2004/10/03

The first round of the Bush-Kerry debates

Robert Parry of the Consortium News points out Bush's statement on WMD:


"I went there [the United Nations] hoping that once and for all the free world would act in concert to get Saddam Hussein to listen to our demands," Bush said. "They [the Security Council] passed a resolution that said disclose, disarm or face serious consequences. I believe when an international body speaks, it must mean what it says.

"But Saddam Hussein had no intention of disarming. Why should he? He had 16 other resolutions and nothing took place. As a matter of fact, my opponent talks about inspectors. The facts are that he [Hussein] was systematically deceiving the inspectors. That wasn't going to work. That's kind of a pre-Sept. 10 mentality, the hope that somehow resolutions and failed inspections would make this world a more peaceful place."

16 resolutions accomplished nothing? Did the US find any WMD after Iraq was occupied? Didn't Hussein turn in a 12,000 page document stating he had no WMDs? Has anything significant in that document been proven false? Granted, the Bush Administration immediately complained that Iraq had failed to account for the uranium that US intelligence agencies just knew it had. This uranium was of course the yellowcake uranium that Niger supposedly supplied without the French-led consortium of nations controlling Niger's mines knowing anything about it and moved several railroad cars worth of uranium ore through the heavily militarized Mideast without America or Israel being able to catch it. How the Iraqis were able to do anything useful with the uranium while under sanctions was never explained either.

Update 7 Oct 04: I just read that the facilities needed to process the uranium ore into usable fissionable material would have to be 16 soccer fields big. Hardly a facility one could hide.

As Parry points out, Bush is either living in a fantasy world or is confident that no one will call him on this and that Americans are too stupid to remember recent history. The fact that no one has printed anything in the mainstream media about this is disturbing. It's like the US media can deal with shadings of the truth and misinterpretations, but blatantly outright fabrications requires the expression of an opinion or bias, so the media shies away from doing that.

I also noted this when it happend:


Bush slipped into another cozy distortion when he justified the Iraq invasion by declaring that "the enemy attacked us," thus linking Iraq to al-Qaeda's Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. That prompted a retort from Kerry, who reminded Bush that "Saddam Hussein didn't attack us; Osama bin Laden attacked us." An annoyed Bush responded by saying, "Of course, I know Osama bin Laden attacked us."

I suspect in this case, Kerry may have been confident that people could catch that one and that they'd realize that Bush was talking out of his butt. Parry correctly pointed out that covering for a presidential candidate is not universal and seems to apply just to either Bush or to Republicans in general/


But Bush has not suffered any sustained criticism for his recurring misstatements about the Iraq War. By contrast, in Campaign 2000, the national news media denounced Vice President Al Gore as a "liar" for minor errors, such as his recollection that he had visited a disaster site with the director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration when Gore actually was with a FEMA deputy.


Again, the media
can handle minor and obviously inadvertant slip-ups, but doesn't seem to be capable of dealing with outright lies. Back about 50 years ago, Joe McCarthy made wild, unsubstantiated charges. The media put those charges on the front pages. The media would then investigate the charge, find it false and put the correction on page A17, by which time McCarthy would come up with a new, equally wild accusation. Today, the media seems equally unable to deal with a president telling fantastical and fanciful tales

Very disurbing that the media has not figured out a way to deal with this.



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