Interesting look at election time ads and doublespeak

  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Bush campaign accents the negative
    Scholars say volume of attacks is unprecedentedBy Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei

    Updated: 12:43 a.m. ET May 31, 2004It was a typical week in the life of the Bush reelection machine.


    Last Monday in Little Rock, Vice President Cheney said Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry "has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all" and said the senator from Massachusetts "promised to repeal most of the Bush tax cuts within his first 100 days in office."

    On Tuesday, President Bush's campaign began airing an ad saying Kerry would scrap wiretaps that are needed to hunt terrorists.

    The same day, the Bush campaign charged in a memo sent to reporters and through surrogates that Kerry wants to raise the gasoline tax by 50 cents.

    * More politics coverage

    On Wednesday and Thursday, as Kerry campaigned in Seattle, he was greeted by another Bush ad alleging that Kerry now opposes education changes that he supported in 2001.

    The charges were all tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading. Kerry did not question the war on terrorism, has proposed repealing tax cuts only for those earning more than $200,000, supports wiretaps, has not endorsed a 50-cent gasoline tax increase in 10 years, and continues to support the education changes, albeit with modifications.

    Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented -- both in speeches and in advertising.

    Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total. The figures were compiled by The Washington Post using data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group of the top 100 U.S. markets. Both campaigns said the figures are accurate.

    The assault on Kerry is multi-tiered: It involves television ads, news releases, Web sites and e-mail, and statements by Bush spokesmen and surrogates -- all coordinated to drive home the message that Kerry has equivocated and "flip-flopped" on Iraq, support for the military, taxes, education and other matters.

    "There is more attack now on the Bush side against Kerry than you've historically had in the general-election period against either candidate," said University of Pennsylvania professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an authority on political communication. "This is a very high level of attack, particularly for an incumbent."

    Brown University professor Darrell West, author of a book on political advertising, said Bush's level of negative advertising is already higher than the levels reached in the 2000, 1996 and 1992 campaigns. And because campaigns typically become more negative as the election nears, "I'm anticipating it's going to be the most negative campaign ever," eclipsing 1988, West said. "If you compare the early stage of campaigns, virtually none of the early ads were negative, even in '88."

    In terms of the magnitude of the distortions, those who study political discourse say Bush's are no worse than those that have been done since, as Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar put it, "the beginning of time."

    Kerry, too, has made his own misleading statements and exaggerations. For example, he said in a speech last week about Iraq: "They have gone it alone when they should have assembled a whole team." That is not true. There are about 25,000 allied troops from several nations, particularly Britain, in Iraq. Likewise, Kerry said several times last week that Bush has spent $80 million on negative and misleading ads -- a significant overstatement. Kerry also suggested several times last week that Bush opposed increasing spending on several homeland defense programs; in fact, Bush has proposed big increases in homeland security but opposed some Democratic attempts to increase spending even more in some areas. Kerry's rhetoric at rallies is also often much harsher and more personal than Bush's.

    But Bush has outdone Kerry in the number of untruths, in part because Bush has leveled so many specific charges (and Kerry has such a lengthy voting record), but also because Kerry has learned from the troubles caused by Al Gore's misstatements in 2000. "The balance of misleading claims tips to Bush," Jamieson said, "in part because the Kerry team has been more careful."

    Attacks get early start
    The attacks have started unusually early -- even considering the accelerated primary calendar -- in part because Bush was responding to a slew of attacks on his record during the Democratic primaries, in which the rivals criticized him more than one another. And because the Bush campaign has spent an unprecedented sum on advertising at this early stage of the campaign, "the average voter is getting a much more negative impression," said Ken Goldstein, who tracks political advertising at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

    From the president and Cheney down to media aides stationed in every battleground state and volunteers who dress up like Flipper the flip-flopping dolphin at rallies, the Bush campaign relentlessly portrays Kerry as elitist, untrustworthy, liberal and a flip-flopper on major issues. This campaign is persistent and methodical, and it often revs up on Monday mornings with the strategically timed release of ads or damaging attacks on Kerry, including questioning medical and service records in Vietnam and his involvement in the peace movement afterward. Often, they knock Kerry off message and force him to deflect personal questions.

    Sometimes the charges ring true. Last week, Kerry told NBC: "I'm for the Patriot Act, but I'm not for the Patriot Act the way they abuse the Constitution." That brought to mind Kerry's much-mocked contention in March on Iraq spending: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

    But often they distort Kerry's record and words to undermine the candidate or reinforce negative perceptions of him.

