Monday, October 18, 2004

Symposium: Why vote for Bush, and what’s wrong with Kerry?

The greatest issue facing our nation is the threat of Islamist terrorism and what to do about it. There are organizations of people in the world dedicated to killing Americans (and many other innocent people). How to deal with those terrorist organizations is the number one issue for any president.

Any potential president must pass the September 10th test: Knowing what we know now, would you have been willing to attack Al Qaeda with all our might before they succeeded in striking us on 9-11? Now that we know the danger, will you give as great a priority to preventing such attacks as to responding after the fact?

John Kerry fails this test. In making statements such as:

“The invasion of Iraq was a profound diversion from the battle against our greatest enemy, al-Qaida,”

Kerry makes it plain his plan is reactive. Only terrorists that succeed in striking us will get his full attention. Under Kerry, the larger problem of all Islamist terrorist organizations planning to kill Americans would be neglected.

Bush passes the test brilliantly. His plan is comprehensive and effective precisely because it is pro-active. He has shown that he is willing to go after terrorists, even at great political risk. He refuses to allow other nations to provide them safe-harbor or support.

Bush plans to kill or capture terrorists before they succeed in killing us. Kerry will respond only after more of us are killed. The choice for me about whom to support is clear.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

>How to deal with those terrorist organizations >is the number one issue for any president.

With a half million americans dying every year "like clock work" in american hosptials from "mistakes", and plenty of other dire straights this country is in, I may take issue with that statement, but I agree terrorism is a fairly high priority.

>Knowing what we know now, would you have been >willing to attack Al Qaeda with all our might >before they succeeded in striking us on 9-11?

That depends on how and where you attacked them. Attacking Iraq pre 9-11 wouldn't have stopped it. Attacking Afganistan before hand wouldn't have stopped it. It seems that arresting the two saudi royal family members living in the US with terrorist ties may have helped, but investigating them was blocked by the whitehouse and the FBI, and not cleared for go ahead again till the day after they had been flown out of the country. It's all a question of priorities, perspective and persistance. The only one Bush "seems" to have is persistance.

>Kerry makes it plain his plan is reactive.

Really? I hear the exact opposite. I hear Kerry wants to hunt them down and kill them. Infact both Kerry and Biden made it quite clear pre 9-11 that the Bush administrations obsession with Star Wars, to the exclusion of more pressing and immediate terrorist concerns, would come back to haunt them.

Bush has given us the most "reactive" response in history. And directed in the wrong direction at that! All Bush has done is to piss terrorists off even more, and give them their best recruiting tool ever. Bush also then allows the terrorists Saddams stock piles of guns, ammo and rocketry in Iraq.

Intelligence reports now warn that in the past, terrorists plans for large scale (nuclear/biological) attacks were always in danger of being discovered by an insider who developed cold feet for such a devestating plan. But now those helpfull reservations are all but gone in the freshly heated situation of over 10k Iraqi deaths.

Bush "says" we have captured or killed 75% of Al Queda. The real fact is,(possible what he meant to say) is that 75% of the old and previously known leadership of Al Queda has been killed or captured. In otherwords, we haven't put a dent in Al Queda, in fact we've fertilized it. Also read intelligence reports as to where the majority of Al Queada congregate and plan. The UK.

>Under Kerry, the larger problem of all Islamist >terrorist organizations planning to kill >Americans would be neglected.

Where do you come up with anything of the sort? This is utter nonsense.

>Bush passes the test brilliantly. His plan is >comprehensive and effective precisely because it >is pro-active.

How? Which terrorist groups that previously wanted to destroy us because they hated us , have either been disarmed, had access to future weapons cut off, changed their minds because they are now scared of us, or changed their minds because they now love us, or even had their numbers diminished?

Answer, a few dead "individuals" in Afganistan. But the group itself now grows.We let most of the "religious" terrorists go. And we now let the more "secular" drug lord terrorists run the show.

>He has shown that he is willing to go after >terrorists, even at great political risk.

That "might" be admirable, if it were true, and if it were just at great political risk to himself. But unfortunately, its at great political risk to the entire USA. Again, there is no evidence that terrorists who had potential to harm us, have been harmed in Iraq.

