George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation…

That was the opening line from a speech given by Al Gore yesterday and it was one helluva speech to say the least. I don’t tend to listen to a lot of political speeches, but this one grabbed my attention and left me impressed. I don’t think there’s a thing he said that I disagree with and it leaves me to wonder how things might have been different had he not had the Presidency taken away by judicial fiat. You can read a transcript of it at MoveOn PAC, but here’s one section that I thought was particularly interesting:

David Kay concluded his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq with the famous verdict: “we were all wrong.” And for many Americans, Kay’s statement seemed to symbolize the awful collision between Reality and all of the false and fading impressions President Bush had fostered in building support for his policy of going to war.

Now the White House has informed the American people that they were also “all wrong” about their decision to place their faith in Ahmed Chalabi, even though they have paid him 340,000 dollars per month. 33 million dollars (CHECK) and placed him adjacent to Laura Bush at the State of the Union address. Chalabi had been convicted of fraud and embezzling 70 million dollars in public funds from a Jordanian bank, and escaped prison by fleeing the country. But in spite of that record, he had become one of key advisors to the Bush Administration on planning and promoting the War against Iraq.

And they repeatedly cited him as an authority, perhaps even a future president of Iraq. Incredibly, they even ferried him and his private army into Baghdad in advance of anyone else, and allowed him to seize control over Saddam’s secret papers.

Now they are telling the American people that he is a spy for Iran who has been duping the President of the United States for all these years.

One of the Generals in charge of this war policy went on a speaking tour in his spare time to declare before evangelical groups that the US is in a holy war as “Christian Nation battling Satan.” This same General Boykin was the person who ordered the officer who was in charge of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay to extend his methods to Iraq detainees, prisoners. … The testimony from the prisoners is that they were forced to curse their religion Bush used the word “crusade” early on in the war against Iraq, and then commentators pointed out that it was singularly inappropriate because of the history and sensitivity of the Muslim world and then a few weeks later he used it again.

“We are now being viewed as the modern Crusaders, as the modern colonial power in this part of the world,” Zinni said.

What a terrible irony that our country, which was founded by refugees seeking religious freedom – coming to America to escape domineering leaders who tried to get them to renounce their religion – would now be responsible for this kind of abuse..

Gore repeatedly refers to Bush and his administration as being incompetent and he calls for the resignation/firing of Donald Rumsfeld,  Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Stephen Cambone, Condoleeza Rice, and George Tenet. It’s an impressive speech that hopefully will resonate with enough folks to bring about a little “regime change” of our own right here at home.

18 thoughts on “George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation…

  1. An outstanding speech… I just wish Kerry would have the nuts to say it.

  2. Gore would be very good in any number of administration positions.

    Would like to have seen the whole speech. Judging by the video clips that I sampled, he did pretty well as an orator that day. I wonder who authored the speech, it was very well written.

    There was another very good, shorter, speech that I missed. Andy Rooney closed 60 minutes with a piece on the prisoner abuse fiasco. (Unfortunately I switchd channels after the Zinny interview.)

    In short, Rooney said that what happened at Abu Ghraib irrevocably tarnished our reputation by negating the good things that America has done to build it. No uncertainty about the author on this one. Here is the link.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/videoplayer/newVid/framesource2.html?clip=/media/2004/05/21/video618970.wmv&sec=3419&vidId=3415&title=Rooney$@$On$@$POW$@$Abuse&hitboxMLC=60minutes

  3. Not to bring down the seriousness of this thread, but it’s time for a regime change.
    It’s a flash game, but if you pay attention you can learn stuff. It can’t replace the power of your vote, so use your vote wisely.

    The Anti-Bush Online Adventure

  4. rolleyes

    Maybe if Gore and his former boss had been on the ball, instead of trying to “wag the dog” incessantly, there wouldn’t have been a 9/11. I just love how the left blames Bush completely for the September 11th attacks, as if we didn’t have eight years of Dems in the Oval Orifice who never took appropriate action against things like the first WTC bombing, or the attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

    But hey, the libs blame Bush for the economy going down the drain, too, as if he masterminded the entire dot-bomb all by his lonesome. Funny how someone regularly derided by bong-huffing twits putting up pix of chimpanzees on their Websites all of a sudden becomes an eeeeeevil geeeenius.

    The only administrative position Gore would be any good at would be typist. No, I take that back. I don’t think he’s capable of anything that useful.

