Friday, October 29, 2004
– John Kerry at a rally of 80,000+ in Madison, Wis. yesterday.
THIS IS IT: Closing Argument
Well, it's just about time for all this silliness to end. I've been desperately trying to come up with a way to end this thing, but frankly, I'm at a loss for words at this point... oh, who am I kidding?? I have a few more things to say... excuse me while I rant one last time.
The reasons to vote against Bush next Tuesday are too numerous to summarize into one post, in fact, there are at least 1,000 reasons. But since Iraq and the War on Terror, which are not the same thing by the way, seem to be the overriding concerns amongst the voting public, let's just concentrate on those issues.
It's important to realize that many of us who are voting for Kerry aren't necessarily against the War on Terror. Despite what the Bush camp wants the masses to believe, we do realize there are 'evil-doers' out there intending to do us harm and that we have to fight them. No, what we have concerns about is how that war has been waged. What's even more important to realize is that this is John Kerry's position too. The Bush people have made a concerted effort to paint Kerry as some flower-wearing, tree-hugging, Fonda-loving hippie who will yank our troops out immediately and abandon the war on terror altogether. This is simply not true.
That said, let's just assume for a minute that the US incursion into Iraq is a just war and that it is essential in the war on terror, (both claims that I disagree with by the way). But assuming that, shouldn't we at least hold Bush accountable for fucking it up so badly?
- His own administration has admitted that the intelligence they relied on was dubious. Their hand-picked goldenboy Ahmad Chalabi, who they seem to have based their entire rationale for war on, turned out to be a power-hungry crook.
- The Bush administration has admitted that there are no, and won't be any, WMDs.
- Bush then felt it appropriate to joke about those missing WMDs. For shame.
- More than one investigation, reluctantly launched by the White House itself, has revealed there were no ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. Even Don Rumsfeld has admitted there were no ties, yet Dick Cheney continues to insist there were.
- Bush's own people (Bremer, et al) have said there were never enough troops on the ground, which has led to the chaos and danger that exists today.
- Bush's own people have admitted they had no plan to deal with insurgents and general chaos after rolling into Baghdad. They were so convinced they'd be greeted as liberators they slipped thousands of US flags into the country so Iraqis would have something to wave for the cameras. Talk about a miscalculation. Talk about living in a fantasy world.
- How do you create a plan for war without thinking about 'no-shit' contingencies such as protecting nearly 400 tons of dangerous weapons?
- According to the White House-commissioned Duelfer report, "the danger of a devastating attack with unconventional weapons has grown since the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq last year."
- How do you let something like Abu Ghraib happen without firing a single person? Abu Ghraib instilled more hatred for the US in the Muslim world than anyone probably ever thought possible, and that doesn't bode well for the safety of America.
- We were told prior to the war that it would be an "affordable endeavor" costing somewhere between $50 and $60 billion. The Iraq war has cost $280 billion and growing.
- But Halliburton has made a killing.
- Remember "Shock and Awe"?
- Remember "Mission Accomplished"?
- CIA Official, 1 month ago: "The best we can hope for is a semi-failed state hobbling along with terrorists and a succession of weak governments." Yep, sounds like Mission Accomplished to me.
- Remember "Bring It On"? 905 US soldiers have died since that ill-advised Bush bravado.
- Bush before the war: "Oh no, we're not going to have any casualties." At last count, 1,112 dead soldiers Mr. President. And for what?
Whether you agree or don't agree that the Iraq war was a necessary fight in the War on Terror, you can't argue that this misadventure has been nothing but one giant fuck-up after another. You just can't. Can anyone imagine what the Republicans would be doing right now if Al Gore or any Democrat had been responsible for all of this?? They would not only have impeached him by now, they probably would've strung him up by his ankles on the Mall in DC and ordered the citizenry to pummel him with stones. Bill Clinton was almost impeached over a fucking blow job!
