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Bush's Bad "Advice" to the Presidential Candidates on Iraq

It appears that the worse president ever feels it necessary to provide some guidance to those who will assume his position in 16 months according to examiner.com:

President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president.

In an interview for the new book "The Evangelical President," White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said Bush has "been urging candidates: 'Don't get yourself too locked in where you stand right now. If you end up sitting where I sit, things could change dramatically.' "

Bolten said Bush wants enough continuity in his Iraq policy that "even a Democratic president would be in a position to sustain a legitimate presence there."

"Especially if it's a Democrat," the chief of staff told The Examiner in his West Wing office. "He wants to create the conditions where a Democrat not only will have the leeway, but the obligation to see it out."

Why any presidential candidate would even consider listening to the advice of a president who has bungled and blustered his way through a monumentally disastrous two terms, and embroiled America in the worst foreign policy catastrophe in the history of our country is way beyond me. That would be like taking legal advice from Larry Craig or driving lessons from Britney Spears. It's utterly inconceivable.

In fact, the current crop of candidates would be best advised to do the exact opposite of whatever Bush is recommending they do once in office. This country would be best served by a complete break, a 180-degree reversal of each and every important and substantive Bush-Cheney policy that has been implemented in the last 6 years.

The next president should begin by immediately closing Guantanamo and put to an end a public relations fiasco that has significantly damaged America's standing in the world and harmed our ability to fight and win the war on terror. It should be obvious to all that we have enough good prisons to hold terrorists here in the states and a second-to-none judicial system that can convict every one of them who are in fact guilty.

The second move should be to restore the rule of law to our government and respect for the constitution. All presidential directives designed to circumvent constitutional safeguards should be immediately rescinded.

The third, and most important move, should be an orderly withdrawal of the vast majority of our forces from Iraq over a 12-month period. This would represent a clean break with the Bush policy which is to turn Iraq into an American protectorate for decades to come while maintaining a large and destabilizing military occupation of the country.

So, while the candidates should ignore Bush's advice on Iraq, Bush himself should listen to this advice: if you want to avoid a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq after you are gone you should begin now to attempt to formulate a bipartisan policy on Iraq that could survive your presidency. If you continue down the path of escalating and deepening our involvement in Iraq as you have done over the past year, then you are guaranteeing that Iraq will be the primary issue in the 2008 campaign and that the Democratic candidate will be forced into a position of advocating a dramatic reversal of our involvement in that country.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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