Thursday, November 04, 2004

So, Its Over...and its just begun

From the Daily Kos:

"Why were we in this fight in the first place? Because terrible leaders are doing terrible things to our country and calling this wonderful. Because radical reactionaries are trying to impose their imperialist schemes on whoever they wish and calling this just. Because amoral oligarchs are determined to enhance their slice of the economic pie and calling this the natural order. Because flag-wrapped ideologues want to chop up civil liberties and call this security. Because myopians are in charge of America’s future."

The election is over, and Bush, thank God, or whoever else you want to thank. Bush won, and did so handsomely, at least considering the circumstances.

Lets be honest. Everything considered, this election should not have been this close. One of my biggest peeves with Bush and his administration is that they were often terrible in defending themselves, even when the facts supported them. It seemed at times that they became paralyzed when confronted with accusations and biased questions, instead of taking them head on.

I remember Bush April press conference. I was physically uncomfortable watching the way Bush handled the questions posed to him by an obviously hostile press. Sure, the MSM were smelling blood and they were looking to trip Bush up or supply the Kerry campaign with a good soundbite, but Bush could have done so much better.

"Sir, you said that the Iraqis would welcome us with cheers and flowers, but we know none of this happened, and now we've lost X number of soldiers to Iraq resistance fighters. Can you admit you were wrong about this imperialistic war?"

Bush mumbled out some semi-coherent reply. What I would have said was:

"Well, Mr. Press Weasel, lets be straight and accurate here. In fact, forces of the international coalition liberating Iraq WERE met with cheers and flowers and enthusiasm in many places. We have all seen video of it. You have seen it, correct? Now, no, no, there were Iraqis that greeted us openly and warmly, were there not? Yes, okay, now, hold on, please.
Now, this did not happen everywhere, and at everytime, of course, but it did happen. The vast majority were overjoyed to see their country saved from the grip of Saddam Hussein tyrranical rule.
Now, there were many places where this did not happen. Lets look at why.
We know there were a large group of Iraqis who hated to see us there, who saw us not as liberators but as occupiers. They certainly did not greet us with smiles or flowers but with cold stares and sneak attacks. But who are these Iraqis, Mr. Press Weasal?
They were the deposed thugs of the toppled dictator, the fascist adherents who watched their power crumble as coalition forces brought liberation and the promise of freedom.
They were also the tools of the radical elements of fundamenalist Islam. The ones supported by other dictatorships such as Iran and Syria and terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and yes, even Al Queda.
These two groups and their adherents were of course not greeting us warmly. They hated us before, and they hated us even more that we were there to stop their oppression of their fellow Iraqis and muslims.
We know that Iraq was a complete and total police state. It was a place where owning U.S. dollars could get your hand cut off, where having an attractive daughter or wife could get her kidnapped, raped and murdered by Hussein's sons, where voicing any disatisfaction with the regime could get you killed.
Of course people who have lived under such a regime were hesitant to openly express a welcome to our troops. They still live in that country with the likes of the facists and fanatics and were understandably afraid. Showing any sort of friendliness to the coalition could and would bring vicious, cowardly reprisals. I don't think you can blame these people, who lived under so much brutality for so long, for not all rising as one and holding parades in our honor. Did we underestimate how vicious and total was the rule of Saddam Hussein and the how strong the effect of fear it had on the Iraqi people? In that sense, yes, we may have underestimated how frightened and cowed 30 years of brutality would make even a a great people like the Iraqis. Next Question..."

Bush faced a MASSIVE onslaught of propoganda against him, his administration, his policies and the country itself. From the Main Stream Media, to Michael Moore, to the entertainment industry, George Soros, the 527's, on and on and on, it was concerted and relenting. However, I felt that Bush could have been more active in deflecting the criticism by addressing the issues in a blunt, honest way. The above is just one example. By letting that MEME by, that the Iraqis as a whole did not greet us with enthusiasm, that the liberation was an occupation, Bush is forced back on the defense. Now, you are forced to argue for the war starting from a false starting point.

I thought Bush did this again and again at times. Yielding ground when he did not have to do so, weakening positions that could have been strong points from which to sally from.

Yeah, I have heard the theory that this was some ultra-brilliant plan of Rove's for discrediting the media and creating hostility for it going into the election, but I don't buy it. I think it would have been much more effective to constantly challenge the media's assumptions along the way, forcing them to defend THEIR positions and exposing misrepresentations as they were made. It would have had a similar effect as the CBS memo scandal, where the press was exposed as biased, sloppy and untrustworthy.

My point in all this is even considering the amazing amount of resistance, much of it shrill and nauseatingly, there was way to make ground here, and not just for this one election. This country will have to deal with the sort of thing for years to come, and the sooner the lossened stranglehold MSM has on the American Public is released completely, the better.