    One constant theme of the Bush campaign is that Kerry is "playing politics" with Iraq, terrorism and national security. Earlier this month, Bush-Cheney Chairman Marc Racicot told reporters in a conference call that Kerry suggested in a speech that 150,000 U.S. troops are "universally responsible" for the misdeeds of a few soldiers at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison -- a statement the candidate never made. In that one call, Racicot made at least three variations of this claim and the campaign cut off a reporter when he was challenged on it.

    In early March, Bush charged that Kerry had proposed a $1.5 billion cut in the intelligence budget that would "gut the intelligence services." Kerry did propose such a cut in 1995, but it amounted to about 1 percent of the overall intelligence budget and was smaller than the $3.8 billion cut the Republican-led Congress approved for the same program Kerry was targeting.

    The campaign ads, which are most scrutinized, have produced a torrent of misstatements. On March 11, the Bush team released a spot saying that in his first 100 days in office Kerry would "raise taxes by at least $900 billion." Kerry has said no such thing; the number was developed by the Bush campaign's calculations of Kerry's proposals.

    On March 30, the Bush team released an ad noting that Kerry "supported a 50-cent-a-gallon gas tax" and saying, "If Kerry's tax increase were law, the average family would pay $657 more a year." But Kerry opposes an increase in the gasoline tax. The ad is based on a 10-year-old newspaper quotation of Kerry but implies that the proposal is current.

    Other Bush claims, though misleading, are rooted in facts. For example, Cheney's claim in almost every speech that Kerry "has voted some 350 times for higher taxes" includes any vote in which Kerry voted to leave taxes unchanged or supported a smaller tax cut than some favored.

    Stretching the truth
    Incumbent presidents often prefer to run on their records in office, juxtaposing upbeat messages with negative shots at their opponents, as Bill Clinton did in 1996.

    Scott Reed, who ran Robert J. Dole's presidential campaign that year, said the Bush campaign has little choice but to deliver a constant stream of such negative charges. With low poll numbers and a volatile situation in Iraq, Bush has more hope of tarnishing Kerry's image than promoting his own.

    "The Bush campaign is faced with the hard, true fact that they have to keep their boot on his neck and define him on their terms," Reed said. That might risk alienating some moderate voters or depressing turnout, "but they don't have a choice," he said.

    The strategy was in full operation last week, beginning Monday in Arkansas. "Senator Kerry," Cheney said, "has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all. He said, quote, 'I don't want to use that terminology.' In his view, opposing terrorism is far less of a military operation and more of a law enforcement operation."

    But Kerry did not say what Cheney attributes to him. The quote Cheney used came from a March interview with the New York Times, in which Kerry used the phrase "war on terror." When he said "I don't want to use that terminology," he was discussing the "economic transformation" of the Middle East -- not the war on terrorism.

    On Tuesday, the Bush campaign held a conference call to discuss its new ad, which charged that Kerry was "pressured by fellow liberals" to oppose wiretaps, subpoena powers and surveillance in the USA Patriot Act. "Kerry would now repeal the Patriot Act's use of these tools against terrorists," the ad said.

    Kerry has proposed modifying those provisions by mandating tougher judicial controls over wiretaps and subpoenas, but not repealing them. In the conference call, Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman was prodded to offer evidence that Kerry was pressured by liberals or that Kerry opposed wiretaps. He offered no direct evidence, saying only that Kerry objected to the Patriot Act after liberals did, and that "a common-sense reading indicates he intends to repeal those important tools."

    Meanwhile, Kerry was greeted in Oregon and Washington state with television ads paid for by the Bush campaign that underscore what ad analysts call the negativity and misleading nature of many of the Bush TV spots. One titled "Doublespeak" pulls quotes from several major newspapers to argue that Kerry has waffled on major issues and has often said one thing and done another. The quotes, however, are often from editorials, sometimes from opinion pages hostile toward Kerry, such as that of the Wall Street Journal.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, as Kerry talked about rising gasoline prices, the Bush campaign recycled its charge that Kerry supports raising the gasoline tax by 50 cents per gallon. This was done in a memo to reporters and through Bush surrogates such as Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.). The Bush-Cheney Web site also features a "Kerry Gas Tax Calculator," allowing users to learn "How much more would he cost you?"

