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Author Topic: Bush's Press Conference
LSWellington
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I wanted to get some peoples responses to the press confrence.

What was the overall idea you got about where we are and where we are going in Iraq?

Did Bush answer questions to your satisfaction?

Did he duck any questions?

Do you feel more or less confident about the situation in Iraq?

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Kilthmal
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Full transcript.

Kilthmal

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Tokyo
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I have posted extensively about this on my blog:

Notes on the opening statement
Notes on the Questions (Part One)
Notes on the Questions (Part Two)

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Everard
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A question I have is... not necessarily on the speech. But it skirts around the edges thereof.

Congress is starting a bipartisan look at a new strategy for Iraq to win the peace. The plan they are looking at is Kerry's from last fall. If congress decides we should be implementing Kerry's proposal, and does so during Bush's term, how is that going to play out in November?

Could be interesting.

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Colin JM0397
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Not that I exactly agree with the road he’s taking us down, but I think he did a good job.

A few comments.

The President is a committed, principled leader. Just because you disagree with his commitments and principles doesn't make him wrong or an idiot.
I like that he sticks to what he's been saying all along as far as what course he's taking us down and why.

I didn't see the conference, and am just reading the transcript, but I - as usual when I see or hear him working in an open forum and not from notes - have to laugh at those who claim he's an idiot who can't work without a prepared speech and the handlers need to tell him what to do.
On that note, for those who watched it live – was he awkward and fumbling for words, or was he comfortable and speaking clearly as the transcripts seem to show?

As expected from any politico, he's putting the best face on some troubling situations, but I wouldn't quite call it spin... more like optimism and belief in what he's doing.

I also suspect his couple of God reference throw some into a tizzy. As one of my friends likes to complain, "we have a Jesus freak for a president".
Again, that doesn’t make him an idiot or even necessarily wrong.

Addition: Ev, interesting indeed. However, the Pres can tell them to go pound sand if he wants; they can only make suggestions. If they suggest something that Kerry can lay claim to, I'd think he wouldn't touch it until post-election, or will rely on his people in congress to work it over enough so as to claim it's an altogether different plan than Kerry's.

[ April 14, 2004, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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RickyB
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Well, let's see:
He didn't answer as to whether he felt any personal responsibility for 9-11. Basically, he was asked not "do you feel you should resign?", but "is there anything you're kicking youself in the shin over?" He should be feeling that way, even if he shouldn't, you know?

He didn't answer to whom and how will power be transfered. Don't inquiring minds on the right want to know?

He didn't answer about the memo, or did he?

He didn't explain why exactly June 30th is sacrosanct. It is very troubling that stages of important processes seem to become hostage to "it has to be so because we originally said so".

I just wrote and deleted a two paragraph screed about how the emperor has no clothes. Never mind that. Can anyone here really say "I had certain doubts or concerns before this speech, but the president allayed them?"

Finally, as for what is shaping to be the only strong argument the administration can take away from the 9-11 commission: the PATRIOT act is supposedly vindicated. Well, some have attacked the PATRIOT act because they'd attack Bush if he were to deliver Christmas dinners to AIDS patients and wipe their asses after, but most of us understood that some new law to fix the structural failures was necessary. What wasn't necessary is filling this blanket law with unnecesarry horse manure. Things like what goes on in guantanamo is unnecessary. They besmirch the honor of our country and ideals.

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RickyB
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If you like it, jm, maybe you can explain: Why the religious insisting on JUne 30th? Who are ae going to transfer power to? How is it going to work out? What if the first thing this goverment does is something the US doesn't approve of? If now more troops are needed, what does that say about a certain cabinet member who blew off pretty much the entire senior command of the US military and refused to bring in more troops immediately following the end of "major combat operations"? I wanted my president to address these questions, but he chose not to.

Speaking of which - no-one asked him if he's sorry about the whole "mission accomplished" photo-op embarrassment. They should have.

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Colin JM0397
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I never said I liked everything he said, come to think of it, I didn’t say either way if I liked any of the specifics - just that I can appreciate his focus and I don't think he's the fool many claim.

I also only got about 1/2 through the transcript and probably won't bother with the rest.

