"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States


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Friday, February 18, 2005
  Who Likes Bush?
I've really begun to wonder lately - who could possibly approve of President Bush? "Diplomacy" has failed miserably with North Korea - Kim Jong Il has withdrawn from the vaunted "six-party" talks, declaring that he now possesses nuclear weapons. Iraq is looking grim, with Shiites vaguely supporting a regime based on Islamic law and Kurds demanding virtual independence from the country. And now, Bush tops all his previous blunders, by proving that he can be wrong on just about every issue. From the AP today, Bush let's us know exactly where he stands on Iran:
"I hear all these rumors about military attacks, and it's just not the truth," said Bush, who leaves Sunday for Europe to mend fences with allies. "We want diplomacy to work."
Let's see - maybe my memory's getting rusty, but I think I just mentioned that diplomacy allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons. What in the hell does Bush think will make things work differently this time? To be fair, he did leave a carrot on a stick for his supporters, so that they'd have a "leg" to stand on when defending him:
Listen, first of all, you never want a president to say 'never.' But military action is certainly not — it's never the president's first choice. Diplomacy is always the president's first — at least my first choice.
And if you're looking for insightful, clever one-liner's that really show the measure of a man, Bush provides those as well:
Asked if he trusted Iran, Bush said, "Well, it's hard to trust a regime that doesn't trust their own people."
I can see the deadpan smile that must have accompanied that comment. And last but not least, here's Bush on Putin:
Bush said he would talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin about actions widely viewed as a retreat from democracy. "I mean, he's done some things that (have) concerned people," Bush said. But Bush also emphasized that he has "a good relationship" with Putin and would talk with him "in a friendly way" about Western values based on the rule of law, openness, freedom of expression and checks and balances in government.

"We don't need a fresh start in my personal relationship with Vladimir Putin," Bush said. "We're friends. And that's important."

Bush said Putin "sees clearly the common enemy" in the war on terrorism and "he knows you got to be tough and resolute and strong."
I'm sorry, but this President is a farce. These next four years are looking quite dismal. On all the issues where Bush needs prodding, his party smiles and let's him go on his merry way; and on one of the few issues where I sympathize with him, Social Security, the Republicans appear to be preparing to abort (albeit during the first trimester). I still believe Kerry would have been a superior President, given our current situation. The Republican majority would be giving Kerry hell right now for his actions, instead of giving Bush a free pass. And to be quite frank, I don't see how Bush is doing anything now that differs fundamentally from what Kerry would have done. The only difference is that Kerry in all his nudity would have been denounced, while Bush continues to receive praise for his fashion chic.

P.S. I almost forgot to mention Syria:
The president also said that he and his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, should set their differences aside to focus on the Middle East, Lebanon and other issues. Bush said he and Chirac would send a clear signal to Syria that it must remove its soldiers from Lebanon and that "we're very serious about this."
P.P.S. To be totally objective, I should give Bush some marginal credit for signing the bill curbing class-action lawsuits. Let's see.... -99 + 3 = ...

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