>He refuses to allow other nations to provide >them safe-harbor or support.

Ummmm... all nations except 95% of them I suppose. Iraq was the wrong target. These religeous extremists were not welcome in Iraq. Saddam hated them. These were the people he targeted with his death squads. Extreme Islamic leaders jumped for joy at Saddams toppling.

Again, the most openly vocal base of actual Al Queada supporters, members and recruiters is the UK. The major financial support for Al Queda is Iran and Saudi Arabia.

>Bush plans to kill or capture terrorists before >they succeed in killing us.

Bushes talk is cheap. And about 4 years too late at that. Can you tell me what his plan is to stop the exponential recruitment within terrorist organizations is? Can you tell me how he will get all the countries he's pissed off to share their intelligence with us now? Can you tell me what the reaction will be if next year Bush says we have to invade Syria because "our top notch intelligence" says they have WMDs? Can you tell me a SINGLE country that will go along with us on that one "now"? And can you tell me how in the hell we will possibly go to war with Syria when no other nations come with us, and all our troops are still in Iraq?

>Kerry will respond only after more of us are >killed.

I don't know how you come up with that. Kerry is every bit as persistent as Bush. The only difference will be priorities and perspective.

>The choice for me about whom to support is clear.

On this we agree.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Dean said...

Good post. I think that anonymous is more interested in what Europer thinks, than what is necessary to win. FYI, my site: deansjournal.blogspot.com/2004/10/in-response-to-hughs-seminar-question.html

10:13 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My first fisking of a commenter:

Grrr... the lefty's response did not respect the 250 word limit. And they wonder why we're worried they'll cheat come election day.

Let's take a look at "Anonymous'" arguement:

"With a half million americans dying every year "like clock work" in american hosptials from "mistakes", and plenty of other dire straights this country is in, I may take issue with that statement, but I agree terrorism is a fairly high priority."

Umm... is this guy saying hospitals are an equal or greater threat than terrorism? Yes, he actually seems to be. Alarming or novel? You be the judge.

In response to the 9-10 test: "That depends on how and where you attacked them. Attacking Iraq pre 9-11 wouldn't have stopped it. Attacking Afganistan before hand wouldn't have stopped it. It seems that arresting the two saudi royal family members living in the US with terrorist ties may have helped, but investigating them was blocked by the whitehouse and the FBI, and not cleared for go ahead again till the day after they had been flown out of the country. It's all a question of priorities, perspective and persistance. The only one Bush "seems" to have is persistance."

This is just silly. There was a time when this attack was just an idea in the minds of terrorists in the Middle-East. Taking out those specific terrorists sufficiently ahead of time would indeed have stopped the attack. It's not like it was terribly obvious that simulataneously hijacking multiple commercial jets using box-cutters, and turning them into missiles against commercial, governmental, and military targets just sort of .... happened. Someone started the plan. Kill the planner ahead of time, stop the plan. If you don't accept this, you're not smart enough to speak about how to battle terrorists.

"I hear Kerry wants to hunt [down terrosits] and kill them."

Of course. Kerry will tell you anything you want to hear. Including that he'll make the lame walk, according to his running make. Intelligent voters loook for more than empty promises.

"All Bush has done is to piss terrorists off even more, and give them their best recruiting tool ever."

Wow, this is a point the left loves. And one that demonstrates their fundamental incapacity on the security of the nation.

Anon, if you saw the greatest military on earth turn its full attention on hunting down and killing everyone in category "X", would that increase or decrease the desirablity of belonging to category "X"?

If you say it increases that desire, we can agree to disagree. I'll let others decide which point of view makes the most sense.

"Intelligence reports now warn that in the past, terrorists plans for large scale (nuclear/biological) attacks were always in danger of being discovered by an insider who developed cold feet for such a devestating plan. But now those helpfull reservations are all but gone in the freshly heated situation of over 10k Iraqi deaths."

How many 9-11's are we supposed to tolerate for the sake of those intelligence reports? Thank God our people are only being killed in the thousands! Whatever we do, we must not make those people angry, or they'll nuke us!

And were these reports written by those same agencies that said Saddam had stockpiles of WMD's? No need to linger here. You don't believe this stuff either. You just find it convenient.

