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George W. Bush


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As a part of "the American public," President Bush didn't sell me.

The truth of the matter is, his own generals have stated repeatedly that the American force that went into Iraq was not large enough to get the job done in the initial wave; it wasn't large enough to guard weapons stockpiles that were captured and then later looted by insurgents. And the idea that a largeer force today wouldn't make a positive difference in the speed at which the mission is ACTUALLY accomplished is ludicrous on its face.

A larger force couldn't secure the borders of Iraq, which have been termed "porous" by military commanders testifying before Congress within the past week?

A larger force couldn't conduct more simultaneous raids on suspected insurgent strongholds?

A larger force would just convince Iraqis that American troops plan to stay there "forever"??

I don't buy it.

And to continue to insist that the war in Iraq is linked to 9/11 is simply "bearing false witness," to use a Biblical term. For I still insist that, if the US was truly after those who were involved in 9/11, our troops would be in SAUDI ARABIA, and NOT Iraq.

And what of Osama bin Laden? While he may have been mentioned, the emphasis is no longer on bringing him to justice. If the events of recent days are any guide, the Bush administration NEEDS Osama to be "on the lam," for once he is captured or killed, there is no name and face to attach to the "boogeyman." Then the public might lose interest, and once again become tolerant of the beliefs of others and allow peace to occur...and nobody makes a dime from peace.

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What do you think of George W. Bush's speech last night? Will it satisfy the American public? The full text is here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4242

John:

A leader (and I use that word loosely in this case) cannot lie to the public in order to build a policy he or she wants to utilize while in power.

President Bush has done exactly that over the past five years.

1) Iraq and the 9/ll tragedy connection, a Bush lie.

2) WMD in Iraq, a Bush lie.

3) Iraq purchase of uranium from Africa, a Bush lie.

4) "Mission Accomplished".........not then, not now, a Bush lie.

And this list can go on, John. So why should I listen to, and believe what the man said last night? Count me out, and the old Vietnam phrase, "The credibility gap" is back in vogue.

Bill Cheslock

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What do you think of George W. Bush's speech last night? Will it satisfy the American public? The full text is here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4242

I'm certain many of the Americans that voted him into office will continue to support him, although polls show that support for his policies, specifically Iraq and social security reform, is declining.

Personally, I think he's a complete fraud. He lost all credibility with many Americans long ago. Last night's speech didn't change that. I'm hopeful that eight years of total incompetence, misjudgments, lies, and lives lost will be enough to wake-up the voters in this country.

Having said that, there are more moderate, intelligent republicans that I'd consider voting for. Some people are blinded by a single-mindedness in politics that would be comical if it weren't so dangerous. It should be fun to watch the 2008 race unfold.

Edited by Greg Wagner
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Greg, I agree. If there was a true, balance-the-budget, conservative running for president from EITHER party, odds are they'd have my vote in '08. Unfortunately, the right-wing extremists are running the Republicans, just as the left-wing extremists are running the Democrats.

I believe that, unless a MASSIVE military presence is brought into Iraq to clean up this mess [and END it, once and for all], whoever inherits the White House in '08 will also inherit the mess that Bush begat in Baghdad and beyond.

The unpopular, but correct, approach would be to reinforce the troops already in Iraq and clean up the mess there...and then hand it back to the Iraqis. THEN if THEY want to have their own little civil war, let 'em have at it...killing one another, and NOT the sons and daughters of America and Britain.

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Iraq and Afganistan are huge problems that won't go away quick or easy. We should have flooded Afganistan with troops instead of going into Iraq. Now we don't have enough troops to do either job, which is why violence is steadily rising in Afganistan.

I hear horror stories from vets about a military coup to depose Bush. They are really pissed about how the military is being used, the shortages of materials like armor and the abuse of National Guard personel. Don't even get them started on the state of the Veterans Administration.

I am reminded of the Nixon years when the shift in the opinion of the 'silent majority' from pro-Nixon to anti began. I think the same thing may be occurring now for Bush.

