by Greg Method
(I sent this open letter to every major and minor daily newspaper in my home state, Ohio, in the hope that the press will understand that they have a responsibility to their readers to nitpick and catch politicians on lies. I doubt this will actually appear in many papers since it is so critical of the press, so I'll reprint it below. Don't worry, a normal extra-long Bush rant will show up in this section this month as usual!)
I was a little bothered to read that on Tuesday Mr. Bush again attacked Sen. Kerry for having differing views on Iraq and the war on terror. The reason it bothered me is because I must have missed out on some kind of amnesia gas that affected the rest of the country, because I seem to recall just last week Bush's own position on the war on terror had changed from being winnable, to being miscalculated, to not being winnable, and finally to something that he himself is winning.
In fact, Bush's entire foreign policy in regard to the war on terror has been a series of so-called "flip-flops." He was adamantly against the independent 9/11 commission and even tried to stop it, but then he changed his mind and pretended that he was for it all along. He was going to wait for a UN vote before invading Iraq, and then he ends up jumping the gun. Heck, just look at all the various reasons he gave why it was supposedly necessary to invade Iraq: Saddam had something to do with 9/11 (he didn't), Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (he didn't), Saddam was harboring terrorists (he wasn't), Saddam had threatened to attack us (he didn't), and we were there to liberate them (by causing more bloodshed and violence). Doesn't anyone else remember any of this??
And just in case this wasn't enough, on Tuesday Mr. Cheney did what I think is the most despicable thing an "elected" official can do. Cheney essentially threatened us to vote for Bush, saying that if Kerry is in office then we are going to suffer another 9/11-style attack. Um...hello? Does anyone else remember that 9/11 happened while Bush was on vacation for a month in Texas, during which time he neglected to read security briefings that detailed Osama bin Laden's plot to hijack planes??
I think this in fact illustrates just how much the Bush campaign itself "flip-flops." They want to run for election on 9/11, the greatest tragedy this country has seen, yet at the same time they're trying to scare us that we'll get more of the same if Kerry is elected. In other words, 9/11 was a good thing only when it applies to Bush. Am I the only one who gets sick by this very notion??
Is it actually better to be consistent if you're wrong in the first place?
The reason I bring all this up is because I'm concerned why the press doesn't do a better job at pointing out these little inconsistencies. Isn't the news supposed to be objective? Because the press doesn't actually say "Now, hang on a minute..." there is a large percentage of the mindless sheep in this country who believe that Iraq actually had WMDs, and another that believes Kerry lied about serving in Vietnam!
I am such a strong believer in the power of reading. If you actually sit down and read the facts, then there is no rational way you can vote for Bush in November. The facts are simply not in Bush's favor. But it's a little hard for someone to do that if the press just lets this stuff go by without a challenge.
And it's not just the "flip-flop" nonsense or the Swift Boat slander. It was reported in the news on Tuesday that over 1,000 U.S. troops have died in Iraq. They died there because Bush couldn't go after the Saudis because of his financial ties to them and the bin Laden family. They died there because Cheney's company Halliburton wanted to profit off a national tragedy. They died there because Bush refuses to go after the guy who really attacked us. In all of the reporting of this new count of the war dead, why isn't the press demanding that Bush be held accountable for this??
And let's just get off the war on terror briefly. Why isn't the press focusing on the fact that Bush has a horrendous environmental record because he's in the pocket of the logging industry? Why isn't the press focusing on the fact that the average monthly unemployment rate under Bush is higher than that of all eight years under Clinton? Why isn't the press focusing on the fact that Bush's entire health policy is based on the over $20 million he's received in campaign funds from industries that profit from our being sick?
In short, why aren't we holding him accountable?
This is a reckless, inept, dangerous, and corrupt administration. Where is the press in all this? Where is the investigative reporting? Where are the Woodwards and Bernsteins of this generation? I love the guy and what he's done, but we shouldn't have to rely on Michael Moore to point out things that the press would crucify any other president for.
On my web site, Dohtem.com, I have this quote posted up: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
That quote is by Theodore Roosevelt, who I doubt anyone would argue was a great leader.
So, why isn't the press questioning this president? Why isn't the press pointing out things that need to be pointed out? Why isn't the press doing its duty to clear up misconceptions and falsities? Why isn't the press holding him accountable?
For the life of me, I can't figure it out. Someone needs to do it soon. We're running out of time to decide which direction we want this country to go into, and if we don't hold Bush accountable in November, then we're never going to be able to do.
And that's perhaps the most unpatriotic thing any of us could do.
Quote of the Month
"September 11 wasn't a triumph of the spirit. It was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation."
Bill Maher (again!)
Link of the Month
The man of the year, who simply asks Bush how he can sleep at night knowing he's caused the deaths of one thousand of our troops.