As to 6/30, first of all, little will change as far as our military running the country. It's still just a figurehead government, and just one small step to the elections which aren't going to happen for another 20 months.

It shows progress, but little will change behind the scene.

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Ron
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I believe the question was answered in two parts.

quote:
Were the coalition to step back from the June 30th pledge, many Iraqis would question our intentions and feel their hopes betrayed. And those in Iraq who trade in hatred and conspiracy theories would find a larger audience and gain a stronger hand. We will not step back from our pledge. On June 30th, Iraqi sovereignty will be placed in Iraqi hands.


and
quote:
The nation of Iraq is moving toward self-rule, and Iraqis and Americans will see evidence in the months to come. On June 30th, when the flag of free Iraq is raised, Iraqi officials will assume full responsibility for the ministries of government. On that day, the transitional administrative law, including a bill of rights that is unprecedented in the Arab world, will take full effect.

The United States, and all the nations of our coalition, will establish normal diplomatic relations with the Iraqi government. An American embassy will open, and an American ambassador will be posted.

According to the schedule already approved by the Governing Council, Iraq will hold elections for a national assembly no later than next January. That assembly will draft a new, permanent constitution which will be presented to the Iraqi people in a national referendum held in October of next year. Iraqis will then elect a permanent government by December 15, 2005 -- an event that will mark the completion of Iraq's transition from dictatorship to freedom.


As to asking about a banner on a ship? I am not sure how important the question is. Is it a dig or is it meant to bring more information to light?
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Ron
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quote:
Finally, as for what is shaping to be the only strong argument the administration can take away from the 9-11 commission: the PATRIOT act is supposedly vindicated. Well, some have attacked the PATRIOT act because they'd attack Bush if he were to deliver Christmas dinners to AIDS patients and wipe their asses after, but most of us understood that some new law to fix the structural failures was necessary. What wasn't necessary is filling this blanket law with unnecesarry horse manure. Things like what goes on in guantanamo is unnecessary. They besmirch the honor of our country and ideals.
I do not believe the Patriot Act spoke to any decision regarding Guantanamo. The Patriot Act is a domestic law and Guantanamo is actually a grey international area. If the Patriot Act did allow the existence of a Guantanamo type facility, then it would have been built within the US nation. At least that is my understanding. Perhaps you can show me where in the Patriot Act Guantanamo is mentioned or alluded to?

The Patriot Act did indeed have some sweeping changes.

Wiretap Statute (Title III):
Electronic Communications Privacy Act
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
Pen Register and Trap and Trace Statute
Money Laundering Act
Immigration and Nationality Act
Money Laundering Control Act
Bank Secrecy Act
Right to Financial Privacy Act
Fair Credit Reporting Act

More information can be found here .

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RickyB
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Many Iraqis already feel betrayed - precisely because the US is insisting on handing over power, however symbolic, to an appointed governement rather than an elected one. Since the US is still going to remain in the country and police it, hten this date doesn't mean much for the average Iraqi as far as sovereignity.

Since Bush himself promises that elections will be held no later than January 2005 (where'd you get 20 months, jm? I count 7). Why this insistence on a totally non-practical tranfer of power? Why not continue with the CPA and the IGC until elections are ready? One appointed "government" won't be seen as a huge increase in legitimacy compared to another one.

as for this
quote:
On that day, the transitional administrative law, including a bill of rights that is unprecedented in the Arab world, will take full effect.
This is simply ignorance. How many people know that Iraq adopted a liberal western constitution back in 1925? Not enough. Unprecedented will be if it holds, and we've yet to see the slightest evidence that prognosis for this is particularly good.

Finally, as for the banner on the ship: Yes, it's important. Because it indicates smugness and complacenece. It indicates that this is an administration that is more eager to declare success than to show patience and see the job through. That whole dog and pony show, of landing the jet fighter on the carrier (not to mention the lies of the incomparable Ari Fleischer as to why it was necessary), and the banner, had one single, solitary reason: to be shown a year and a bit later in Bush's campaign ads.

