August 17, 2004
Will The Real Flip-Flopper Please Stand Up!
BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
The political talking heads have been a flutter over Kerry's "bad" week, with his having taken two body blows -- a left hook from Bush followed by a right undercut from Cheney. It would do public discourse some good if the political pundits would stop doing the cocktail party circuit, and concentrate on the job at hand. They need to clearly assess all the facts, and use some common sense reasoning in their analysis.
Let us tear apart the conventional wisdom on the Kerry-Bush-Cheney pow-wow of the week ending August 14, 2004 and access who actually won. A clear common sense analysis will show that Kerry has stuck to his beliefs, and that Bush-Cheney have proved once again to be flip-flop hypocrites.
We will analyze what really went down in the Kerry-Bush-Cheney brouhaha on two subjects:
This is how it all went down. Bush was egging Kerry on and challenging him on the campaign trail.
On Friday, August 6, 2004, Bush said, "My opponent hasn't answered the question of whether, knowing what we know now, he would have supported going into Iraq."
On Monday, August 9, 2004 pressed by a reporter to answer Bush, Kerry said, " I would have voted for the authority, I believe it's the right authority for a president to have, but I would have used that authority, as I have said throughout this campaign, effectively.
The press should be going after Dubya who completely misrepresented what Kerry had said, when in response to Kerry's answer to his challenge he suggested that Kerry had done yet another flip flop:
Now most thinking people past the age of ten know that is not at all what Kerry meant! Of course, to be fair to Dubya, we know that his brain processes things differently, so he may actually believe what he is saying. One only has to listen in jaw-dropping wonder at Bush’s most recent faux pas when he stated before the Army brass at a defense-spending bill signing on August 5, 2004:
Back to Kerry’s own nuanced speech. Here is a likely assumption as to what Kerry was trying to achieve, by sticking to his guns on his "Authorization" vote in October 2002. In order to do so, let's break down Kerry's statement into its two parts.
(1) "...I would have voted for the authority, I believe it's the right authority for a president to have,..."
First, Kerry cannot be seen to waffle. The Bush team has spent over $87 million to effectively paint him as a flip-flopper. Hence, Kerry is sticking by his vote come hell or high water! Also, he is using some foresight in that he may one day as Commander-in-Chief want Congress to give him that same authority.
(2) " ...but I would have used that authority, as I have said throughout this campaign, effectively."
Kerry then distinguishes what he would have done with the "authorization" to go to war, as opposed to what Bush did. Kerry would have gone along with the Security Council to allow the UN Inspectors under Hans Blix, and Muhammad al-Barade' to go back into Iraq to continue the search fro WMD. Later, if a decision were made to go into Iraq, the entire UN Security Council, and all our allies would have been on board with President Kerry.
Alternatively, we may have discovered that there were no new weapons programs since 1991, nor any WMD left over after the 1991 Gulf War. It now appears that as then Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz, repeatedly informed us in 1997-1998 (CNN, ABC Nightline), in trying to get the ban lifted against his country, that Iraq was in compliance with the UN Security Council Resolutions. This conclusion is based on what David Kay, UN Inspector, and Bush Administration insider, has informed us on his return from Iraq. Kay spent the better part of three months in 2003 inside Iraq on a mission to locate the WMD under the protection of the US Army. On his return, Kay informed the Congressional Oversight Intelligence Cmte(s), and the American public that Iraq had destroy all stockpiles of their chemical, biological, and nuclear WMD after the first Gulf War and UN sanctions, and there was no evidence of any new weapons programs since 1991. (http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/01/28/kay.transcript/).
If the Bush Administration had allowed the UN Inspections to continue inside Iraq for 6 more weeks as requested by the UN Security Council, America and the world would have known that Iraq was no threat at best, and a contained threat at worst. We would not have had to expend thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, close to 1,000 young American lives, with over 2,000 young American men and women physically maimed for life, and many more psychologically wounded.
Exact Quotes of John Kerry on his vote in the Senate on October 2002 to give Bush the authority to go to war (last to first):
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PART B: Now let us parse Kerry's over blown "sensitive war" statement and Cheney's hypocrisy on the same.
A caller to C-span on Friday, August 13, 2004 mentioned that Cheney was being hypocritical in slamming Kerry on the use of the words "A sensitive war", when at the very moment the Bush Administration was being "sensitive" in not allowing US soldiers to bombard, or enter the shrine of Imam Ali, a mosque revered by Shiite Muslims in Najaf so as to capture Moktada al-Sadr.
Cheney's 'Sensitive' Hypocrisy:
In yet another effort to put politics over substance, Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday blasted Sen. John Kerry (D) for his comments earlier this week insisting that America must be more "sensitive" to allies and American citizens' concerns in the "war on terror." Cheney's retort: "America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive." He went on: "A 'sensitive' war' will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans and who seek the chemical, nuclear and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more." Cheney's attack could have been leveled at himself and others in the Bush administration, both of whom have frequently used the "s" word. See these other examples of how Cheney's cheap political attack contradicts his own stated positions on military affairs and social issues.
