“PUZZLED”….From the LA Times this morning:

After months of appeals from U.S. and U.N. leaders, key foreign governments including Russia, China, France and Germany remain adamant that they will not contribute in those areas, U.S. officials say.

The issue has taken on new urgency in recent days as the Bush administration has begun preparing a supplemental budget request that officials say could reach as much as $3 billion. U.S. officials had expected that renewed Iraqi oil exports would help finance reconstruction, but exports have rebounded more slowly than expected, at least in part due to looting and sabotage.

The anticipated budget request is alarming lawmakers, who see it as evidence that the burden on U.S. taxpayers will far outstrip expectations.

….”We are really puzzled on how to get more aid from these countries, when they have been refusing now for such a long time,” the official said.

I know this is beating a dead horse, but what on earth are the Bushies thinking? They started a war no one else wanted, they treated anyone opposed to the war as virtual traitors to humanity, and they are still insisting that America needs to be 100% in charge of everything that goes on in Iraq.

But despite all that they’re “puzzled” about how to get the rest of the world to pony up to help us out of our mess? Even though the rest of the world warned us repeatedly about the likely result of our adventure? What planet are they living on?

For chrissake, we told the rest of the world to go to hell before the war, and they haven’t forgotten. They aren’t going to bail us out unless we give them considerable authority over the reconstruction effort, and they might not help us even if we do. We’re on our own.

The Bush administration has been incompetent and arrogant throughout this entire effort. Their prewar conduct seemed almost deliberately designed to make sure the rest of the world was against us, they were criminally negligent in their postwar planning, and George Bush personally has shown immense cowardice by consistently refusing to prepare Congress and the American public for the real cost and length of the war. He’s paying the price for that cowardice now, as he watches support for the reconstruction dwindle because its expense, length, and cost in lives is taking most people by surprise.

It’s pretty obvious why liberals should oppose George Bush’s reelection, but the fact is that conservatives ought to oppose him too. His incompetence and cowardice have betrayed the very things they claim to stand for.