Don't be fooled by the title of this blog. I don't discuss herbs very much here. This blog is general-purpose, although I do like ranting about politics and religion.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Defending the Election

Here's the Libertarian, defending Bush one more time. Ye gads. And I want to make it clear that I did not support the US invasion of Iraq. My position was that we should have finally lifted the sanctions on Iraq and only after we got hit with a nuke (only a matter of time), then and only then should we have invaded Iraq.

Well, I'm not sure if I'm defending Bush so much as making one more stab at Mr. Kerry, but whatever.

My local newspaper (it's definitely on paper, not sure about the "news" part) contains some letters to the editor that definitely show the local political attitudes. The paper only permits one letter per writer per month (much more generous than other rags), and I'm past my limit for the month, so I am responding here to some pro-Kerry/anti-Bush whining. First the whining; I'll answer in-line after each paragraph.

From Chris Fry of Olympia:

Nov. 2 was a very dark day for the United States and the world. By electing an immoral liar, the GOP has put out future at risk. Bush and Co. has fanned the flames of terror, destroyed the environment, weakened our democracy and put our children's future in harm's way.
"Immoral liar" and "We were lied to" are code-phrases connected to the Bush Lied posters all over the place. The lie that Bush is supposed to have uttered was, "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, so we must go to war to take them away." After Iraq is conquered, it turns out that there are no WMD in Iraq.

OK, so Bush lied. Next accusation? Well, wait a minute. Did Bush actually lie to us, or was he merely mistaken? Depends upon your definition of "lie". Not to get too Clintonesque here, keep in mind that it is necessary for a falsehood to be known to the utterer as a falsehood to make uttering it into a lie. If I get a call from a creditor about a late payment that I have knowingly not sent in, and I tell her "the check is in the mail," then I am lying. If I gave the envelope to my teenaged son to mail in for me, and he forgot to mail it -- leaving it in the glove compartment, for instance -- and I thought he did mail it, then "the check is in the mail" is not a lie, it is a mistake. It turns out that President Clinton, Prime Minister Blair, and many other political leaders (including John Kerry) thought Saddam had WMD, practically every Western intelligence service thought Saddam had WMD, and Saddam himself acted like he had WMD because while denying it furiously he went to a lot of trouble to interfere with the weapons inspectors who were searching for it. So, if everyone, including Bush, thought he had WMD, where is the lie? The lie is in the phrase "Bush lied."

And on top of that, we didn't go to war just over WMD. Read Bush's speeches and press releases and you will find that there were a number of factors, including ties with terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda. High Iraqi officials were known to have met with high Al-Qaeda officials in locations outside Iraq. And I doubt they were just exchanging falafel recipes.

I find it ironic that the GOP color is red; does this reflect the blood on their hands for the death of the more than 1,100 US soldiers and the 100,000 dead Iraqis? THIS IS AN ILLEGITIMATE WAR!! We were lied to. Why don't people get it?
It isn't a matter of "irony" that the GOP color is red; in context with this particular whine it would be more a matter of "appropriate," but leaving that aside, the color assigned to the GOP for the election was a media choice. At one time the media used red to denote the Democratic party, and blue for the Republicans. I have no idea why they changed this around.

Anyway, I would argue with the figure of 100,000 dead Iraqis. Seems like a very highnumber. And is it really an illegitimate war? Only if Bush lied, which I say he didn't. I'm sure that Mr. Fry would not consider for a moment that the European theater of World War 2 was an illegitimate war. But the fact remains that we declared war on Germany on December 12, 1941, when we had never been attacked by the Germans, and had no obligation to stand by the side of Britain. It is true that Germany first declared war on us, but there was no need for us to actually fight them! If we had simply restricted ourselves to fighting Japan, who had actually attacked us, then we would have won that war two years earlier and would have saved ourselves a lot lives, money and materiel. It can thus be argued that Roosevelt put us into an illegitimate war against Germany.

Mr. Fry also said: you realize Bush said the same things over and over for year? And a majority of voters fell for it.
Well, let's see. He's accusing Bush of staying consistently on-message for an entire year of campaigning, without contradicting himself. And a majority fell for it! Amazing. As opposed to Mr. Kerry, who contradicted himself over and over again, almost as a matter of policy it seemed, for over a year. And a minority of voters fell for that. Tsk tsk.

One interesting example of double-dealing on Kerry's part is Gun Control. Kerry has an even stronger voting record on Gun Control than those stalwarts in the Senate, Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer. Kerry has voted more consistently for taking guns away from Americans than any other single legislator. He never found a single gun control bill that he couldn't vote for. Yet there he was, taking a photo opportunity to kill a goose with a shotgun --- in fact, with a shotgun that would have been outlawed if a law he had supported had passed! Yet when it came to the election, Kerry was out there claiming the mantle of a defender of the Second Amendment. That's Kerry's character in a nutshell.

Plus, Bush could not run on policy, so he turned to character assassination. Sen. John Kerry is a very honorable man who did not deserve this treatment...
Actually, Bush did run on policy. He never said a word about John Kerry's character. All the negative character campaigning was done by organizations and persons independent of Bush's campaign. Some would say that Bush should have repudiated it. Yes, and shouldn't Kerry have repudiated all the character assassinating that groups such as was doing? He didn't. It turns out that Kerry's character lent itself easily to assassination. Bush's didn't, because a majority of voters did not believe it.

If Kerry is an honorable man, then the word "honorable" seems to have become rather an elastic term these days. Honorable means to lie in order to be awarded at least two of three Purple Hearts, then come home and accuse his fellow Vietnam vets with committing heinous war crimes. He himself "admitted" to committing the war crimes, under oath, in front of Congress. Honorable also apparently means falsely blackening the names of men who had served, and some who had given their lives, while accepting no punishment himself for his own admitted deeds. Deeds that he couldn't in fact prove, because they were false in his case, and false for the overwhelming majority of those whom he falsely accused. There is a reason why "false accuser" is a crime on par with murder and adultery in the 10 commandments. Would Mr. Fry have voted for a man running for President who had committed murder thirty years previously but was now reformed?

Either Kerry was a war criminal, or he was a false accuser. If he wasn't the first, then Kerry Lied. If he was the second, you really think his character is superior to Bush's? Bush avoided active service. So did Clinton. So what?

Finally, Fry concludes:

I suggest that the Republican voters stop acting like lemmings, stop blindly following the evangelical rants (which sould quite similar to those of the Taliban) of the pulpit, and begin to look at facts and think for themselves. You obviously do not have America's best interests at heart.
The term "lemmings" can be applied equally well to some voters of both parties. "My grampa was a Democrat, my pappy was a Democrat, and I'll be a Democrat until the day I die." But for the others, who thoughtfully disagree because of differing points of view? How is it that merely for the crime of disagreeing with you can you accuse someone of not having the best interests of the nation at heart? What happened to charity? What happened to assuming the good intentions of someone while disagreeing with their method of obtaining those intentions? This is actually the war cry of the liberal Democrat: "Not only is my enemy wrong, he intends to do evil. He must be destroyed!" That is the Taliban.

There was another similar letter to the editor in today's Olympian, but I've gone on too long commenting on this one. I'll let the other one go; it was in the same vein, anyway.


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