Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 28, 2004
WAR: One of the Bigger Lies

NRO looked at the response to Bush's big Iraq speech earlier in the week, and of course it was full of blather about the need to get certain unnamed countries (France and Germany) involved in the mission. Kerry released a statement saying that leadership in Iraq would "require the President to genuinely reach out to our allies so the United States doesn't have to continue to go it alone". It's amazing what one-trick ponies the leading Dem spokespersonages are on punting foreign policy responsibilities to countries that don't want them (it's consistent with calls for drafting people who don't want to serve into an army that doesn't want them). But we can argue yet another day about the idea that the United States needs more help from the Coalition of the Unwilling.

What sticks in my craw is the constant abuse by Democrats and by left-leaning bloggers and commentators of the word "unilateral" and the phrase "go it alone" to describe our supposed complete lack of allies in Iraq. I'm sorry, but the word "unilaterally" does not mean "with the support of a bunch of other countries but not all of them." Argue if you will that we need more help, but these words don't mean what they're being used to mean. When the British announce they are sending more troops to Iraq, as they did yesterday, doesn't that mean that more troops are going to Iraq and that they are not Americans? When soldiers from other nations are killed in Iraq - as many have been - do they not die? Every single time a Democrat describes our Iraq policy as "unilateral" or "go it alone," this is a knowing and flagrant falsehood. Period. Just stop it.

PS - Dollars to donuts says somebody tries to change the subject in the comments to "But BUSH LIED!!!!!!! about [fill in your favorite subject-changer here]." C'mon people, just deal with this one directly.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:59 AM | War 2004 | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Kerry also said:

"I will modernize our military to match its new missions. We must get the most out of our new technologies. We must reform training and update the way we structure our armed forces: for example, with special forces designed to strike terrorists in their sanctuaries, and with National Guard and Reserve units retooled to meet the requirements of homeland security which have been neglected by this administration."

Well maybe if he's out of the Senate there will be one less "Nay" cast against the weapons systems and funding our forces need.

Posted by: Rob A. at May 28, 2004 7:40 AM

While the "unilateral" argument is factually incorrect, I think the general thrust of the argument - "Bush has ticked off a lot of people around the world and doesn't really care" is reasonably accurate. Whether that's truly a bad thing is open to debate.

Here's an interesting question to ponder: If NOBODY had been willing to go along with the U.S. in Iraq - not Britain, not Italy, not Japan, would Bush have gone ahead anyway? I think he would have (and I'm not a war opponent, although I am a Democrat and I don't like Bush much).

Posted by: Devin McCullen at May 28, 2004 9:15 AM

Ohh come on Crank! You've got to be kidding me!

"Unilateral" and "go it alone" are nice sound bites that the GOP would latch onto in a heartbeat if it were their position.

Disagree with that statement?

Then why not get pissed and aggravated when the GOP constantly portrays the only option to "staying the course" as being to "cut and run" which is what they imply the Democrats will do if given the chance. Even though Kerry has repeatedly stated that he will not give up on Iraq. Why not get pissed at the GOP for taking the opportunity to say that if Kerry had had his way we'd have none of the weapons we're currently using to fight the war on terrorism?

And you show indignation?

Furthermore, if Kerry went ahead and described the coalition using his more "nuanced" approach. You'd accuse him of being a pontificating butthead, a candidate who just doesn't get the American people....a candidate that you couldn't see yourself having a beer with.

No one means to demean the sacrifice of other countries. And I applaud the UK's commitment of more troops. But do you honestly believe that this is the best we can do? Do you honestly believe that our chances wouldn't be better if we had more support from more countries?

The Dominican Repubublic sending a minor league team is a nice gesture, but do you think its enough to accomplish the goal in Iraq?

Unbelievable Crank, you don't decry your own parties tactics and use of sound bites when they're patently false, and when the Democrats stray from their use, you accuse them of being wind-bagged debate team geeks who just don't get the common man.

Period. Just stop it.

Posted by: C Giddy at May 28, 2004 11:22 AM

”Then why not get pissed and aggravated when the GOP constantly portrays the only option to "staying the course" as being to "cut and run" which is what they imply the Democrats will do if given the chance.”

Please find one quote where the President accused John Kerry of wanting to "cut & run." If you can find one I'll gladly eat my words, but otherwise- please shut up.

"Furthermore, if Kerry went ahead and described the coalition using his more "nuanced" approach. You'd accuse him of being a pontificating butthead, a candidate who just doesn't get the American people....a candidate that you couldn't see yourself having a beer with."

