The Global Test Lie
By Anthony Wade
In the post-debate glow enjoyed by the Kerry-camp, the Bushies were scrambling to find the one word or phrase that could be manipulated to the point that they can start undoing some of the damage done by George W. Bush and his miserable performance. The Bush spin machine had 5000 blog sites working overtime after the debate, hoping to successfully massage or parse any innocuous Kerry statement, to hide the obvious, which is that Bush got creamed last Thursday night. Now that three days have passed, we see the saving phrase they have selected is "global test ".
In a debate transcript that had over 15,000 words spoken, the term "global test " was used, once. John Kerry said it in response to a question about his opinion regarding the concept of preemption. Yesterday, Bush assailed Kerry, mocking him by saying the Senator "suggested that pre-emptive military action by the United States would have to pass a "global test," saying that the "Kerry Doctrine" would cede national security decisions to other countries. " Not content with that distortion, Bush continued, "Sen. Kerry's approach to foreign policy would give foreign governments veto power over our national security decisions".
Strong words from a man who had few during the debate. As usual however, there is no substance behind these statements, because Bush was at best misrepresenting, and at worst, lying yet again.
Context is very important when listening to Bush quote Kerry. Often his misrepresentations are based in removing the surrounding commentary which explains the totality of the comments being criticized. In this instance, Kerry was asked by moderator Jim Lehrer, "What is your position on the whole concept of preemptive war? " Now if you listen to Bush, Kerry 's response was that we would have to pass a global test in order to wage a preemptive war. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Here is his ENTIRE response to the question with Kerry 's words italicized and my commentary following:
The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for preemptive strike. That was a great doctrine throughout the Cold War. And it was always one of the things we argued about with respect to arms control. No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America .
So, in direct response, Kerry said he would NEVER cede the right for preemption. This fact is left out of the lies Bush is spewing about the two words, "global test ". Pay particular attention to the fact that Kerry specifically said he would never cede the right of the President to preempt in order to protect America . Kerry continued:
But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons. Here we have our own secretary of state who has had to apologize to the world for the presentation he made to the United Nations.
Here is where the two dirty words are used, but if you look at the entire context I think the picture becomes more clearer than George Bush wanted it to be. Kerry is talking about the importance of having a legitimate war, as opposed to Bush 's illegitimate foray into Iraq . To George Bush, the rest of the world does not matter. Throughout our history however, it has always been important that the United States lead, not just command. This president likes to pimp the lie that "everyone (including Kerry) looked at the same intelligence I did ", as if this somehow exempts him from having to admit that the WMD issue renders this war illegitimate. He is forgetting some salient points however.
1) The "intelligence " was actually supplied by the Office of Special Plans, a Bush controlled cabal of neocons whose sole purpose was to cook enough intelligence to support a war against Iraq . This office was led by a top Bush confidant, Douglas Feith, who General Tommy Franks refers to as "the dumbest man on the planet ".
2) Bush actually intended to invade Iraq when he first came into office. The events of September the 11th merely provided a convenient pretext. Prior to 911, Cheney and his secret energy task force were already drawing up maps of the Iraqi oil fields and multiple administration defectors have already confirmed Bush 's pre-911 designs on Iraq so to pretend otherwise is simply to lie.
3) The fact that Kerry and Congress voted to give Bush the power did not mean that they gave him a blank check. In fact the vote and authorization specifically spelled out that Bush HAD to establish that Saddam and Iraq had a connection to 911 and that they were clearly in possession of WMD which threatened our national security. Lastly, the authorization of force was to be used only if all diplomatic avenues had been exhausted. On each of these points, Bush failed, again rendering the war illegitimate.
These facts make our standing in the world tenuous at best. They also breed more hate against the United States , when just a few years ago, we experienced an outpouring of support like never before. Hate as you know, eventually may breed terrorism against us. Thus, this illegitimate war ends up achieving the opposite of its stated goals. To hear Bush talk about it the other night it seems that people have not informed him yet that there actually were no WMD found. The fact that it may be "hard work " as the president told us 11 times during the debate, is irrelevant. Kerry was not done explaining his preemption stance though:
I mean, we can remember when President Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis sent his secretary of state to Paris to meet with DeGaulle. And in the middle of the discussion, to tell them about the missiles in Cuba , he said, "Here, let me show you the photos." And DeGaulle waved them off and said, "No, no, no, no. The word of the president of the United States is good enough for me." How many leaders in the world today would respond to us, as a result of what we've done, in that way? So what is at test here is the credibility of the United States of America and how we lead the world. And Iran and Iraq are now more dangerous -- Iran and North Korea are now more dangerous.
This is another important point not being conveyed by Bush. Our standing in the world has been diminished greatly not only because of Bush 's War, but also by his failure to admit mistakes. Pig-headedness is not a trait that should be celebrated but to hear the Bushies talk about it, it is a mandatory requirement for the office. Kerry continued:
Now, whether preemption is ultimately what has to happen, I don't know yet. But I'll tell you this: As president, I'll never take my eye off that ball. I've been fighting for proliferation the entire time -- anti-proliferation the entire time I've been in the Congress. And we've watched this president actually turn away from some of the treaties that were on the table. You don't help yourself with other nations when you turn away from the global warming treaty, for instance, or when you refuse to deal at length with the United Nations. You have to earn that respect. And I think we have a lot of earning back to do.
We do have a lot of respect to earn back. Under another four years of Bush, you can expect further disintegration of our standing in the world. Bush pretends that he has a coalition when he does not. Eight countries have left this year and that does not include Costa Rica , who didn 't even realize they were on it. 85% of the countries in the coalition of the bribed have less than 300 soldiers applied to this effort. The largest ally we have, Great Britain , has 8,300 soldiers compared to our 150,000. That is a joke. For Bush to continue to trumpet this coalition only belies the fact that he does not think the American people are sharp enough to call a spade a spade. There is no coalition, there is no global support. That was what Kerry was trying to say.
The Bushies were so positively giddy over the global test comment that they have already completed a commercial to exploit the fears of Americans by using it. It is a great sound bite to see Bush wrap himself up in the flag and say how he would never ask permission to defend this country. Or course, Kerry has said on multiple occasions that he would never base his foreign policy decisions on other countries or ask permission. What Kerry does say is that it is important how we are viewed in the world. It also directly relates to the spread of terrorism as the less credibility we have, the more fertile the training ground is for future terrorists. These are points that are lost on George W. Bush who only knows how to blow people up, without considering the possibility of diplomacy and preemption as a combined force. To Bush they are separate entities but to the rest of us, we know that they can coexist. According to Bush, preemption, regardless of whether it turns out to be just, is always justified. In a civilized society, that is patently false and surely not democratic. John Kerry was correctly pointing out the necessity for legitimacy not only for our citizens but for the world in which we live. Bush 's answer, "because I said so " is parental in nature and should never be the standard by which we justify a war.
John Kerry is correct to point out that you can be certain, and also be wrong. I have no doubt that Bush truly believes he is certain and refuses to consider that he could be wrong. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he remains most certainly wrong.
Anthony Wade is co-administrator of a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush and seeking his removal from office. He is a 37-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites. A Christian progressive and professional counselor, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.
Anthony Wade 's Archive: http://www.opednews.com/archiveswadeanthony.htmEmail Anthony: email@example.com