comes the important bit: deconstructing the presidential
debate, a process known in some circles as "spin."
this piece is spin. I'll give Kerry the same pass
the media in general gave Putsch in 2000, and
assume that since he didn't fall down, burst into
tears, or crap his pants while the cameras were
on, he showed that he had what it took to lead
this country. So I declared Kerry the winner several
weeks ago. With that out of the way, we can talk
about the debate.
this is where I have a big advantage over the
Putsch supporters. I can do my spinning based
on what the candidates actually said, instead
of worrying about whether anyone was dressing
as an alpha male, or sighing, or sounded too knowledgeable
to be president of all the marching morons of
topic of the debate was foreign policy, which
amounted to discussion on the war on terrorism,
Iraq, North Korea, and Iran. Kerry described Iraq
as a "colossal mistake" and Bush accused him of
trying to have it both ways, supporting the war
in 2003 and opposing it now. That gave Kerry the
opportunity to note that Putsch had said "to America
that he was going to build a true alliance, that
he would exhaust the remedies of the United Nations
and go through the inspections." That, Kerry said,
was what he voted for when he gave Putsch authorization.
the 10% of viewers who normally get all their
news from Faux, that might have been quite a revelation,
assuming they didn't just hit the mute button
every time Kerry spoke.
of the more hilarious flip-flops Putsch made was
on the topic of what foreign leaders want. He
responded to an assertion by Kerry that the invasion
of Iraq had been a bonanza, both for Osama bin
Laden and the recruiters for terrorist groups
world wide, by saying that the United States,
not bin Laden, should decide America's strategy
in the war on terror. Then, a few minutes later,
when asked about staging bilateral talks with
North Korea instead of the apparently permanently
stalled six way talks, replied, "That's just what
Kim Il Jung wants, and so we're not going to do
bin Laden can't determine US policy, but apparently
Kim Il Jung can.
Kerry questioned the reality of the so-called
"Coalition of the Willing" Putsch declaimed that
Kerry had forgotten to mention Poland (a country
in the midst of bailing on Iraq) and accused Kerry
of "denigrating our allies." -- apparently for
not mentioning an ally that had already announced
they were bugging out. And Putsch did his best
to ignore Kerry's assertion that in Iraq, the
US had "90 percent of the casualties in Iraq and
90 percent of the costs." Great Britain makes
up about another 8% of each, leaving the rest
of the "Coalition of the Willing" to handle that
vital 2% that makes all the difference in how
well Iraq is going.
has apparently decided to drop the pretense that
he isn't in a war against Islam, declaring, "In
Iraq, [...]an enemy realizes the stakes. The enemy
understands a free Iraq will be a major defeat
in their ideology of hatred. That's why they're
fighting so vociferously."
pity they weren't fighting vociferously. That
would save everyone a lot of trouble. But I was
curious as to who this enemy was. Was Putsch still
trying to pretend that the Iraqi people loved
the American occupiers, and that the disturbances
in Iraq were just the result of outside agitators?
Putsch just kept repeating how resolute he was,
and unswerving. (When your car is headed toward
a telephone pole at 85 mph, "unswerving" isn't
a virtue. Putsch apparently hasn't noticed the
telephone pole yet). Kerry punched back, saying,
"This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal
error of judgment. And judgment is what we look
for in the president of the United States of America...I'm
proud that important military figures who are
supporting me in this race: former Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili;
just yesterday, General Eisenhower's son, General
John Eisenhower, endorsed me; Admiral William
Crowe; General Tony McPeak, who ran the Air Force
war so effectively for his father -- all believe
I would make a stronger commander in chief. And
they believe it because they know I would not
take my eye off of the goal: Osama bin Laden."
is fine, and Kerry considers himself resolute.
"But we also have to be smart, Jim," he said,
"and smart means not diverting your attention
from the real war on terror in Afghanistan against
Osama bin Laden."
lambasted Putsch again for rushing to war. "Last
resort. You've got to be able to look in the eyes
of families and say to those parents, îI tried
to do everything in my power to prevent the loss
of your son and daughter.' I don't believe the
United States did that. And we pushed our allies
that the United States was defeating al Qaida,
Putsch said, "Seventy-five percent of [bin Laden's]
people have been brought to justice." You heard
of any trials of al Qaida people? I sure haven't.
We know that at least 90% of the people in Gitmo
and Abu Ghraib had committed no crime, where held
and tortured without charges. Of the 5,000 suspects
that Ashcroft said he had in the wake of 9/11,
exactly none have been convicted of any crime.
The one conviction in a German court was overturned
when it turned out Americans had cooked the evidence.
So one has to wonder just what "brought to justice"
means to Putsch.
uttered words that will haunt him should he get
elected: "There will be elections in January.
We're spending reconstruction money. And our alliance
is strong. That's the plan for victory."
we're all just positive we'll get those elections.
And Putsch forgot to mention (although Kerry reminded
him) that the reconstruction money was being rechanneled
into trying to prop up the collaborators, who
resistance members in Iraq are picking off at
an astounding rate.
missed one opportunity; when Putsch trotted out
the "voted against the $87 billion aid measure",
Kerry could have mentioned that on the preliminary
vote in which Kerry opposed the measure, Putsch
himself had threatened to veto it.
"Iraquitization" Putsch flat-out lied, saying
that "We've got 100,000 trained now, 125,000 by
the end of this year, 200,000 by the end of next
fact, exactly NO Iraqis have completed training.
And they are no finding it nearly impossible to
recruit more collaborators, due to the effectiveness
of the resistance.
described the situation in Iraq, using the words
of President Bush back in 1992: "[T]he president's
father did not go into Iraq, into Baghdad, beyond
Basra. And the reason he didn't is, he said --
he wrote in his book -- because there was no viable
exit strategy. And he said our troops would be
occupiers in a bitterly hostile land. That's exactly
where we find ourselves today. There's a sense
of American occupation."
two kept sparring over North Korea, with Kerry
supporting bilateral talks, and Putsch stoutly
standing by the now defunct six-way talks. Kerry
noted that for two years, Putsch punished North
Korea by refusing to talk to them, or keep them
accountable, with the result that they now have
four to six nuclear weapons. On Iran, Putsch just
asserted that the "Moo-Las" hated freedom and
democracy and all of that, which may well be true,
but we aren't trying to convert them; we just
want to persuade them not to build a nuclear arsenal.
questions were more substantive than I expected,
but as debates go, it wasn't much, with each candidate
forbidden from directly addressing the other,
two minutes to speak on each question with 30
second followup, and 32 pages of other rules and
regulations, including a doomed effort by the
Putsch campaign to dictate where the networks
could point their television cameras. Jim Lehrer,
the conservative host of the "Lehrer News Hour"
on PBS, did a creditable job.
few years back, there was a general election in
Canada, and one week before the election, the
leaders of the two respective major parties shared
a stage with one microphone between them for two
hours, with no moderators, just bantering back
and forth over policy.
THAT'S what a debate should look like.
a rational world, Kerry won this debate going
away on points and content. But this isn't a rational
world; this is an America hagridden and controlled
by psychotic millionaires with propaganda outlets
masquerading as journalistic enterprises.
the spin arrives in full force, and we find out
who actually won the debate.
Posted: October 1, 2004