Is Al Gore becoming the Democratic Party's id or what? It is so refreshing to listen to a Democrat finally speak to the issues with some force and passion. These things have needed to be said for some time now; who better than Al Gore, who can play the heavy for John Kerry without risking damage to Kerry's campaign? What's more is that Gore's comments were spot on.
I can hear the jeers and laughter emanating from the Conservative side of the aisle even now, but listen closely, y'all. Al Gore makes a sound argument, one that no amount of personal insults or sneering asides will diminish.
In a searing indictment, Gore said President Bush's "arrogance, willfulness and bungling" in Iraq have put Americans at risk around the world, and urged voters to oust him in November.
"The unpleasant truth is that President Bush's utter incompetence has made the world a far more dangerous place and dramatically increased the threat of terrorist attacks against the United States," said Gore, Bush's Democratic rival in the 2000 election.
"He planted the seeds of war. He harvested a whirlwind," Gore added. "And now the corrupt tree of a war waged on false premises has brought us the evil fruit of Americans torturing and sexually humiliating prisoners who are helpless in their care."
Gore said soldiers who abused prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal were acting on policies "designed and insisted upon by the Bush White House," including attempts to evade the Geneva Conventions' rules on the treatment of prisoners.
George W. Bush's lies and deceptions have cost over 800 Americans their lives. His continued insistence on seeing through a failed policy in order to save face will no doubt doom many more soldiers to a similar fate. Yet the only people being called to account for really anything at all are those few at Abu Ghraib prison. Yes, their actions were and are reprehensible; but can anyone reasonably believe that Abu Ghraib happened in a vacuum? Do the words "chain of command" mean anything anymore?
Americans deserve better leadership, and it's time we held said leadership accountable for the lack of leadership that has sent so many young Americans to their deaths. We will only get better leadership if we demand it. The question, of course, is whether or not enough American voters will finally come to realize that the emperor has no clothes. To do so, we MUST keep beating the drums. For that, I applaud Al Gore.