Thursday, July 31, 2003
The media gave Bush a pass on his latest LIE, as a July 15th Washington Post article quotes, ‘Defending the broader decision to go to war with Iraq, the president said the decision was made after he gave Saddam Hussein “a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in.”’ Am I the only one who must have slept through the last year and half, who thought before the US attacked we asked the UN Weapon inspectors to leave? At that point, France was even proposing increasing the number of inspectors. Image the media circus and right wing onslaught if Clinton had made that asinine comment.
Iraq War Heroes
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Nothing was more disheartening in the 2002 Congressional elections than how Saxby Chambliss and the Bush machine impugned Senator Max Cleland for lack of patriotism. How could the public and media allow the Republicans to smear the reputation of a triple-amputee Vietnam Veteran without widespread outrage? Democrats must not surrender our flag to the privileged draft dodger. How can Democrats let Bush who used family influence to get into the National Guard and then did not even show-up for whole segments of his duty, continue to question their patriotism? We need a presidential nominee like John Kerry who can take it to the “Photo-Op” Chichenhawks.
Senator Kerry’s comments, “Five months ago here in Georgia, Max Cleland's position on national security, known to all his colleagues, was deliberately distorted, and that was particularly outrageous given the kind of sacrifice and service that he has given this country. There is something very wrong in America when a hero like Max Cleland who has made his contribution is subjected to the worst in American politics. He ought to be in the U.S. Senate today. And let me tell you, every day in the course of my race for the presidency of the United States I will be motivated -- and I ask you to help me be motivated -- to hold them accountable for what they did to Max Cleland.”
The second point becomes why would Sen. Kerry support this war? Is it as the Dean folks suggest that Kerry supported the doctrine of preemption? In the Senator’s own words again, “The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions.”
Clearly the Senator saw through the fallacy of preemption. However, he saw there had to be another mechanism in place to prevent rogue nations from getting and disseminating weapons of mass destruction if unilateralist preemption was not an option. He had the vision to see beyond Iraq to real threats like North Korea. Rather than pander to anti-war sentiments, he chose the more difficult task of building an international mechnanism to protect the civilized world from weapons of mass destruction without resorting to unilateral preemption. He knew the UN Security Council’s resolutions would have to be backed up by the threat of force in order to be effective.
Before the Senate vote, Bush had relented and sent Secretary State Collin Powell to the UN to gain international support for weapons inspection and tough resolution with consequences for Saddam if he did not comply. The Senator believed at this point, the administration was “now committed to a recognition that war must be the last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we must act in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein.” Kerry repeated the President’s statements of that week to show he believed the President's change of heart. Bush had said, "'Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.' It means 'America speaks with one voice.'”
Senator Kerry again, “Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies. In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.”
So why does the media portray the Senator as being wishy-washy on the war? Easily, not one of them has actually read the Senator’s position. Days after the Senate resolution, the Bush administration tactics and tone did a 180-degree turn back to a belligerent, unilateralist approach. Rather than fault the Bush administration as being indecisive or manipulative, the media chose to attack Sen. Kerry for doing what he promised to do if the President deviated from his new path.
Did you see the Reuters report today that Bush announced plans to boost economic cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and to dispatch his treasury and commerce secretaries this fall for high-level economic talks? Looks like Abbas has more than the wall to be worried about!