Nixon used to ask "Will it play in Peoria?" Today the bodies of way too many soldiers and National Guardsmen are coming home the the Peorias of America. To families who realize that they have been lied to.

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The unpopular, but correct, approach would be to reinforce the troops already in Iraq and clean up the mess there...and then hand it back to the Iraqis.  THEN if THEY want to have their own little civil war, let 'em have at it...killing one another, and NOT the sons and daughters of America and Britain.

I am not sure if this is possible. This is not a problem that can be solved by sending in more troops. The only solution is to hand the whole thing over to the UN (if they are willing to clear up the mess that has been created).

The US is currently losing on average two or three soldiers a day. In Vietnam it reached 10 a day before the government decided to pull out. Once it reaches that sort of level you will need to introduce conscription. When this process begins to hurt the middle classes, the pressure on Bush to withdraw will be impossible to resist.

The other significant factor concerns the possibility of victory. The US realized it had to pull out of Vietnam after the Tet Offensive (even though technically a defeat for the NLF). The point was that the US public realized that this was a war that cannot be won. It is just a case when this enters the consciousness of the American public. People like Tim will never be convinced and is willing to continue sacrificing the lives of American soldiers. However, we have to assume that kind of political illiteracy is not common in the US.

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Re: "However, we have to assume that kind of political illiteracy is not common in the US." Good luck. I am often astonished at the lack of political knowledge within the typical US voter. Any kind of knowledge of conditions in other parts of the world is often appalling. Most American's get their news (if you can call it that) from soundbites on the evening news. God help them if they are watching Fox.

There is a Winston Churchill quote along the lines of, "You can always rely on the Americans to do the right thing. Regretfully, they will previously insist on trying every other alternative, but you can always rely on the Americans to eventually do the right thing".

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Summer reading list pix:

Maureen Dowd  "Bushworld"

and

"Chain of Command" by Hersch

I would add to that: Robert Bryce, Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate and Dan Briody, The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money.

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The unpopular, but correct, approach would be to reinforce the troops already in Iraq and clean up the mess there...and then hand it back to the Iraqis.  THEN if THEY want to have their own little civil war, let 'em have at it...killing one another, and NOT the sons and daughters of America and Britain.

I am not sure if this is possible. This is not a problem that can be solved by sending in more troops. The only solution is to hand the whole thing over to the UN (if they are willing to clear up the mess that has been created).

The US is currently losing on average two or three soldiers a day. In Vietnam it reached 10 a day before the government decided to pull out. Once it reaches that sort of level you will need to introduce conscription. When this process begins to hurt the middle classes, the pressure on Bush to withdraw will be impossible to resist.

The other significant factor concerns the possibility of victory. The US realized it had to pull out of Vietnam after the Tet Offensive (even though technically a defeat for the NLF). The point was that the US public realized that this was a war that cannot be won. It is just a case when this enters the consciousness of the American public. People like Tim will never be convinced and is willing to continue sacrificing the lives of American soldiers. However, we have to assume that kind of political illiteracy is not common in the US.

John:

I would hope that that kind of political illiteracy is not common in the U.S.,

although sometimes one has to wonder after the outcome of some of these national elections are finalized. However, according to a recent (June 16, 2005)

CBS News poll, President Bush's approval rating is the lowest ever for a second term president. His current approval rating is at 42%. I would suspect that with

the current unfortunate events taking place in Iraq, which is high on the list of priorities of those Americans who were polled, this low rating will tend to continue

on a downward spiral.

Bill

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You might be interested in looking at these two threads in the politics section:

Bush, Global Warming and the Media

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4292

Bush and Classified Documents

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4298

Both these stories suggest that Operation Mockingbird is still in existence.

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Report in today's Economist:

Just how much protection does the First Amendment to America’s constitution offer the press? That freedom is limited, a federal judge said on Wednesday July 6th as he sent Judith Miller, a reporter for the New York Times, to prison. The judge wants Ms Miller to reveal which Bush administration operatives told her that the wife of a man who had criticised the administration was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer. Ms Miller stood up for her profession, refusing to talk, and will now become a martyr for it.

