We read with our jaws dropped open Bush's statements during a press conference today that show how he trudges ahead with comments that ignore reality. He recently said that he kept talking about social security in order to "catapult the propaganda" (We imagine his handlers took him task for that to tell him that he should never admit that he is attempting to spread propaganda). He seems to believe that if he says nonsense enough times, people will believe it without investigating whether it is true. And certainly, "you can fool all of the people some of the time" but you can't fool all the people all the time, despite Bush's packaged tripe. Comments on the article
"It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world," Bush said of the Amnesty International report that compared Guantanamo to a Soviet-era gulag.The US is not promoting freedom when there are prisoners in Guantanemo who are being held without trial, and whom the Bush administration did not want to give a trial but hold them indefinitely, forever. The US is also not promoting freedom when they occupy countries such as Iraq, including resident military bases in a large number of countries.
In a Rose Garden news conference, Bush defiantly stood by his domestic policy agenda while defending his actions abroad. He repeatedly pledged to press ahead — "The president has got to push, he's got to keep leading" — despite mounting criticism. When does a person stop being called persistent in the face of failure and instead, dogmatic, stubborn and incalcitrant? Remember the analogy last year of Bush driving a car off a cliff, refusing to change directions even when it meant certain problems?
With the death toll climbing daily in Iraq, he said that nation's fledging government is "plenty capable" of defeating insurgents whose attacks on Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers have intensified. Not only are they not defeating "insurgents" but there should be a re-evaluation by Americans as to whether, not counting car bombers, those who want the US to leave their country are "insurgents" or "patriots"-would the British during the Revolutionary War have called us insurgents?
"I think the Iraqi people dealt the insurgents a serious blow when we had the elections," Bush said. "In other words, what the insurgents fear is democracy because democracy is the opposition of their vision." This is utter rubbish. The Iraqi people do not fear democracy, they want to govern their own affairs.
On another foreign policy issue, Bush shot back at critics who suggest his diplomatic approach to North Korea is allowing the communist regime to expand its nuclear program. "If diplomacy is the wrong approach, I guess that means military. That's how I view it as either diplomacy or military. I am for the diplomacy approach," he said. "And for those who say we ought to be using our military to stop a problem, I would say that while all options are on the table, we've still got a ways to go to solve this diplomatically." That works for North Korea but the same tactic was not applied to Iraq? We already know from the Downing Street Memo and other comments from US government officials that the US had plans from the start of the Bush administration to invade Iraq, even though the intelligence on WMD was false and contradicted by officials before the war. If we applied the same yardstick to North Korea that we did to Iraq, we would have invaded that country as well, and how much more so, because we know they plan to create nuclear weapons, if they haven't already. Bush also is misleading when he says he uses diplomacy-nonsense, we have military bases all over the world, and we pay other countries through our taxes to build up their military to work with us (as in the Caspian pipeline).
On the Amnesty International report, Bush said, "It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of the allegations by people who were held in detention, people who hate America." Bush would have preferred that Amnesty International and the International Red Cross not have access or interview any prisoners at all? What he says in this sentence is nonsensical and dismisses any legitimacy of any conversation at all from a prisoner. Assume that the torture stories are true-if the prisoners did not speak up about them to authorities, no one would know-the US government wasn't telling (in fact was surprised that the Abu Ghraib photos got out to the public). To believe the opposite is to believe that no one has been tortured, that all are treated fairly, and no innocent ever gets put in prison. We know that is not the case, (witness Gen Myers telling Rumsfeld not to tell Congress that he had seen the Abu Ghraib photos) and for Bush to say that anyone that speaks up about prison conditions "hates America" shows his own ignorance. Maybe he should have studied harder in school.
Despite democratic opposition and Republican skittishness about his plans for Social Security, he said he would push forward. "It's like water cutting through a rock. I'm going to keep working and working and working," he said. Bush, as said in a different article, has a "tin ear". Despite Congress not being on board with him, and despite his ratings for social security going down the more people hear him talk about it and realise what he's saying, he won't give up. I don't call that water on a rock, I call that water on his brain.