PRESIDENT BUSH STRESSES NEED TO BE "SENSITIVE" IN MILITARY AFFAIRS: On 3/4/01, President Bush stressed the need to be "sensitive" in conducting military affairs, stating, "because America is powerful, we must be sensitive about expressing our power and influence." And just last week, President Bush said, "In terms of the balance between running down intelligence and bringing people to justice obviously is -- we need to be very sensitive on that."
SPECIAL FORCES STATE NEED TO FIGHT "SENSITIVE WAR ON TERRORISM": The Bush campaign's latest salvo, while aimed at Kerry, also is an attack on the military's top Special Forces commanders. On 7/20/04, the Bush administration sent one of the Air Force's top Special Forces officers to Capitol Hill to assuage concerns about tactics being used in the War on Terror. In his testimony, Chief Master Sgt. Robert Martens reassured Republican Chairman Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ) that "our special operators offer a seasoned, culturally sensitive war on terrorism."
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY SAYS MILITARY MUST NOT BE INSENSITIVE: On 4/13/04, Cheney said the Bush administration was focused on conducting sensitive military operations. He stated, "We recognize that the presence of U.S. forces can in some cases present a burden on the local community. We're not insensitive to that. We work almost on a continual basis with the local officials to remove points of friction and reduce the extent to which problems arise in terms of those relationships."
RUMSFELD STRESSES NEED TO BE "SENSITIVE" IN THE WAR: In the lead up to the Iraq war and afterwards, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld promised the Pentagon would be "sensitive." On 2/5/03, he said "we have to be sensitive, to the extent the world thinks the United States is focused on the problems in Iraq, it's conceivable that someone could make a mistake and believe that that's an opportunity for them to take an action which they otherwise would have avoided." On 7/9/03, he reassured the public that his department was being "sensitive" to troop needs during the war. He said U.S. commanders are "sensitive to the importance of troops knowing what the rotation plan will be so they have some degree of certainty in their lives. And [they] are sensitive to the importance of the quality of their lives."
GEN. RICHARD MYERS SAYS MILITARY NEEDS TO BE "SENSITIVE" IN WAR: On 10/31/01, Gen. Richard Myers, Bush's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about whether the military would be "sensitive" to religious issues in prosecuting the War on Terror. He said "We are, I think, very culturally sensitive." On 1/7/03, Myers touted the Army's ability to be "sensitive." He said "we can ask of our troops to go out there and be, on the one hand, very sensitive to cultural issues, on the other hand, be ready to respond in self-defense to a very ticklish situation, all at the same time." On 11/19/03, Myers said U.S. troops "are very sensitive to the balance between appropriate military action and not trying to turn the average Iraqi against the coalition."
GEN. TOMMY FRANKS SAID THE WHITE HOUSE MADE SURE TO BE "SENSITIVE": On 7/10/03, Gen. Tommy Franks went to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the War on Terror. He said the Bush administration explicitly understood the "sensitive" need for the U.S. to continue pursuing al Queda in Afghanistan, instead of appearing like it was solely focused on Iraq. Franks said, "Everyone from the president to Secretary Rumsfeld right through me were very sensitive, to be sure, that our operations moved ahead in Afghanistan in parallel with what we were doing in Iraq."
ASHCROFT CLAIMS THE ADMINISTRATION IS BEING "SENSITIVE" IN WAR ON TERROR: Attorney General John Ashcroft has repeatedly stressed the need for the Bush administration to be "sensitive" in fighting the War on Terror. On 4/28/03, just a month after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Ashcroft said, "The United States is very sensitive about interfering in the internal politics of other countries." On 3/20/02, he said the Justice Department was making sure to be "sensitive" in hunting down terrorists. He said, "The agents and officers who conducted the interviews did so in a sensitive manner, showing full respect for the rights and dignity of the individuals being interviewed."
CHENEY & LOTT URGE MILITARY TO BE SENSITIVE IN CONDUCTING WAR: In conducting the first war in Iraq, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney repeatedly stressed the need for America to fight a "sensitive" war. On 9/11/90, Cheney told Congress that he "was very concerned about the clash of cultures" brought on by U.S. troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia, and that the U.S. must "try to be sensitive." Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) concurred, saying, "I would agree to that. I think [the Saudis] are sensitive, but we also are sensitive."
CHENEY SAYS PENTAGON MUST BE "SENSITIVE" IN DEVELOPING WEAPONS: On 2/7/90, Cheney told Congress that the Pentagon must be "sensitive" in developing weapons. He said that he understood the need for the Pentagon to explore civilian uses of weapons-related technology, saying, "I think we need to be very sensitive to that as a department."
WOLFOWITZ SAYS MILITARY MUST BE "SENSITIVE" IN WAR ON TERROR: On 11/9/01, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a key hawk on military issues, said the armed forces must be "sensitive" to religious issues surrounding the War on Terror. He said, "I think we've made it clear we're going to be sensitive to the fact that Ramadan is the holiest month on the Muslim calendar and we will have that in mind."
Source: All of the above quotes have been taken from the Progress Report: Cheney's 'Sensitive' Hypocrisy, "American Progress Action Fund"
It is time for the American people to use a big megaphone and say loud and clear, "Will the real Flip Floppers, please stand up!"
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Learn more about Ms. Nariman at her web site: www.narimanforcongress.com.
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