Bush Flip-Flopper-in-Chief

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by jstanton, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. jstanton


    President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief

    March 31, 2004
    Download: DOC, RTF, PDF

    From the beginning, George W. Bush has made his own credibility a central issue. On 10/11/00, then Governor Bush said: "I think credibility is important. It is going to be important for the president to be credible with Congress, important for the president to be credible with foreign nations." But President Bush's serial flip-flopping raises serious questions about whether Congress and foreign leaders can rely on what he says.

    1. Department of Homeland Security

    BUSH OPPOSES THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY..."So, creating a Cabinet office doesn't solve the problem. You still will have agencies within the federal government that have to be coordinated. So the answer is that creating a Cabinet post doesn't solve anything." [White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, 3/19/02]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY "So tonight, I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission: securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people." [President Bush, Address to the Nation, 6/6/02]

    2. Weapons of Mass Destruction

    BUSH SAYS WE FOUND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION..."We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories…for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [President Bush, Interview in Poland, 5/29/03]

    ...BUSH SAYS WE HAVEN'T FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION "David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons. And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [President Bush, Meet the Press, 2/7/04]

    3. Free Trade

    BUSH SUPPORTS FREE TRADE... "I believe strongly that if we promote trade, and when we promote trade, it will help workers on both sides of this issue." [President Bush in Peru, 3/23/02]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS RESTRICTIONS ON TRADE "In a decision largely driven by his political advisers, President Bush set aside his free-trade principles last year and imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel to help out struggling mills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two states crucial for his reelection." [Washington Post, 9/19/03]

    4. Osama Bin Laden

    BUSH WANTS OSAMA DEAD OR ALIVE... "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" [President Bush, on Osama Bin Laden, 09/17/01]

    ...BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT OSAMA "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important." [President Bush, Press Conference, 3/13/02]

    5. The Environment

    BUSH SUPPORTS MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE... "[If elected], Governor Bush will work to…establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide." [Bush Environmental Plan, 9/29/00]

    ...BUSH OPPOSES MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE "I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act." [President Bush, Letter to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), 3/13/03]

    6. WMD Commission

    BUSH RESISTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE... "The White House immediately turned aside the calls from Kay and many Democrats for an immediate outside investigation, seeking to head off any new wide-ranging election-year inquiry that might go beyond reports already being assembled by congressional committees and the Central Intelligence Agency." [NY Times, 1/29/04]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE "Today, by executive order, I am creating an independent commission, chaired by Governor and former Senator Chuck Robb, Judge Laurence Silberman, to look at American intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass destruction." [President Bush, 2/6/04]

    7. Creation of the 9/11 Commission

    BUSH OPPOSES CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11." [CBS News, 5/23/02]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION "President Bush said today he now supports establishing an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." [ABC News, 09/20/02]

    8. Time Extension for 9/11 Commission

    BUSH OPPOSES TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) have decided to oppose granting more time to an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks." [Washington Post, 1/19/04]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION "The White House announced Wednesday its support for a request from the commission investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks for more time to complete its work." [CNN, 2/4/04]

    9. One Hour Limit for 9/11 Commission Testimony

    BUSH LIMITS TESTIMONY IN FRONT OF 9/11 COMMISSION TO ONE HOUR... "President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that they will meet only with the panel's top two officials and that Mr. Bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning, commission members said Wednesday." [NY Times, 2/26/04]

    ...BUSH SETS NO TIMELIMIT FOR TESTIMONY "The president's going to answer all of the questions they want to raise. Nobody's watching the clock." [White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 3/10/04]

    10. Gay Marriage

    BUSH SAYS GAY MARRIAGE IS A STATE ISSUE... "The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into." [Gov. George W. Bush on Gay Marriage, Larry King Live, 2/15/00]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE "Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife." [President Bush, 2/24/04]

