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Sunday, October 24, 2004
#9 non-policy reason to vote for Kerry over Bush

(To get you up to speed, although there are a lot of important issues, sometimes an election features someone in power with such poor ethics, lack of judgement, and extremism that that person much be removed from power.  This is such an election.)

#9:  Bush is careless with his words.

At this point, you might expect some of the usual Bush gaffes:  the "is our children learning?" gaffe, the "OB-GYNs practicing their love on women" gaffe, the "we will not have an all-volunteer army" Freudian slip, and so on.

But that's not really what I'm getting at.

Those kinds of quotes make Americans, Republican, Democrat, and other, cringe, and brings down our standing in the world, quite apart from Bush's other actions, policies, and words.  But there's a worse habit of his:

THE WRONG WORDS AT THE WRONG TIME.

A not-so-verbal version of this was the "Mission Accomplished."  Now, he never actually said "mission accomplished" during the speech.  But he stood in front of the banner, and when he tried to lie by saying the banner wasn't put up by him or his team, he ended up saying his people screwed up (and, therefore, it WAS his people who put it up):  "The "Mission Accomplished" sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed some how to some ingenious advance man from my staff -- they weren't that ingenious, by the way."

But I'm not talking about lying, here, either.  That's one for much higher up on this top ten list.

No, I'm talking about using his words as a sort of built-in Three Stooges routine, doing damage to himself and, more importantly, to our nation and our soldiers.

"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere."

That was Bush, just a few months after his invasion, predicated mainly on Saddam having/procuring/allotting to terrorists WMDs, causing the deaths of many Americans, Iraqis, and others, joking by looking around his podium and the other furniture, as though the WMDs might be near him somewhere.  By making light of the very reason he put our soldiers in danger, he weakened the already-weak "coalition of the willing" and made it obvious he was going into Iraq, and that the WMDs were, in essence, the MacGuffin--in other words, the thing which everyone is after, but which is essentially meaningless--it's just used to set things in motion.

"Bring them on."

There are five faults of the commander, according to Sun Tzu in the classic "The Art of War."  Bush showed both the third and fourth of them with those words.  To quote:

    (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
    (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame...

An unwise and distemperate man leading a great army cannot bring victory.  By encouraging the insurgency, he made things more difficult for our army.  These words were not merely foolish, but cruel to our own soldiers.

"The problem with the French is they don't have a word for entrepeneur."

Bush said that to Tony Blair, Prime Minister of England.  I'll bet Blair is educated enough to know that the word derives from French.  Heck, I'll bet about 75% of Europe knows that.  And about 33% of the U.S.  But a much higher percentage of people who have been to BOTH Harvard AND Yale, like our C-Student-in-Chief.  Not just embarrassing but insulting.

Which brings us to the words of our "uniter, not a divider," when he decided that Kerry's foreign policy stands are "dangerous for world peace."  This from the man who took a world in love with the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks, pushed them away by saying that if you aren't in the coalition you won't have any say after Saddam falls, period, then cherry-picked the intelligence to give to Congress and the public to get support for a war with a lie.

Bush's stance on war?  It's not a last resort, by any means.  In fact, it's right near the front, basically as soon as the war can be "sold" to the public like a can of peaches.

"The reason we start a war is to fight a war, win a war, thereby causing no more war!" 

Bush doesn't understand at all.  He thinks that because our mighty military is capable of so much, it should be used, early and often.  He doesn't realize the long-term consequences.

Powell let Bush know that when it came to toppling Saddam, Iraq was strictly "you break it, you buy it."  Well, that's not strictly true.  Bush broke it, but we're ALL buying it.  And we buy it a little more every time he says something that causes our allies to drift further away, our "coalition of the willing" members to rue their participation, or our enemies to make their attacks fierer.

And that's reason #9:  Bush is careless with his words.
 

Posted at 02:32 pm by brandonstarr

Duke
October 24, 2004   10:35 PM PDT
 
You can't seriously believe that the world was in love with the U.S. at ANY time in history...can you? Granted many (but not all) countries “felt bad” for us after the attacks but they didn’t love us. Have you forgotten the clips of Arabs dancing in the streets after the attacks? Most of the Middle East has always hated us if for nothing else than for our relationship with Israel...and of course the fact that we're rich.

