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

Jeff Martinek Letter 10/1/04

Dear Editor:

There’s an old saying that you never bring a knife to a gun-fight. Someone should have reminded George Bush that you don’t show up for a 90 minute debate with only nine minutes worth of material.

Despite the “soft bigotry of low expectations” carefully prepared for President Bush’s debate performance by his handlers, there was no way to spin his petulant, repetitive performance Thursday night as anything less than a disaster for a man who has staked his entire reelection on his supposed mastery of foreign policy issues.

Finally given the chance to stand on the same stage with the President, Senator Kerry showed himself to be the informed, articulate, resolute statesman that he is. Where the Senator offered both a penetrating analysis of how George Bush has failed the American people on foreign policy and a clear vision of how a Kerry Presidency would clean up the mess, George Bush offered confused conflations of Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden, cliches about “hard work,” and unconvincing assertions about how he “know[s] how this world works.”

In his attempt to support his central message---that we are fighting terror in Iraq so we won’t have to here, Bush made several false claims:

He said twice that "75 percent" of al Qaeda leaders have been "brought to justice." But the studies show that the occupation of Iraq has helped al Qaeda recruit more members.

He claimed that “We got 100,000 [Iraqi citizens] trained now,” despite the fact that Pentagon documents say that only 8,169 have had the full eight-week academy training.

He claimed he has increased spending on curbing nuclear proliferation by "about 35 percent" since he took office. But The Washington Post reported Oct. 1 that Bush proposed a 13 percent cut in his first budget as President.

Jeff Martinek
Joplin

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