  5. There are some who say that Ashcroft is wagging the dog right now.

    I’m not sure what you mean about not doing enough about about the first WTC bombing. Aren’t there people in jail. As to the attack on the Cole you really nead to bone up on John O’Neill.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/knew/

    Sure O’Neill created some of his own career problems, but he was the FBI’s most dogged anti-terrorist expert. (He told Director Freh that the Saudis were blowing smoke after the Kobar tower bombings in 1966.) He was vigorously pursuing the Cole investigation (on site) when he got into a turf war with Ambassador Bodine. It was a Bush appointee who forced him out of Yemen and neutered the investigation.

    For my own part, I think everyone was pretty much enthralled by the dot.com bubble. It burst, that happens with that kind of investment frenzy. It was no ones fault in particular and everyone’s fault in general.

    I guess I’m off the hook for a little bit of your criticism. I never used marijuana or was even curious about it, and I don’t have a web site. (I eventually get it. Thats why I can’t post pictures here.)

    I too can comment on other peoples competence. Our current president, who ammused himself by playing adolescent games in the officer’s club, pissed away a crucial 45 minutes while this country was under attack by sharing a story with children. That speaks volumes about his ability to function under real pressure. I can gaurentee that you will hate the video, the first link.

    http://www.takebackthemedia.com/true911.html

    http://www.cooperativeresearch.net/timeline/main/essayaninterestingday.html

  6. So we should put you in the “not a fan” column under Al Gore, eh, RtV? 

    I think it’s safe to say no one is accusing GWB of being an evil genius.  Paul Wolfowitz, maybe, but not “W.”

    Nor would anyone say that GWB engineered an economic downtown.  Some of it was due to 9/11 and some of it to the self-serving incompetence of a fully Republican-controlled government, but that isn’t engineering.  After all, the president isn’t exactly served by a down economy.

    Funny how anyone who can address issues in greater-than-sound-bite depth gets branded a “lib.”  This happens to journalists a lot, I notice.  Spend all your time developing sources and investigating issues and the sound-bites just don’t cut it anymore.  So the media is “liberal.”

    What was it Gore did during Vietnam again?  Oh, right: he was a journalist.  Now you could argue about how much time he was there and whether he was ever shot at, but the fact remains he got on a plane and went there, as did the current democratic candidate.  So he at least had a chance to see how things were.  That may have shaped his thinking later.

    I read the whole transcript and no, he isn’t a “fan” of the Bush administration.  But it seems to me he’s facing some rather unpleasant facts, instead of spinning them into a tangle of obfuscations.

  7. It doesn’t take an evil genius to fuck things up this badly. It does take some rather stunning incompetence, though. Hmmm. Imagine that.

    Bong-huffing? Heh, like VernR, I’ve never done an illegal drug in my life. Hell, for that matter I don’t even drink that often whereas I recall that our current “President” is a recovering alcoholic.

    I mean, if you want to start tossing people’s vices around I think you’ll be unpleasantly surprised to find out that Bush isn’t as moral as many of us around here.

  8. The problems with America aren’t really the faults of Bush, Cheney, Gore, Kerry, etc. These leaders simply do that which they are allowed, and encouraged, to do. We can vote into office whomever we want. The problem is that we too often cause our leaders to be elected for the wrong reasons, and support them for serving superficial aims.

    We permit narrow-minded politicians to fool us into thinking they have our best interests in mind, when it is actually their greedy gains they serve. We allow old and bitter, young and naive, men and women to build their political residences at our expenses. We allow our administrative, judicial and legislative branches to fight like children and work like retirees, while their woefully imperfect decisions cause too many of our citizens to go without hope of meaningful livelihood and children to go hungry and uneducated. None should!

    We don’t generally communicate with our public servants until something displeases us, yet special interest cabals are constantly lobbying actively for excessive concessions and rewards. We don’t ask for accountability or experience, but we expect heroes. We proclaim some as heroes even when they clearly are not such. We’ve forgotten that, in order to be decent co-habiting human beings, some need to be encouraged, even required, to be considerate.

    We let media moguls saturate our airwaves and periodicals with propaganda and poorly gathered information. We allow opinion to be presented as hard fact, which blurs the lines between information and supposition. We watch reality TV and are often savvy enough to understand that it is replete with false construction and dramatic contrivances, yet our disbeliefs are easily suspended when real world signatures, the events that take place around us, are constantly being manipulated and misrepresented.