    In Thursday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tracey Schmitt, regional spokeswoman for Bush-Cheney '04, echoed the point: "John Kerry helped block the bill in the Senate and is now inserting himself into the debate in a blatant display of political opportunism. Senator Kerry supported higher gas taxes at least 11 times, including a 50-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax," Schmitt said.

    On Thursday, after Kerry delivered a major foreign policy address, the Bush campaign dispatched Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to make this statement to the Green Bay Press-Gazette in his home state: "John Kerry has a history of making proposals and casting votes that would decrease America's safety." Kerry was campaigning in Green Bay on Thursday and Friday.

    It is true Kerry has voted numerous times to eliminate weapons systems and opposed the 1991 Iraq war. But Cheney voted against many of those same weapons systems, and Kerry has voted for several defense increases, especially in recent years.

    At Bush campaign headquarters on Thursday, Mehlman held a conference call with Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and George Allen (R-Va.) to level similar charges. "For John Kerry, the war in Iraq and the overall war on terror are a political game of Twister," Mehlman said.

    Mehlman also drew reporters' attention to a new feature on the Bush Web site, allowing visitors to "Track Kerry's Shifting Positions on Iraq." That feature joined a Web log that points out negative coverage of Kerry, a feature called "John Kerry: The Raw Deal," "The Kerry Line," "Kerry Flip Flop of the Day," and "Journeys with John," a Kerry itinerary allowing people to see why "John Kerry is wrong for your state."

    On Wednesday, a Bush memo charged that Kerry "led the fight against creating the Department of Homeland Security." While Kerry did vote against the Bush version multiple times, it is not true that he led the fight, but rather was one of several Democrats who held out for different labor agreements as part of its creation. Left unsaid is that, in the final vote, Kerry supported the department -- which Bush initially opposed.

    Staff writer Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.

    2004 The Washington Post Company
  4. by   elkpark
    Well, the poor dears have no positive accomplishments of their own to run on, so there's nothing left but slandering the opponent. It's a shame so many people fall for it ...
  5. by   Mkue
    Interesting fergus, I would have to agree that the incumbant appears to have come out full force with ads.. etc.. But I also remember that Kerry spent 3-4 months attacking Bush and Bush did nothing, said nothing, Bush continued to focus on the war in Iraq while Kerry, Lieberman, Dean, Edwards, Kucinich..etc.. continually bashed him and his policies. These candidates including Kerry excited the anti-bush, anti-war crowd for several months and the mainstream media covered almost every soundbite and speech. Kerry I believe stated he was the "anti-war candidate" on one of the political talk shows. But yet Kerry states he would send more troops to Iraq if elected.

    The Bush ads are bringing attention to Kerry's flip/floppings and reversals of statements which I believe as a voter in this election I need to know and decide for myself if these are important or not in my decision.

    We must also remember that Kerry has Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore, Howard Dean and many others who are working on the sideline to help Kerry. Whether they are beneficial to Kerry is another question.
    Last edit by mkue on May 31, '04
  6. by   donmurray
    Flip-flops and reversals....

    The appointment of Iyad Allawi as Iraq's interim Prime Minister this weekend was being seen as an American-backed coup which wrong-footed Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations envoy supposed to be putting together the interim government which will wield "sovereignty" after 30 June.

    The more that is learnt, however, about the sudden emergence of Mr Allawi, a man close to the CIA and MI6, the more it appears the appointment of the new government has been hijacked by the ambitious politicians of the Iraqi Governing Council - the very body it was meant to replace. The only question is whom the IGC was conspiring with as its members picked jobs for themselves.

    But whatever the answer, the appointment of Mr Allawi is the culmination of a series of spectacular U-turns that has given President George Bush and his administration the appearance of lurching in a panic from one flawed policy on Iraq to the next. Since last November every decision seems to have been taken with an eye to one political event alone: Mr Bush's bid for re-election this November.

    Originally, it was Ahmad Chalabi the Americans - and in particular Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon - appeared to be grooming as their future tame man in Baghdad, but in recent weeks Mr Chalabi has fallen from grace in Washington. He has now been accused of deliberately duping the US and Britain into war with false intelligence about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction; some even allege he did at the behest of Iranian intelligence.