"Bush "says" we have captured or killed 75% of Al Queda. The real fact is,(possible what he meant to say) is that 75% of the old and previously known leadership of Al Queda has been killed or captured. In otherwords, we haven't put a dent in Al Queda, in fact we've fertilized it. Also read intelligence reports as to where the majority of Al Queada congregate and plan. The UK."

I'm having a hard time in such a target rich environment. Let's try to be brief. Apparently the commenter thinks Al Aqaeda is doing better than ever. On the basis of what? Apparently more intelligence reports (we still haven't heard anything about why they are to be trusted now but condemned regarding Saddam's WMD - let's not hold our breath). And those reports apparently say doom is gathering in the UK. Which would imply we've wiped out its locus in the Middle East. And since we're rather cozy with Tony Blair on this matter, I'd say we're near checkmate.

The rest of his comments get a bit tiresome. It's not like it's difficult to respond, but he's asking us to spoonfeed him on things that are a google search away.

His basic thesis is that by killing terrorists Bush is making more terrorists. If that's a persuasive argument to you, you're already voting for Kerry, and you're not a very smart person. You're a leftist bigot refusing to think. That's fine. There are lots of you we need to live with after the election.

I don't hate you personally. But I find your point of view dangerous, and frequently cite it as a reason your preferred candidates can't be trusted with political power in these times.

11:18 PM  
Blogger redcrabtree said...

Came from Hewitt's symposium. I just have to take issue with the top poster on hospital deaths. Let me explain something I am a Registered Nurse and have been for nearly 14 years now.

The number of deaths related to medical error is large, that cannot be disputed, but did you know that a Registered Nurse can be FORCED to work 20 hours? That there is no law (except in 3 states) that disallow the use of mandatory overtime for nurses? Do you think that a nurse that has put in 16 hours three days in a row is not a potential danger to her patients? Did you know that a trucker is not allowed to drive more than 8 hours in a 24 hour period because to drive more is considered a public safety issue? or that a pilot may not fly more than 14 hours and then only with a copilot because of public safety issues? But again a nurse can be forced to work up to 20 hours? No public safety issue there apparently.

Next, 4 and a half years ago I was in Washington DC to rally for a bill that would ban the use of mandatory overtime. I went to a senate subcommittee hearing on the issue and guess who was on that committee? John Kerry, as well as Ted Kennedy. They sat and listened to leaders of the American Nurse Association talk about the mandatory overtime issue, the risk to patients, the risk to nurses licenses and they sat and nodded their heads. All this time later and two different bills we still do not have a federal law that disallows any facility in this country (except for the 3 states that have passed a bill) to use mandatory overtime and no the issue is not simply because there is a nursing shortage. There are facilities across this country that are using the shortage as an excuse to not staff appropriately and simply use mandatory overtime to fill holes. That facility has the option of bringing in agency nurses to fill those gaps, but they won't because of the cost. They'd rather risk patient and nurse licenses instead.

If John Kerry was truly concerned about patient safety he could have made this his pet project, he could have used his 20 years in the senate as a bully pulpit, but he did not. He sat there and listened at that senate subcommittee hearing and then he did nothing. The American Nurse Association has endorsed him for President, to which I say so what? The ANA is run primarily by management nurses, they hold less than 7% of the RNs in this country because they are seen as a worthless paralyzed organization, they have affilated their union activities to the AFL-CIO because THEY know something about nursing right? The whole issueof mandatory overtime and the ANA's ability to do something about it has riven the nursing community apart with the California, Massachusetts, and Maine state associations disaffliating from the national ANA group. Pennsylvania, Colorado and potentially Hawaii have also seen their state associations split with part staying with the ANA and part affliating with the ones who have already left. The use of mandatory overtime is a HUGE issue inside nursing and nobody but us seem to care.

John Kerry had his chance to make this a nationwide issue and he did not. He was told that with a ban on mandatory overtime it would help ease the nursing shortage as studies done have shown that nurses are leaving the profession because of it, and some nurses will come back if they were not forced into mandatory overtime. As a profession we are not attracting young people and part of that reason is because of the use of mandatory overtime and because of patient to staff ratios that are too high. And when did those ratio's become too high? During the Clinton years when the HMO's and the insurance companies became the gatekeepers, Hillary Care in miniture. Why do you think the health care community fought so hard against Hillary and her grand scheme?