    11. Nation Building

    BUSH OPPOSES NATION BUILDING... "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road." [Gov. George W. Bush, 10/3/00]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS NATION BUILDING "We will be changing the regime of Iraq, for the good of the Iraqi people." [President Bush, 3/6/03]

    12. Saddam/al Qaeda Link

    BUSH SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEEN AL QAEDA AND SADDAM... "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." [President Bush, 9/25/02]

    ...BUSH SAYS SADDAM HAD NO ROLE IN AL QAEDA PLOT "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in Sept. 11." [President Bush, 9/17/03]

    13. U.N. Resolution

    BUSH VOWS TO HAVE A UN VOTE NO MATTER WHAT... "No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council. And so, you bet. It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam." [President Bush 3/6/03]

    ...BUSH WITHDRAWS REQUEST FOR VOTE "At a National Security Council meeting convened at the White House at 8:55 a.m., Bush finalized the decision to withdraw the resolution from consideration and prepared to deliver an address to the nation that had already been written." [Washington Post, 3/18/03]

    14. Involvement in the Palestinian Conflict

    BUSH OPPOSES SUMMITS... "Well, we've tried summits in the past, as you may remember. It wasn't all that long ago where a summit was called and nothing happened, and as a result we had significant intifada in the area." [President Bush, 04/05/02]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS SUMMITS "If a meeting advances progress toward two states living side by side in peace, I will strongly consider such a meeting. I'm committed to working toward peace in the Middle East." [President Bush, 5/23/03]

    15. Campaign Finance

    BUSH OPPOSES MCCAIN-FEINGOLD... "George W. Bush opposes McCain-Feingold...as an infringement on free expression." [Washington Post, 3/28/2000]

    ...BUSH SIGNS MCCAIN-FEINGOLD INTO LAW "[T]his bill improves the current system of financing for Federal campaigns, and therefore I have signed it into law." [President Bush, at the McCain-Feingold singing ceremony, 03/27/02]
  2. jstanton


    130 US Troops Dead In New
    Iraq Fighting - Pentagon Source
    Sky News

    A Pentagon source has said up to 130 US troops have been killed in fierce fighting in Iraq.

    The large scale battle, described as "intense", has taken place in the town of Ar Ramadi, 20 miles west of Fallujah.

    Sky News' David Chater said: "None of this is official yet - none of it is confirmed."

    But he added: "It sounds very much like this is being carried out by men who are militarily trained."

    Chater described the attack as "highly sophisticated".

  3. jstanton


    Anti-U.S. Uprising Widens in Iraq; Marines Push Deeper Into Fallujah
    Cleric's Force Tightens Grip In Holy Cities
    By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Thursday, April 8, 2004; Page A01

    BAGHDAD, April 7 -- Violent resistance to the American occupation of Iraq spread to new parts of the country on Wednesday, including previously quiet parts of Baghdad, as U.S. and allied forces struggled to quell separate uprisings by Sunni and Shiite Muslim insurgents.

    In Fallujah, an epicenter of the Sunni resistance, U.S. Marines attempting to root out insurgents pushed toward the center of the city, drawing heavy rifle and grenade fire. After a contingent of Marines was attacked by gunmen hiding in a mosque, a U.S. jet and a helicopter took the unusual step of bombing the compound's outer wall. Witnesses told Arab journalists in the city that as many as 40 people were killed in the bombing, although the U.S. military said it had no reports of civilian casualties.

    In central and southern Iraq, fighters loyal to Moqtada Sadr, a Shiite cleric who vowed Wednesday to turn Iraq into "another Vietnam for America," tightened their grip on the holy cities of Karbala, Kufa and Najaf. Members of the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to Sadr, seized control of Kut, a city to the southeast of Baghdad, when Ukrainian troops withdrew after an overnight gun battle.

    The U.S. military's director of operations in Iraq, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, said American troops would "destroy the Mahdi Army."