Are you comfortable with the president using the military so blatently to stage political photo-ops? Of the president posing as an action figure, wasting literally millions of dollars to stage something that should properly have been paid for by his campagn coffer? Are you comfortable with the president exchewing prudence in his haste to preen for the cameras and cash his chips - before the damn roulette has even stopped spinning?

We are asked to accept that on 9-11-2001, George W. Bush was awakened to his true task, and that his eyes were then opened to what it takes to win this amorphous war. 20 months later, without even mentioning the judgement call of invading Iraq in the first place, we find him still reckless, still discounting dangers and celebrating prematurely, still miscalculating.

I would say that this is very relevant to how we should judge the man seeking a second term. Definitely not a mere dig.

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Everard
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The Minuteman Library system in massachusetts (a group of boston area libraries) have put up signs near all their check out areas, basically stating that they are required by the patriot act to release the titles of any books checked out if the FBI asks for that information, and if we have concerns, please write to so and so at such and such an address.

Really, some of whats in the patriot act shouldn't be law, not because it will be abused (although I don't trust it not to be abused) but because of the precedent it sets.

For example, whats to stop the FBI from getting reading lists of every american?

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Ron
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Everard, such a law existed prior to 9-11. There have been many convictions based on what someone checked out of the library. The difference is that librarians had the ability to decide whether information should be turned over, or not. If not, it would be delayed while a court order was obtained. Resulting in a day or two delay. Given 9-11 hindsight, if the FBI were hot on the trail, how would you react to the day or two delay? I wonder if it depends on the desire of the nation on how much safety we have againsthow much privacy we want? I do not believe anyone is being stopped from accessing information, only from keeping information accessed in a public building from being private.
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Everard
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Ron-
That distinction is important, because the FBI had to actually have a case against the person they were checking out at the library (har har), and be able to convince a judge they had a case. While this is often easy to do, at least there were protections in place.

The patriot act means the FBI can get a hold of ANYONE's list, without having a case or receiving a warrant, and thats a problem.

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Ron
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quote:
Many Iraqis already feel betrayed - precisely because the US is insisting on handing over power, however symbolic, to an appointed governement rather than an elected one. Since the US is still going to remain in the country and police it, hten this date doesn't mean much for the average Iraqi as far as sovereignity.

So what exactly falls under betrayal? That the US insists on returning soveriegnty? Can you show us some poll regarding the stance you take? Or maybe a link or news story. I haven't heard that aspect of the debate before.

Then you say it doesn't matter. Are you stating that it is wrong for Bush to choose that date or are you saying it is wrong for Bush to remain after that date has been achieved? What alternative do you propose?

quote:
This is simply ignorance. How many people know that Iraq adopted a liberal western constitution back in 1925? Not enough. Unprecedented will be if it holds, and we've yet to see the slightest evidence that prognosis for this is particularly good.

I believe that was a constitutional monarchy with an official state religion with pretitions presented to the king for approval. The perogatives of the king are the surpreme head of the state, will conclude and ratify treaties and choose the prime minister.

This and more is from The Constitution of the kingdom of Iraq .

It appears this constitution may indeed be significantly different and unprecedented. Perhaps you mean unprecedented for that time? Or are you suggesting that a monarchy is what is preferable? It might be, but that would not exactly fit with the idea of being without precedence.

quote:
Finally, as for the banner on the ship: Yes, it's important. Because it indicates smugness and complacenece. It indicates that this is an administration that is more eager to declare success than to show patience and see the job through. That whole dog and pony show, of landing the jet fighter on the carrier (not to mention the lies of the incomparable Ari Fleischer as to why it was necessary), and the banner, had one single, solitary reason: to be shown a year and a bit later in Bush's campaign ads.

I am afraid I disagree. I agree that the US in general is fairly smug about its place in the world. But what can be more smug than tossing a few missiles in a general direction and believing that will take care of the problem. Or of bombing Kosovo and believing that will take care of the problem. Perhaps smugly concluding that the US did not need to take Iraq originally. It appears that most presidents tend toward smugness from time to time internationally and with consequences that we don't really enjoy in the long run. A banner on a ship is a political act within domestic politics versus international aspects that Bush was speaking to.
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Ron
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quote:
Are you comfortable with the president using the military so blatently to stage political photo-ops? Of the president posing as an action figure, wasting literally millions of dollars to stage something that should properly have been paid for by his campagn coffer? Are you comfortable with the president exchewing prudence in his haste to preen for the cameras and cash his chips - before the damn roulette has even stopped spinning?

