Now President Bush is losing Pakistan

Democrats in 2008 have an issue more powerful than Kennedy’s campaign against Nixon and the missile gap in 1960, and Reagan’s campaign against Carter championing military strength in 1980.

President Bush is so obsessed with Iraq that he damages the war in Afghanistan, contributes to destabilizing Pakistan, fails to kill Osama bin Laden and destroy al Qaeda, and does grave harm to our military and troops.

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Since Sept. 11, 2001, Bush has been trapped in an almost cult-like fanaticism about Iraq to the exclusion and destruction of almost every major national security, military, strategic, defense and intelligence mission of the United States.

The Iraq war has become a trillion-dollar drain on every other field of battle and the functional equivalent of a direct attack against the U.S. Army, to which he has caused a generation of damage that will take a decade for his successors to repair.

The government of Iraq is corrupt, incompetent and allied with some of the very Iranian forces that are now called terrorists.
Americans are dying in order to buy time for a reconciliation this Iraqi government does not want, is not seeking, and will not achieve in this deadly status quo.

The quagmire in Iraq and grave damage to our mission in Afghanistan continues. The escape of Osama bin Laden and resurgence of al Qaeda continues. The ability of Iran to exploit the Bush blunders in Iraq continues. The damage to our military, the ugly divisions in our nation, and the global loathing of our president are escalating.

Of course, the real war to kill bin Laden and destroy al Qaeda is failing because the obsession with Iraq has stolen manpower, money and unity that is necessary to win this war, and this is the one television ad Democrats should run throughout America.

When the president refuses requests from commanders, special forces, and NATO for far greater military and economic commitment to Afghanistan, he does escalating damage to that mission and gives continuing comfort to the enemy that attacked on Sept. 11.

When one field of combat becomes a trillion-dollar drain in the desert swamp of Iraq, that blunder becomes a devastating and pulverizing trillion-dollar drain from every other field of battle, everywhere else in the world. It becomes a trillion-dollar cancer that creates metastasizing damage against every other part of our military, security, intelligence, diplomatic, economic and moral arsenals.

The inevitable result is the virtual surrender to the enemy of both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border which ensures the comeback of the Taliban, the regrouping of al Qaeda, the triumph of poppy farmers and drug lords, the financing of our enemies and the corruption of governments throughout the region.

By effectively surrendering to both sides of the most vital border in the war that matters the most, Bush brings more corruption, terrorism and instability to Afghanistan, and force-feeds these rising dangers to the military dictatorship of the nuclear state of Pakistan.

This military dictatorship of Pakistan has long been a supporter of the Taliban, has long given protection to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and has tolerated or participated in nuclear proliferation violations that put North Korea and Iran to shame.

Democrats should shout this narrative from the rooftops: Dangers to America are rising by the hour from policies that continue to this day.

It is poisonous and dangerous when a president wages war through vetoes and contempt of Congress, disregard of allies, cover-ups of torture, and a trillion-dollar drain from every national security program except this unwise and endless war in Iraq.

Democrats should lambaste the shameful and unprecedented conduct of congressional Republicans who promote these disasters through partisan and obstructionist tactics that embody everything America dislikes about politics in Washington.

Democrats should aggressively attack the Republican debates where war-fevered candidates shout tribal war cries to whooping audiences in their desperate appeals to the far-right Republican base.

Democrats should issue a rousing patriotic appeal to 70 million veterans and voters in military families about which wars we must fight, which wars we must avoid, and why we must give our troops every support they need when they fight, and every support they deserve when they come home.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and to Bill Alexander, then-chief deputy whip of the House. A contributing editor to Fighting Dems News Service, he can be reached at brentbbi@webtv.net and read on The Hill Pundits Blog.