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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Second Presidential Debate

I'm on the road, but here are my reactions to the latest presidential debate:

1. I cannot believe the President of the US said this:
I wasn't happy when we found out there wasn't weapons
Does this mean George W. Bush wanted Saddam Hussein to have these weapons?

2. Apparently, the President fundamentally misunderstood the UN sanctions:
Remember the last debate, my opponent said that America must pass a global test before we use force to protect ourselves. That's the kind of mind-set that says sanctions were working. That's the kind of mind-set that says let's keep it at the United Nations and hope things go well.

Saddam Hussein was a threat because he could have given weapons of mass destruction to terrorist enemies. Sanctions were not working...
Why did Bush think sanctions were failing? Ah, because "the United Nations was not effective at removing Saddam Hussein."

How many of the UN Resolutions required this? Hint, it's a very small number.

To his credit, John Kerry quick pointed out that the UN aim was to disarm Hussein, not remove him from power. And Kerry noted that the disarmament mission worked.

3. This is related to #2: the President didn't pay attention to months of UN/IAEA inspections:
"we didn't find out he didn't have weapons until we got there."
I guess Bush missed ElBaradei's conclusion from March 2003, days before the war:
"After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq."
I realize that I quote this passage frequently, but it would be great to hear Kerry and/or the media note it.

4. Finally, I also wish Kerry had answered this Bush claim:
Of course, we're going to find Osama bin Laden. We've already got 75 percent of his people
Experts generally believe that al Qaeda has developed new leaders and recruited many more terrorists. The leader of Egypt, Hosni Mubarek, famously predicted last year that the Iraq war could produce "100 bin Ladens." The British Ambassador to Italy, Sir Ivor Roberts, said recently that "Bush is al Qaeda's best recruiting sergeant."

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