Yes I am comfortable with it since every president uses the military as its background in a number of photo ops. Clinton looking over the Korean DMZ for instance or here is a good photo Clinton in Kosovo . I can find a number of Bush senior, Reagan, Eisenhower, Nixon, Carter..... It goes on and on. It is part of America and its politics going all the way back to George Washington. I believe the American media accepts it and understands it for what it is. Outrage to the norm seems out of place don't you think?
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Ron
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Everard:

I don't see it as a problem in public venues. I think most Americans agree with the view. Many times librarians freely gave the information to the FBI and only when they chose not to did it become an issue. It seems arbitrary to me in the former and less abitrary in the latter. At least now you know that what you do in public is, well public.

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Everard
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I'd like to point out this thread is not about clinton or HIS mistakes. He isn't up for re-election, and we should be able to comment on mistakes we think Bush has made, without the comparisons to clinton, unless we are talking about long term problems. For example, noting that the FBI and CIA do not talk to each other is a legitimate place to point out long term systematic problems. Talking about the specific actions of our president, when the defense is "But clinton did it to," just stalls the debate.

I hate to say this, because it comes across as partisan. But, I ask you honestly, what does bringing up Clinton contribute to the discussion of whether or not the commission should have asked about Bush's "mission accomplished" photo op?

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
I didn't see the conference, and am just reading the transcript, but I - as usual when I see or hear him working in an open forum and not from notes - have to laugh at those who claim he's an idiot who can't work without a prepared speech and the handlers need to tell him what to do.
On that note, for those who watched it live – was he awkward and fumbling for words, or was he comfortable and speaking clearly as the transcripts seem to show?

I dunno, jm0397, I watched it live and thought that the president came off pretty badly. I'm no fan of this administration -- but I don't think Bush is an idiot or evil. I think do he's a really poor public speaker, and an ineefectual executive. There was a lot of hemming and hawing and rambling non-answers. The Daily Howler makes some points I agree with (Liberal Site Warning). I think he could have used his handlers, and his performance indicates to me why he needs the vice-president with him to speak to the 9-11 comission.

The "cleaned up" transcripts are interesting to me because that seems to be happening more often lately, not just ommitting manner of speech but actually changing what speakers said to look better. That's probably for a different thread, though.

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Ron
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You might say it sets the context of the discussion. What Bush is being blamed for is was the norm prior to Bush and simply point out Bush's faults is to forget from a historical perspective that much of what is being criticised (ie photo ops with the military) were normal or in the least considered minor offenses. One might say it is a question of consistency for those who seem to be partisan in their criticism. Much of it is already structural and culturally accepted. Why change now? That is a legitimate debate, but then condemning a man for following the norm hardly seems fair.
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RickyB
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Just grabbing a pic with a bunch soldiers is not at all the same thing as the pomp and circumstance of having the president fly a jet fighter and land it on an aircraft carrier (lying about the necessity thereof along the way), and announcing Mission Accomplished when in fact, the mission was still in embryo and far from accomplished.

Not at all the same thing as being filmed clapping a soldier on the back and saying "good job" or whatever. That's why some use of military imagery is OK, but this crossed the line big time.

As for the constitution of the kingdom of Iraq - it was quite progressive for its time, definitely a huge departure from the pervious Ottoman regime, and the point is It didn't survive for a long outside the incubator

So installing a constitution from above is one thing, and counting it as unprecedented success is another. Just because it reads pretty doesn't really mean anything about the chances it will be respected. The followers of the most influential man in Iraq have already made it clear that their first order of business will be to change key provisions thereof. What will you do when the candidate of Ali Sistani wins the election and passes these changes? Will you accept that outcome?

