Bush's news conference

Bush’s statement/news conference tonight really threw me for a loop. His answers to the reporters questions were so convoluted and empty that in almost every case I forgot what the original question was. I don’t think he answered directly any of the questions. It seemed most of the time his eyes glazed over and he was caught in some bizarre dream state, mumbling “freedom” .

I can honestly say I felt sorry for him as he fumbled his way along. I almost wished Ari came up coached him through it to make sense of it all.

Regardless of the fact of whether you are for or against a war with Iraq at this time, tonights conference left me dumfounded, and with a couple of unanswered questions. Is Bush so uniformed (by that I mean he can’t answer a basic question with any certainty) that he is merely a “marionnette” whose strings are pulled by the hawks in his administration, or is he some biblical crusader who beleives he is on a mission from a “higher power” (as evidenced by his dream-state rhetoric) to liberate the oppressed , and his administration is caught up in his aura? Who the heck is in charge in the United States of America??

While I believe that ultimately something must be done with Sadam (something sanctioned by the United Nations), I don’t see how Bush’s address tonight could have convinced anyone either domesticallly or internationally that there is a case for military action at this time or provided any solace to those concerned about the lives of their loved ones or the security of their country.

I had to stop watching it. The reporters would stand up and ask sensible questions and the President would give quasi-answers that would make his Andover debate club sponsor turn over in his grave. I’m no Bush fan, but I would actually like the guy to make a sensible, credible argument for invading Iraq. We have a Communist nation in Asia telling everyone who will listen that they are going to build nuclear weapons, but we don’t give a shit about them. The President says other nations with a direct interest in North Korea’s nuclear program should stand up to their responsibilities (China, Japan, Russia, etc.). What the hell makes Iraq so different? Why are we going to kill thousands of people who had very little to do with Saddam being in power? What national interest does it serve to remove him at this point in time?

Help me out here fellas.


Actually, the funniest moment was when he answered the question about a post-war democracy in Iraq by saying something about hoping that the “Shiites and Kurds could form a coalition”… Great idea! They should talk to the Isrealis and Palestinians to get advice on how to pull that off.

As for his answers, at least he was consistent…

Reporter: “Mr. President, millions of Americans have been in the streets protesting the wars. Have you considered this?”

“Saddam has not disarmed. We will see a regime change one way or another.”

Reporter: “Mr. President, what about concerns of the effects the war could have on the economy?”

“Saddam has not disarmed. He’s had 12 years to disarm.”

Reporter: “What about worries of increased domestic terrorism should a war start?”

“Saddam has not disarmed. Iraq will be disarmed one way or another.”

I can honestly say I felt sorry for him as he fumbled his way along.

Did you feel bad when Neidermeyer got pegged in the head with a golf ball in Animal House, or when Judge Smails gets chased by the two tough guys at the end of Caddyshack? Maybe when the German guy melts in Raider’s Of the Lost ark or when Saruman is defeated in Lord of Rings?

Some people can garner no sympathy from me. Bush is one of them.


Can’t take your liberal glasses off for one second, can ya.

I didn’t vote for Bush but I thought the news conference was fairly straightforward. I didn’t see any fumbling or any avoidance of questions.

I thought the point was clearly made: this has been going on for 12 years. How much time does the guy deserve? What if Bush decides to do nothing and in two years, Iraqi U.S. residents set off chemical weapons at a sporting event or some other place where many ppl gather. Would you then blame Bush for doing nothing? You can’t have it both ways. Either you prevent the threat before it becomes a threat or you just sit back and let your own planes crash into your own structures.

I don’t agree with a lot of what Bush has done but this whole Iraq business seems pretty clear cut to me. Doing nothing when the US Cole was attacked by terrorists didn’t exactly work out in our favor did it?

Come on. I’m all for war in Iraq, but this news conference was pretty bad. He obviously had a few facts / lines in his head and just kept turning to them no matter what he was asked. The only time it looked like he was saying anything unscripted was when he talked about faith and prayer.