I just don't understand how anyone, in good conscience, can support this guy. I'd love to hear a good reason from a Bush supporter, but I haven't yet. In fact, most people who support Bush seem to be doing so out of blind faith, not logic. Most of them are also completely misinformed. A recent survey revealed that three out of four Bush supporters still believe Iraq had WMDs and that Saddam had ties to al Qaeda. And 42% of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. And how is this possible? Because this is how the Bush administration wants it. They know that if people knew the facts, they'd be out on their ears faster than you can say "incompetence."
I don't feel safe. I'm frightened to death by this president's stubborn, fundamentalist, simplistic, black-and-white mentality. If you feel safe, consider this: The Bush administration granted $50 million to the investigation of the space shuttle Columbia disaster, yet only $3 million to the 9/11 Commission's investigation into the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history. These people fought tooth and nail against the creation of that very commission, and we still don't know why. The Bush cabal isn't interested in living in the world; they're interested in owning it. Four more years of these people, without the fear of being voted out, would be an absolute disaster – no matter how low your taxes go.
The Bush administration isn't fighting so hard for re-election because they care about the people. They are running for their own lives. They are fighting to protect their own legacies. They know that if they lose next Tuesday, the house will come tumbling down. All their lies, their cover-ups and their misleads will be revealed. They need four more years to clean up the mess they've made so they won't go down in the history books as the most corrupt, crooked and incompetent administration in history. That's why they're fighting so hard. They're not fighting for you, their fighting for themselves.
Am I willing to make a wager on who's going to win? No f'ing way. The only thing I know for certain, is that we won't know who won come November 3rd. Remember Florida 2000? I think we can count on at least three identical battles post vote-count in 2004. Let's say Ohio, Michigan and yes, Florida once again. Thousands of lawyers are already on the ground in key swing states. Election monitors have been brought in from foreign countries. More than 58,000 ballots have gone missing in Florida. They're talking about dangling chads in Ohio. It's already begun. Democrats have been accused of fraudulently signing up new voters (sometimes in exchange for crack!) in efforts to turn out the vote, while Republicans have been accused of suppressing voters in an effort to turn them away (shredding votes in Nevada, "caging" black voters in Jacksonville). Apparently, as Don Rumsfeld once said, Democracy really is messy.
And with that disturbing and uncertain thought, we bid a final farewell to this seemingly never-ending election season. We'll miss the tears, the laughter, the pandering, and of course, all that hypocrisy. We'll miss the bulges, the wood, and the Internets. We'll miss the goose hunts, the wolves and the windsurfing. We'll miss the Michael Moores, the Zell Millers, the Jon Stewarts. We'll miss the McCain conundrum, the Dan Rather embarrassment and the Shove-it Ketchup Queen. We'll miss Arnold's love of Nixon, Rudy's shameless exploitation of 9/11, and Clinton's inability to stay out of the spotlight. We'll miss Mary Cheney's silence, Alexandra Kerry's boobies and the Bush Twins. We'll miss P.Diddy's "Vote or Die" and Bruce Springsteen's "Vote for Change." We'll miss the NASCAR Dads, the Security Moms and those ever-present undecideds. We'll even miss those zany Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. And we won't ever forget Poland.
But most people, I suspect, are just plain sick of it all and will be happy when it's all over... whenever that is. And frankly, as much as I love this shit, I could use a break too. I'll be happy, no matter who wins, to unchain myself from this blog for a little while. (My girlfriend will be happy too, I think she's forgotten what I look like. Don't worry babe, it's almost over.)
I'm headed down to DC this weekend for what is, hopefully, one last gander at George W. Bush's temporary residence. Perhaps I should bring him some parting gifts, a bouquet of balloons, some chocolates, or maybe a bag full of pretzels. I'm not sure about that, but there is one thing I'll certainly be giving Mr. Bush while I'm down there standing in front of the White House lawn: A one-finger wave goodbye.
So long George, we'll be happy when you're gone... and please take your Dick with you when you go, ok?
Read This: 100 Facts and 1 Opinion (more 'must-reads' on the right)
"Extending the war into Iraq would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Exceeding the U.N.'s mandate would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." – From "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" by George Bush [Sr.] and Brent Scowcroft, Time Magazine, 1998
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality...we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." - A senior Bush adviser, to writer Ron Suskind. Read more here.
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