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RickyB
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but it's not sovereignity. It's make believe. As for a poll - no, but I do have comments by Sistani. That indicative enough?
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A. Alzabo
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Ron said:
quote:
You might say it sets the context of the discussion. What Bush is being blamed for is was the norm prior to Bush and simply point out Bush's faults is to forget from a historical perspective that much of what is being criticised (ie photo ops with the military) were normal or in the least considered minor offenses. One might say it is a question of consistency for those who seem to be partisan in their criticism. Much of it is already structural and culturally accepted. Why change now? That is a legitimate debate, but then condemning a man for following the norm hardly seems fair.
I agree for the most part with this, but would argue that this administration "goes to 11" with many photo ops/stunts.
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Ron
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Ricky B

I can pull up more elaborate photos is you wish. Whether the flight is by jet fighter or by helicopter seems to be a small point though. Clinton and other presidents have had their photos taken on carriers. If it is the banner that troubles you, it is the same politics nothing more.

I am afraid I do not see the line you are speaking about. Perhaps you can be a little more clear as to what that "line" is and I can see how often it has been crossed by previous administrations.

I guess I am just wondering what exactly brings that photo op to the international level?

quote:
As for the constitution of the kingdom of Iraq - it was quite progressive for its time, definitely a huge departure from the pervious Ottoman regime, and the point is It didn't survive for a long outside the incubator


Then I assume you agree with Bush that the new constitution which is not monarchial would indeed be unprecedented, regardless of how much you like or dislike the constitution?

quote:
So installing a constitution from above is one thing, and counting it as unprecedented success is another. Just because it reads pretty doesn't really mean anything about the chances it will be respected. The followers of the most influential man in Iraq have already made it clear that their first order of business will be to change key provisions thereof. What will you do when the candidate of Ali Sistani wins the election and passes these changes? Will you accept that outcome?
Then I take it you agree that an "incubation period" is necessary. So that while Iraq is administratively being turned over to local political powers, it is also being protected for a period through continued US occupation?

Can you perhaps show me where the followers of Sistani have already decided the outcome? And how would that jibe with a constitution that would allow elections but still respect the rights of minorities?

Since we are not sure of the form of the constitution, would you agree that preliminary judgement as to what 55% of the country wishes to do is somewhat premature?

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Ron
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Over the top?

Like Reagan at the Berlin Wall? Or perhaps Kennedy at the Berlin Wall? Kennedy probably more so since the height of the cold war (and his own authorized assassination attempts) made him a much stronger target.

I believe photo ops are not unique and I believe that military photo ops are important politically. Clinton and Bush and others have used them extensively during war time and otherwise. Regarding some things Clinton was over the top, regarding others Reagan or Kennedy were over the top, and perhaps with a banner Bush was politically over the top.

If the war had been won at that time, would anyone complain? If not, then is it over the top or simply a matter of timing? Timing is hardly the only thing to complain about.

It is not an international incident so why bring it up during a press meeting with international ramifications. Can one think of more important questions given newsmen had a limited amount of time?

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Ron
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quote:
but it's not sovereignity. It's make believe. As for a poll - no, but I do have comments by Sistani. That indicative enough?
Yes, I would like to see those if you have them. It would be interesting to read.
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Ray Bingham
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To answer the original question: I enjoyed the Pres's remarks, though at times he seemed to become a little tongue tied and missed the chance to really nail home some good points.

My favorite part was when he stated that Freedom is not the US's legacy to the world, but it's the Almighty's gift to the world, and America has a responsibility to see that gift be delivered to all people. I also agree that people, given a choice without a gun to their head would desire freedom, and I am hoping we don't let down Iraq by backing away from a tough battle.

Anyhow back to your regularly scheduled blame-throwing/conspiracy mongering... [Wink] I'm pretty sure at this point I want to vote for Mr. Bush. He may not be the perfect spokesperson in the world, but I understand neither was Lincoln.

--Ray

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ben5
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quote:
My favorite part was when he stated that freedom was not the US's leagacy to thhe world but the Almighty gift to the world
I've always hated it when presidents talk about God in their speeches.
It was interesting that the media was asking pretty tough questions I was glad to see that to because I also hate it when the press is asking any politicion easy questions.