    The unrest also spread to northern Iraq for the first time as U.S. troops in Hawijah, near Kirkuk, fired on an angry mob protesting American tactics in Fallujah, killing eight Iraqis. Although Baghdad's Sadr City slum, the site of bloody clashes earlier in the week, was largely calm, violence erupted in other parts of the capital. Shortly after nightfall, gunmen opened fire on a U.S. base in Baghdad's Shiite enclave of Kadhimiya and on another in the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiya.

    Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, issued his first official comments about the violence Wednesday evening, condemning the U.S. approach to dealing with the Shiite uprising. In a written statement bearing his seal, Sistani called for both sides to pursue a peaceful resolution and "refrain from escalating steps that will lead to more chaos and bloodshed."

    But across Baghdad, Sistani's moderate message appeared to have been drowned out by an increasingly vocal cry from mosque minarets for people to resist the occupation and to donate money and blood to help resistance fighters in Fallujah. In perhaps the clearest sign yet of the convergence of Sunni and Shiite uprisings, announcements from Shiite mosques called on people to help Sunnis in Fallujah, while residents of Sunni neighborhoods lauded Sadr and his followers.

    Portraits of Sadr and graffiti praising him have appeared on mosques and government buildings in Sunni towns west of Baghdad, according to Arab media reports. On Monday night, gunmen loyal to Sadr joined with Sunni insurgents in Baghdad in attacking U.S. soldiers on patrol in the first reported act of collaborative Sunni-Shiite resistance activity.

    "The Sunnis and Shiites are now together," said Fatah Abdel-Razzaq, 31, the owner of a falafel stand in Sadr City, a sprawling slum of 2 million that has long served as Sadr's stronghold.

    "America came and destroyed the country," he said. "What's America doing?"

    Abdel-Razzaq and others in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood drew parallels between the fighting there and in Fallujah, saying Sunnis and Shiites had come together. Others bitterly denounced civilian deaths, placing the blame squarely on U.S. forces, not on the militiamen from Sadr City. Often heard was the contention that the Americans were fighting Shiites or, more generally, Islam.

    "We're not scared of anyone -- not the airplanes, not the tanks, nothing," said Salah Abdel-Hassan, who said his four sons were members of the Mahdi Army. "Sadr City is impossible to make quiet unless they withdraw from it."

    The most intense fighting Wednesday occurred in Fallujah, where Marines fought their way farther into the city in an effort to flush out hundreds of well-armed insurgents, who are described by U.S. officials as a mix of Sunni extremists, loyalists of former president Saddam Hussein and common criminals. With the fighters lurking in mosques and residential areas, the Marine strategy has been to advance into open areas to draw fire from the insurgents, who then are targeted with return fire.

    Marine Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that his forces control a quarter of the city, where four civilian contractors were killed last week and the bodies of two of them were mutilated. Although some Marine units had pushed well into the city, most remained on the outskirts.

    As the Marines fought their way into Fallujah, Byrne and other officers said, about 40 armed men opened fire on the Americans with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades from a bunker at the Abdelaziz Samarrai mosque. Four Marines in a Humvee several blocks away were wounded.

    After ground attacks failed to flush out the fighters, Marine officers at different command posts in the city debated how to respond. After a few hours of discussion, they decided to order an airstrike.

    An AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter fired a rocket at the mosque compound, and an F-16 fighter jet dropped a 500-pound bomb on the site, military officials said. They said the bomb and rocket destroyed part of a wall surrounding the mosque but not the mosque itself. The Marines said in a statement that one insurgent was killed in the attack.

    The insurgents "firing from the mosque wrongfully violated the law of war by conducting offensive military operations from a protected structure," the Marine statement said. "As a result, the mosque lost its protected status and therefore became a lawful military target."

    One Marine was killed in the fighting Wednesday and six were wounded by rifle and grenade fire, military officials said. Eighteen Marines have been killed since Monday in fighting west of Baghdad, including at least 12 in an attack on Tuesday in the vicinity of the provincial governor's office in Ramadi.

