By Todd Smyth
He was against global warming now he's for it; he was against
"nation-building" now he likes it; he once opposed deficit
spending now he's addicted to it; he was a uniter now he's
a divider - and that's just one guy appointed by the Supreme
Court. So, what redeeming qualities does George Bush have?
Well, he's decisive!
... except on gay marriage (he used to be for civil unions)
... and outsourcing jobs (was a good thing, now a bad thing)
... Saddam and Osama good buddies? (actually mortal enemies)
... found mobile weapon labs (mobile weather balloon trucks)
... weapons grade uranium? (totally bogus, officially retracted)
... why we invaded Iraq (was WMD, now Saddam thinking bad
... global warming (was our greatest threat, now ignore it
and it'll go away)
... cost of new Medicare bill (was $395 billion, now over
... tax cuts favor the middle class (thought Steve Forbes
... budget projections (left out Iraq war, Medicare, and permanent
... no child left behind (except the poor ones)
... military service (was a 'Nam Vet, now "Don't mess with
... promised 2.6 million new jobs this year (but not in this
... promised 1.7 million jobs last year (in China and India
... cost of tax-free health savings accounts (was $6.7 billion,
now over $16 billion)
... doesn't know Enron CEO Ken Lay (biggest all-time campaign
It's easy to appear decisive when you think everyone is with
you or against you. You can't have second thoughts when you
never have the first one. It's hard to have conflicting views
when you don't ask questions or even listen to your own cabinet
members. While Bush's tax cuts trickle down overseas and al-Qaeda
gears up for more attacks, George Bush is taking decisive
action to amend the Constitution to restrict liberty, equality
and dignity from the friendliest segment of our society.
In 1968 Richard Nixon won the White House by pitting Americans
against one another, stirring up racial prejudice and bringing
out the worst in people. It was called the "Southern Strategy."
Republicans have been using and refining this divide and conquer
approach for more than 30 years.
Now President Bush proposes an amendment to the Constitution
in order to divide us by beating up on gay people. It's one
thing for people to say they don't believe in gay marriage.
It's completely different to change the Constitution to define
marriage based on religious or personal beliefs. Even the
most radical Bush supporters in congress like House majority
leader Tom DeLay of Texas have backed off the president's
proposal, suggesting that we allow the states to work it out.
It doesn't even look like Congress will touch the proposal.
There is no chance of this amendment ever passing. The president
is just using this hot button issue to change the subject
of debate and misdirect people's attention from the real issues
of jobs, healthcare and al-Qaeda. Remember al-Qaeda? They're
the ones who attacked us on 9/11, 2001 when 2,992 Americans
were killed during attacks on the World Trade Center and the
It's not like there was no warning. Al-Qaeda attacked us
in 2000 when suicide bombers blew up the Navy destroyer USS
Cole killing 17 sailors. In 1998 al-Qaeda bombed U.S. embassies
in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tanzania killing more than 250 people.
al-Qaeda bombings at U.S. military facilities in Riyadh and
Dhahran killed 26 American soldiers in 1995 and 1996. The
World Trade Center was first bombed by al-Qaeda in 1993.
When asked about president Clinton's performance on defense
the only criticism Paul Wolfowitz had was Bill Clinton's obsession
with Osama bin Laden. Clinton's plan to eliminate al Qaeda
root and branch was completed only weeks before the inauguration
of George W. Bush. Clinton's National Security Advisor Sandy
Berger arranged ten briefings for his successor, Condoleezza
Rice, and her deputy, Stephen Hadley. He told Dr. Rice, "I
believe that the Bush administration will spend more time
on terrorism in general, and on al Qaeda specifically, than
any other subject.''
For nine months the Bush administration did absolutely nothing
to defend against bin Laden or al Qaeda. Instead they engaged
in an obsession with the Star Wars Missile Defense system
which would pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to Bush's
best campaign contributors and protect America from nothing.
Even if they ever get the system to work, the counter-measures
will always be easier and less expensive to create.
Meanwhile, fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi
Arabia. Most of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are in Afghanistan
or Pakistan, but George Bush wasted a year invading Iraq?
Now that al-Qaeda has had time to regroup and expand, they're
gearing up for more attacks. Bush failed to prevent the 9/11
disaster despite a history of attacks, plenty of accurate
intelligence and strong warnings from the outgoing Clinton
I've heard people say they were unsure about George Bush
before 9/11 but were converted when he picked up a megaphone
at Ground Zero in New York after the attacks. I suppose that
was impressive. But what is astounding to me is that on the
morning of 9/11 George Bush Sr. was attending a Carlyle Group
meeting with Shafig bin Laden, brother of Osama bin Laden
at the New York Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Shafig bin Laden financed
part of George W. Bush's first oil company in Texas. The list
of family connections between the bin Laden family and the
Bush family is extensive and well documented. Even more astounding
is that while airports around the country were closed after
9/11 George Bush had the FBI gather up 24 members of Osama
bin Laden's family and safely fly them out of the country
before they could be questioned about the 9/11 attacks.
