Democrats & Liberals Archives

Stripping Away The Veneer (Volume II)

Presidential Debate No. 2, October 8, 2004
Hear No Evil. See No Evil. Speak No Evil. Admit No Mistakes.

In our initial commentary on the presidential debate no. 1 (September 30, 2004), we pointed out the endless capability for George W. Bush to impress that he truly has a “Boxed-In Mentality”. Both he and his administration being unable to see or work “Outside Their Box”. We brought out the “Nazification of American politics” as clearly evinced from the Republican National Convention. (See this link)

We also brought out the history of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, their entire administration and campaign staff, in honing their "Duck and Cover" skills. (See this link).

Here in debate no. 2 (October 8, 2004) the key point has seemingly been overlooked. That being the question by Linda Grabel regarding 'making mistakes'. Let us look at the question.
GRABEL: President Bush, during the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. Thank you.

Let us now look at the response from George W. Bush:
BUSH: I have made a lot of decisions, and some of them little, like appointments to boards you never heard of, and some of them big.

And in a war, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of tactical decisions that historians will look back and say: He shouldn't have done that. He shouldn't have made that decision. And I'll take responsibility for them. I'm human.

But on the big questions, about whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I'll stand by those decisions, because I think they're right.

That's really what you're -- when they ask about the mistakes, that's what they're talking about. They're trying to say, "Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?" And the answer is, "Absolutely not." It was the right decision.

The Duelfer report confirmed that decision today, because what Saddam Hussein was doing was trying to get rid of sanctions so he could reconstitute a weapons program. And the biggest threat facing America is terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

We knew he hated us. We knew he'd been -- invaded other countries. We knew he tortured his own people.

On the tax cut, it's a big decision. I did the right decision. Our recession was one of the shallowest in modern history.

Now, you asked what mistakes. I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't want to hurt their feelings on national TV.


BUSH: But history will look back, and I'm fully prepared to accept any mistakes that history judges to my administration, because the president makes the decisions, the president has to take the responsibility.

This is THE major issue in election 2004, beyond that of the legitimate "War on Global Terrorism" and the illegitimate, manufactured "War in Iraq". From day-one this president and vice president, their administration and Republican party have clearly embarked on misleading this nation. Misleading from lies about the true cost of Medi-Care realignment. Misleading from lies about the true intent on invading Iraq (from disarming Saddam Hussein from "weapons of mass destruction", to "de-Bathifying" the nation, to the expansive "Liberty War").

The pinnacle of deceit upon our American people was of course the dangerous and demented Nazification of politics during the Republican National Convention. It has taken the American people quite some time to even begin to recover, to 'come down' from that high. An equally euphoric high that took Germany into an abyss. A euphoric high that can easily take America into both a "Foreign Policy Abyss", and an "Economic Abyss", .

Back to the "mistakes" (uh, and "miscalculations") issue. In this debate it is clear that while President George W. Bush SAYS "...I'm fully prepared to accept any mistakes that history judges to my administration...", he REFUSES to admit that his administration has made mistakes during the course of his presidency. And from the PAST FOUR YEARS OF "HISTORY", it is clear that no matter what history judges, this president, this vice president and their administration will never be capable of admitting to mistakes (uh, miscalculations).

If you cannot admit to mistakes, how can you make mid-course corrections? How can you review your policies which drive strategies and the tactics employed to implement strategies?

For instance, in debate no. 1 President George W. Bush roundly chastised Senator John F. Kerry for his position that it should be American foreign policy to SUPPLEMENT (not replace) multi-lateral strategic arms elimination talks between China, Japan, Korea, Russia, etc., and North Korea, with bi-lateral talks between the United States and North Korea. George W. Bush's only reasoning was that "The minute we have bilateral talks, the six-party talks will unwind." President Bush offers no evidence that this is true, or that he or his administration even approached the members involved in multi-lateral talks to inquire of them: "Do you feel if we supplement the multi-lateral talks with bi-lateral talks it would be beneficial, and if so, how do you feel bi-lateral talks should be pursued?"