John Kerry had an opportunity to make a difference in the safety of hospitals and he blew it. Four years later the nursing profession has nothing from him. Because of the unionization within a professional association (an issue all by itself) the Democrats always get the endorsement of that association, but do not mistake that for endorsement from front line bedside nurses. I can tell you most nurses who have worked hard to get legislation passed that would help patient safety are not impressed.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>My first fisking of a commenter:

Oooh, I'm honored.

>Grrr... the lefty's response did not respect the >250 word limit.

First off, why do you assume I'm a lefty? Because I dislike Bush? Bush and the so called religious right are the most flaming left wing socialists to come down the pike in generations.

But perhaps you really meant to "assume" I was a liberal, because I dislike Bush. Again you would be wrong. Perhaps you are unaware at what is happening within your own party, and within Bushes own administration. You won't find alot of liberals there.

>And they wonder why we're >worried they'll cheat >come election day.

First off, I'm glad you have the perspective to automatically associate "me" with all of "them". Second, I'm not sure how my going over the 250 word limit equates with voter fraud. If thats the case, Bushes drunk driving should equate with murder. Actually, I guess he's lucky it didn't.

Thirdly, who owns "all" the electronic voting machines? Who own 90% of the old style voting tabulating machines? If the GOP is so worried the DEMs will cheat (I'm assuming this is ok "them" vs. "you" scenerio) , why didn't they do something to make the system more secure now that they control congress and the whitehouse? Too busy redistricting? But prob the same reason they also continue to grow government and spend money at record levels.

>Umm... is this guy saying hospitals are an equal >or greater threat than terrorism? Yes, he >actually seems to be. Alarming or novel? You be >the judge

All I did was give you the numbers. (half a million every year like clockwork) You be the judge on threat levels.


>It's not like it was terribly obvious that >simulataneously hijacking multiple commercial >jets using box-cutters, and turning them into >missiles against commercial, governmental, and >military targets just sort of .... happened.

Wow. Other than the fact that that very scenerio had been warned about? (minus the box cutters) Infact we now know the military had flight excersizes in NYC itself for just such a time that they might need to take out a commercial airliner that had been hijacked.

>Kill the planner ahead of time, stop the plan. >If you don't accept this, you're not smart >enough to speak about how to battle terrorists.

Of course I'm not smart enough. I don't like Bush or his plans.

Do you even have a clue as to who planned 9-11 even this long after the fact? How could you? Our own intellegence doesn't. Infact several sectors of our intellegence are still not ready to say it was Al Queda at all, let alone Osama!!! Even if we knew for an absolute fact who planned it, do you honestly think killing them would have stopped it? You can't possibly believe that. The main reason that the CIA knew about the possibility of airliners as missles, was because it was so obvious, not because of intelligence gathering. (although admitedly, some intelligence gathering later seemed to confirm the assumption)

>Of course. Kerry will tell you anything you want >to hear. Including that he'll make the lame >walk, according to his running make. Intelligent >voters loook for more than empty promises.

egad... empty promises???!!! You mean like "no new nation building" "smaller government" "less spending" "bringing the nation together" ..?.. must I go on and on?

>Wow, this is a point the left loves. And one >that demonstrates their fundamental incapacity >on the security of the nation

Its not just "the left". By all acounts, major rifts within the GOP have arisin around this very issue. (as well as many other issues) I have no prob with pissing off the terrorists, but when we also piss off more moderate muslims to the point were they now seriously listen to extremist mullahs that they used to consider paranoid, and we also piss off our allies who would normally have had our back, we haven't done things right. We've made things worse.

>Anon, if you saw the greatest military on earth >turn its full attention on hunting down and >killing everyone in category "X", would that >increase or decrease the desirablity of >belonging to category "X"?

Killing them!? They love that! What do you think their primary objective is? Now on the other hand, killing their wives and children and threatening to wipe out all of Islam might stop them. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to say thats acceptable? Of course they are like this because they are insane. Do you think killing 10k Iraqis and occupying Iraq for the forseeable future will make them less insane?

