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Old 04-17-2003, 01:22 PM   #1
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Is Bush going to keep war going to ensure re-election?

From today's Toronto Star. See bolded section near bottom.....

And does this mean that these ever elusive WMDs will be moved from country to country? When will this ever end??

U.S. military muscle 'redefining war': Bush

LINDA DIEBEL
IN WASHINGTON

Standing by some of the mightiest toys in his military arsenal, a pumped-up U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday boasted that the United States is "redefining war" to toppling tyrants at will.

And yet, in his first major speech of the Iraq war, one in which he detailed huge successes and mocked the fallen regime of Saddam Hussein, Bush declined to declare an end to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Instead, he painted the world as a scary place for Americans, urged even greater military spending to face its perils and stoked the fears of Democrats who believe his Republican administration has embarked upon a re-election strategy of never-ending war and nail-biting anxiety.

"Since Sept. 11 (2001), we've been engaged in a global war against terror ... That war continues, and we are winning," said Bush yesterday, to the tumultuous cheers of aircraft workers at a Boeing Co. plant in St. Louis, Mo.

Meanwhile, the White House lowered the U.S. domestic security alert from "high" orange to "elevated" yellow.

Bush cast himself in the role of leader ready for the "big task for this nation" of overcoming threats to the homeland and preparing the United States "to meet the dangers of our time."

He also urged the U.N. to lift economic sanctions against Iraq, now that Saddam's regime has "passed into history."

But the focus of his speech was his country's military muscle and what the United States intends to do with it.

"Our military is strong and our military is ready, and we intend to keep it that way," he said, promising to do so.

The American president's performance was better publicity than Boeing could ever buy.

Excited, jubilant, he talked about the aerospace plant's F/A 18 Super Hornet jets at $57 million (U.S.) a pop, the most advanced strike fighters in the U.S. Navy's arsenal and said Boeing workers and their jets are a "main reason why we were successful in making the world a more peaceful place."

"From Kabul to Baghdad, American forces and our fine allies have conducted some of the most successful military campaigns in history," Bush said.

"By a combination of creative strategies and advanced technologies, we are redefining war on our own terms."

Yesterday's speech put a military face planning and weaponry on the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States.

In it, Bush listed the touchstones of his foreign policy as pre-emptive strikes against perceived threats, regime change and the global imperative of American military and moral superiority.

Yesterday, he underscored that imperative, defining it as toppling tyrants everywhere.

"Across the world, terrorists and tyrants are learning that America ... will act in our own defence," he said.

"Instead of drifting towards tragedy, we will protect our security and we will promote peace in the world."

He added: "In this new era of precision warfare, we can target a regime. Our aim is to strike the guilty."

Bush said that the advanced weaponry of the war, which the United States says spares civilian lives, serves a higher purpose.

"Terrorists and tyrants have now been put on notice: They can no longer feel safe behind innocent lives," he said.

At times his speech soared to evangelical heights.

"One of my calls to our fellow Americans is to love your neighbour just like you'd like to be loved yourself," he said.

"When you see somebody who hurts, put your arm around them and tell them you love them."

Since last week's fall of the Saddam regime, Democrats, eager to focus on the economy in the leadup to the 2004 elections, have waited in vain for Bush to declare victory.

Analysts suggested that Bush could be defeated like his father, former president George H.W. Bush, who basked in the aftermath of the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, only to be defeated amid a faltering economy the next year.

"The big difference is that the first Gulf War ended," a senior Democratic senator told the New York Times yesterday.

"This administration will never end the war. And because they never end the war, they will have an ongoing advantage: An open-ended war on terrorism that will never end and that keeps people constantly on edge. A never-ending military commitment in Iraq that might lead to other commitments beyond Iraq also keeps people focused on national security."

It's an Orwellian scenario, straight out of 1984.

And, according to Democrats, it puts the onus on their candidates to slug it out over who can keep Americans safer, with Bush having a powerful edge.

Already, in the last few days, the White House has refocused its enmity from Iraq to Syria, warning that Syria is hiding weapons of mass destruction and sheltering Iraqi war criminals.

The threat of an invasion of Syria by American troops in neighbouring Iraq is clear.


"For the sake of the security of this country, and for the sake of peace in this world, the United States must maintain every advantage in weaponry and technology and intelligence," Bush said yesterday. "Our edge in warfare comes ... because of the American spirit of enterprise.

"The character of our military reflects the character of our country," he added, before touring Boeing's facilities. "America uses its might in the service of principle."

And, repeatedly, Bush said the military conflict isn't over.

"Our work is not done; the difficulties have not passed," he stressed, before heading to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for an extended Easter holiday.