George Bush's so called "strong and principled leadership"
has misled the world about WMD as an excuse to invade Iraq
and run for re-election as a "war president", while
providing his biggest campaign contributors with greedy war
profiteering. Bush publicly stated more than 43 times leading
up to the war in Iraq, that there was a connection between
Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks. When his bogus claim
of Iraq obtaining enriched uranium from Niger was disputed
by Joseph Wilson, Bush's staff illegally leaked the identity
of Wilson's wife who was a covert CIA agent. Wilson said "The
reason was to intimidate others from coming forward."
George Bush's decisive policies have resulted in the wholesale
give away of our middle-class job market. His best remedy
is job retraining which is just another misdirection. Retrain
us for what jobs? While George Bush tells us the economy is
in great shape and job growth is just around the corner, the
trickle-down effect of his tax cuts has already come and gone
overseas. The trick to trickle-down economics is the jobs
need to be created in the same country the tax cuts come from.
The Republicans are now trying to label John Kerry as being
indecisive and weak on defense. They've attacked him for attempting
to change the spending habits on defense and intelligence
systems. At the same time they want to label Kerry as a product
of special interests. But spending on defense and intelligence
systems is flawed and lacking accountability. John Kerry fought
to stop the wasteful spending on bloated defense contractor
pork and special interest favors.
For example, John Kerry's efforts to reduce spending on
intelligence included spy satellites and other Cold War technology
that would be ineffective in a non-cold war environment. Unfortunately,
John Kerry's best efforts to restructure our intelligence
spending failed and look at what we ended up with. The president
himself is blaming the Weapons of Mass Destruction mirage
on flawed intelligence. That's the kind of result we get when
defense spending is not accountable and is entrenched in special
It's not the amount of money you spend on defense. It's
how effectively the money is spent. There was plenty of intelligence
to identify and prevent the 9/11 attacks but it fell on unengaged
and deaf ears. You can't defend America by wasting money on
corrupt defense contractors and Cold War technology while
ignoring the pay and health benefits of the soldiers who have
to fight the wars and provide the defense. Why is it that
John Kerry has had to fight so hard to spend money on soldiers
and veterans? Because defense contractors can't make profits
when we invest in people. But our soldiers can't use a Star
Wars Missile Defense System to fight terrorism.
Now the country gets to decide if George W. Bush can have
another four years to keep us marching down the wrong path.
Bush will be waving his war record as proof of his strength
on national security and foreign policy. His self-declared
status as a "war president" and his carrier landing and flight-suit
photo-op are just the beginning. George Bush has now changed
the reason for going to war with Iraq. Last year Saddam was
about to attack America using massive stockpiles of Weapons
of Mass Destruction. But now Bush says Saddam was a threat
based on his history of using mustard gas on the Kurds 15
As long as George Bush sends our children into battle in
a war of choice, waged on false intelligence and broken promises
to exhaust all diplomatic solutions, he should answer for
his own history and decisions during wartime. If a person's
past history is enough of a reason to go to war then it won't
hurt to take another look at George Bush's history.
Just why has the White House been so careful about releasing
the president's National Guard records? It's not the alleged
drug arrest or the DUI they're afraid of. It was the unusual
timing of George Bush's disappearance from Texas. Some have
suggested the Vietnam War was winding down in the spring of
1972 and young Lieutenant Bush simply lost interest in flying
and just forgot to maintain his flying status.
But George Bush disappeared from Texas when the air war
heated up over Hanoi. On April 10-14, 1972 Richard Nixon began
carpet bombing North Vietnam. "The bastards have never been
bombed like they're going to be bombed this time," Nixon privately
declared. Fighter planes were used as a screen to protect
the B-52 bombers. The slow moving fighter planes were shot
down like clay pigeons. Pictures of captured US fighter pilots
appeared on the front pages by April 15. George W. Bush's
last paid day as a fighter pilot with the Texas Air National
Guard was the very next day, April 16, 1972 (according to
records released by the White House).
Bush stayed in Alabama for five months before he received
authorization to transfer there. In Alabama, Bush stopped
flying, failed to take a required physical exam and allowed
his flying status to lapse. He never went back to Texas until
he received his discharge six months before his required end
of service date.