I’m glad that Bush is standing up for killing Saddam, even if he’s doing it for the wrong reasons. And on some level I respect the fact that he’s willing to do something that needs to be done despite widespread disapproval. But overall, he’s just a real bumbler and has totally fucked up the diplomatic situation. Someone like Clinton or Reagan or even Bush Sr. would have been able to get a worldwide coalition on our side and would have had this whole thing over by now, probably. I’m glad it’s going to get done, but Bush II is making it cost a hell of a lot more than it needs to, IMO.

But I’m shocked to see anyone saying they “didn’t see any fumbling or avoidance of questions.” This whole thing was one big question-avoidance. What was his answer when asked numerous times about South Korea? About the massive international condemnation of the war? About the costs? Either complete avoidance, or a sound bite.

Inspections haven’t been going on for 12 years. They were unceremoniously called off when it was revealed that the US had compromised the mission by placing spies on the inspection team.



Ooohh oops, not 12 years, only 8. Sorry about that. That made all the difference in the world. I think I’ll start protesting tomorrow. Thanks for clearing that up.

Wow, scandalous. The US and Britain frustrated by the inspection team’s complete ineffectiveness thanks to Iraqi obstruction conspired to aide the inspectors with more effective equipment and succeded in thwarting Iraqi efforts to obtain banned materials. Sounds like the inspection were called off because they were more effective as an avenue for intelligence than as actual weapons inspectors. They were a joke 'cause Saddam was dicking around with the UN back then too. God forbid the US and UK should attempt to make the inspections relevant and successful. In the end it was just a pretense for Iraq to kick them all out, albeit a fairly justifiable one. But it just goes to show what a farce weapons inspections are in Iraq. Sure, give it a few more months… The inspections are working! Right…

Four years of no inspections? Sure sounds like a difference to me. As to this nugget of poo:

The US and Britain frustrated by the inspection team’s complete ineffectiveness thanks to Iraqi obstruction conspired to aide the inspectors with more effective equipment

The point of the article was that US & British intelligence conspired to KEEP the info away from the organization charged with the inspections, and not help the inspections process, instead using it in a manner that would guarantee the process’s failure. Since it appears you missed that, here’s the relevant quote:

US intelligence agents succeeded in smuggling into Baghdad a large and sophisticated listening device known as “Stephanie”. The device was kept in the office safe of American weapons inspector, Scott Ritter. […] According to Mr Ritter - who resigned from Unscom last year - the US took over the whole “Stephanie” operation. And, he says, the most sensitive information from “Stephanie” went to US intelligence, not to Unscom.

Looks like the US, using one of the inspectors, put their own intelligence gathering device in place. I imagine the UN knew nothing about it, and would have been pissed if they had, and would want nothing to do with it. I’m pretty sure eavesdropping devices is outside the scope of weapons inspection and falls squarely in the realm of espionage. Ritter seems to have a bad case of spier’s remorse.

I imagine…

I’m pretty sure…

Are you going to imagine things, assume things, or read the article? The article says this:

American and British inspectors began to take over specific Unscom operations, thereby compromising the UN’s independence.

There’s a world of difference between playing around with spy toys outside of the inspections process and actively taking over the inspections process and rerouting its information to intelligence agencies, keeping the info from the United Nations. They’re the ones doing the inspections, remember? Not the CIA, NSA, or FBI. [/quote]

An extremely relevant preface to your quote would be:

This is one man’s take on the situation, not indisputable fact. The BBC reporter knew well enough to point that out. I imagine US/British intelligence had a lot going on within the inspection team, but that it undermined the effort by consealing pertinent information from the UN is your own fictive extrapolation upon one man’s theory. The kind of information the US and UK were taking strait home is likely the kind of thing the Weapon’s Inspectors weren’t really interested in. The article even talks about the “Stephanie” information being used to plan the US/UK air campaign, so presumably that information was about important military targets like anti-aircraft guns, radar installations, etc. If they found out where secret nukes were I’m sure they would have given the inspectors the address and offered to give them a ride.

