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Author Topic: Bush and Brian Williams
Elizabeth
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Did anyone happen to watch the interview Brian Williams did with Bush today in New Orleans?

It was pretty incredible to me.

Yes, he mentioned that his taste in reading was ecalectic, but it didn't even bother me.

He was wearing a super dorky outfit, sort of a Tony Soprano shirt tucked in(and Tony Soprano shirts are worn untucked), with his pants belted way too high up, and he seemed unguarded and, well, real.

I am not a fan of our president, but there was something poignant about this interview. I felt differently about him after I watched it. I am curious to hear anyone else's reaction.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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It was a little bit strange. (You can get video of the interview at MSNBC.com) I do wonder if it's possible for him to change his mind when he is locked in "decision-maker" mode.
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Elizabeth
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It seemed that Brian Williams was really surprised that Bush was answering, and not avoiding, his questions.
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cmc
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Thanks for mentioning it was on the MSNBC site, Irami Osei-Frimpong.

I just watched. Sorry if this sounds harsh to anyone, but I still find Bush to be a blithering idiot. I agree that he answered the questions somewhat. I also feel, though, that he danced around them and sounded foolish while doing it.

I also don't think he's read all the books he was talking about. Obviously - or maybe seemingly - he's got an inside track to Cliff's Notes.

I don't feel differently about him after viewing that. I simply feel that his PR folk are encouraging him to try a different avenue... to make him seem more accessible, more like your 'average joe'. Could be just a ploy by Republicans to gain favor in that party for the upcoming elections (presidential and otherwise).

I'm independent - I'm not Elephant Bashing. I'm just saying that I don't find him to be a believable leader, speaker or intelligent man. I agree that it was a different look for G-dub, I just don't find it necessarily favorable.

How fitting that his last comment was about baseball - because what's more American than...

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MrSquicky
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Brain Williams really put the screws to him.

"What about Iraq?"

"Iraq was the right thing to do. After all, we were attacked here."

"Yeah, but Iraq didn't have anything to do with that."

"Oh, I don't believe that Saddam Hussein ordered al Queda to attack us."

"Well, I guess that answers that then."

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Rakeesh
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If you're at war, are you expected to wait until your enemy attacks you first?

Whether or not we should have invaded Iraq is one question. To suggest that we should not have attacked Iraq because they (apparently) had nothing to do with 09-11-01 is silly. We are not now and were not then in a situation where we were at war only with the people who were directly and provably linked with 09-11-01.

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Eduardo St. Elmo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
If you're at war, are you expected to wait until your enemy attacks you first?

If you're already at war, then it wouldn't be a good strategy. However, if the enemy attacking is actually the first movement that might be described as an act of war, then it's a completely different situation.

But this raises the following question: When are two nations 'at war?'.

To my mind war has to be officially declared, right?

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Rakeesh
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So to your mind, American military campaigns in Vietnam and the Korean peninsula weren't real wars?
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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The destruction and loss of lives were real enough. But isn't it the American government that insists on calling those 'political actions'?
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Rakeesh
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So...the American government determines reality, then?

And since you're making a claim/question here...no, the American government as a whole does not always refer to those events as police actions. Not 'political'. Please demonstrate me to be wrong.

'Police action' is a term sometimes used in reference to the Korean War-historical textbooks generally call it that as well, in fact every American history textbook I've ever read that covered it.

While they almost always (with the exception of really early history textbooks) clarify that it was not an officially declared war, in about the twenty or more American history textbooks I've read, I cannot recall a single time it was referred to primarily as anything but the Korean War.

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KarlEd
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quote:
Originally posted by Eduardo St. Elmo:
The destruction and loss of lives were real enough. But isn't it the American government that insists on calling those 'political actions'?

Actually, I think the term is "police action", but yeah.
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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Thank you both for improving my terminology.

I should have known this, because my own country has also executed some 'police actions' in the past. It's not something to be proud of.

The term itself implies that the 'invading' country believes that they have authority over people that do not reside within their borders. Which is obviously not correct.

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Rakeesh
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I'm sure the people of South Korea were mad.
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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mad in what sense? crazy or angry...
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Rakeesh
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Mad that the United States (and others) exerted this implied authority.
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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so, angry then...

Could you then explain to me how the situation in Iraq differs from that in Korea in this aspect?
No matter what reason the American government issues for going to war against Iraq (wmdīs-or-oil-or-freeing the Iraqi people), the majority of the worldīs population will never see it as a justifiable action.

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Rakeesh
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I was being sarcastic. I do not think the South Koreans were angry that the United States engaged in a 'police action' within their borders.

In fact, I think they were very relieved. Call it a hunch. As for what the rest of the world sees...well, that is not first or second, doesn't make the top five in fact, of concerns I believe the US should have before engaging in a military action.

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KarlEd
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I think you missed the sarcasm in Rakeesh's post. (If I may be so bold, and Rakeesh can correct me if I'm wrong:) Rakeesh is implying (through sarcasm) that South Koreans are glad to have had the aid of the US in holding Kim Il Sung at bay. Having lived in South Korea, I believe this is the case, even if I'm reading Rakeesh wrong.

On another note, we still have a very large and relatively un-talked-about military prescence in South Korea 56 years later. Anyone who thought the US could possibly be "out of Iraq" within 20 years (or in fact actually desires to), even before the war started, is quaintly naive or a government shill. I wonder how many of the US air bases built in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Storm have been vacated and turned over to the Saudis.

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Rakeesh
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Completely agree, Karl. You got me pegged, and (I think) the likely duration of our military presence in Iraq.

