Sunday, September 26, 2004

Bush is a Flop....Michael Moore

Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq:
"A flip and a flop and now just a flop."
By Michael Moore

Wednesday 22 September 2004

Dear Mr. Bush,

I am so confused. Where exactly do you stand on the issue of Iraq? You, your Dad, Rummy, Condi, Colin, and Wolfie -- you have all changed your minds so many times, I am out of breath just trying to keep up with you!

Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet have taken over the years represents your current thinking:

1983-88: WE LOVE SADDAM.
On December 19, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was sent by your dad and Mr. Reagan to go and have a friendly meeting with Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Rummy looked so happy in the picture. Just twelve days after this visit, Saddam gassed thousands of Iranian troops. Your dad and Rummy seemed pretty happy with the results because 'The Donald R.' went back to have another chummy hang-out with Saddam's right-hand man, Tariq Aziz, just four months later. All of this resulted in the U.S. providing credits and loans to Iraq that enabled Saddam to buy billions of dollars worth of weapons and chemical agents. The Washington Post reported that your dad and Reagan let it be known to their Arab allies that the Reagan/Bush administration wanted Iraq to win its war with Iran and anyone who helped Saddam accomplish this was a friend of ours.

In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, your dad and his defense secretary, Dick Cheney, decided they didn't like Saddam anymore so they attacked Iraq and returned Kuwait to its rightful dictators.

After the war, your dad and Cheney and Colin Powell told the Shiites to rise up against Saddam and we would support them. So they rose up. But then we changed our minds. When the Shiites rose up against Saddam, the Bush inner circle changed its mind and decided NOT to help the Shiites. Thus, they were massacred by Saddam.

In 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, as part of the Project for the New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Clinton insisting he invade and topple Saddam Hussein.

Just three years later, during your debate with Al Gore in the 2000 election, when asked by the moderator Jim Lehrer where you stood when it came to using force for regime change, you turned out to be a downright pacifist:

"I--I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place. And so I take my--I take my--my responsibility seriously." - October 3, 2000

When you took office in 2001, you sent your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, in front of the cameras to assure the American people they need not worry about Saddam Hussein. Here is what they said:

Powell: "We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they have directed that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was 10 years ago when we began it. And frankly, they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." --February 24, 2001

Rice: "But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." --July 29, 2001

Just a few months later, in the hours and days after the 9/11 tragedy, you had no interest in going after Osama bin Laden. You wanted only to bomb Iraq and kill Saddam and you then told all of America we were under imminent threat because weapons of mass destruction were coming our way. You led the American people to believe that Saddam had something to do with Osama and 9/11. Without the UN's sanction, you broke international law and invaded Iraq.

After no WMDs were found, you changed your mind about why you said we needed to invade, coming up with a brand new after-the-fact reason -- we started this war so we could have regime change, liberate Iraq and give the Iraqis democracy!

Yes, everyone saw you say it -- in costume, no less!

Now you call the Iraq invasion a "catastrophic success." That's what you called it this month. Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died, Iraq is in a state of total chaos where no one is safe, and you have no clue how to get us out of there.

Mr. Bush, please tell us -- when will you change your mind again?

I know you hate the words "flip" and "flop," so I won't use them both on you. In fact, I'll use just one: Flop. That is what you are. A huge, colossal flop. The war is a flop, your advisors and the "intelligence" they gave you is a flop, and now we are all a flop to the rest of the world. Flop. Flop. Flop.

And you have the audacity to criticize John Kerry with what you call the "many positions" he has taken on Iraq. By my count, he has taken only one: He believed you. That was his position. You told him and the rest of congress that Saddam had WMDs. So he -- and the vast majority of Americans, even those who didn't vote for you -- believed you. You see, Americans, like John Kerry, want to live in a country where they can believe their president.

That was the one, single position John Kerry took. He didn't support the war, he supported YOU. And YOU let him and this great country down. And that is why tens of millions can't wait to get to the polls on Election Day -- to remove a major, catastrophic flop from our dear, beloved White House -- to stop all the flipping you and your men have done, flipping us and the rest of the world off.

We can't take another minute of it.


Michael Moore


Jump to TO Features for Sunday September 26, 2004

Mark Morford on Kerry

Is it the hair? The lack of charisma? Or do we just wish he was more angry and ruthless?

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, September 24, 2004


He is not Bill Clinton.
Just gotta say it again, right off, because it is, quite possibly, still the most difficult fact for most moderates and Demos to accept, even now: Kerry is not Clinton. Kerry is not JFK. Kerry is not quite even Al Gore. We have to accept it. Let's go from there.

It bears repeating because, as tens of millions (billions, even) across the planet realize, Bush is so obviously ripe, so obviously dripping with glaring misprision, so deeply rife with flaw and bumble and moronism, and his policies are so full of gaping holes and his ethics are so full of hostile lies and his wars are so lacking in WMDs and "nukuler" plants and any sort of justification, well, you'd think any decent opponent worth his sound bite would have a veritable cakewalk stomping Dubya's little cowboy brain into powdery AWOL Texas cow-pie smithereens.

