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Monday, September 6, 2004
Spot the Lie and Get Back to Me

By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 4:08 pm

Since it’s back I can comment on the last one on the list:

Bush Lies About Kerry’s View of Coalition.

143. Bush: “In the midst of war, he has called America’s allies, quote, a “coalition of the coerced and the bribed.” That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.”

On CNN Kerry called the coaltion partners “window dressing”:

HEMMER: The White House would say that dozens of countries are helping now in the effort on the ground in Iraq and they are engaged with the U.N., as well, how would more international involvement prevent the violence we’re seeing today?

KERRY: Well, the fact is that those countries are really window dressing to the greatest degree. And they weren’t there in the beginning when we went in, and they’re not carrying the cost of this war.

And he did refer to the coaltion as one that was “coerced” and “bribed":

“If the federal government, my friends, can find billions of dollars in order to create a coalition of the coerced and the bribed, why can’t it provide vital aid for schools, health care and law enforcement in California?” he said. -WaPo, 3/14/03

Where’s the lie? That Kerry said it? No, he did. That those countries are involved? No, there are. That these countries deserve respect? Surely Kerry doesn’t think that Bush believes that they deserve scorn. That Bush respects them or that they deserve gratitude from the US? I don’t see any lies there, either.

Most odd.

  • Mark the Pundit linked with He Did it Again!
  • Mark the Pundit linked with He Did it Again!

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4 Comments»

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  1. Hey, didja see the headline over Lie Number 140?
    Bush Says Kerry Opposes Marriage Penalty
    Well, that would be a lie, now wouldn’t it? But I don’t think it’s an accurate paraphrase of the president’s words.

    Comment by Sean Gleeson — Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 4:36 pm

  2. ‘Tis most perplexing. This list… it’s as if someone in Kerry’s camp had been directed to draft up a list of points from the RNC that Kerry’s camp needs to address. I almost don’t think it was meant to be posted on the site.

    A lot of these points seem to support Bush’s stance and, as you have already pointed out, the ‘lie’ is not readily apparent.
    Or maybe this is supposed to be a list that the camp needs american people to believe as lies, so now that it’s been drawn up, they can brainstorm over how to bring that about.
    Wierd. Either way, BIG mistake.

    Comment by AkRonin — Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 4:55 pm

  3. Kerry might have said “a coalition of the coerced and the bribed", however he then changed his mind last week and therefore Bush is lying by quoting him on that.

    Question answered.

    Comment by Digger — Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 5:55 pm

  4. I’m going to paste an email I sent someone recently. Sorry for the unoriginal content, but I think it clears up some things.

    This is the quote I was responding to:

    “Some critics have said our duties in Iraq must be internationalized. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our partners in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands - (applause) - Norway, El Salvador, and the 17 other countries that have committed troops to Iraq. (Applause.) As we debate at home, we must never ignore the vital contributions of our international partners, or dismiss their sacrifices.”

    First, note there are more than five times more American troops than troops from everyone else put together, and that there are more security contract workers in Iraq (contract workers with guns who do what troops do) than there are non-US troops.

    My comments:

    It’s important to realize that lining up temporary partners - mostly via threatening to withhold economic and political priveleges (a less nice word for it is blackmail) - is not the same thing as internationalizing a war effort. The citizens in the countries you listed were overwhelmingly opposed to a war in Iraq, particularly the way Bush conducted it.

    This sums up international sentiment better:

    “There is a growing tendency in public opinion to view the US as a rogue state.”
    -Dominique Moisi, Foreign Affairs Analyst, France

    Before you start bashing France, remember that France is traditionally one of our closest allies and our [recent] partnership with them goes back to World War II. It is morally wrong to slander them like some have tried to do. As it turns out, they were right about Iraq.

    (France has also been a good friend of ours throughout most of our history. They gave us the Statue of Liberty in 1884, and Benjamin Franklin even once said, “Every man has two nations, and one of them is France.")

    But since you listed the “Coalition of the Willing,” let’s look at those.

