Thursday, September 16, 2004

It's about frickin' time

Finally, Kerry is hammering Bush on his handling of Iraq.

From a speech Kerry gave to the National Guard in Las Vegas today:
True leadership is about looking people in the eye and telling the truth--even when it's hard to hear. And two days ago, President Bush came before you and you received him well, as you should. But I believe he failed the fundamental test of leadership. He failed to tell you the truth. You deserve better. The Commander in Chief must level with the troops and the nation. And as president, I will always be straight with you--on the good days, and the bad days.

Two days ago, the President stood right where I'm standing and did not even acknowledge that more than 1,000 men and women have lost their lives in Iraq. He did not tell you that with each passing day, we're seeing more chaos, more violence, more indiscriminate killings. He did not tell you that with each passing week, our enemies are getting bolder--that Pentagon officials report that entire regions of Iraq are now in the hands of terrorists and extremists. He did not tell you that with each passing month, stability and security seem farther and farther away.

He did not tell you any of this, even though--as the country learned today in The New York Times--his own intelligence officials have warned him for weeks that the mission in Iraq is in serious trouble. But that is the truth--hard as it is to hear. You deserve a president who will not play politics with national security, who will not ignore his own intelligence, while living in a fantasy world of spin, and who will give the American people the truth about the challenge our brave men and women face on the front lines.
UPDATE: The beauty of this speech lies beyond the criticism of the war. Kerry isn't simply addressing Bush's incompetence; he is also attacking his perceived strength--leadership. It's a page right out of Bush's campaign playbook. Kerry's perceived strength was his Vietnam service, and that's why the Swift Boat Veterans were deployed.

Now Kerry is giving Bush a taste of his own medicine. I imagine this will be a theme through the remainder of the campaign. But the talking points will change. At some point, I wonder if Kerry will say something to the effect of: "True leadership is about seeing a war through to its proper conclusion. The president failed to do that in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and al Qaeda remain a serious threat to America's well-being. A true leader will protect the American people. But as the situation in Iraq continues to spiral out of control, the likelihood of a terrorist attack increases."

Of course, playing the fear card would be another example of Kerry taking a page from Bush's playbook.


At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest Gallup Poll

Bush 55%
Kerry 42%

At 12:49 AM, Blogger phabled2 said...

I think Kerry is the one that hasn't been truthful -- he knows that if he were in Bush's shoes, he would be doing the exact same thing -- Soon, Iraq will have free elections and in time they will move to a peaceful and democratic state. Anyone that is frightened by what is happening in Iraq hasn't cracked a history book. After EVERY war there are times of turmoil. It takes years to go from a complete dictatorship and arrive at a quasi-peace -- like we have in the US.

Today, in the USA, people were kidnapped, people were murdered and it had nothing to do with the war in Iraq. Yesterday an Illinois Capital Guard was murdered on the statehouse steps -- are we losing "the war" in Illinois. No, and we are not losing the war in Iraq -- each day FOR MANY MONTHS, people will die -- it is sad, but it what must be done.

What we don’t see on the news is that most of Iraq is returning to semi-normality. But, happy free people don’t make the 6 o’clock news -- especially with news outlets that coordinate with the Kerry campaign to manufacture fake documents. Once the election is over, we will learn the truth about Iraq, we will see that we were never really losing it at all.

I honestly think that Kerry has done a wonderful job of keeping it close for a while, but the debates are just around the corner and Bush will start to really pull away – it won’t even be close – The truth is that the more people get to know Kerry, the less they like him – even those voting for Kerry are not really voting for him -- but against Bush.

Kerry really isn’t that strong of a candidate, that is why he doesn’t ever talk in anything but vague terms about what George Bush is doing wrong. He doesn’t have a plan or any ideas of his own and really isn’t the caliber of person needed to run the country. He is basically a stuffed shirt. I think the Dems are ceding this election to set up a real candidate -- Senator Clinton -- in 2008.

Prediction: Bush will be above 60% and Kerry below 40% in the next two weeks – but it will get a little closer on Nov 2.


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