Saturday, September 20, 2003
In case you hadn't heard....
The "Leave No Child Behind" policy's "Texas Miracle" turned out to be based on cooked books. The dropout rate of Houston high schools plummeted. They just didn't count dropouts as dropouts. 1,000 students started, 300 finished, the dropout rate was zero percent.
The instigator of this book-cooking? Bush made him the Secretary of Education.
Bush gets away with most of this because the level of mendacity is literally unbelievable. But you can only fool all of the people some of the time.
"It's disturbing that Democrats have spewed more hateful rhetoric at President Bush than they ever did at Saddam Hussein." --Tom DeLay
Telling the truth is "hateful rhetoric" to extremists like DeLay. Republicans of integrity should force DeLay to resign. (Assuming there *are* Republicans of integrity.)
Right-wing propagandists try to make everyone say it was a good idea to remove Saddam.
Saddam was nasty and mean. He killed a lot of Iraqis.
But now, Iraqis are being killed at a rate of about 1,000 per week, women are not safe on the streets of Baghdad even during the day. Crime, kidnapping, and violence are rampant.
It's true that it's hard to know how many people are being killed, but that's because the American military is trying to keep it a secret. *Shame* on every officer who participates in this cover up. Covering up the death toll has nothing to do with defending the United States.
With 40,000 civilians killed during the conquest, and another thousand per week killed since "Mission Accomplished", we are responsible for far more killing, terrorism, and fear in Iraq than Saddam would have perpetrated this year.
The Iraqis are not better off now than if Saddam were still in power. We *could* have provided for security and electricy and water. The Iraqis *could* have been better off -- safer and more free. But Bush and his people screwed up, and now our soldiers and the Iraqi people are paying with their lives for Bush's failure.
One of these days, the various Democrats have to get their story straight about the Congressional vote authorizing force in Iraq.
It was *true* that most intelligence agencies thought Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. It was *not* a bad idea to demand that Saddam allow the weapons inspectors back in. It was *not* a bad idea to threaten to remove Saddam if he didn't let the inspectors in. We *won*. We authorized force, and Saddam let the inspectors in. And we found out he didn't have those weapons after all. All of that was OK to do in *principle*.
In practice, it was a terrible diversion of attention from the terrorist threat, and from North Korea. But that was a failure of Bush's leadership. The High Crime was when Bush launched the conquest, even though Saddam had let the inspectors back in, and even though the inspectors were just coming to grips with the fact that Saddam had destroyed all or almost all of the banned weapons, and that the "intelligence" Bush relied on was mostly phony, and part disinformation from Saddam, himself.
I call it a high crime, worthy of impeachment because our supposed authorization to conquer Iraq was based on UN Resolutions about chemical and biological weapons. When -- just before the invasion -- evidence started to suggest there were no more chemical and biological weapons, our fig leaf of authorization whithered and fell off. Bush rushed the invasion, worried that Saddam would prove he no longer had those weapons, but that is not war as "last resort" -- it's probably a war crime.
Authorizing the use of force was not a bad thing to do in the original context. Only Bush's mis- and mal-leadership put us into the miserable hole that we're in.
Standing tall with the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. Makes you really proud to be a 'Merican, don't it?
Actually, the problem isn't that the whole world is against us, the problem is the whole world is *right*.
And the problem isn't that we vetoed some resolution and another got passed anyway, the problem is that protecting Israel from a resolution that says they shouldn't murder Arafat -- that's just too stinking stupid for words.
America to the world: We're not all as stupidly evil as The Dimwit. Give us a chance to fire Bush in a year, and we'll fix most of these problems. Sorry. No one realized quite how evil Bush and his cronies would turn out to be.
A key to Hillary as VP:
You think the right-wing extremists won't launch a thousand witch-hunts if a Democrat wins? You think DeLay won't impeach the president for nothing again?
Hillary as VP means if they impeach and win, they put their most-hated person into the presidency.
Generally (ha ha), he speaks well, but he hasn't quite got the knack of a political speech. If people are going to clap for you, you have to make it easy for them.
Clark's best line was about the American spirit of inclusiveness: We are not a 'with us or against us' people, but a 'come join with us' people. That's a daggar in the heart of Bush's stupidity.
With a tweak or two, that's going to work well in a stump speech, but he will have to pause slightly before giving the line to clue people in that it's coming.
"It's hard to change people's minds when you're bombing and killing them." It isn't hard to be more sensible than Bush.
The Iraq war: "It was a major blunder for the United States."
"We don't want to give up our liberties for the war on terror, or any other war."
The speech was about foreign policy, and in particular about a "strategy" to replace the Cold War strategy of containment. The three main points to Clark's strategy are: inclusiveness, using international organizations, and using force as a last resort. He suggested changing laws related to terrorism investigations so that all countries would find it easier to cooperate. I believe he mentioned rules of evidence.
I don't think his "strategy" was the strong-point of the speech. He was pretty good at discussing foreign policy issues, though.
The weakest parts of the speech and question/answer period came when he started talking about domestic issues. It was as if the life drained out of him, and the best he could say was "We must directly address the jobs issue in this economy." Woo. Clap, clap. Then he actually said we have "...to help every man, woman, and child be all they can be." Ouch. The *Army* doesn't even use that one any more. I think Clark should have got a better rap on jobs before he announced. It's not like that would have taken years of hard work. It just needed attention.
We need Clark to be *loud* about Bush's failures and malfeasance regarding terrorism and Bush's endless wars. Clark should state clearly and frequently that war should be a last result, and that Bush's decision on Iraq failed the test.
He had another good line about Rove and Bush and the war.... The clear implication was that Rove used the war to win seats in Congress, and Clark imagined Bush going back to Rove in February to ask why he had to go through with the war after they had won all those seats.
About the UN, he said you could get a standing ovation most places in the country by bashing the UN. But then he pointed out that the UN, NATO, and most other organizations were founded by *us* as *leverage*, so that international institutions would give other countries an easy way to follow our leadership. There are limits to the organizations, but it isn't hard to make a case for using them.
Clark should focus on attacking Bush about endless war, he should have some people come up with a decent domestic policy speech, and he should practice giving political speeches. But mostly, he should attack Bush about foreign policy and war.
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Last update: 10/1/03; 10:22:39 AM.