    The problems we face are there because American citizens don’t care, or not enough, about others. We want easy answers, quick fixes and preferential treatment. We allow corporations to achieve their own avaricious detrimental aims. We worship movie stars because they give Oscar winning renditions of being simply human, but we abhor in ourselves, the humanity they mimic. We want million dollar homes and million dollar paychecks and we want to be treated like kings. We’ve lost sight of the minimum allowances each individual deserves, as though giving sustenance and comforts are shameful things to encourage. Possessions make us happy and while we are using more of the earth’s resources than any other nation, scores of our, and other nation’s citizens, go hungry while living in harsh conditions and climates, where the chances of surviving another day are less than the chances they should be. We are a shallow, upwardly mobile, superstitious nation of greedy assholes and we are rewarded that which we are willing to cheat, maneuver, and connive for.

    We don’t try to see all sides of an issue – we allow our religions, our selfish passions, our prejudices, our Moores and our Limbaughs, to think and speak for us. We don’t want to be bothered with having to give up anything and even less with having less than the most we can possibly gain – by hook or by crook! We have the power and intelligence to create a better nation and a better mindset. We just don’t want to use our abilities ….yet. 

    We are gluttons, and we don’t even realize, or refuse to accept, that our lifestyles are not sustainable. We cannot see beyond the present, because we deny the information that tells us where we are likely headed. We cannot have peace because we hunger for power and prestige. We should not attempt to provide democracy for other nations until we can prove it works for ours, and forcing it on others is against the very spirit of the enterprise.

    If what I, so hastily, wrote seems “off

  9. Brock, the first segment last evening’s airing of Now perfectly illustrated part of what you said. The piece was about what it means to be among our working poor. They interviewed an immigrant family in south Texas and focused on the chances that one of the children had of working her way into the middle class-education being the key (she is a bright kid). Then they switched the interview to a Texas legislator who represents a suburban constituency. I think you know how the segment ended. I looked for the transcript, but they hadn’t posted yet, maybe later today. It should appear at Now Archives

    I couldn’t agree more with what you said about special interests. A few weeks ago I started reading Perfectly Legal by David Kay Johnson. It is about our tax system. It’s slow going for me. I read a chapter and get so mad that I have to put it aside for a while. I have been working on what I hope will be a reasonably coherent rant that I can then work into something that the Post-Dispatch will consider for their letters to the editor page. (I’m one for four so far.)

    Some of the main stream journalists are fessing up to the fact that they have not been doing their jobs. That is, for the moment, refreshing. I just hope it doesn’t become a passing fad.

  10. Yes, Brock – I thought it would be a good commencement address.

    “We are gluttons, and we don’t even realize, or refuse to accept, that our lifestyles are not sustainable.”

    So true. Here’s a headline from yesterday’s Bloomington, IL Pantagraph:

    SUVs sell despite gas costs
    BLOOMINGTON – While nearby service stations displayed prices at or above the $2 mark, a delivery truck on Thursday unloaded several new sport utility vehicles at Barker Motor Co in Bloomington. 

    Like most other area car dealers, Barker sales manager Wes Tom said high gasoline prices haven’t resulted in lower demand for SUVs and other gas guzzlers.

    “As long as (consumers) can buy gasoline, the American public will buy SUVs,” said Bob Dennison of Dennison Toyota…

    I hope you’re right about this, though:

    “We can vote into office whomever we want.”

    The CEO of Diebold, Inc., which makes the new electronic voter machines that can’t be recounted or even verified, has said he would everything in his power to re-elect Bush.  (shudder)

    Anyway, great post!

  11. Damn, I’m impressed. I’m beginning to think I should offer Brock a Guest Bastardship unless he suddenly decides to set up his own blog. Would you be interested Brock? Would you mind if I turned that into a full entry?

  12. The CEO of Diebold, Inc., which makes the new electronic voter machines that can’t be recounted or even verified, has said he would everything in his power to re-elect Bush.  (shudder)

    There is a great deal of concern about the next election being rigged.

    1. Some (University) Computer Science folks found a way to hack into the OS for one of the machines, and in some instances others found that the vote tallies from the touch panel machines don’t match how people voted. (If I recall correctly, a Republican victory in a democratic precinct with a total vote that exceeded the number of voters.) There is legislation pending in the House that would require a paper copy of from these machines—to be deposited in a ballot box in case a recall is needed. I fired off emails to my three Republican Congreesmen asking them to support the legislation.

    2. The Republicans are moving to drop the requirement for a witness signature on absentee ballots. (I haven’t quite decided if that is ominous or not.)

