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Bad Leadership or Bad Counsel or Both

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"Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14. The way things are going in Iraq at the moment it appears President Bush made a mistake and received unwise counsel in going after Saddam Hussein.

We have been successful in removing Saddam from office but have failed in winning the hearts of the Iraqi people or other nations’ respect and support.

I think part of that problem is we think our form of government and the way we live is the only way to do things. You might recall the President’s remarks that we don’t need other’s permission to defend our self and if others won’t join us we will go it along. Now that our body bags are coming home every day and the Iraqi Army we put together won’t fight, we are trying to engage the support of the United Nations, which is reminding us that we said we could go it alone, good luck. We now have a hearing about what happened before 911 and find that you President Bush knew more than what you told us.

You knew that Bin Laden was determined to attack us, but you were so focused on going to war with Iraq and getting those Weapons of Mass Destruction that did not exist. There is no doubt that what we have accomplished as a nation in such a short period of time is phenomenal but the trick for long term existence is being able to sustain it for generations to come. Based on our rush to war with Iraq we have lost the moral high ground to rally the rest of the world to join with us now that we are facing a disaster in Iraq.

President Bush I know you thought the Iraqi’s would stand up and fight with our rockets, missiles, tanks, bombs, night goggles, planes, hummers, bullet proof vests and other hi-tech gadgets we designed for combat. No, our enemy said, let us go home until they think they have won the war. Then President Bush you go and put on a combat jacket then land on a ship and declare the war is over and the enemy said we have only just begun.

This same superiority and arrogance was displayed during Custer’s last stand. The same is true with Viet Nam and it is also displayed every day in our association with each other. I’m sure it was displayed with General Colin Powell trying to explain to Cheney and Rumsfeld that there was another way to remove Saddam. You can tell when Bush said “out west we have a saying: “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Now each and every day we get the news that someone is dead. Last week there were many dead.

We can tell from watching and reading about 911 that some one was saying Bin Laden cannot attack us here because he does not have the resources, technology, personnel or intelligence to execute such a plan. That is why you and your staff paid very little attention to the memo that provided a warning. I’ve witnessed that kind of attitude in corporate America. They say, those people do not know what they are talking about.

You say we are not going to have a hearing commission on 911 then those survivors said “I want to know what you knew prior to 911 because I don’t believe you.” As a Black American I hate to guess how many Blacks reading this column right now have been told by a White person they did not have the skills, aptitude, leadership, knowledge, background, or ability to do something that you knew you could do.

Now Mr. Bush you are trying to say if you had been told of the exact day, time and place you would have done something. There are many citizens who are saying, “if I were the President and received a memo like the one you received I would have called a meeting of the FBI and CIA to discuss in greater detail the words on the paper.”

Now I wonder if the mistake was in your leadership ability or from unwise counsel or both.

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