And in the Korean peninsula, we've only got basically three things I can think of keeping us there. Strategic concerns about China, Taiwan, and South Korea. The concerns are much greater and more varied in Iraq.

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Eduardo St. Elmo
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I duly apologise for misinterpreting your comment, Rakeesh.
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Rakeesh
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So, do you think South Koreans were unhappy with the American (and other nations) military campaign on their peninsula? Police actions having all those unpleasant implications and all.
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Elizabeth
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"I don't feel differently about him after viewing that. I simply feel that his PR folk are encouraging him to try a different avenue... to make him seem more accessible, more like your 'average joe'. Could be just a ploy by Republicans to gain favor in that party for the upcoming elections (presidential and otherwise)."

I did not feel that way this time. I am not sure why, really. Usually, I turn the channel the moment he begins to speak. But this interview just gave me a different feeling. I did not feel it was an act.

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Eduardo St. Elmo
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Yes, they were unhappy. As is any nation that finds itself thrust into war. I know that America was in Korea and Vietnam to hold back the communist threat and I donīt think they were wrong in doing so. But then again, having stopped the Reds (pardon my French) from implementing their system, doesnīt justify pushing American ideals down the throats of the people whose freedom they just protected. You have to let people make up their own minds, even though you think you know better.
In other words: donīt order, but advise and suggest and hope people will pick up the good ideas.

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Rakeesh
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You're dodging the question. I believe you know I did not mean, "Were they unhappy with the situation?" but rather, "Were they unhappy with the United States intervening? Would they have rather we did not?"

I don't even know what you're talking about with the rest of it. You go from specifics to abstract generalities as though the generalities apply to the specifics?

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KarlEd
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quote:
Originally posted by Eduardo St. Elmo:
Yes, they were unhappy. As is any nation that finds itself thrust into war. I know that America was in Korea and Vietnam to hold back the communist threat and I donīt think they were wrong in doing so. But then again, having stopped the Reds (pardon my French) from implementing their system, doesnīt justify pushing American ideals down the throats of the people whose freedom they just protected. You have to let people make up their own minds, even though you think you know better.
In other words: donīt order, but advise and suggest and hope people will pick up the good ideas.

"Unhappy" as in the unhappiness of all people in war? Or specifically unhappy in having an American presence? If you're talking about the latter, I think you're sadly mistaken. When the Korean War broke out, South Korea had only existed as such for 5 years, and the people of Korea were coming out from under nearly 80 years of bloody and oppressive occupation by the Japanese. Americans were largely seen as liberators by the South Koreans now freed from Japanese oppression by WWII. As late as the early 90s, (when I was there) support for American's was pretty high among those alive during the Korean War.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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quote:
The term itself implies that the 'invading' country believes that they have authority over people that do not reside within their borders. Which is obviously not correct.
No. The term itself implies that the United States as well as many other countrys were in Korea as a United Nations Police force. The police action was ordered by the United Nations. The troops were under a United Nations command and were enforcing United Nations resolutions. With the present Iraq situation, the United States, and a small coalition, were not under a United Nations mandate. The administration claims that they are enforcing United Nations resolutions. And, they are. (Clinton may well have done something similar to enforce the resolutions if he had not spent all his political capital on being a jerk. It certainly would have been justified.) But, the Bush decision to "go it alone" instead of waiting for a UN sponsored action was, in retrospect, a big mistake.
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TomDavidson
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I do wonder if all this -- going to war in order to obtain a base of operations in the region, etc. -- would be simplified enormously if we just conquered territory.
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KarlEd
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Can you please change your "code" to "quote" so it doesn't screw up the scrolling?

[edit: Thank you]

[ August 30, 2006, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: KarlEd ]

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Whether or not we should have invaded Iraq is one question. To suggest that we should not have attacked Iraq because they (apparently) had nothing to do with 09-11-01 is silly.
Err...who said that we should not have attacked Iraq because they had nothing to do with 9/11?

I certainly didn't. I was pointing out the converse, which is that usinng 9/11 as the reason or justification for attacking Iraq doesn't make any sense. Also, when the President does it, you (as a reporter) challenge him on it, and he responds by "you're right", you should maybe say "So, again, why do you think attacking Iraq wasa good idea?"

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Dan_raven
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quote:
To suggest that we should not have attacked Iraq because they (apparently) had nothing to do with 09-11-01 is silly.
But it sounds like he was suggesting that the reason we did attack Iraq was because of 9/11 which I think is even more silly.

If Joe hits me and I hit him back, thats self defense. I do not go to jail.

If Joe hits me and I hit Mike, that is not self defense. I go to jail.

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akhockey
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What if Joe walks up to you with Mike, Steve, and Isaac standing right next to him in an ominous manner? And then you hit Mike.
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TomDavidson
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Wow. That's the first argument for invading Russia that I've seen in a while.
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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Rakeesh: I'm so sorry that my posts are unintelligable. It's because I seem to think backwards.
KarlEd: I'm sure the people in South Korea were very happy with outsiders helping them to remain a free country in stead of being usurped by their northern neighbours. I just think it's very sad that there has to be a continuing military force over there to maintain the status quo.
AT: Bush's decision to 'go it alone' was wrong even before it was implemented. Hindsight is always 20-20.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I'm sure the people in South Korea were very happy with outsiders helping them to remain a free country in stead of being usurped by their northern neighbours. I just think it's very sad that there has to be a continuing military force over there to maintain the status quo.
This statement seems different to me than what you said and implied before. You spoke a good deal about forcing values and compelling obedience, that sort of thing. Do you think that's what we're doing in the Korean peninsula?

This is also a broader argument about 'police actions'-you have stated that they are inherently unjustified.

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