Exactly one year from today, voters will step into voting booths nationwide to elect the next president. Meanwhile, things in Iraq are not exactly going too well and the Bush administration is putting a desperate spin on the news while casting the blame on others; moves that will come back to haunt it.
A good example of this finger-pointing behavior pattern that the White House has fallen into lately is the photo opportunity President George W. Bush took onboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1. The event, now more than six months old, announced the official end of “major combat operations in Iraq.” As if the president himself announcing so was not enough, a clearly visible banner proclaiming “Operation Accomplished!” perfectly framing the president’s profile. The image was printed on magazine covers such as Time and was the perfect photo opportunity.
Now, after attacks on American troops in Iraq have reached an average of 20 a day, the Bush administration is trying to save face by blaming the banner on the Navy.
“(The White House) took care of the production of it,” said White House press Secretary Scott McClellan, “We have people to do those things. But the Navy actually put it up.”
To suggest that because it was Navy personnel who physically hoisted the banner up they are the ones to blame is rather childish and hurts the White House. Did the Navy also force the commander in chief to take the opportunity of appearing on prime time television? If not, then the White House should take the blame for the banner.
The White House apparently also has the idea that the media is reporting only the bad events taking place in Iraq.
Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the top American commander in Iraq, called the attacks “strategically and operationally insignificant” Saturday. This does not reflect reality after a week of attacks, including a well-timed sequence of suicide bombings at five locations, injuring more than 200 and killing more than 30, and a rocket launcher attack on the hotel in which Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was staying.
It is quite ironic that while these events are occurring, the media is accused of being the one putting a spin on events and not reporting the news accurately.
If poll numbers printed in The Washington Post are any indication though, the president’s support is waning as his job approval rating plummeted to 56 percent from 77 percent at the height of the war. The White House should start standing by its actions or the president will not only lose support and credibility, but also votes.