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A. Alzabo
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Ray said:
quote:
To answer the original question: I enjoyed the Pres's remarks, though at times he seemed to become a little tongue tied and missed the chance to really nail home some good points.

My favorite part was when he stated that Freedom is not the US's legacy to the world, but it's the Almighty's gift to the world, and America has a responsibility to see that gift be delivered to all people

ben5 said:
quote:
I've always hated it when presidents talk about God in their speeches.
It was interesting that the media was asking pretty tough questions I was glad to see that to because I also hate it when the press is asking any politicion easy questions.

I think this helps to illustrate why (in my opinion) the Bush Presidency is so divisive. The things that some people love about Bush are exactly the things that drive some other people up the wall. It's like there were two different press conferences.
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Ron
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If you wish to throw out presidential speeches referring to God and not man as the surpreme being you would have to throw out everything from Washington, through Jefferson, through Lincold (and that great speech the Gettysburgh address) all the way up to Reagan (include Clinton in that list too).

Basically we are looking at it as if this is the first time a president has referred back to god in some form or another. What may make some uncomfortable is that Bush may really believe in the right and wrong as being from "the almighty". I think we prefer Percy Bysshe Shelley's view of leadership.

"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Where a mans works are his alone and no one claims divine intervention. There is a certain comfort in that I admit. But many great leaders have felt that god has sustained them, of course so have many great tyrants. I don't see Bush as a tyrant though, and I think he is trying to do the right thing as he understands it. Maybe people are upset because they prefer moral ambiguity to moral clarity? Can anyone present a great leader who expressed moral ambiguity?

Ron

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Ray Bingham
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Divisive?!

The questions were something like, "Mr. President did you feel badly when you beat your wife?"

The President did a fairly decent job avoiding questions with overtones, knowing full well that ANYTHING he said would be spun in the worst possible way.

I thought the press was terribly divisive, and poorly represented what AMERICANS want to know about the conflict in Iraq.

--Ray

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RickyB
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Ron, perhaps I missed a post, but seems to me you're spending more time defending references to god than we are attacking them.

I'm gonna repost this, and then delete the post I started for it:

When I said that Bush was comlacent about the Aug. 6th PDB, perhaps that sounded shilly partisan. Well, here it is from the horse's mouth, from last night's press conference:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What was interesting in there was that there was a report that the FBI was conducting field investigations. And I -- that was good news that they were doing their job.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like I said: No curiousity. "oh, y'all are taking care of it? well, that's good enough for me. Carry on. Gotta get back to Crawford, watch a ballgame with Condi".

Anyone who doesn't think this is worrying would probably, to borrow a phrase from chunga, vote for Bush even if he were a convicted war criminal, or worse.

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Wwolfs
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@Ron

"Everyone else is doing it" is not a defense for dishonest, immoral or otherwise wrong actions. That most presidents have engaged in such activity is not a vindication for Bush, but a denunciation of the system. Bush isn't just as good as Clinton, he's just as bad.

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velcro
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I read the transcript, and much of it made sense. I didn't agree, but it was fairly well stated. For example, when asked how he could go so wrong with the WMD, he said that
quote:

Saddam Hussein was a threat. He was a threat because he had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. He was a threat because he coddled terrorists. He was a threat because he funded suiciders. He was a threat to the region. He was a threat to the United States. That's the assessment that I made from the intelligence, the assessment that Congress made from the intelligence; that's the exact same assessment that the United Nations Security Council made with the intelligence.


Good answer. I personally think those threats were miniscule to the US, and there were much larger threats worth spending 600 American lives, thousands of innocent foreign civilian lives, and $100B. But it was a reasonable answer.

What I didn't like was

quote:

Q Mr. President, why are you and the Vice President insisting on appearing together before the 9/11 Commission? And, Mr. President, who will you be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30th?

THE PRESIDENT: We will find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing; he's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over. And, secondly, because the 9/11 Commission wants to ask us questions, that's why we're meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.

Q I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.

THE PRESIDENT: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us, and I'm looking forward to answering them.

Let's see --


No answer to the question. None. Zippo. Nada. Not even close.

Most of the others were in between, but there was more dodging than I liked, or expected. As a reporter mentioned, he did not admit any mistakes. I get very frightened by people who do not admit any mistakes.