But so far, it ain't happening. The BushCo spin machine is lethal and malicious and formidable indeed, for one thing. The Repubs are phenomenally well funded and absolutely heartless, and it cannot be understated how effective your campaign can be when you have zero ethics about attacking your opponent and zero moral compass and zero accountability and when you have Karl Rove for an underhanded heat-seeking attack-dog missile of bile and innuendo and slander and smear.

But for two, it has to be acknowledged: Kerry ain't exactly a firestorm of magnetism and inspiration. He is, unfortunately, more than a little staid, pedestrian, beige. On Letterman, on "The Daily Show," on Leno, he was finely honed and well groomed and grinning and likable enough, a true die-hard patrician politician almost completely devoid of modern-day TV-ready sparkle and zing. He's just so ... solid. And book learned. And experienced. And deeply intelligent. American translation: yawn.

But is this really why many moderates just can't get themselves to like Kerry all that much, even if they agree with his policies and his stellar environmental record and his Vietnam heroism and even if they know Bush really, really has to go? Because he's just too sober and conventional? Or is it the hair? The WASP entitlement? The booming, deadening oratory style?

Or is it the lack of a winking charm, of a flirtatious Clintonesque gleam in the eye that says he's onto this whole bulls-- game and knows how to play it better than anyone and can flaunt the well-known fact that any 8-year-old can outmaneuver George W. Bush in a contest of intellect and acumen and simple algebra? Yea, verily.

Simply put, Kerry is disliked because he is just not enjoyably slick enough. Or cleverly cold blooded enough. Or deftly manipulative enough. And in this day and age, if you ain't massively and strategically calculating on a hundred different levels (or if you don't, like Bush, have a snarling team of demon dogs to orchestrate it all for you), you're hamburger.

This, then, is the bizarre conundrum. Where Bush is all bumbling mispronunciations and massive stacks of warmongering lies and foreign policy like an international cancer, Kerry is simply "annoying."

Where Bush has let more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers die in Iraq with nary a shrug and has allowed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians -- women and children included -- to be killed over his bogus and lie-strewn war and when he openly refuses to admit his appalling mistakes and holds an absolutely unwavering and imbecilic brick-headed conviction that war is good and God is on our side and money and stick size decide all conflicts, Kerry is ... what, again? Oh, right, a little bit "flip-floppy."

Normally, Kerry would be an impressive enough contender, especially against Dubya. Kerry can, after all, speak in complete, polysyllabic sentences. He can read above a high school level. He can speak extemporaneously, without a TelePrompter. He is not loathed the world over and is not widely considered the most dangerous and reckless and hostile leader of any free-world country on the planet.

Kerry may not be Mr. Charisma, but he is clear eyed, and lucid, and genuinely seems to care about making the country slightly more respectable among our furious allies again. How very horrible.

But, then again, this ain't no normal election. The GOP, they are dialed in like never before. They are on point. They know how to violently exploit the NASCAR dad's fears of gays, of women, of "furriners." They know how to terrify gullible soccer moms with images of swarthy fundamentalists who want to eat their precious babies.

Call it the Rove effect. It's all in the spin, baby. It's all in the presentation. It has little to do with your own atrocities and lies and contemptible actions, nothing to do with your inept military service or environmental records, nothing to do with letting Osama run free while bombing other nonthreatening countries at will. It has everything to do with image, with personal vendetta, with "character."

Same as it ever was? Maybe. But this time, there's a decidedly malicious GOP-bred methodology at work, one that seems to be operating at a level normally reserved for dictatorships and military coups and brutal autocratic regimes.

After all, any administration that would shamelessly hijack the 9/11 tragedy for its own hateful, isolationist agenda is capable of just about anything. And if they get four more carte blanche years to really gut the world and go after the heart of this nation, all bets are off.

Which is exactly why so many of us desperately want Kerry to be cutthroat and ferocious and deadly. We want him to be savage and quick witted and able to effortlessly tick off the shopping list of astounding BushCo atrocities on one hand while rabbit-punching Karl Rove's big puffy face with the other, all while knocking out a clever pun related to Dubya sitting on Cheney's lap and burping softly, like a stupefied baby.

Instead, we get a Kerry who appears to want to take the Gore-like, policy-wonk, issues-first approach. Kerry, like the Dems overall, hasn't seemed nearly heartless and merciless enough for this fight. Kerry wants to have a respectable duel with pistols, whereas Bush wants to kick you in the genitals while your back is turned and then run away giggling and snorting and jump into Rove's open arms for a big homoerotic hug.

The good news is, as this bizarre election races toward us, Kerry is indeed stepping up his attacks, getting his focus, nailing Bush on a wide array of issues like never before. And we can only pray that in the upcoming debates that Bush tried to shun like bright sunlight, Kerry will make Dubya stumble and mutter and bonk his baffled head into the podium and wail for Jesus to save his shriveled, spoon-fed soul.

But I suppose this is the saddest part of all. That is, how cheerless and heartbreaking is it when you are essentially forced to wish that your candidate would be more ruthless, more cutthroat, more ferocious. When deep down you long for a little dignity among your leaders, some humanitarian deftness, some way to salvage a shred of spirit and hope amongst the political carnage.

Not this time. After all, sometimes, when playing badminton with the devil, you gotta screw the birdies and lob a couple grenades.