Crawford, he told the crowd, "is part of the real world."
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Old 04-17-2003, 02:02 PM   #2
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I've had no doubt that this has been his strategy from the beginning.
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Old 04-17-2003, 02:22 PM   #3
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Well, I know that this whole debacle has definitely turned my mind away from ever voting for a Republican again. The longer he keeps it up, the more I will be convinced.
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Old 04-17-2003, 03:13 PM   #4
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I don't doubt that Bush will exploit the war to help his re-election prospects. I don't personally think that was the major motivation for the war happening in the first place (I think there are far more complex economic reasons for the war) but he'll definitely use it to help his bid for re-election in any way he can.
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Old 04-17-2003, 03:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
Well, I know that this whole debacle has definitely turned my mind away from ever voting for a Republican again. The longer he keeps it up, the more I will be convinced.
I know just what you mean. I've always voted Labour and campaigned for Labour, but after Tony Blair's actions in supporting war on Iraq, I'm finding it really hard to support Labour in this year's local elections. It's horrible because I really support a lot of what they're doing in domestic policy, but I feel like voting for Labour is like endorsing Blair's actions.
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
I don't doubt that Bush will exploit the war to help his re-election prospects. I don't personally think that was the major motivation for the war happening in the first place (I think there are far more complex economic reasons for the war) but he'll definitely use it to help his bid for re-election in any way he can.
Oh, definitely, I totally agree.

And if Bush does continue to keep this going and continues to exploit this war just to get re-elected...that's just sick. Really, really sick. And that would make me despise him even more than I already do.

A happy thought, though, for me-whether or not he continues this war, I already know of some people that aren't gonna vote for him next year, myself being one of them.

Hopefully, history will repeat itself and the same thing that happened to Bush Sr. will happen to Bush Jr. next year.

Angela
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:48 PM   #7
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I don't think Bush got us into the war strictly for political reasons. They've shown that another motivating force was, yes, oil. Why else did they guard the Oil Ministry while idiots were looting vases, statuary, and Korans?
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:52 PM   #8
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i will not be baited here

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Old 04-18-2003, 12:01 AM   #9
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I do not know if I am more blown away by whichever senator made the comments on the use of warfare as political gain for GW or by this quote from Mr. Bush:

"For the sake of the security of this country, and for the sake of peace in this world, the United States must maintain every advantage in weaponry and technology and intelligence," Bush said yesterday.
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Old 04-18-2003, 02:08 AM   #10
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"For the sake of the security of this country, and for the sake of peace in this world, the United States must maintain every advantage in weaponry and technology and intelligence," Bush said yesterday."

Every President since World War II has said the same thing basically.

Everyone here should relax. Bush will become president next year because of the economy. The fact is, the more successful you are in foreign policy, the less important it is to people because your eliminating the problems. Bush has been amazingly successful with foreign policy which means next years election will focus on the economy.

If you don't want Bush to be re-elected, you better hope the US economy remains sluggish or gets worse.
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:28 AM   #11
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STING,
Most people I've talked with about next year's elections (including many Republicans) think that if Bush is re-elected it will be in spite of the economy, not because of it. Just wondered why you feel differently?
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Old 04-18-2003, 06:17 AM   #12
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if the economy is a factor in his re-election it will only be that people ignore his horrible mis-handling of it.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:38 AM   #13
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As of right now, there is not ONE candidate that the Democratic party has that I would even consider voting for.

As to the idea that Bush wanted the war to get himself elected I find this theory amusing. If he wanted to use the war, he could have played the game that the UN wanted to play. We can pretend that inspections have a chance at working for the rest of this year and then, sometime around December declare that they are not working and have the war.

Nice job unnamed Democratic Senator.

Peace
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:47 AM   #14
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Well, I agree with some of you. I don't care how long this war goes on. Its no longer a war -- we booted Saddam. We're simply trying to restore order now.

That being said, here are some interesting numbers from a WSJ/NBC News poll last week.
Do you approve of GWB's handle on foreign policy? yes 70%, no 24%, not sure 6%
Do you approve of GWB's handle on economy? yes 49%, no 42%, not sure 9%
Which of the following issues should be top priority for president and Congress?
Strenghten economy 57%
Fight terrorism 34%
Dealing with health care 22%
Protecting Social Security 20%
Dealing with Iraq 10%
Dealing with tax cut 5%

On Thursday, there was more negative economic data that showed an increase in the jobless claims -- again. Industrial production fell accd. to Tuesday data -- less production, less people needed to produce, less jobs. The economy isn't recovering as fast as it should. And when it comes to election day, Americans are more concerned about themselves. They care less about an intangible like Iraq and more about a tangible like losing their jobs.

Bush Sr. lost in '92 because the economy was bad. Clinton won in '96 people the economy was good. Say what you want about health care, education, foreign policy [all important issues]. The fact of the matter remains that if you hit someone's pocketbook, they get pissed. And they take it out on whoever they can on Election Day.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Everyone here should relax. Bush will become president next year because of the economy.
If you don't want Bush to be re-elected, you better hope the US economy remains sluggish or gets worse.
I definitely won't relax. I'm going to everything possible to keep the out of office.
I also don't have to worry about the ecomony remaining sluggish as his "growth" plan (HAHA) certainly won't help it.
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