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Debate 1: Bush Slams Kerry, Reclaims Divine Status

President Says He Follows Iraq Disaster By "Watching TV"

by Michael K. Smith

Looking like a cranky 5-year-old who hadn't had his afternoon nap President Bush opened the debating season by repeatedly slamming Senator John Kerry for not sharing his Divine status, dismissing him as a vacilating whimp far too weak to lead the nation.
President George W. Bush reacts during responses by Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry during their debate at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, September 30, 2004. At least 62.5 million Americans tuned in the debate, far surpassing the number who watched either political convention this summer or Bush's debates four years ago with Al Gore.  (Jim Young/Reuters)
Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq, saying the sacrifice made by 1,059 U.S. troops who have been killed there was "noble and worthy," as evidenced by endless bloody disaster and increasing prospects of a Taliban-style regime.

"We're being challenged like never before, and we have a duty to our country and to future generations of Americans to achieve a free Iraq, a free Afghanistan and to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction," Bush said. His record indicates that the way to do that is to murder and destroy until these countries submit to U.S. puppet governments, at the same time tearing up arms control treaties and mass producing a new generation of weapons of mass destruction.

Very early in the debate, the president conceded that he understood "everybody in this country doesn't agree with the decisions I've made, and I've made some tough decisions. But people know where I stand." The question of whether the President knows where he stands remained unaddressed. Many observers insist he hasn't the slightest clue what the policies of his own administration are.

Again and again during the debate, Bush charged that Kerry's inconsistent positions on the Iraq war -- after voting for a congressional resolution authorizing Bush to use force -- would make it difficult for him to function as commander-in-chief, taking particular aim at Kerry's recent statement that Iraq was the "wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time." Bush's position is that all U.S.-led wars are righteous, especially since 2001 when they have been directly mandated by God.

Kerry insisted that despite the president's assertions to the contrary, "I've had one position -- one consistent position -- that Saddam Hussein was a threat. There was a right way to disarm him and a wrong way, and the president chose the wrong way." Neither candidate indicated how Iraq could have gotten rid of weapons it didn't possess or how it constituted a "threat" when two-thirds of its national territory was under foreign control.

Kerry said that the invasion of Iraq was an ill-conceived adventure that's "getting worse by the day" and has distracted the United States from the fight against terrorism, which Kerry insisted he could win to by fighting a "smarter" war.

"Smart means not diverting your attention from the real war on terror in Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden and taking it off to Iraq,'" Kerry said. "This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment. And judgment is what we look for in the president of the United States of America." Many analysts consider this criticism unfair, in view of the fact that President Bush can't even keep track of whether or not his shoes are tied.

Bush and Kerry agreed that the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction were the greatest threat to the United States, agreeing as well that unrestrained development of WMD by the U.S. threatens no one.

Michael K. Smith is the author of "The Madness of King George," (illustrations by Matt Wuerker), available from Common Courage Press


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