    3. The Attorney General of Florida is doing it again. In the 2000 election she paid a Texas Company $4M to generate a list off felons (duplicating someting that had already been done.) The problem is that the list picked up anyone with the same last name and date of birth—disenfranchising tens-of-thousands of non felons. The Florida appeals process demoralizingly lengthy and a goodly number of the innocent bystanders are still not eligible to vote. There is now another felons list that was recently passed to the registras with directions to scrub their voter lists. Fortunately some of the registrars are making accuracy a highr priority than the calander.

    I still consider myself to be a middle of the road independent. However, when the Gingrich crowd arrived, I had only had one way to lean. I don’t necessiraly think that the Democrats have all of the answers, but, when I look at what has been going on for the last few years, I feel pretty well justified in using the F word in labeling the far right.

    Fascism n 1 the totalitarian principles and organization of the extreme right-wing nationalist movement in Italy (1922-43) 2 (also fascism) a any similar nationalistic and authoritarian movement. b disp. any system of extreme right-wing authoritarion views.

    (Version 2 without the emotional baggage of WWII.)

  13. Thanks Les, VernR, and decrepitoldfool. I was afraid I might come off as way too negative, but there is so much we’re doing wrong. I thought it more likely I would just piss everybody off.

    Yeah, Vern, I have a great deal of suspicion concerning “black box” voting. There are no good reasons to not have records of voter’s choices. The technology is there (and cheap) to record votes so the only reasons not to would be for manipulation purposes. This is another thing I don’t understand about Americans. Some will accept (even welcome) manipulation as a necessary evil (that will allow their candidates to gain or hold office) but sooner or later it will work instead for those they do not support. And O’Dell is a slimeball. BTW, one of Diebold’s slogans is “Protecting The Charters of Freedom”. How ironic is that?

    Thanks, Les. I would really enjoy being a contributing guest bastard. You compliment me beyond what I expected or hoped for. I doubt I could be as interesting as you and Eric, but I’d like to try to be worthy. This site has everything I respect in a blog – relevance, humor, intelligence, healthy skepticism and more – and it’s designed to accommodate maximum input and exposure of ideas.

    I would like to add a couple of minor things to my post, to better support my main points, but I could email it to you. Should I?

  14. More on voting machines from this this Editorial in today New York Times.

    Whenever questions are raised about the reliability of electronic voting machines, election officials have a ready response: independent testing. There is nothing to worry about, they insist, because the software has been painstakingly reviewed by independent testing authorities to make sure it is accurate and honest, and then certified by state election officials. But this process is riddled with problems, including conflicts of interest and a disturbing lack of transparency. Voters should demand reform, and they should also keep demanding, as a growing number of Americans are, a voter-verified paper record of their vote.

    The article goes on to say that verification testing of a machine’s performance is done by companies hired by the outfit making the voting machine. Further, State voting officials cannot get information from the manufacturers on who is conducting the tests and what procedures are used. The article also goes into problems of software verification, and, before it concludes with recommendations, indicates that the The Election Assistance Commission (a new Federal body) is slow in getting started because of inadequate funding.

    This quote may correct what I said earlier.

    If so-called independent testing were as effective as its supporters claim, the certified software should work flawlessly. But there have been disturbing malfunctions. Software that will be used in Miami-Dade County, Fla., this year was found to have a troubling error: when it performed an audit of all of the votes cast, it failed to correctly match voting machines to their corresponding vote totals.

    The folks in Washington advocate requiring transparent election processes in other countries but they can’t seem to pull it off here.

  15. My suspicion is raised by the refusal to do something so simple as printing out a ticket. 

    1) You vote on the touch-screen thingie
    2) The computer prints out a little ticket with your voter choices plainly readable
    3) You review your choices
    4) Finding that the computer did what you said, you fold the ticket, exit the booth, and drop the ticket into a ballot box.  From this point it’s handled just like any paper-based voting system. These tickets will be counted later at a central location.

    In this example the computer is just a means of printing out the ticket, but it isn’t connected to anything and doesn’t have to be honest.  The ticket you fold up and drop in the box is your vote.

    How hard could that be?

  16. American fries anyone?

    The Druge, Rush, O’Reilly, Hannity crowd must hang out at the same mimeo machine to get their daly script. (Rush can sniff the ink now that he’s off pills) Within in the last couple of days, their common theme is that Gore must have been deranged when he gave the speech.

    Rush wrapped up his rant with ‘He probably had dinner at a French restaurant after he finished the speech.’

    Calvin Trillan has written a new book called Obliviously on He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme. One of his poems goes something like this.

    Quoting French today
    To some may seem contrarian
    But hark to me my friends
    For things have changed too fast
    For me to learn Bulgarian

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