President-elect George W. Bush has said that November's election has shown that the American public has 'ratified' his policies, in particular that which led to our embroiled presence in Iraq. Moreover, according to today's Washington Post, he honestly believes that there is now "no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath."* The first claim is just not true, and the second is sickening and outrageous. Yes, Bush won election with a narrow majority of electorate, but this is not a clear-cut affirmation of his policies. Any serious poll can demonstrate that the majority of the American people have serious reservations, if not tacit opposition to, his domestic policies, and that the majority have turned against the Iraq war. Secondly, what is all this about there being "no reason" to hold the public leaders that sent our soldiers to die without just cause accountable? Holding the government accountable is one of the hallmarks of our democracy, especially when we launch an aggressive war that has effectively crippled the fight against al Qaeda and increased the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Not to mention, of course, the 1,350 American and 16,000 Iraqi dead. Alas, no accountability . . .
*Jim VandeHei & Michael A. Fletcher, "Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy," 16 January 2005, A1.