    Britain

    Prime Minister Tony Blair is barely hanging on to office after facing intense criticism from Brits and even leaders within his own party. British citizens had opposed a unilateral war. Many of them now view Blair as Bush’s lapdog. There was an ongoing controversy at one point because Britain released an intelligence “dossier” that turned out to be mostly plagiarized from old research papers available on the internet. (Colin Powell praised it in his presentation to the UN leading up to the war.) The vast majority of Brits dislike Bush.

    Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London said in May, 2003, “Bush is repellent.” He called Bush “a hawk who was a coward,” “corrupt,” and “not a legitimate President.”

    Australia

    Australia relies on its partnership with the US for its national security, so it’s not really in a position to say no most of the time. However there has been widespread dissatisfaction with the way Prime Minister John Howard has handled the war, and his coalition in Parliament is falling apart. Most Australians believe Howard lied to them about Iraq, and his opponent, Mark Latham, is leading him in the polls in the run-up to the 2004 election.

    Latham: “Bush himself is the most incompetent and dangerous president in living memory.”

    Japan

    The Japanese people did not want this war, and there have been massive protests. Japan wasn’t even part of the coalition during the invasion. They sent a few people over later, mostly to help help some locals with rebuilding, etc. Japan has virtually no military, so it depends on the US for its national security.

    South Korea

    South Korea did not want this war, and there have been gigantic protests over there. At one point South Korea considered withdrawing its troops, but it is too dependent on the US not to cooperate. (It has to contend with a nuclear-armed North Korea, for one thing.)

    The Philippines:

    Withdrew

    Thailand

    Will probably be withdrawing its troops

    Italy

    Protests and discontent. Most Italians think Bush is an idiot. More than a million Italians took to the streets in protest before the war, and most Italians were against the war. Italy didn’t participate in the invasion, but sent a token number of peacekeeping troops later.

    Spain

    9/10 of the Spanish people were against the war. They have withdrawn from the coalition.

    Poland

    The Polish people have loudly rebelled against their president. Polish leadership has been ambiguous about its plans, since it doesn’t want to offend either Bush or the voters, but it may withdraw troops if it think it can get away with it without being punished too heavily later by the US.

    Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski said Bush “misled with the information on weapons of mass destruction.”

    Etc… I think you get the point. I just ran down the countries from the quote you gave me in order.

    I haven’t covered the world powers who couldn’t be pursuaded/coerced, like China, Germany, and Russia. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder ran for reelection last time on an anti-Bush platform. Since reconstruction after World War II, Germany has been one of our closest allies (until now). Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks Bush is crude, arrogant, and incompetent. The Chinese want to keep trade open, so they have a lot of reasons to please us, but they think Bush’s foreign policy is ridiculous.

    Europeans overwhelmingly dislike Bush, and many consider him to be the largest threat to international security.

    Or we could get into Canada and Mexico, two of our traditionally closest allies. When Canada doesn’t support us, we know there’s a problem. One top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien called Bush a “moron,” and a member of his cabinet compared Bush to Hitler. 40 percent of Canadian teenagers believe America is “evil.” Bush was the Governor of Texas, which borders on Mexico, and he couldn’t even get Mexico to join up.

    Some of our most significant partners in the first Gulf War, Arab and Middle Eastern nations, sat this one out and have severely criticized Bush. (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates alone committed more troops in 1991 than the total number of troops currently in Iraq. The US didn’t need all of them then, but it could use some today.)

    I could go on, but I’m not sure I really need to add a lot to what I’ve already said.

    Looking briefly on the web for links on this, I noticed a link that might help clear things up, although it may be a bit long and I haven’t read it, so I can’t comment on how accurate it is:

    http://www.ips-dc.org/COERCED.pdf

    What this Coalition to the Willing amounts to, for the most part, is a coalition that brought its nations to war, under pressure from the world’s only superpower, against the will of their citizens.

    That’s my take. If you can provide another perspective on it, I’m willing to listen.

    —-

    p.s. Also note that the war is costing hundreds of billions of dollars - far more than the first war - while Republican Warren Rudman of the Hart-Rudman commission said the government is “not doing nearly enough” on homeland security. As most of us know, the 9/11 commission and many others have confirmed Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11; so the fact that the government is spending lots in Iraq and not enough here is significant.

    Comment by krj — Tuesday, September 7, 2004 @ 7:16 am

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