PolySciFi Blog

Thursday, September 23, 2004


On Kerry's speech

Matt notes Kerry's speech at NYU and identifies a few key excerpts. Probably his best speech to date though it pales in comparison to Bush's speech to the UN yesterday (warning transcript from CBS).

However, I found a number of lines in Kerry's speech to be surreal particularly when paired with other statements in the same speech. I also found a number of lines to be bizarre because of the man making the criticisms (I'll address the suggestions in a later post).

Surreal Pair 1 - War Rationales
  1. "He failed to tell the truth about the rationale for going to war"
  2. "By one count, the President offered 23 different rationales for this war."
Surreal Pair 2 - Importance of Combatting Growing Threats
  1. "Now the president, in looking for a new reason, tries to hang his hat on the “capability” to acquire weapons. But that was not the reason given to the nation; it was not the reason Congress voted on; it’s not a reason, it’s an excuse."
  2. The President’s policy in Iraq took our attention and resources away from other, more serious threats to America. Threats like North Korea, which actually has weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear arsenal, and is building more under this President’s watch…The emerging nuclear danger from Iran…" (ellipses in the original)
Bizarre Line 1 - Value of Allies
"Instead of using U.S. forces, we relied on the warlords to capture Osama bin Laden when he was cornered in the mountains."

Some allies are more equal than others and unilateralism is ok when Kerry says it is.

Bizarre Line 2 - Exploiting 9/11
"With us today is a remarkable group of women who lost loved ones on September 11th … and whose support I am honored to have."

So we won't be hearing any more from the Kerry campaign about Bush exploiting 9/11?

Bizarre Line 3 - Nuclear Club
Thirty-five to forty countries have greater capability to build a nuclear bomb than Iraq did in 2003. Is President Bush saying we should invade them?

Are Israel, India, UK, Russia, Japan, Korea, France, Pakistan, Germany, Israel, China, training terrorists in how to use WMD (Senate Intelligence Report)? Iran and N.K. may be, but we're not exactly playing patty cakes with them, either.

Bizzare Line 4 - Doing it Again
"Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq?"

a) Umm, no imminent threat was ever claimed (except by Edwards). Indeed the rationale was the exact opposite (SOTU 2003)- " Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"

b) No stockpiles of WMD, but WMD have been found. Also extensive evidence indicating that Iraq was planning on ramping back up their programs once the US left Iraq alone has been cited in the Kay report and the Duelfer report. (also check out Mens News Daily)

c) Ties were found to Al Qaeda (rather extensive ties at that), just not to the 9/11 attacks (which Bush never claimed). Senate Intelligence Report, a comment I left on winning argument

Bizzare Line 5 - Doing it Again
"After the successful entry into Baghdad, George Bush was offered help from the UN -- and he rejected it."

The UN that just called the war illegal? The UN that turned tail after being attacked once?

Bizzare Line 6 - Insulting Allies
"After insulting allies and shredding alliances, this President may not have the trust and confidence to bring others to our side in Iraq."

Does Kerry mean insulting like calling it a our Iraq alliance a coalition of the bribed and coerced or a fraudulent coalition? How about not showing up for Allawi's speech today and then bashing Allawi (in effect calling Allawi a liar)?

Or perhaps he was planning on gaining the confidence of allies when his campaign "warned Australians that the Howard Government's support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists." (link)


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