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Doug64
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IIRC, Bush stated that he was bound to have made mistakes, but declined to pick any out. In an election year can you blame him? Why give Kerry free quotes to put in ads?
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Wwolfs
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Because, Doug, if you'll recall, when Bush was elected, there was much talk about restoring the dignity of the office. Bush is using the office to shield his own personal dignity, instead.
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TCB
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quote:
As a reporter mentioned, he did not admit any mistakes. I get very frightened by people who do not admit any mistakes.

Me too, but I agree with Doug. No politician likes to be honest about their mistakes. The big difference between Bush and a better politican is that a better politician could have made up some phony mistake to cover up for his real ones. I find it refreshing that Bush isn't very slick, and I think he's likable when he's not doing a prepared speech.

And Wwolfs, I think "restore dignity" was just code for "no sex scandals".

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TCB
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Regarding the content of his speech, I didn't like his answer regarding WMDs. He mentioned that they found mustard gas in a turkey farm in Libya and said we could find something like that in Iraq.

Yeah, we might, but that's not the extensive system of WMDs everyone told us he had. It would have been a lot tougher to justify this war with "Saddam might have mustard gas hidden in a turkey farm."

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WarrsawPact
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TCB - Hi and welcome.

I've psoted pretty extensively about Saddam's WMD's on the eve of war. Everyone, especially the UNMOVIC inspectors themselves, believed he had many more weapons to be uncovered.

You can Google Hans Blix's January, February, and March reports to the President of the Security Council for more information. Despite his clear intention to prevent a war, he was uncovering new weapons violations basically weekly. This is why he asked for four more months of inspections.

It is unreasonable to say that we KNEW in March there would be no WMD's. No one knew that. In fact, the people IN Iraq who were INSPECTING believed firmly that he did have more weapons.
Ad when you're talking about VX, any hidden quantity, like - say, two thousand 122-mm VX warheads "overlooked" in a bunker - can do so much damage to US and international security that Bush's and Blair's urgency should have been perfectly understandable.

Unfortunately, the demonstrations originally funded and planned to protest the war in Afghanistan (but since we switched to Iraq so quickly, were redirected) were already bringing the full weight of the "Vengeance for Mis-election 2000" crowd into the fray.

WMD were a very reasonable justification for war.

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Ron
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quote:
Ron, perhaps I missed a post, but seems to me you're spending more time defending references to god than we are attacking them.
I believe I only responded to the issue once.

quote:
When I said that Bush was comlacent about the Aug. 6th PDB, perhaps that sounded shilly partisan. Well, here it is from the horse's mouth, from last night's press conference:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What was interesting in there was that there was a report that the FBI was conducting field investigations. And I -- that was good news that they were doing their job.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like I said: No curiousity. "oh, y'all are taking care of it? well, that's good enough for me. Carry on. Gotta get back to Crawford, watch a ballgame with Condi".

Anyone who doesn't think this is worrying would probably, to borrow a phrase from chunga, vote for Bush even if he were a convicted war criminal, or worse.

The accusation is not quite accurate. I do not believe that Bush is a convicted war criminal though some partisan democrats might hope that our president is a war criminal, I do not see him as such anymore than I saw Clinton, Roosevelt or Truman as such (or others).

I do cast doubt of your characterization of the memo itself . What I found interesting is that the memo was not specific. It held no real information. The first paragraph states the information came, at least partially from the media, apparently bin Laden has been wanting to attack since 1997. That establishes it as a "historic" memo, versus new information. The memo itself has a number of points that did not come about. Those who crashed the airlines were not muslim youths as the memo seemed to indicate, the memo itself states that they have not been able to corroborate the threat reporting and the thrust of the memo dealt with the possibility that a hijacking would occur to obtain the release of the blind sheikh. Of course the US already had policies in place to deal with hijackings. There was nothing illegal at the time with boxcutters being brought on board, as a matter of fact I myself had brought pocket knives on board with nary a wink. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, it allows us to see with greater knowledge what is only obvious after the fact. If the details as presented by the memo have been available since 1997, what does that say of the intelligence community in general?

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