But details of the odd case are sure to begin coming out anyway. Matthew Cooper, a reporter for Time magazine, was under similar threat from the judge. He had resigned himself to jail with Ms Miller, but at the last minute agreed to testify, after his source apparently released him from the need for confidentiality. Whether his source was the same as Ms Miller’s or not is unclear.

The scandal is now several years old. In 2002 the CIA sent Joseph Wilson, a former diplomat, to Africa to check on a disputed claim that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium from Niger. Mr Wilson found the claim bogus. Yet the Niger-uranium story nonetheless made it into George Bush’s state-of-the-union speech in the run-up to the Iraq war. A mistake, say the Bush people; a lie and a cover-up, Mr Wilson wrote in a 2003 article.

Soon after Mr Wilson’s article appeared, Bob Novak, a conservative journalist, revealed in a column about Mr Wilson’s trip that his wife, Valerie Plame, was an undercover CIA officer working on weapons of mass destruction. Ms Plame was almost certainly outed by Bush administration officials, perhaps in revenge for Mr Wilson’s crusading article. Her clandestine career was ruined and her intelligence contacts potentially endangered. Whoever revealed her identity to several journalists, Messrs Cooper and Novak and Ms Miller among them, might have committed a felony—though this requires that the leaker authorise access to secret information and behave in a way intended to harm national security. Thus it may not have been a crime, but merely a reprehensible act that should embarrass the administration.

But will anyone pay for it? Mr Novak certainly won’t go to jail—he did not have direct access to classified information. But why is he not facing a stretch inside for refusing to reveal his sources to the leak investigators, as Ms Miller is? No one is exactly sure. Mr Novak may have co-operated with the investigation led by Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor looking into the leak, though he will not admit doing so.

Other speculation has centred on Karl Rove, Mr Bush’s closest and most formidable political adviser. Rumours had long swirled that Mr Rove was the Plame leaker. Those whisperings grew louder last week when Time, saying it was not above the law as an institution, revealed Mr Cooper’s notes for a follow-up story he did on the leak. The notes revealed that he had talked to Mr Rove, whose lawyer then hurried in to insist that his client was not the leaker. Mr Rove has already testified to the investigation, and Mr Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, has told Mr Rove’s lawyer that he is not a “target” of the probe. Anti-Rove Democrats—of whom there are many, thanks to the Bush man’s talent for outfoxing them—are still hoping that he may yet come under close scrutiny. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the chief of staff to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, has also been rumoured to be the leaker, but his staff insists he has done nothing wrong.

Until more is known, only Ms Miller will taste jail food as a result of the case. Her lawyers asked that she be sentenced to house arrest, but on Tuesday Mr Fitzgerald argued that a cushy home-stay was not enough to make her co-operate. She may be jailed for the remaining duration of the investigation—up to four months. She makes an odd martyr for the anti-Bush left, however: before the Plame affair, she had been vilified by them for overly credulous reporting on Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction.

It is not yet clear if anyone else will do time. Mr Cooper’s testimony may lead to the unmasking of Ms Miller’s source or sources. That could allow her to testify and get out of jail, unless she insists on not testifying as a matter of principle and the investigators still require her to answer their questions. The leakers would then, presumably, themselves face prosecution. Others could face associated charges such as perjury, obstruction of justice or conspiracy.

What about the future of the journalist’s right to protect sources? Most American states have laws protecting scribblers from subpoena unless they have information that is vital and otherwise unobtainable. But no such statute exists at the federal level, where limits on the protection of reporters’ sources were imposed by a 1972 Supreme Court decision that the court last week declined to revisit. Until a federal law standardises what protection reporters can give their sources, the fate of Ms Miller is one that could await any journalist pursuing hard-to-get information.

http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaySto...tory_id=4151515

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