Kerry vs. Bush The First debate-The Iraqi Issue!

Kerry vs. Bush- New perspectives, the same old problem!
October 6, 2004
My answer to sensible friends, soft on George Bush!
Well I am glad you both are starting to see a bit of the sense to “Anybody But Bush!” Of course the Rev. Al. and the Boy Mayor Dennis the Menace would have beeen a stretch for me. But of course that is not terribly relevant because the Dems did  select the “strongest” and most experienced candidate that was available. He won by hard work and a great effort. What happened to Wes Clarke,  Graham, Gephardt, Dean and the others? They didn't have it!
Campaigns are like battles in wartime. No one can exactly predict where both sides will meet, or for what rationale. As soon as the battle starts the “fog of war” has a tendency to take over. It is a “catch as catch can” effort. Who thought Guadalcanal, or Kursk, or Gettysburg would happen where they happened? For sure not the war college planners.? In a sense I am amazed that Bush's domestic record has meant so little to the media and the electorate. If Clinton is a fantasist, then Bush is an out an out liar. He has promised promises throughtout his tenure in office. He has funded or supported very few of those promises. Is a compassionate conservative, one who preaches compassion but doesn't deliver the “beef” but just the spin? In a sense it is like the idea to privatise a portion of social security. Bush has talked about this aspect from the 2000 campaign. Has there been action? No! But by the way has he mentioned that it would cost $2 trillion to replace those funds that are currently going to our parents and their peers, to shift them to private accounts? No! 
But going back to the “fog of war” for a minute. Who would have ever predicted that a year or so after “Mission Accomplished” we would be debating this war in the same way war was debated in 1952 and Vietnam in 1968. Funny how the Bush apologists compare this to the 1944 Election. It is hard for me to understand that. Of course in WW II we paid for the war, as much as we could borrow, had our war “goods and services” consuming 95% of our GNP, and taxed the rich pretty aggressively. We did not fight the war on the “cheap!”  But of course every day for a year or so we have been hearing that we are in a fight to the death with terrorists that threaten our very way of life. Well the campaign in Tora Bora didn't seem to reflect that same sense of urgency. Certianly our greatest threat is nuclear and Bush has done virtually nothing to protect our ports or to contain loose fissionable material that is known to be available. So where's the “beef?”
But, be that as it may, Sadaam Hussein was not a great guy. But for a while he was “our” guy in the Reagan Years. Somehow while arming him to the teeth we forgot that Israel maybe threatened by this brigand, and that he may become intoxicated by his power and encouraged by his weaponry. It was all well and good when he was attacking Iran, but Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were/are our current buddies! Funny that in 1991 when Iraq was really strong, at least regionally, 96 hours of “blitzkrieg” took out his vaunted army. So after 11 or 12 years of interdiction, embargo and being a world-wide pariah, he was still considered as strong. Well now we went from so-called liberators, from what or whom, to occupiers!
But, again no one could tell in 2000 where the next campaign or its issues would flesh out. I was not happy with this guy from the start. His illegitimacy was not the issue for me, it was his actions. Funny he won Florida by 5-4 in the Supreme Court. Over 20,000 people were thrown off the election rolls because they had the same name as felons, 500 elderly Jewish voters in Century Village voted for Pat Buchanon because of difficulty understanding the ballot machine, and 98,000 Floridians voted for Ralph Nader. Despite all of that Gore would have won Florida in county by county re-canvass!
But 9/11 intervened and Rudy Giuliani who was being hooted down in NYC because of his silly activities regarding a host of actions, became a hero.(By the way I like Rudy and I think he did a great job for a good part of his 8 years in office.) Clinton was excoriated because of his dalliances, but the Mayor of America, who was “boffing” his girl friend while his wife and children were clinging to Gracie Mansion, was given a pass. What a drama! She wouldn't even leave after they were divorced! Of course we have all but forgotten his first marriage that ended in annullment.Talk about phony morality. So 9/11 made heroes out of Rudy and “W.” What else is new! We are reading Kitty Kelly's book on him, and I notice that he hasn't attempted to deny her allegations. Pretty difficult because they are true!
So the challenge is ahead. Do we allow this phony born-again hypocrite to continue to pander to the religious right, give solace to the state's righters, and continue to devide the country or do we make a change. Kerry won't be perfect, and he won't heal the idealogical rifts that have widened in America, but he can do no worse. (By the way, I believe in prayer, and do go to services every year. In fact I go more than the obligatory 4 times during the High Holy Days, but I believe that prayer in school is wrong-headed!) Good for you Lew, I couldnt have said it better!  
RJ Garfunkel

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