    Originally the US wanted to hand over sovereignty to an expanded version of the IGC, mostly made up of former Iraqi opposition leaders who returned from exile with the American tanks. But the spiritual leader of Iraq's Shia majority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, demanded elections before any handover. The Americans called for the UN's Mr Brahimi, who was involved in setting up the transitional government in Afghanistan, to decide whether early elections were possible - in other words, to convince Ayatollah Sistani they were not.

    Mr Brahimi duly obliged, and was asked to stay on and find a new interim government acceptable to the ayatollah and Iraqis in general. He let it be known he would pass over the IGC's members and choose a government of technocrats, but the council has now announced the appointment one of its own members as Prime Minister. And not just any member, but one who looks distinctly like Ahmad Chalabi Mark II.

    Like Mr Chalabi, Mr Allawi heads his own Iraqi opposition group, and has long cultivated links with Western intelligence agencies - first MI6, and more recently the CIA. He passed intelligence to the US and Britain ahead of the war, including, it is reported, the notorious claim that Iraq could deploy WMD with 45 minutes.

    Some US spokesmen seemed as mystified as everyone else when the IGC made its move, at first saying Mr Allawi was only the council's suggestion, not a final choice, which would be for Mr Brahimi to make. The US occupation governor in Iraq, Paul Bremer, was apparently with the council for an hour before Mr Brahimi was summoned to be informed of the decision.

    Mr Brahimi's statement that he welcomed Mr Allawi's appointment, which effectively sealed it, sounded like nothing so much as a man relieved to pass the buck on an awkward question. But in outflanking the UN, Mr Bremer and his political masters have sacrificed much credibility for an interim government that is already the subject of huge scepticism both in Iraq and abroad.

    How different from what has gone before. Mr Bush prides himself on his unbending sense of purpose. In fact, since he landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln on 1 May 2003 for arguably the most hubristic photo-op in modern times, events have forced one change of plan for Iraq after another.

    Little more than a year ago, the neo-conservatives who dominate US foreign policy were rampant, peddling their vision of a Pax Americana throughout the Middle East, in which the road to Jerusalem and a lasting Israeli-Palestinian settlement ran through a newly democratic Baghdad. Today Messrs Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and the rest have fallen quiet. Hardly had the "Mission Accomplished" banner been removed from the Abraham Lincoln's flight deck than the forced tinkerings began, of which the anointing of Mr Allawi is merely the latest.

    The proconsul

    Retired General Jay Garner was the official originally named to head reconstruction efforts. But as lawlessness mounted, he was considered ineffectual. After exactly a month General Garner was replaced by the former diplomat Paul Bremer, on 11 May 2003, in charge of the Coalition Provisional Authority. It was already apparent the US had grossly underestimated the difficulties.

    Rebuilding Iraq

    The original price tag was $50bn, and Mr Wolfowitz, deputy Secretary of Defence, predicted that reconstruction would soon be self-financing, thanks to a jump in Iraqi oil output. A year on, as violence and sabotage of oil installations continues, output is struggling to get back to Saddam-era levels. Mr Bush has now gone to Congress three times, for a total $187bn of Iraq funding. The occupation alone costs $4bn a month. The White House warned last week that if Mr Bush is re-elected, federal spending will have to be cut.

    Troop levels

    The administration has been forced to eat its words. Plans were for the US contingent to be scaled back to under 100,000 by now. Last Monday Mr Bush announced that it would be kept at the current 138,000 for the foreseeable future, and increased if necessary. The trouble predates the invasion itself. Several senior commanders warned that an occupation force of 250,000 or 300,000 was needed. General Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of Staff, warned against "a 12-division strategy with a 10-division army". But the civilian Pentagon leadership disowned him and Gen Shinseki paid for his frankness with his job. The Pentagon is now paying the price for ignoring him.

    The constitution

    In mid-November 2003 came the biggest course correction of all. With plans for a new constitution foundering and US forces growing more unpopular by the day, Mr Bremer rushed back to Washington for consultations. Instead of waiting for a new constitution to be drawn up - a process that could take years - the US junked its existing seven-stage, multi-year plan and decided to transfer power to the transitional government that assumes power in 32 days' time. That government would preside over elections for an assembly This body is meant to produce a constitution, on the basis of which Iraq would hold its first election for a permanent government, all by the end of 2005. But Mr Bush still dares not set a firm date for the withdrawal of US troops. Critics accordingly accuse him of still lacking an exit strategy. The President says "full" sovereignty will be transferred on 30 June. But what does "full" mean?

