The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bill Kumbier Letter 9/1/04

Dear Editor,

In the first debate of the presidential race, certainly both Democrats and Republicans heard what they wanted to hear. Anyone who was watching and listening, however, should have perceived a telling difference between the two candidates and, one, I believe, that recommends John Kerry as the stronger, wiser, more resourceful candidate and, potentially, the stronger and wiser commander in chief.Kerry outlined his consistently held position on Iraq clearly and forcefully, incidentally making the crucial point that there is a difference between making a mistake about the way one talks about the war and the huge, increasingly grievous mistake of having rushed to war without a plan for peace, as Bush did. Kerry articulated the need, even at this late date, of working for a stronger alliance to deal with the current disaster in Iraq, an alliance Bush, despite his harping that we not “leave out Poland,” never seriously cared to seek. In Bush’s coalition, where are our friends Germany, France, Canada, Japan? Despite Bush’s charges—which began to stutter like a broken record—that Kerry was “inconsistent” on Iraq and wasn’t capable of leading us out of a war Kerry called, correctly, a “grand diversion” from the real war on terrorism, Kerry drove home his commitment to do his utmost to deal with the war in an honorable way that would support our troops, help rebuild Iraq and respect our partners in the global community.After the debate, one Republican spinner said he thought Kerry “lectured” him while Bush “talked” to him, and that he was still “confused” about Kerry’s position. What Kerry did was not lecture but inform, presenting new perspectives we need to hear, with care, honesty and thoroughness, while Bush repeatedly—and with obvious, fidgeting impatience—kept looping back into the same old song.

William Kumbier


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