>How many 9-11's are we supposed to tolerate for >the sake of those intelligence reports?

This is silly. I never said we should do nothing and you know it. I simply said Iraq was the wrong target. We wasted alot of opportunity that we will never get back.

>And were these reports written by those same >agencies that said Saddam had stockpiles of >WMD's?

Are you talking about the old dusty reports that said we thought he might still have some because he hadn't verified destroying them? Or are you talking about the newer reports that showed he probably had none, and that sanctions and inspections were probably working? Remember Richard Perle, the prime architect of the neocons foreign policy along with Wolfowitz. Here are his words in Jan 2004 on the Charlie Rose show. "None of us thought the WMD argument was a good one, but our lawyers made us use "it" to add legitimacy to the case"

>And those reports apparently say doom is >gathering in the UK. Which would imply we've >wiped out its locus in the Middle East. And >since we're rather cozy with Tony Blair on this >matter, I'd say we're near checkmate.

No, the UK has been home base for over a decade. It has nothing to do with them "retreating". Tony Blair is no longer very chumy with Bush at all, and he is most likely gone soon anyhow. His replacement will certainly not be Bush freindly.

>His basic thesis is that by killing terrorists >Bush is making more terrorists.

Again, why do you make such bizarre asumptions? At this point I wonder if you're assuming I'm a Saddam lover because I don't support Bush. Killing terrorists is fine, and a good idea. But that's not what Bush is doing. Sure, while killing 10k Iraqi civilians he's managed to kill a few terrorists.

So far nearly everyone of your points is a complete misunderstood assumption on what you "think" I'm saying. But at least I'm starting to understand how Kerrys critics can keep flip flopping on their interpretations of what Kerry says.

>If that's a persuasive argument to you, you're >already voting for Kerry

No, if that was a persuasive argument for me, I would vote for Nader. Kerry would be killing way too many terrorists for me if I actually believed that argument.

>You're a leftist bigot refusing to think. That's >fine. There are lots of you we need to live with >after the election.

Well I'm glad your not being elitist or anything. Every point I have made is an obvious thought "beyond" your initial and simple arguments. How is that "refusing to think". Perhaps what you meant to say is that I'm just one of those "stupid intellectuals" who thinks too much?

BTW, I am very much in agreement with the post previous that takes Kerry to task for not making hospitals and health care problems more of an issue. There are probably a dozen things he should be bringing up that he isn't. That is certainly one of them.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Heh. I’m getting rusty. I forgot the “anonymous” style from the old Usenet flame-wars.

We don’t get to make assumptions about “anonymous.” He might not be a lefty. He might be a member of the Republican Party. He might be Pat Buchanan. He might be a little green man from a distant galaxy with higher knowledge. He won’t tell us. But he warns us for our own sake we’d better not assume. Because we’ll surely feel silly when we find out how totally unlike our assumptions he turns out to be. (I’m sticking with assuming he’s a lefty incidentally, but I’ll be happy to entertain the notion that he might be a disgruntled Buchananite).

He’s also apparently humorless, responding to my joke about 250 word limits and voter fraud with an angry side argument. Classic Usenet stuff. I’m almost getting nostalgic.

A few simple points in response: The Republican Party is hugely behind the president. There are plenty of gripes, but no great “rifts” within the party this election cycle. It’s absurd to believe that killing terrorists is making more of them, no matter how many times this mantra is repeated.

As for all the rest, I’m declining to continue the back and forth. It’s not what my comments section is for. And I can’t imagine anyone other than “Anonymous” is following it by this point.

So let me speak directly to “Anonymous” for a moment. Blogs are free and easy to set up. Go to “Blogger.com” and you can be set up in 5 minutes. You know the symposium topic. You seem to have plenty to say about it. Give it a shot. In 250 words make your argument for why Bush is so wrong and Kerry so right (or Nader, or Badnerik, or whomever you want to support). Can’t do it in 250 words (which is the part that made the exercise interesting for me), do it in 500 or 750 or whatever. Put your own assertions out there for others to judge. See if you can make a good case. I promise to link to your article if you do.

10:14 AM  

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