Friday, October 14, 2005

AND SO WHAT DOES BUSH DO in light of the fact that a majority of Americans think his administration has problems with honesty and competence?

He sets up a video teleconference with U.S. troops in Iraq to ask them questions about security conditions, and it turns out that the questions, the answers, the choice of who would answer which question, what they would say, and how they would say it were all carefully rehearsed ahead of time.

There's more. Not content with portraying a staged theatrical performance as if it were a genuine conversation between president and troops, Bush volunteers the assertion that Americans all support the war and the "mission" in Iraq.

The president told them twice [emphasis mine] that the American people were behind them.

"You've got tremendous support here at home," Bush said.

It's not as if the soldiers asked Bush how Americans at home felt about the war. They did not. Bush just took it upon himself to lie to the troops, when he didn't even have to say anything.

Here is the truth: In a poll taken earlier this month, fewer than 40 percent of Americans said they approved of Bush's handling of the war; slightly over 50 percent say they now believe the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq.

Here is more truth:

It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.
Paul Rieckhoff, director of the New York-based Operation Truth, an advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, denounced the event as a "carefully scripted publicity stunt." Five of the 10 U.S. troops involved were officers, he said.

"If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can't do it in a nationally televised teleconference," Rieckhoff said. "He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that's not a bunch of captains."

But he doesn't want real opinions. He doesn't want those from his staff in Washington, and he certainly doesn't want them from U.S. troops in Iraq.


Dan said...

There is nothing in the news article to suggest the troops are not supported by the folks back home. The poll questions cited were critical of Bush and the war in Iraq. You support the troops, right? Just not the mission.

Chief said...


Could you explain, in a paragraph or two, what you mean, what you intend, when you say, "You support the troops, right?" Obviously you want an answer, but beyond that what does it mean to support the troops, how does one do that if one feels the President lied about the reasons to be in Iraq (mission).


Kathy said...


I do oppose the war against and occupation of Iraq. I can't say I oppose the mission, because that would imply I accept what the Bush administration says the mission is. And I don't.

I do support the American men and women who are in Iraq, risking their lives for a mission that is a lie. I support them even more strongly BECAUSE the mission is a lie. I don't support "troops" because "troops" is a military term that implies a military mission, and I don't support that mission (because the way it's been represented to Americans is false). I support young American men and women, many just barely out of high school, whose lives are being wasted in a war that has no purpose or meaning, because I think it's a crime the way their lives are being wasted. I support these men and women, knowing that many of them signed up for military duty because they had few or no other decent opportunities back home.

When I use the word "support" I mean: I support their right to be told the truth about why their lives are being risked and often snuffed out. I support their right to ask real questions of their commanding officers and not just the ones put in their mouths by their leaders. I support their right to get real answers to those questions. I support their right to expect that the military will hold up its end of the bargain they agreed on, and release them when their tour of duty is over. I support their right to have the body armor and other equipment that could save their lives without worrying that the Pentagon will not want to spend the money to make sure every soldier gets that equipment. I support their right to change their minds about fighting in Iraq, given that their government represented the reason for sending them there to start with in a false and misleading and dishonest fashion. I support their right to expect that, when the American public is deeply divided about the war they're fighting, their president will not lie to them about the support that exists for their being in Iraq, because they are not stupid, they know the truth, and their morale will not be helped by fighting a war that is unpopular at home.

I support them as human beings whose lives matter; I don't support their role as soldiers in an unjust war.

Now, all of the above having been said, I know and you know that the way I define "supporting the troops" is not what the president means when he tells the troops they have "tremendous support" back home. You know that when the president tells the troops they have tremendous support back home, his intention is to have them believe that his policy of fighting in and occupying Iraq indefinitely has tremendous support back home. And that is not true. That is dishonest. That is a lie. And our troops deserve better than that.

DBK said...

"You've got tremendous support here at home," Bush said.

So, Dan, what was Bush referring to, the mission or the troops themselves? There's nothing in the article to indicate which he referred to, but your question implies that you think he meant the troops themselves and not the mission. Which was it? Was he saying that they have tremendous support for the troops or for the mission?

Kathy said...


Good question.