In comparison, John Kerry volunteered for combat service
in Vietnam and risked his own life to save others. On February
28, 1969, during a mission on the Mekong Delta, a Vietcong
soldier fired a rocket at his boat and missed. Before the
enemy could reload, Lt. Kerry beached his boat, ran into the
jungle, took out the NVA soldier and returned with the rocket
launcher, earning a silver star for gallantry in action.
On March 13, 1969, Jim Rassmann, a Green Beret, was traveling
down the Bay Hap river in a swift boat behind John Kerry's
when both were ambushed by exploding mines. Kerry was hit
in the arm, while a mine blew Rassmann's boat out of the water.
With enemy fire coming from both sides of the river Kerry
turned his boat around to save Rassmann. "We were still under
fire, and he was wounded at the time...," recalled Rassmann.
Kerry pulled the Green Beret into his boat before leaving
the scene. Kerry didn't even know Jim Rassmann but he brought
him home alive and he was awarded a Bronze Star and his third
When John Kerry returned to the States he protested to end
the war in Vietnam, to save the lives of the soldiers that
were left behind. John Kerry asked a Congressional panel:
"How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?"
On principle, he risked his own future and fought the Nixon
political establishment to save lives.
In 1989, business man, George W. Bush was on the board of
directors and finance audit committee of Harken Energy Corporation.
At that time, Harken used a phony sale to bump up their stock
price. In 1990 Bush sold $848,560 worth of stock, eight days
before Harken posted their first losing quarter created by
the phony bubble. The incident was investigated by the SEC's
chairman Richard Breeden, a Republican and friend of then-President
George Bush Sr. No charges were filed. Big surprise.
During the Enron scandal in December 2001, George Bush denied
knowing the head of Enron, Ken Lay, even though Mr. Lay was
a Bush Pioneer having personally raised $100,000 for Bush's
2000 election. Enron is still Bush's all-time biggest campaign
contributor. The remarkable thing about the Enron disaster
that most people overlook is that Enron didn't get caught.
The company had to completely collapse under the weight of
their own greed before anyone bothered to investigate.
During the 2000 election George Bush was hailed as a compassionate
conservative. He said he was a uniter not a divider. Now he
says you're either with him or against America. The No Child
Left Behind program for children is a good idea. But like
a hammer it can be used to build or destroy. Bush has been
quick to ramrod the unfunded mandates for higher education
standards without any solution to achieve them. Just a one-size-fits-all
hammer that pounds our children through the same misshapen
form that Bush himself could never pass.
George Bush has borrowed more than $500 billion dollars
from our children in deficit spending, to help US companies
expand overseas. George Bush's tax cuts for his wealthy circle
of friends have resulted in the wholesale give away of our
middle-class job market. For every good paying job that we
lose overseas our market loses a consumer. America is the
largest consumer market in the world. We have every right
and responsibility to protect that market at some level.
Trickle-down or supply-side economic theory is no longer
a viable option in a global economy because the money and
the jobs trickle overseas. In contrast, middle-class tax cuts
are invested in America. They have a direct and positive impact
on the US economy. That is the only way to stimulate growth
and ensure our money is not wasted.
We need a president who will stand up to special interests
and fight for our interests. We the People of the United States.
In Vietnam John Kerry risked his own life to save others.
In the Senate, John Kerry has fought for better pay and benefits
for our veterans as well as the soldiers who defend us today.
He has fought against flawed legislation that lacks accountability
but is often full of pork barrel spending and special interest
favors. John Kerry has fought for balanced trade agreements
that contain enforceable US labor safeguards. He has fought
for campaign finance reform, and for fair and sensible tax
As our new president, John Kerry will continue to fight
for these important issues. In addition he will roll back
Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can invest
in education and healthcare. He will fight to restore a balanced
budget, fiscal discipline and environmental protection. John
Kerry has promised to close the convoluted tax code loopholes
that encourage the outsourcing of our middle-class job market.
He will hold corporations accountable that use offshore accounts
to avoid paying their fair share. He will provide manufacturing
job credits and incentives to stimulate small business growth
which create 7 out of every 10 new jobs in this country.
John Kerry will improve public education. Not with arbitrary
one-size-fits all solutions but by improving teacher pay and
by identifying and promoting the best practices of successful
public schools in different rural and urban locations. And
then helping other schools implement solutions that work best
for their situation. John Kerry will invest in alternative
energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil which results
in more terrorism and increased drug trafficking. And he will
invest in American infrastructure to rebuild schools and roads
and water systems to create jobs and build a better future.
We the People of the United States can not afford another
four years of George Bush. It is time for a change and that
change is John Kerry.