    The Marines have not released any details about the incident in Ramadi other than a brief statement noting that the firefight lasted for seven hours and that 11 soldiers were killed in the fighting and a 12th died later of his wounds. The Associated Press, citing witness accounts, reported that the battle started when gunmen hiding in Ramadi's main cemetery opened fire on U.S. patrols.

    The military on Wednesday announced the deaths of two more U.S. soldiers. One soldier with the Army's 1st Infantry Division was killed on Tuesday in Balad, a town north of Baghdad that is home to a large U.S. air base. The other soldier, assigned to a task force commanded by the Army's 1st Armored Division, died Wednesday in Baghdad after his convoy was struck with a rocket-propelled grenade near a police station.

    Since Sunday, fighting across Iraq has claimed the lives of 34 Americans, two other coalition soldiers and more than 190 Iraqis. In the nearly 13 months since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, 635 American service personnel have died, 444 of them as a result of hostile action.

    In Sadr City, officials at the two main hospitals said 64 Iraqis had been killed and 238 wounded in clashes since Sunday. Most of the casualties were men, but officials said women and children were among the dead and wounded.

    Sadr City was largely quiet Wednesday, but the mood was angry. Conversations dwelled on the bloodshed over the previous three nights, and residents exchanged stories about the fighting -- houses hit by helicopter fire, cars struck by gunfire, civilians killed.

    "Anybody who goes out at night, the Americans will kill them," said Walid Khaled, 24, one of several men crowded around a charred car.

    Through the day, crowds gathered around Sadr's office, carrying flags and pictures of the 30-year-old cleric. At 5 p.m., young men from across the street ran toward the office as a loudspeaker blared Sadr's latest statement from Najaf: "I call upon the American people to stand beside their brethren, the Iraqi people, who are suffering an injustice by your rulers and the occupying army, to help them in the transfer of power to honest Iraqis," the statement read. "Otherwise Iraq will become another Vietnam for America and the occupiers."

    With Sadr's militia exercising full or partial control of several southern cities, Kimmitt, the military spokesman, said in response to questioning that occupation forces had not arrested the cleric partly because a major Shiite religious festival, Arbaeen, begins later this week. "We've got to recognize the time and the number of pilgrims outside Najaf city right now," he said.

    Sadr's militiamen took over Kut when the Ukrainians withdrew from the city after overnight gun battles killed 12 Iraqis, the Associated Press reported. The Mahdi Army occupied the Ukrainians' base, seized weapons caches and planted their flag on a nearby grain silo.

    In Karbala, as in Kufa and other cities south of Baghdad, Sadr's militiamen have assumed effective control of the municipality. Black-shirted members of the Mahdi Army have taken over police stations and government buildings.

    Polish soldiers attempting to patrol Karbala were attacked Wednesday by the militiamen, prompting several firefights. A senior leader of Sadr's militia was killed in one of the battles.

    Correspondents Anthony Shadid, Karl Vick and Sewell Chan in Baghdad and Pamela Constable in Fallujah contributed to this report.

    © 2004 The Washington Post Company
  4. jstanton


    Humanity is first casualty of war


    "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

    — George W. Bush's mother Barbara on ABC/Good Morning America, March 18, 2003

    Last Wednesday, as the shocking images of the charred and battered bodies of four American security professionals in Falluja were streaming into newsrooms, British writer Roy Greenslade was telling Ryerson University students about how, when reporters hold back on the horrors of war, they serve neither the public nor the truth.

    "When my country is wrong, then my country's people have a right to know," he said. "And I would maintain that whatever the consequences for morale might be."

    Which is why there should have been little or no hesitation over those gruesome pictures from Falluja. And yet, in network and newspaper conference rooms everywhere, there was a debate over whether to depict all the horrifying details.

    As it happened, most news organizations, even Arab ones, expected to exploit the humiliation of America, balked at showing the barbecuing and bashing of the bodies — and that was the right choice. The real story was not in the mob's brutal actions per se, but in its taunting triumph — and the fact that there was absolutely nobody there to stop it.