This seems to be in direct contradiction with the policies of President Ronald Reagan in dealing with the former Soviet Union. "Trust, But Verify". You cannot even begin to reach a point where verification is possible, if you turn your back and walk away. You cannot begin dialogue when you turn your back and walk away. You cannot begin that long road towards building and earning "trust", when you turn your back and walk away. And the talks between the United States and the former Soviet Union were just that, between the United States and the former Soviet Union, bi-lateral.

But then again, when this administration took office they hung out a BIG "DO NOT ENTER" sign to any person or group that did not hold their very narrow and rigid ideologies. And if you were labeled (or mislabeled) a "liberal", you saw a "DO NOT EVEN KNOCK" sign on the door.

Altogether we see three key, and disheartening components.

FIRST, is regarding the "Boxed-In Mentality" syndrome. They do not have the capability to see their errors or to make adjustments because they are truly "Boxed-In"...mentally. It is a DISABILITY that is DISABLING AMERICA AT HOME AND ABROAD.

SECOND, is the belief and practice within the Bush administration that ONLY THEY have the correct ideas and methods to employ in both foreign and domestic policies and affairs. THAT undermines the basic premise in founding our nation; a UNITED STATES of America. NOT the United States of the Republican Party, or the United States of the (far) Right-Wing Fringe. Their beliefs are FORCING THE DIVIDE in America. The policies of management within their administration are FORCING THE DIVIDE in America. The policies of "Our Way or the Highway" are FORCING THE DIVIDE in America, and PUSHING AWAY the majority of other nations. While George W. Bush continues to chastise "Europe" and the "United Nations" whenever he can in his speeches, European and Asian nations are coming together with broad economic and counter-terrorism ties. In the Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit this October 8-10th, leaders of these nations which represents 40 percent of the world's population, are sending a strong call for the United Nations to play a leading role in the war against terrorism.

If DIVERSITY is what makes America STRONG, then the policies and practices of this current Bush administration, whether regarding domestic or foreign affairs, WEAKEN OUR HAND at home and abroad. If the WORLD feels that the United Nations should play a "leading role" in the war against global terrorism, this is NOT saying the United States should play a secondary role. It is saying the U.N. should play a complementary, supplemental, but still "leading role".

It is the same DISABILITY of a "Boxed-In Mentality" that prevents this Bush administration from TRYING bi-lateral efforts with North Korea, that prevents this Bush Administration from LISTENING to the WORLD. Is The WORLD WRONG, or is George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Company WRONG? If diversity in ideas and numbers gives strength, then the policies and practices of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Company ARE WRONG, AND ARE DANGEROUS TO AMERICA.

THIRD, is regarding the issue of "Forensic Criminology and Psycho Pathology", or "Pathological Lying". See: . Nothing more needs to be said about this.

How can George W. Bush, or Dick Cheney, or anyone in their administration be capable of finding mistakes (fault), admitting them, and making corrections, when they are "Boxed-In" mentally.

How can America trust North Korea (and their "Dear Leader", Kim Jong Il), when we cannot even trust our own president (and vice president, and secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and national security advisor). How can America puts its long-term future into the hands of those people who have disrespected our American people here at home, and the peoples of the world for the past four years? How can the American people put its faith and trust in pathological liars?

"LEADING" versus "LEADERSHIP". The differences are NOT subtle.

Now we come to the issue of "Leading" versus "Leadership". It is 'one thing' to be "leading", "to guide or direct in a course of action", to "act as a commander" (in chief). It is 'another thing' to do so in a manner of "leadership".

Let us look at synonyms for "Leadership": administration, authority, capacity, command, conduction, control, conveyance, direction, directorship, domination, foresight, hegemony, influence, initiative, management, pilotage, power, pre-eminence, primacy, skill, superintendency, superiority, supremacy, sway.

Let us look at synonyms for "Leading": arch, best, champion, chief, dominant, dominating, famous, first, foremost, governing, greatest, headmost, highest, inaugural, initial, main, noted, notorious, number one, numero uno, outstanding, popular, pre-eminent, premier, primary, primo, principal, prominent, ruling, stellar, top drawer, tops, well-known.

