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     Volume 4 Issue 16 | October 8, 2004 |

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The supah with the chutzpah
(or The boss at a loss)


Despite all his follies Yours Truly has nothing but praise for George 'Warmonger' Bush for the pluck he has shown by facing Live on television John Kerry in the first 2003 US presidential elections debate.

I mean, he could easily have feigned a tummy ache (you need to have a head to have a headache) for having too much of condoleezza rice. Or, more convincingly, as the supreme commander, he could have excused himself to bomb yet another Muslim country in search of wee pawns of much distraction, often referred to as WMD.

But the fearless man that he is (no president has ever died in a war), the man who uninvited and uninvitingly launched terrorism on terrorism, effective enough to isolate the USA from the rest of the world, has lived up to his unenviable reputation, that of defender of a pack of lies.

As remorseless after the first shot was fired in Afghanistan, as dress rehearsal for the inhuman attack on neighbouring Iraq with the lame excuse of humanising a nation that has a history and culture richer than that of Bushland, our brave warrior had the chutzpah to stand behind a lectern in full view of millions. He was not shaking, the world was; in fear and anger.

Frankly, if I had killed or maimed innocent men, women and children, was laden with the guilt of bombing a whole country in search of a Laden, lied to my voters to justify a predetermined war, endangered by own troops, saw coffins reaching my shore from a distant land, I would not have shown up at the debate with Kerry. But our man is more defiant than a mortal being. More importantly, I am not American.

In the first presidential debate on 30 September several statements made by the US president can be dubbed as misleading, as analysed against his previous declarations. Here follows a sextet (nothing to get excited about) picked from the net.

(1) Bush said: "My opponent looked at the same intelligence I looked at and declared in 2002 that Saddam Hussein was a grave threat."

FACT: White House manipulated Public Iraq Threat Assessment to mislead the USA into war. "The 90-page, classified [National Intelligence Estimate -- NIE] was deemed insufficient for a Congress deliberating on war or peace. Legislators needed to refer to a public document [called a White Paper], one that the American people themselves could read in order to decide whether Saddam posed an imminent threat. Unfortunately, the White Paper not only condensed but also distorted and manipulated the intelligence in the NIE to paint an even worse threat. Cautious evaluations were converted into assertions of fact, and conclusions were revised, not merely abridged, in order to make the strongest possible case for war." [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, p. 281]

(2) Bush said: "We'll give you all the equipment you need, and we'll get you home as soon as the mission's done, because this is a vital mission."

FACT: US Soldiers lacked armoured vehicles. In late March 2004, "Soldiers headed for Iraq are still buying their own body armour - and in many cases, their families are buying it for them - despite assurances from the military that the gear will be in hand before they're in harm's way. The Portland Press Herald wrote that "In early March, Sen. Susan Collins, Republican-Maine, questioned Acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee about the shortage of body armour and fortified Humvees for troops serving in Iraq. Sen. Tom Daschle, Democrat-S.D., said after a visit to Iraq in mid-June that U.S. forces still need better armoured equipment. Of the 15,000 Humvees in Iraq, about 1,500 to 2,000 are armoured, according to the Army." [Associated Press, 3/26/04)

(3) Bush said: "NATO is helping now [in Iraq]."

FACT: Today there are only 40 NATO trainers in Iraq. [AP, 9/22/04]

(4) Bush said: "We've allocated $7 billion over the next months for reconstruction efforts. And we're making progress there."

FACT: Iraqis won't see reconstruction money for at least a year. "Despite President Bush's promise to spend $9 billion on reconstruction contracts in Iraq in coming months, administration and congressional officials said on Thursday it could take more than a year to pay out that much money." [Reuters, 9/30/04]

(5) Bush said: "There will be elections in January."

FACT: Rumsfeld said elections will be denied to some Iraqis. Rumsfeld: "If there were to be an area where the extremists focused during the election period, and an election was not possible in that area at that time, so be it. You have the rest of the election and you go on. Life's not perfect," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee. [AP, 9/23/04]

Powell: "It doesn't mean that everybody got to vote on that particular day. What's our turnout on any particular day for a variety of reasons? So, we don't need a 100-percent turnout of every single citizen." [Fox News Sunday, 9/26/04]

(6) Bush said: "We've also changed the culture of the FBI to have counterterrorism as its number one priority. We're communicating better."

FACT: Many Al Qaeda recordings not being transcribed. "Audio recordings that relate to Al Qaeda investigations are supposed to be reviewed within 12 hours of interception under F.B.I. policy. But the report found that deadline was missed in 36 percent of nearly 900 cases that the inspector general reviewed. In 50 Al Qaeda cases, it took at least a month for the F.B.I. to translate material. The F.B.I. 'has not prioritized its workload nationwide to ensure a zero backlog in the F.B.I.'s highest priority cases - counterterrorism cases and, in particular, Al Qaeda cases,' the report found." [NYT, 9/28/04]

Manipulative, disloyal, friendless, deceitful, partially democratic and inefficient these are virtues not palatable to voters even in the most despicable of places on earth. The world has more trust in the American people than that. The time is nearing for them to establish that they are as human as the Iraqi child bathed in blood.


Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2004