had been looted before our troops ever reached al Qaqaa. That failed miserably when an embedded ABC news crew aired film of the 101st Airborn inspecting the explosives after their arrival, some still bearing the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) seals Inspectors had previously placed on them.

They then began a campaign of focus-shifting on the whole embarrassing event, you can imagine the reasons why they’d want to keep control of it, not the least of which being the President’s 2004 run for re-election, so they sent out the big-gun Republicans to give it a better spin.

I’ve revisited this story not to bash the administration for mishandleing the war planning, that’s been done enough. No, I’ve revisited this story because it’s one of the first items I came across when I began scouring News sites and Google for information on Giuliani.

Why is that? Because Rudy Giuliani was one of those big-guns the administration was using at that time for public relations support–given his overnight fame from being the Mayor of New York on September 11th, 2001. So, what exactly did Giuliani have to say about this incident at al Qaqaa? Here it is, from an appearance on that New York favorite, the Today show:

“The president was cautious, the president was prudent, the president did what a commander in chief should do. No matter how you try to blame it [the loss of over 375 tons of high explosives from al Qaqaa to Iraqi looters] on the president the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there.”

Did you catch that? He blamed the troops. This wasn’t a poorly worded joke that became misdirected, it was a strategic comment intended to remove pressure from the administration’s shoulders. And place it where? On those brave men and women who were ordered into an Alamo-like position once the looting began, vastly outnumbered by the looters–one non-commissioned officer there in late April 2003, said that on their last day at al Qaqaa there were over a hundred cars of them [Iraqi looters] just waiting for the troops to leave so they could go in and loot the munitions–and Giuliani placed the blame for that embarrassing (and deadly) loss of munitions squarely at the feet of our men and women in uniform…for political gain.

Now, I could go on and on about his comments, and I’d really like to. But instead I’ll simply end on this note. I still don’t know much about Rudy Guiliani or his positions, but I know all I’ll ever need to should I see his name on a ballot.

Technorati Tags: 2008 Presidential race, Rudy Giuliani

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  1. One Response to “Apprehension 2008 begins”

  2. By Anonymous | Reply to article

    Thanks for documenting this. I remember being astonished watching the video of that scumbag covering for Bush and Rumsfeld at the expense of the troops. I remain disgusted. Then letting Bush use his city – which Bush failed to show any interest in defending, before or after 9/11 – as a prop in his convention pageant.

    Rudi is permanently disqualified from holding elective office. I wouldn’t vote for him for anything.

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