Leading is something you can command by position. Leadership is something conveyed upon you by your skills. Caesar 'led' but eventually failed, as in time his people arose to understand that his judgment was in question. Napoleon 'led', but eventually failed similarly. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy 'led' with 'leadership'. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are following in the footsteps of Caesar and Napoleon, but is taking America down into his abyss. That is what awaits America if George W. Bush and his administration are 'in power' another four years; George W. Bush as "commander in chief", "the military title of the officer who has supreme command of the land or naval forces or the united forces of a nation or state". Do the American people want as their "commander in chief", a leader without leadership skills (or potential)?

Decisiveness is NOT leadership. No matter how decisive you are, if your positions and the reasons supporting your positions are wrong, or in fact bankrupt (in addition to being manufactured), decisiveness will only lead to running head on into a brick wall; as America AND OUR TROOPS have been doing for eighteen months in Iraq.

Is America and the world for that matter, safer by invading Iraq? Prior to the invasion terrorists and their networks had no place in Iraq. Saddam Hussein did NOT "practice" Islam in a religious sense. Saddam Hussein was one of the regimes Osama Bin Laden wanted to overthrow. Saddam knew that if he was even 'in bed' with Islamic fundamentalists, it would open the door to a civil war which could lead to his demise. The 'new-found' position of the Bush-Cheney team that there was a potential for Saddam to provide global terrorists with weapons of mass destruction is just another bald-face lie, from a den of pathological liars. Everything is based on manufactured and massaged 'possibility'; possibility without probability, without evidence, without credibility.

The fact remains that Saddam Hussein was 'defanged' in the early 1990s, and was 'cocooned' from having any valid capability to resume weapons of mass destruction programs.

YES, we are happy in our hearts to see Saddam Hussein gone. NO, we are not happy in the manner in which it was accomplished. WE WILL NOT FORGIVE THIS PRESIDENT NOR HIS ADMINISTRATION FOR LYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Furthermore, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and their administration not only RUSHED America to war, they RUSH Iraq to war. THEIR PEOPLE were not ready, and this administration had not prepared them for what their responsibilities would be upon military liberation.

Additionally, the administration took its eyes taken off the REAL THREAT, that being Al Qaeda and other related or similar globally based terrorist networks. NOW these terrorists have reconstituted, re-manned their leadership and tactical ranks. NOW these terrorists are flooding from throughout the middle-east through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and elsewhere to spread Islamic fundamentalist fervor; infecting every village, town, and city, and government along the way. Had there not been a RUSH TO WAR in Iraq, this focal point, this 'gift' to Islamic extremists would never have materialized. Had this administration LISTENED TO THE WORLD and kept its focus on Al Qaeda and terrorist networks, with the military and intelligence might of the United States the war on global terrorism would be well on its way to being won, and a truly safer world in the offing.

In the long run, have the so-called "policies" and "strategies" (morphing and evolving reasons) proffered by this administration made America and the world safer? Again, in the long run? NO. In fact, in the long run America and the world are far from safer. In fact, one of the key reasons President Vladimir Putin of Russia cited in his recent decision to take more control of various regions, was that inventories of nuclear materials were at risk due to increased terrorist activity. Thus, with the reconstitution of Al Qaeda Islamic terrorists along with Chechen terrorists, the networks are evolving into something more dangerous than ever before.

We had Al Qaeda CORNERED in Afghanistan, and this goes beyond just having Osama Bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora. Had this administration not been INTENDING to invade Iraq and bring down Saddam Hussein from day-one, and had they instead put heavy troop concentrations along the border regions of Afghanistan with Iraq and Pakistan, then as we pounded from the air and drove down with the Northern Alliance, it would have been a "turkey shoot" with Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters decimated. Instead Vice President Dick Cheney stated "We killed hundreds of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan". Yeah, but thousands escaped. Instead, America is in Iraq, Al Qaeda has reconstituted and evolved, and is now spreading Islamic extremism and terrorism worldwide...again. Instead of tracking down, engaging, and defeating terrorists and their networks, this administration took its eye off the REAL BALL, the REAL TARGET, and the prey got away. And the prey is not just Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenant Al-Zawahiri, but Al Qaeda, "The Base".

NOW AMERICA, do you want to put George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Company in charge of American foreign and domestic affairs for another four years? Does America want another four years of Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Admit No Mistakes. Can America AFFORD another four years of this? Can world peace and stability afford another four years of THIS?

Posted by Bruce R. Senator at October 17, 2004 5:34 AM