Does that sound like something Crank would ever say? Do you think he’s a Republican because Bush is someone he’d like to “have a beer with?” How about you stop putting words in other people's mouths, and actually argue about the point in front of you?

"Why not get pissed at the GOP for taking the opportunity to say that if Kerry had had his way we'd have none of the weapons we're currently using to fight the war on terrorism?"

Ummm... because it's true? It is a fact that the man has voted against almost every major military program over the past 15 years. Can you deny that?

Posted by: Richard at May 28, 2004 1:35 PM

1. In fairness, I did do a post on the have-a-beer-with theme, but that's really more analysis than argument.

2. You really can't deny that Kerry has one of the least supportive records of any Senator as far as voting for weapons programs. He campaigned against numerous programs in 1984, pushed for a "peace dividend", had his first floor speech against the MX Missle, has opposed SDI, etc.

3. You don't have to be complex or nuanced. It's one thing to say "we haven't had enough help from our allies" or "we've had to do the lion's share of the work." (Although his "coalition of the able" soundbite ignores how little actual ability most of the absent allies have). "Unilateral" and "go it alone" are lies, period.

Posted by: The Crank at May 28, 2004 1:41 PM

Yeah, the Bush Administration would NEVER use misleading soundbites.

A big part of the reason Americans and the rest of the citizens of the world are so supportive of this war is the clarity we all received from Powell, Bush, Rumsfeld, etc., regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

And hey Richard, please eat it:
"Freedom will prevail, so long as the United States and allies don't give the people of Iraq mixed signals, so long as we don't cower in the face of suiciders, or do what many Iraqis still suspect might happen, and that is cut and run early, like what happened in '91," Mr. Bush said.

Posted by: adw at May 28, 2004 4:56 PM

ADW

The bush quote does not accuse Kerry of advocating a cut and run strategy. try again.

Posted by: dd at May 28, 2004 5:52 PM

Uhh, Richard,

>>Mr. Bush also said Sen. John Kerry would "regret" disparaging the U.S.-led coalition that liberated Iraq, promising to use the Massachusetts Democrat's words against him in the election campaign.
The president, while acknowledging that "the rebuilding of Iraq is a difficult period," is optimistic about nurturing a democratic government there.
"Freedom will prevail, so long as the United States and allies don't give the people of Iraq mixed signals, so long as we don't cower in the face of suiciders, or do what many Iraqis still suspect might happen, and that is cut and run early, like what happened in '91," Mr. Bush said.

Posted by: C Giddy at May 29, 2004 1:23 PM

Hey Dick, here's another example:

"We're not going to cut and run if I'm in the Oval Office," Bush said.

http://www.talonnews.com/news/2004/april/0422_bush_iraq.shtml

And yet more detail on this example:

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2004 – The United States is not going to "cut and run" from Iraq, President Bush told newspaper editors here today.

Bush, speaking at a meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, said enemies view freedom in Iraq as a real threat, and those enemies will try anything to defeat the coalition. "We're not going to cut and run if I'm in the Oval Office," Bush said. "We will do our job. I believe that people yearn to be free. I believe the people of Iraq will self-govern. And I believe that the world will be better off for it."

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Apr2004/n04212004_200404213.html

Posted by: C Giddy at May 29, 2004 1:30 PM

Need more Dick?

Here he says it in a speech....

"They're watching to see how we react. They're watching to see whether we cut and run or whether we're good for our word. They don't have to worry about me," he said.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/05/04/bush.ohio/

Nope, don't have to worry about him, as for the other guy....

Again, the implication is fairly obvious, even to the unbiased observer.

Posted by: C Giddy at May 29, 2004 1:33 PM

PS - Dick, I said that the "cut and run" phrase was specifically being used by the GOP, not Bush. Yet I still found plenty of example from Bush himself.

You want like I should find examples from people supporting the GOP too?

Posted by: C Giddy at May 29, 2004 1:40 PM

Does that sound like something Crank would ever say? Do you think he’s a Republican because Bush is someone he’d like to “have a beer with?”

I don't know about the Crank, but I read in the Times today that the "how do you respond to the fact that people would rather have a beer with Bush" is actually a question Kerry faces from reporters on the trail. Glad the press is covering the important issues once again...

Posted by: Mr Furious at May 31, 2004 1:20 AM

Dicky's comments still crack me up. "Does that sound like something the Crank would ever say?"

Uh, why yes, it does! And he did!

I think its a nice example of Richard relying on his perceptions as opposed to reality.

Posted by: C Giddy at May 31, 2004 11:50 AM
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