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Bush Does Right Thing

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I am pleased when the president listens to me – it’s in his best interest. Yesterday I said

    This is ridiculous – Bush should unequivocally apologize himself, period. He should say exactly what our man Joe Roche said, that the soldiers themselves are pissed, that this makes their job that much harder and more dangerous, and he should apologize.

I said this because he did everything BUT apologize yesterday, had Condi and his press secretary speaking for him, and it reinforced the perception that he NEVER apologizes or admits to a mistake.

Today he mea culpa-ed all over the place:

    A day after he stopped short of apologizing, Bush told Jordan’s King Abdullah II: “I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families.

    “I told him I was as equally sorry that people seeing those pictures didn’t understand the true nature and heart of America,” Bush said, standing in the Rose Garden alongside Abdullah.

    The president’s statement went beyond his comment Wednesday that the abuse of prisoners was “abhorrent” and “does not represent the America that I know.”

    ….Bush said he told the king: “Americans like me didn’t appreciate what we saw, and it makes us sick to our stomachs.

    “I also made it clear to his majesty that the troops we have in Iraq (news – web sites) who were there for security and peace and freedom are the finest of the fine.”

    For his part, the king said, “We’re all horrified by the images” of torture and abuse.

    He said he was confident that American investigations would find the guilty parties. The abuse by some soldiers “doesn’t reflect the morals and values” of the United States, Abdullah said. [AP]

You are right, Mr. King, thanks.

In my post from yesterday, Debbie brought up the point (comment 19)

    “What is the hang up with meaningless apologies? If Bush didn’t order it, didn’t partake in it, didn’t cover it up and allow it – what is there for HIM to apologize for? I can’t apologize for something that somebody else did and have it mean anything, it’s worthless unless the person responsible apologizes.

I would argue that “the buck stops there.” This happened under his presidential watch, he is the Commander in Chief, and ultimately he is responsible for how Americans under his command conduct themselves. I didn’t say he is “culpable” for unauthorized actions, but it is appropriate that he express his personal – and official governmental – regret that such a thing happened. And he has done so.

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About Eric Olsen

  • sheri

    So let me get this straight…it’s ok to bomb them, and kill and maim them as long as it’s orders to do so? That’s like killing someone, then apologizing to the landlord for leaving blood on the floor.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m in agreement that war is war, and the ones who did these things should be punished to the fullest extent.And I do believe that there are connections we are not hearing about, such as the 20 tons of chemicals that the media is being strangely quite about.And while these actions on these prisoners were horrible, and without justification,and deserve an apology, why do we not hear of the soldiers who had to watch a crowd cheering as their comrade burned alive in a humvee that had been hit by an IED, but did nothing inappropriate?

    But I guess we can now breath a sigh of relief. Now that Bush has given his apology.

  • Shark

    Bush apologized to the King of Jordan, which — last time I looked at a map — is next door to Iraq.

    He never apologized to anyone directly. He said, “I told His Majesty I was sorry… blah blah…”

    feh. He’s a manipulative liar who’s already admitted he can’t think of any ‘mistakes’ he’s made.

    THE BIG ONE: When is he going to apologize for invading Iraq over non-existent weapons of mass destruction?

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Indeed. And the fact that this apology comes on the heels of a report that the Terrorist-in-Thief’s approval rating has dropped to tie its lowest point ever doesn’t lead me to fall all over myself in relief and admiration for the Resident. But hey, at least we know now that he can say the words “I’m sorry” when he has to do so. And at least he doesn’t mangle the words, as he does with “nuclear.” Perhaps he will apologize to the people whose country was invaded and is occupied under his evil orders.

  • JR

    But hey, at least we know now that he can say the words “I’m sorry” when he has to do so.

    But can he say it without crossing his fingers?

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    He must. Weren’t they crossed when, thanks to the not-Supreme Court, he uttered the oath of office in 2001 and promised to uphold the constitution?

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Sheri, I really need to know, are you all fucked up on oxycontin? What did “they” do?

    As far as I can see, outside the United Sated States Republic (USSR), you are unwilling to take responsibility for your war, you have less than two months to fix things, and you won’t make the deadline. And it is the fault of the people you mugged?

    Or is this just adapting the she was dressed like a slut to international relations?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Eric:

    So now a US President is expected to apologize any time any US citizen does something bad? Or just when a member of the US military does something bad?

    There were kids in Junior High School who were “tortured” worse than these Iraqi terrorist prisoners. Should Bush apologize to every pimple-faced, four-eyed 8th-grader who gets shoved in a locker and given a swirlee?

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    wow! they sodomized kids at yer jr. high?

    tough school.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Hey, it was a prison! He probably liked it… ;-]

  • sheri

    I’ve been undecided, trying to connect the dots, waiting for answers.

    My point here is not the VALIDITY of the present situation, but the ABSURDITY of apologizing.Sure, it may have made US feel a lil bit better, but it’s absurd to think it would make any difference at all to them.

    And I’m still waiting to hear more about the 20 tons of chemicals brought in from SYria by confessed al Qaeda members.A possible Syria/al Qaeda/Iraq/WMD connection needs serious investigation, yet there doesn’t seem to be any media interest.

