Bush Campaign Lies

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Bush Campaign Lie #36: Kerry Demonstrates a Flawed Understanding of the War on Terror 

This is the most egregious Bush campaign lie I've yet come across. There are so many things wrong with this one, it should count as more than just one lie. However, since I can't easily tease apart all of the wrongness encompassed in this charge, I'll only count it once.

The lie begins by distorting one of Kerry's charges as an accusation that Bush 'focuses too heavily on terrorism'. Kerry was only making an observation which is clear to all with eyes to see: '. . . everything [Bush] did in Iraq, he's going to try to persuade people it has to do with terror, even though everybody here knows that it has nothing whatsoever to do with al Qaeda and everything to do with an agenda that they had preset, determined. That's where they're going to go'. Kerry's charge wasn't that Bush is inappropriately focused on terror, but that he has opportunistically used 9/11 to justify his attack on Iraq.

The second part of the lie is to point out that a new bin Laden tape appeared on the same day Kerry made the above statement. If the Kerry had really said that Bush focuses too heavily on terrorism, this would be relevant. As it is, it's just pointless verbiage.

For the third part of the lie, the Republicans express mock astonishment at Kerry's statement that there never was a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. In other words, they're trying to revive the idea that the two were in cahoots somehow, even though Colin Powell and David Kay have both publicly declared that there is no evidence of such a link. And that's not even including the opinion of Richard Clarke, who was Bush's head of counterterrorism at the time of the attacks.

The final two points of the Bush smear are exceptionally weak arguments trying to prove that there really is some kind of link between Hussein and al Qaeda, after all. In the fourth point, they note that in the just-released tape, bin Laden states 'Our actions are a reaction to yours, which are destruction and killing of our people as is happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine.' Anyone with an ounce of intelligence would realize that when bin Laden mentions Iraq, he's referring to the fact that U.S. and coalition forces have been responsible for the death of approximately 8875 Iraqi civilians since the start of the war.

Do you see how stupid the Bush campaign thinks you are? They expect you to swallow this argument: 'We invaded Iraq and killed a bunch of people, and Osama bin Laden mentioned it in his latest audio tape. This proves there's a link between Iraq and al Qaeda!'

Their final argument is just as ludicrous. They cite a statement Kerry made in December 2001 in which he used 'terrorism' and 'Saddam Hussein' in almost the same breath. So the patronizing Republican argument here is 'We insisted that Saddam Hussein was somehow involved with 9/11 and terrorism, and Kerry made the mistake of believing us. This proves that Kerry has a flawed understanding of the war on terror.'

Agreed. Anyone who still believes anything the Bush administration says about the war on terror has a flawed understanding of it.

8:39 PM