    Disbanding the army

    The US was supposed to train a new Iraqi security force, but this has proved woefully inadequate. In the past two months the CPA has twice reversed course. De-Baathification was ditched when the US gave responsibility for policing the flashpoint Sunni city of Fallujah to a force under a senior Saddam-era Iraqi commander. The same could happen in the Shia south, where the US struck a deal with the rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf under which local militias are taking over some security tasks. The about-turn is further admission that the US doesn't have the troops, or the respect of the local citizenry, to do the job.

    'Foreign fighters'

    When it revised its plans last November, the US said that it would use heavy weaponry, including fixed-wing aircraft, to destroy what Mr Rumsfeld called "foreign fighters and dead-enders". That approach has been tacitly dropped, as the last thing likely to win the "hearts and minds" of ordinary Iraqis.

    UN involvement

    Having spent two years cold-shouldering the United Nations, Washington appeared to have no choice but to place the destiny of Iraq largely in the hands of Mr Brahimi, an Algerian Sunni, whose views on Israel are anathema to many in the US government. The way he has been outmanoeuvred, however, may bedevil relations with the world body once more, and complicate the passage of the UN resolution on Iraq so desperately needed - not least by Tony Blair - to heal international rifts.

    American bases

    For the hawks in the Pentagon one of the key geo-strategic goals of the invasion of Iraq was to secure a new desert "aircraft-carrier" in the Gulf, once US forces were withdrawn from Saudi Arabia. There was talk of American forces pulling out of the populated areas of Iraq within months, and establishing up to five permanent bases in desert areas granted to them by a grateful Iraqi administration. So unpopular is the US in Iraq that all public mention of such plans has ceased.

    Mid-east democracy

    Since the uprisings against the occupying forces there has been less talk among Washington's neo-conservatives of a "democratic" Iraq as a model for the region, a policy particularly passionately esoused by MrWolfowitz. Officials now speak merely of a stable and secure Iraq. Next week's G8 summit, which will be dominated by Iraq, was originally to launch a "Greater Middle East Initiative" bringing reform to the Muslim world.

    Thanks to the Iraq shambles, compounded by the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, the project is virtually dead in the water. Last week USA Today reported that a draft document for the summit says: "Change should not and cannot be imposed from the outside." This phrase is likely to strike Middle Eastern states as particularly ironic. A regional conference to promote democracy has also been scaled back.

    No flip-flops there to speak of, are there?
  7. by   Mkue
    Don, "There Is No Model "Occupation" and war is full of many things that can't be anticipated. Especially difficult when creating a government for the first time for people who were never allowed to vote. I think it's kind of historical.
  8. by   elkpark
    Didn't you get the memo, Don?? If Kerry changes his mind over time about an issue, it's because he can't make up his mind about anything, can't take a position and stick with it, flip-flops on everything, etc. When Shrub changes his position on everything he's ever taken a position on, it's not flip-flopping -- those of us who aren't Bushies just don't understand ... After all, he never makes a mistake, so ...
  9. by   Mkue
    The media ignored the president's speech
    This, after criticism that he hasn't delivered a clear message

    The four major networks ignored the president Monday as well. They instead broadcast a reality TV show, a beauty pageant, a sitcom, and a rerun of the movie "A Beautiful Mind."

    But John Nash wasn't the only one suffering from schizophrenia. You could also find traces of the illness in newsrooms across some of America's most elite media outlets who said they wanted the president to speak on Iraq. And when he did, they turned their backs and ignored him.

    Oh well, at least the American people got to watch a sitcom, beauty pageant and rerun.
  10. by   fergus51
    My point in posting this article wasn't to start a "Bush is bad" or "Kerry is bad" party. I just think it's interesting to see how easily both sides manipulate and stretch the truth, or just plain lie, and the uneducated or uninformed public doesn't even know. People are making decisions about politics based on misinformation and half-truths.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from mkue
    The media ignored the president's speech
    This, after criticism that he hasn't delivered a clear message

    The four major networks ignored the president Monday as well. They instead broadcast a reality TV show, a beauty pageant, a sitcom, and a rerun of the movie "A Beautiful Mind."

    But John Nash wasn't the only one suffering from schizophrenia. You could also find traces of the illness in newsrooms across some of America's most elite media outlets who said they wanted the president to speak on Iraq. And when he did, they turned their backs and ignored him.