Are you aware that France has waged wars in Africa without the support of the UN and with far less allies than we have in Iraq? They've also done this with less urgent reasoning than what we had with Iraq. The WHOLE WORLD knew Saddam had WMDs...he used them in the Iran/Iraq war and ON HIS OWN PEOPLE (remember the 80’s?)! Just because we didn't find stockpiles doesn't mean anything other than the fact that our intelligence and the intelligence from England, Russia, Germany, Spain, France, etc. was not accurate as to the whereabouts of the WMDs. Did you think Saddam was going to just leave them lying around for us to find? Did you know that Saddam regularly replaced Syrian border guards with his own guards so he could get weapons of all kinds across the border (both ways)? He had the capability for WMDs, ie: the scientists and the equipment to build them at any time (remember the mobile labs we found? the underground facilities?)...that is a bigger danger than him actually having some on hand. Why? Because that means that at any given time he could produce a huge array of WMDs (including Nukes) and used them on any of our allies, on us, on his own people or...sold them to terrorists. That sounds to me like a pretty serious threat to world peace.

Even the 9/11 commission found that there were in fact ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. True, there was no connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attack but then Bush never said there was.
Brandon Starr
October 25, 2004   09:01 AM PDT
 
1) The world did feel immense goodwill for us after 9/11. Bush p*ssed it away by brushing everyone off. Also, for a long time the world has loved us...it's why we are the only country with immigrants from every nation on the globe. True, much of the Middle East hates our stance on Israel, and that's why we don't have a lot of our allies there. Bush has still managed to anger them beyond the base level during his term.

2) France did face an insurgency in Angola...and lost. England faced an insurgency in the U.S....and lost. Russia faced on in neighboring Afghanistan...and lost. In fact, it's nearly impossible to win an inusurgent war where the population is against you. Iraqis briefly thought it was cool that we bumped out Saddam...then Bush's tactics soaked in. Lack of protection for important facilities, widespread arrests of innocent civilians, torture, lack of rebuilding, lack of utilities...all have led to a majority seeing us as invaders and threats. Unless their hearts and minds can be changed, the war will continue to slide towards the "loss" column. Bush has proved himself incapable of winning over hearts and minds ANYWHERE outside of a rally where everyone has signed a Bush vote pledge, let alone Iraq.

3) Saddam had WMDs in the 1980s because the Reagan and Bush Sr. Administrations sold them to him. He used some of them, indeed. He's not nice. These weapons have since degraded, and the sanctions prevented him from successfully gaining more. We know this from the recent reports.

4) The "mobile labs" and other facilities were doctored intelligence fed to the public before the war. No such labs were in Saddam's ownership. I believed that, too, before the war (which, at the time, as you may recall, I supported, based on those lies). Now I know better. And the most recent report? No WMDs, no means of making them, no projects in place. True, in his heart of hearts, he may have wanted them, but Saddam had no way of getting them as long as the no-fly zones and sanctions were in place. That's more than we do to most rulers who want WMDs in their heart of hearts but don't have programs. Hell, it's more than we do to Iran, who is actively making nukes! If we were afraid the anti-Saddam sanctions might drop sometime in the future, why not at least finish up in Afghanistan, then turn attention to making sure Saddam remained contained? I leave the answer to the reader as an exercise.

5) The 9/11 report did not say that Saddam and al-Qaeda have ties. It said his people and al-Qaeda had a meeting, presumably on the "the enemy of my enemy" theory. al-Qaeda were indeed asking for an alliance. But Saddam, a secular ruler, was afraid of these fundamentalists, just as he was afraid of all fundamentalists. He blew them off. By the way, Bush made it clear he thought al-Qaeda and Saddam were in cahoots before his war. Whether he specified "9/11" or not is irrelevant when he and his Administration were clearly whipping up the public, including me at the time. So don't mince words, Duke.

6) Saddam was known to support terrorism, but that was before the Gulf War of the early 90s.

So, everything you said is either irrelevant, doesn't prove your point, or false.

I'd ask you to bring it on, but I learned from Bush what a mistake that would be.
 

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