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com jadester

    i do find it a little strange that Bush chose to apologise to the King of Jordan. Wow, I’m sure the King Of Jordan is happy to hear hwo the president is sorry for the abuse he was subjected to by US soldiers…oh, no, wait, it was Iraqis who were abused.
    So there may not be a proper ruler of Iraq yet, but why did Bush not simply make a public apology to the people of Iraq, directly? maybe to those spiritual leaders that are going to be part of the new Iraqi government.
    As others have already pointed out, many of us think that Bush needed to apologise because, being Commander In Chief, the actions of his country’s troops in the field are ultimately his responsibility. more than this though, is the oh-so-delicate nature of the situation. US troops occupying a country in which there are still a significant number of people hostile to them, and armed and willing to kill. All these people, and any terrorist organisations with interest in the situation, need for material to use to recruit yet more people to their cause is stuff just like this torture stuff.
    if you were in their situation, no doubt you’d be feeling pretty psised off right about now that the supposedly benevolent forces occupying your country “for your own good” were dehumanising your fellow countrymen (and women?) like this. I know i would.

  • Eric Olsen

    It is appropriate for him to apologize as Commander in Chief for the apparently systemic misbehavior of those under his command.

  • Shark

    I think there’s a sign on every desk of the top officials in the Bush administration:

    “Stop the Buck Before It Gets Here!”

  • Shark

    Irony of the Day:

    George W. Bush — the guy who was willing to send Americans to die in order to spread “democracy” in the middle east — gave a big wet one yesterday — even using the term “HIS MAJESTY” — to Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

    Is it just me, or did anyone else notice HE’S A FRIGGIN’ MONARCH, fer chrissakes?!

    Shouldn’t we have whacked him right there in the Rose Garden as part of the new, improved Bush Doctrine?

    Fucking Hypocrites.

    “LIBERATE JORDAN!”

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    You know when you are watching a baseball game and the pitcher won’t stop throwing the ball to first base? You are sitting there thinking, “You made your point. The runner isn’t going. You can only throw it to first so many times. Now shut the hell up, look into the catcher and pitch the fucking ball to home plate.”

    That feeling comes over me quite frequently reading the “throw to first” here on BlogCritics all the time.

  • Shark

    Craig, and it’s only Spring Training in Sharkville!

    November is a loooooonnnnng way off…

    xxoo
    S

    PS: My advice: get a good helmet and a heavy-duty cup.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    My advice: get a good helmet and a heavy-duty cup.

    Yep. A cup is definitely in order here. I hear Shark has a hankering for Rocky Mountain Oysters. And not from sheep… ;-]

  • kansi

    Why must the US apologise but no one else?

    Where is the Iraqi apology for those mutilated civilians in Falujah?

    Hoiw about sodomy rape of Jessica Lynch?

    How about Saudi apologies for September 11 massacre of 3000 civilians?

    How about Arab press apology for celebrating genocide extermination against innocent American civilians? ?

    Is this some racist double standard, where the Big Bad US msut kowtow and get spat on, while Arabs and others can abuse people with impunity, celebrating massacres, and be proud of it??????

    Sick, sick world…..

  • Nick Jones

    “Hoiw (sic) about sodomy rape of Jessica Lynch?”

    Didn’t happen.

  • http://www.jackejett.com jack e. jett

    eric:

    i am so glad the president listens to you. please instruct him that when he is ousted from office, that we (who live near the crawford ranch) do not want him back in our neck of the woods. he has pissed off some angry folks and i don’t want to suffer (anymore) for his dumbassedness (made up texas slang.

    jack e. jett

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    kansi:

    The rest of the world is immune from apologies. When the US screws up, we are obligated to grovel for the cameras. When other countries screw the pooch, they just move on.

    Yes, it’s a double-standard. But hey, we’re the world’s only superpower. It’s the cross we bear…

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Please watch how you use statements like “the cross we bear” with the current president in office. He already gets himself confused with a religious leader quite frequently.

  • Nick Jones

    The fact that someone here, or in The White House, or anywhere else, can equate apologizing for fucking up with groveling is part of the problem. Or as W.C. Fields used to say, “Hugh Briss in back in town.”

  • Eric Olsen

    Jack E, will do – he will appreciate the concern.

    This was not a minor blip on the radar – this was a major, apparently systemic screw up. After apologizing all tha tcan be done is to pursue justice in a transparent manner, which appears to be happening. It is critical that this phase be done right.

  • Nick Jones

    My concern is that, will they prosecute the personnel from Military Intelligence and “O.G.A.”s (Other Government Agencies) that gave the orders, or will they just screw the grunts like they usually do? Are they going to be scapegoated, while the higher-ups go scot-free? From some of the articles I’ve seen recently, there may not even be any authority to prosecute them. That’s just wrong.

    And my brother accuses me of “class hatred”.

  • Eric Olsen

    The more transparent the process, the less likely the higher-ups can slip by – that’s part of why it’s so important. Clearly higher-ups etiher created or at least allowed an environment where these things seemed acceptable.

  • Nick Jones

    Someone’s going to have to keep the pressure on, or it will just get swept under the rug, especially for the higher-ups. I can easily imagine Karpinski out of the service and in a cushy job five years from now, while England, Frederick, et al., are still doing time in the stockade. Let’s just say I’ve seen enough “deniable culpability” in my life to be less than optimistic.

    However, it is cheering to know that the investigation into the abuse was initiated before the pictures came out.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    The other thing is that in this day and age, I feel like people who are going to go down are going to name some names. As long as that happens, I am hoping that the right people get found out and then their justice is served. Like you Nick, I hope the higher ranking folks WHO ARE CULPABLE get their fair share of blame and punishment.