Post-9-11 events and analyses
Monday, October 25, 2004
Brooks on progressive conservatives:
Long rant with a few good ideas, and one interesting poll result: "Over the past two decades there has been a sharp rise in the number of people who define themselves to pollsters as ''have-nots.'' Though poverty has declined since 1988, the number of blacks who call themselves ''have-nots'' has risen to 48 percent from 24 percent. The number of whites who use that phrase to describe themselves has risen to 28 percent from 17 percent. These perceptions have been rising steadily over the Bush, Clinton and Bush presidencies. When people call themselves ''have-nots,'' they are not only commenting on their current economic status. They are also commenting on their prospects." 10:15:35 PM
'Frightened to death' of Bush: Another GOP endorsement, this time Marlow W. Cook, a Republican County judge from 1962-1968 and U.S. senator from Kentucky from 1968-1975. "I am not enamored with John Kerry, but I am frightened to death of George Bush. .. we have a duty to rid ourselves of those who are taking our country on a perilous ride in the wrong direction. .. I will take John Kerry for four years to put our country on the right path. " 3:50:44 PM
Bush supporters think Bush is moderate:
Good summary contrasting Bush positions to what his supports think they are. "There are only two issues on which even a majority of Bush supporters know Bush's actual position. As the PIPA report blandly puts it, "Apparently in the absence of evidence to the contrary, Bush supporters assume Bush feels as they do." That's true, and it's been the essence of George Bush since 2000. He won the primary and the election that year by being the friendly face of movement conservatism, a guy who seemed much more moderate than he really was. And now, even four years later, he still
looks to his supporters much more moderate than he really is. If the electorate understood just how conservative Bush really is, he wouldn't have a snowball's chance of winning the election this year.
What's more, this goes beyond George Bush: it's actually one of conservatism's greatest weaknesses. On a wide range of issues — the environment, Social Security, Medicare, abortion, and so forth — conservatives are unable to get support for their actual positions, so they're forced to couch their conservative policies in surprisingly liberal terms. We're environmentalists! We want to save Social Security! We're tolerant of gays! In the long term, though, this is disastrous, since eventually they'll either have to surrender and adopt genuine liberal policies or else come clean about their conservatism and get swamped at the polls.
But that's for the future. In the meantime, the compassionate conservative schtick is working pretty well. I wonder how much longer they can pull it off?" 3:45:19 PM
WSJ.com - Questions Mount Over Failure to Hit Zarqawi's Camp: "The Pentagon drew up detailed plans in June 2002, giving the administration a series of options for a military strike on the camp Mr. Zarqawi was running then in remote northeastern Iraq, according to generals who were involved directly in planning the attack and several former White House staffers ..
Senior Pentagon officials who were involved in planning the attack said that even by spring 2002 Mr. Zarqawi had been identified as a significant terrorist target.. But the raid on Mr. Zarqawi didn't take place. Months passed with no approval of the plan from the White House, until word came down just weeks before the March 19, 2003, start of the Iraq war that Mr. Bush had rejected any strike on the camp until after an official outbreak of hostilities with Iraq. Ultimately, the camp was hit just after the invasion of Iraq began. ..
Gen. Keane characterized the camp "as one of the best targets we ever had," and questioned the decision not to attack it. When the U.S. did strike the camp a day after the war started, Mr. Zarqawi, many of his followers and Kurdish extremists belonging to his organization already had fled, people involved with intelligence say. Questions about whether the U.S. missed an opportunity to take out Mr. Zarqawi have been enhanced recently by a CIA report on Mr. Zarqawi, commissioned by Vice President Dick Cheney. Individuals who have been briefed on the report's contents say it specifically cites evidence that Mr. Zarqawi was in the camp during those prewar months. ..
Administration officials say the attack was set aside for a variety of reasons, including uncertain intelligence reports on Mr. Zarqawi's whereabouts and the difficulties of hitting him within a large complex. .. Another factor, though, was fear that a strike on the camp could stir up opposition while the administration was trying to build an international coalition to launch an invasion of Iraq. Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, said in an interview that the reasons for not striking included "the president's decision to engage the international community on Iraq." " 3:26:30 PM