October 17, 2003

Kennedy to assail Bush over Iraq war

Four more US soldiers have died in the _resident's
foolish military adventure in Iraq. For what?
MEANWHILE, it is hard to tell which direction it is
all going to break, but it is going to break...It is,
as the LNS has noted already, a very, very dangerous
time now...Will the potential anti-Bushs, Clark
(D-NAT0), Dean (D-Jeffords) and Kerry (D-Mekong Delta)
survive politically and physically? Will the "US
mainstream news media" be bullied back into total
submission or continue to at least *somewhat*
accurately report the BAD scene in Iraq? Will new
hideous terrorist attack provide the _resident with
another "Trifecta" ticket (his analogy, remember, not
mine)...There is widespread disdain for the Bush
cabal, it cuts across the political spectrum from left
to right, it involves of course the intel community,
the military, the foreign policy establishment as well
as some elements of the media and the financial world.
That's why Wes Clark got a LONG front page article on
his campaign the other day, that's why he was on Good
Morning, America the next day, that's why they are
allowing polls through that show him beating the
_resident...Clark and/or Dean and/or Kerry could do
it..If they survive...Will the Bush cabal that did not
accept defeat in 2000 accept it in 2004? Well, we will
have to get there and find out. If we really don't
have elections anymore, as the 2002 Wellstone/Cleland
Mid-Term Debacle and the California Total Recall
Putsch seem to indicate, we will have to make sure
that at least we stand for something...So, here is an
example of how its done from a man with nothing to
lose....

Kennedy to assail Bush over Iraq war
By Anne E. Kornblut, Globe Staff, 10/16/2003

WASHINGTON -- Ratcheting up his criticism of the war
in Iraq, Senator Edward M. Kennedy accuses the Bush
administration of telling "lie after lie after lie" to
defend its policy in a fiery speech prepared for
delivery today on the Senate floor.


"The trumped up reasons for going to war have
collapsed," Kennedy says in a speech that underscores
his opposition to President Bush's request for $87
billion to fund military operations and rebuilding in
Iraq and Afghanistan. An advance copy of the speech
was obtained by the Globe.

"The administration still refuses to face the truth or
tell the truth," Kennedy says, accusing the White
House of misleading the public about every aspect of
the war, from the financial costs to the motivation
and the aftermath. "Instead the White House responds
by covering up its failures and trying to sell its
rosy version of events by repeating it with maximum
frequency and volume, and minimum regard for realities
on the ground."

Asked about the senator's planned remarks, White House
spokesman Trent Duffy said, "The United States and the
world are safer today because of the actions that were
taken in Iraq, because Sept. 11 taught us that we need
to confront new threats before they reach our shores."

Kennedy's last broadside about the war -- he described
it in September as a fraud "made up in Texas" as part
of political strategy -- drew a scolding phone call
from White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card.
Advisers in both parties say the speech planned for
today is further evidence that the personal
relationship between the Massachusetts Democrat and
the president has greatly deteriorated.

"Our men and women in uniform fought bravely and
brilliantly, but the president's war has been revealed
as mindless, needless, senseless, and reckless,"
Kennedy says, according to the text of his speech. "We
should never have gone to war in Iraq when we did, in
the way we did, for the false reasons we were given."

After the similar, but relatively mild, remarks from
Kennedy in September, Bush blasted the senator for
being "uncivil," and Card privately complained to the
senator for what he considered a personal attack on
the president's credibility, according to officials in
both parties. Republicans on Capitol Hill were
incensed, and House majority leader Tom DeLay called
the remarks a "new low."

At the same time, Kennedy's criticism -- coming after
a July 15 speech at the Johns Hopkins School of
Advanced International Studies, in which the senator
said "ideological pride" prevented the administration
from seeking international help -- seemed to energize
Democratic critics of the administration's Iraq
policy. Public opinion polls indicated the president's
approval ratings slipped as the criticism grew
sharper.

The address prepared for delivery today shows that the
reaction from the White House and Card, a
Massachusetts native who has known Kennedy for many
years, had little effect on Kennedy -- further
evidence, advisers said, that Kennedy and Bush have
abandoned the kinship they shared at the start of the
administration.

"They blew it," one Democratic official said of the
White House's handling of its relationship with
Kennedy. "They came into office and they started to
work together on a number of issues, and then they
completely dissed him."

Another Democratic official said that while Kennedy
has aided the president's attempts to pass a
prescription drug benefit for Medicare, the
relationship is no longer warm, largely as a result of
the war and the heated rhetoric since. Kennedy voted
against the resolution authorizing the use of military
force against Iraq.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the
phone call between Card and Kennedy, and neither side
would discuss the personal relationship between the
two publicly. "Senator Kennedy is willing to work with
the administration when he can and oppose them when he
has to," spokesman Jim Manley said.

Privately, Republicans argue that Kennedy is simply
playing to his liberal base -- a repayment of sorts to
compensate for his cooperation with Bush on other
issues. "Senator Kennedy has worked well with us on
things like education and prescription drugs, but
knowing politics, I suspect he'd have to go even
further, and be more dramatic [than his true views],
to play with members of his own party" in areas where
he disagrees with the president, one White House
official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

When Bush first came into office, he and Kennedy spoke
several times, and Bush even invited some members of
the Kennedy family to the White House to watch a
movie. They discussed the longstanding ties between
their families, and seemed to relate to each other as
members of two leading political dynasties. In the
year that followed, the two men toured the country
together touting their work together on the No Child
Left Behind education bill, and in November 2001, Bush
renamed the Department of Justice after Kennedy's
brother Robert, the former attorney general who was
assassinated during the presidential primaries in
1968.

But the relationship began to slide, especially as the
administration declined to fund the education bill as
much as Kennedy wanted, and interpreted the bill
differently than he had expected. When Bush said that
John F. Kennedy would have supported his tax cut, the
senator and other Kennedy relatives pushed back,
angrily declaring that unlike the Bush tax cut, the
tax cut in President Kennedy's administration went
mostly to the poor and working class.

Kennedy's address today seems likely to put even more
distance between the senator and the White House.

"Nearly six months have elapsed since President Bush
flew out to the aircraft carrier and declared `Mission
Accomplished' in Iraq," Kennedy says. "Today, we all
know all too well that the war is not over; the war
goes on; the mission is not accomplished. An
unnecessary war, based on unreliable and inaccurate
intelligence, has not brought an end to danger.
Instead, it has brought new dangers, imposed new
costs, and taken more and more American lives each
week. We all agree that Saddam Hussein was a murderous
tyrant, and his brutal regime was an affront to basic
human decency. But Iraq was not a breeding ground for
terrorism. Our invasion has made it one."

He continues: "All the administration's
rationalizations as we prepared to go to war now stand
revealed as double-talk. The American people were told
Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons. He was
not. We were told he had stockpiles of other weapons
of mass destruction. He did not. We were told he was
involved in 9/11. He was not. We were told Iraq was
attracting terrorists from Al Qaeda. It was not. We
were told our soldiers would be viewed as liberators.
They are not. We were told Iraq could pay for its own
reconstruction. It cannot. We were told the war would
make America safer. It has not."

Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper

Posted by richard at October 17, 2003 09:06 PM