    Oh well, at least the American people got to watch a sitcom, beauty pageant and rerun.
    ..."He could have and should have done this frequently, starting 14 month ago ...long before the security situation in Iraq became as fraught with violence and potential disaster as it now appears to be and long before the public, en masse, began to lose faith in his presidency."...

    I watched the President on Monday night giving the first of five weekly addresses to the world and the nation. It is understandable why the over-the-air broadcast networks left it to the cable channels to carry his message. It was aimed at the voters of the United States with the hope that he would be able to bolster his standing in the various polls.
    He could have and should have done this frequently, starting 14 month ago ...long before the security situation in Iraq became as fraught with violence and potential disaster as it now appears to be and long before the public, en masse, began to lose faith in his presidency. We need to have laid out for us a serious plan that doesn't cease with the hand-over scheduled for June 30th. He must find a way of bonding with the international community (that his administration so scorned at the outset of the war) and internationalize the attempt to have a free Iraq. There are answers if only Mr. Bush and Cheney would listen and one of the better ideas has been put forth by his erstwhile challenger John Kerry; he has proposed restructuring the military force in Iraq under NATO, with an American commander. There's a summit of the NATO nations in June and this is where he should show statesmanship and pursue the idea. Sadly, we have a chief executive who will never admit failings or shortcomings and failure is not in his vocabulary.

    He spoke on Monday at the War College of his five points. They were, in essence, just a listing of things that must be done about which we have heard over and over.
    In his address Mr. Bush said that the one way to secure Iraq is through self-governing democracy and he added that only representative self-government would deny the terrorists the pretext they need to kill. It is only through self-government that Iraq can become secure. Maybe.

    Maybe they don't want a democracy. Perhaps they don't yearn for what we take for granted and appreciate: liberty and pluralism.

    Mr. President, your question for the day; you said in your address that you know that the Iraqis are democrats at heart. Are you sure? Who are our enemies there? David Brooks in the New York Times posed basically the same question, putting it this way, "Are they the small minority of Baathists and Jihadists, or is there a little bit of Moktada al-Sadr in every Iraqi's breast?"

    Mr. President the longer we have control there, the worse things become. We've poured so many billions of dollars into this war and so many lives have been lost: approaching 800 of our own and countless Iraqis. Thousands of our men and women wounded and so many Iraqis young and old.

    Bluntly stated, the cost of this war is approaching something like $200 billion.A whole lot of that money is the result of failed leadership.

    On Capitol Hill, just a few days ago, Gen. Richard Myers, the Joint Chiefs Chairman, told senators that while there is no way this country can lose militarily in Iraq, there's also "no way to militarily win." Wow, and that from our top military man. We have the most advanced technological weaponry in the world, and vast superiority in every military aspect; from missiles to air-power and that doesn't guarantee a victory! Mr. President, work a little harder, please.
  12. by   Mkue
    Quote from spacenurse
    ..."He could have and should have done this frequently, starting 14 month ago ...long before the security situation in Iraq became as fraught with violence and potential disaster as it now appears to be and long before the public, en masse, began to lose faith in his presidency."...
    I wonder if the major networks would have shown an address/speech 14 months ago. The President also gives Saturday morning radio addresses regularly. So my question is.. do the networks really want to know the Plans for Iraq or are their minds already made up?
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    14 months ago the war had been going on less than a month. The news almost nothing but imbedded reporters giving the administrations version of events and interviews with generals. I cannot imagine they would have loved to have the Commander in Chief giving the American People the Plan.

    Sorry but when conservative pundits ask, "Why are we not getting the 'good news' from Iraq?" when the 'newest prime minister was just assasinated it starts to seem one sided.
    Just a matter of perspective.
    CNN reported "speculation" that Al Qaeda prefers Kerry; Center for American Progress urged: "E-mail Kelli Arena"

    On CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports on May 27, CNN justice correspondent Kelli Arena reported, "There is some speculation that Al Qaeda believes it has a better chance of winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White House."

    The Center for American Progress (CAP) reported Arena's statement on its Web page titled "The Progress Report": "Yesterday, CNN Justice Department correspondent Kelli Arena spread the unsubstantiated myth that al Qaeda has a preference in the upcoming U.S. elections." CAP noted, "Arena's comment came on the same day Kerry called for 40,000 more troops in Iraq."
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 1, '04