All that is really being alleged is that Unscom’s infiltration by US and British interests destroyed any objectivity the inspectors should have had. I see no evidence of active subversion of the process in an effort to ensure failure. Mangold’s first point is even that it didn’t start until the inspections had all but failed already. That the inspectors were frustrated by Iraqi efforts to confound them. Yeah, but I’m sure you’re right. We shouldn’t have done it. As history shows us weapons inspections always work.

Here’s a little scenario for you:

Iraq suspects spies are on the inspection team. In fact, they are absolutely correct. Iraq bars inspectors from certain sites in order to keep spies from gathering information outside of the scope of the weapons inspection program. US declares Iraq in violation of the inspection agreement because they refuse to allow our spies unfettered access to everything in Iraq. Sound familiar? That’s what I would call sabotaging the weapons inspections process. We used it for espionage goals outside the scope of the inspection program, then blamed Iraq, as we continue to do to this day, for not wanting to play along with our little charade.

Except that there were only spies because the clean inspectors had been getting the run around in the first place. Kinda a chicken and egg scenario there, Iraq’s going to plead spies one way or the other. At some point some people just decided it’d be more productive for them to actaully be acting as spies and gathering information outside of the scope of inspections, than to continue to play fruitless games with Saddam.

But Iraq has banned all Americans from being part of the new inspection team, he also indirectly gets them to go where he wants them to go, when he wants them to go, blahblahblah.

If you people don’t recognize the SAME EXACT PATTERN from all the previous years then obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about.
The THREAT of war is the ONLY thing making Saddam carry out these teeny tiny concessions he IS granting. Our threats of swift and terrible action has forced him to destroy 14 of the 120 missiles he had that he wasn’t supposed to have. You people that say there isn’t any evidence seem to overlook that little fact. Not to mention the currently active UNKNOWN bio weapon warhead they found. They have NO idea what bio concoction is in this thing. And that’s just the evidence brought up today that I remember at 2:30 in the morning.

France, Germany, and Russia (two countries that are profiting from the sanctions and one who’s leader has a huge irrational hatred of America) want to do away with the threat of war. Then why should Saddam comply? It’s the THREAT that is making him give in.

I’m just repeating myself though, David just asked a question that has been answered at least a dozen different times. And even people who’ve heard the answers to their questions ask the same ones over and over. ‘Peace through annoyance’

As for the speech: hilarious-ass bow tie from one reporter, white with red stripes. And Bush was his usual ‘I’m not gonna show ANY emotion except smugness and will speak slowly and methodically’ self. I think he’s not making so many malapropisms lately cause they made him memorize his speeches phonetically.

They were apparently looking for personnel records on the Republican Guard, among other stuff that had no relation to weapons inspections. It only matters insomuch as we got caught, and that makes it extremely hard for anyone to take us seriously when we complain about the inspectors being kicked out back in 1998.

Seems pretty stupid to start sending spies, something that no nation will ever accept being done against them in these matters, instead of trying to work within the UN to make the inspections more effective.

How do you know that? You have access to the intelligence agency files that stated “we’ll hold off on spying until the process has run aground.” How do you know they weren’t there in some capacity the whole time?

As far as the charge of the inspections having “run aground,” Ritter says that the inspectors cleaned up most of the weapons in Iraq. That contradicts your hypothesis, and given he was actually there I tend to give his statements a bit more weight.

“Saddam is going to claim we have spies on the team, so we might as well prove that he’s right about us, and make a mockery of the international diplomatic process by putting spies on the team and using it to run secret missions.” Not exactly a convincing argument. Instead of proving Saddam is a liar, we prove some of his wacko claims are absolutely true. Nice one!