    That was the frightening truth: that the chaos and carnage continue in Iraq, unabated and uncontrolled, despite $120 billion, 150,000 troops, and thousands of destroyed lives.

    It's so screwed up that, still, most of what hits our screens and newspapers comes out of Baghdad briefings by U.S. officials or their appointees.

    As CNN's Walter Rodgers confessed to Aaron Brown on Wednesday, he travels with "an armed security guard at all times" and dares not venture out at night.

    You can bet no Western journalist would have gotten out of Falluja alive. The New York Times' Jeffrey Gettleman, in an online report which included some of the grislier photos, reported that Falluja "was so dangerous that we conducted our interviews from the outskirts of the city and then sent in one of our translators."

    Indeed, a close examination of the Falluja photo credits revealed only Arabic names.

    Brave guys, since Arab journalists, especially if they work for the Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya networks, have a nasty habit of getting arrested, beaten or killed — by the Americans.

    Not that their counterparts in the U.S. media much care, as evidenced two weeks ago. That's when American journalists sat meekly in their chairs taking dictation as Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a news conference in Baghdad about "staying the course" in Iraq. Meanwhile, 30 foreign reporters walked out in protest over the shooting deaths of two Al Arabiya journalists.

    Anyway, by last Friday, the media deliberations and discussions over the Falluja images had left no newsroom navel ungazed and no journalism professor un-interviewed. This "Somalia moment," as the St. Petersburg Times had dubbed it, resulted in more mainstream media self-examination in one day than the entire attack on Iraq had in a year.

    Such a fuss really when there's already a standing operating procedure. A double standard operating procedure.

    The record shows that, if the victims are white and/or Western, their deaths (and humiliation) are usually shielded from our tender sensibilities.

    Don't kid yourself. News organizations have been on the receiving end of grisly photos since the invention of the camera. But there's never any debate over whether we will show the blood-spattered body of a murder victim here, or, as we have been known to refer to them, the "Krispy Kritters" left in a house fire or 40 car pile-up. We just don't do it — not unless we're the sort of lurid crime tab that has now even died out in its last bastion, Quebec.

    But, if the victims are not one of us, if they live far away or have no names or cultural commonalities, they're fair game. Hence, it's perfectly acceptable, if not mundane, to show piles of skulls in Rwanda or a skeletal and swollen-bellied African baby on the verge of death while a vulture struts in the background.


    Last year, when the bombs were crashing down on Iraq, and houses were flattened, their inhabitants incinerated, the very same networks and newspapers that proclaimed their high moral ground and concern for reader sensibilities last week refrained from running pictures of the civilian casualties.

    To do so would have been ... what? Unpatriotic? Bad for morale? Risky to ratings? Harmful to advertising sales?

    What few tragedies we saw were those cleaned up for the cameras, made acceptably heart-rending, as in the case of 12-year-old Ali Abbas. Where were the images of the death scene that was his home where he lost 15 relatives, including his parents, and both his arms, to a U.S. missile?

    Even the heartbreaking Hallmark photo of him was rejected by many news editors because, get this, the kid wasn't smiling.

    Two months ago, the Israelis posted online a graphic five-minute video showing the unedited aftermath of a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus. Body parts and flesh are shown in the twisted wreckage in which a dozen people died.

    When it was posted, Gideon Meir, a senior foreign ministry officer, explained: "We decided this was the only way for us to bring our message to the world."

    It was bold — but it was the right thing to do.

    Here's why: The biggest lie in war is not that truth is the first casualty. Humanity is.

    There should be no shirking from making that plain.
    Additional articles by Antonia Zerbisias
  5. js-

    nice post. thx for the article.

    dumya's such a little pinhead. i don't know why they don't just put strings on him and show cheney up in the balcony pulling them...at least we'd get a laugh out of it.
  6. I'm at a loss as to why everyone is complaining about our Head of State George Dubya Bush . . . It's really Cheney and Rove that are making policy and running this country!

    Were they on the ballot in the last election?