Blog Master G

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Wednesday, February 4th, 2004 · 3 Comments

040131_COVER_wmd.320w.jpg This week’s Newsweek cover story What Went Wrong depicts Bush and his Cabinet, along with the quote from former U.S. weapons inspector David Kay: “We were all wrong.”

To some of us, this is no surprise. Of course there were never any weapons of mass destruction. Bush and his Cabinet misled the American people. The weapons were the reason we were given that Saddam was such an imminent threat, right?

In any case, I’m glad to see that this issue is finally making big headlines and that maybe someone will have to take some accountability.

The timing is good, too, since we’re right in the middle of the Democratic primaries and this issue will no doubt be center stage come the presidential election when the pressure is put on Bush.

So far, John Kerry is the front-runner, having won five states last night. John Edwards won South Carolina, Wesley Clark won Oklahoma, Howard Dean has yet to win any state, and Joe Lieberman finally dropped out last night.

At first, I was leaning toward Dean. Lately, though, I’ve been seeing the appeal of Kerry and even more so Clark. What I like about both Kerry and Clark, of course, is that they’re military veterans. In this day and age — when soldiers are dying in Iraq, national security is such a hot topic, and 80 percent of Bush’s State of the Union speech was about these issues (and, oddly, steroids) — who better to have going against Bush, who has no military background? I look forward to that debate.

Kerry is against gay marriage, takes money from special interests like telecommunications, voted in support of the Iraq war, and has a questionable record in the Senate. Despite this — because he is more moderate — he may indeed stand the best chance against Bush. He appeals to all Democrats, including swing voters, who will no doubt determine the ultimate outcome of the battle against Bush. The biggest theme of importance to Democratic voters these days is electability: Who will stand the best chance against Bush, whose approval ratings have slipped below 50 percent?

Clark, on the other hand, is more in line with my personal beliefs: He supports gay marriage, is anti-war, anti-draft (since he’s been there and has actually seen how horrible war is), anti-Patriot Act, pro-environment, and the like. Michael Moore has an excellent endorsement of Clark. The other thing I really like about Clark is that he’s published all his personal, financial, and military documents online. He has nothing to hide. It’s rare that one can say that about a politician.

Clark’s critics will be quick to point out that he has no experience in public office. As previously mentioned, we are living in a time when military force and national security are the issues of the day. Since the President of the United States is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, who’s better suited for that role than someone who is a four-star general and spent more than thirty years serving his country? What sense does it make to have politicians who have never been in battle being in charge of the military?

Come March 2 when the Democratic primary hits New York, I’m still undecided as to who will have my vote, but I’m sure the field will have narrowed even more by then. And whoever ends up with the nomination and eventually the Presidency will be a welcome relief over Bush, who’s created a record deficit, lost three million American jobs, contributed to the destruction of our environment, pandered to special interests, and gone to war based on lies.

Tags: politics

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Suzanne // Feb 4, 2004 at 12:32 pm

    Gabe: Love your insights about Kerry vs Clark.
    Electability IS the key. I was a Dean fan now leaning toward Kerry or ClarkI am reading Michael Moore’s current book “Hey Dude, Where’s My Country.” His outting of Bush and his Saudi connections is really eye opening. Why isn’t the media making more of that interesting alignment, especially Bush’s actions right after 9/11.

    Who do you see as Vice President?

  • 2 Dan Merrill // Feb 4, 2004 at 8:01 pm

    Yes, it is a tough call who to vote for in the democratic primary. When people ask me who I want, I say that there is only one candidate that I care about, and that’s the one I hope beyond anything will be losing the presidnetial race.

    So, whoever gets the nomiation from the Democrats will get my vote, but I do feel awkward having a say in that. Do I go with who I really want, or the one I think Joe Six-Pack in the swing state would vote for?

    Well, I have until March to figure that out. What makes me the most sad is that I don’t really have a choice– the real winner is picked by the media. They picked Howard Dean at first, but it was just too much fun to play his “rant” clip over and over and over again, so now they killed his chances.

    The media tells us who is winning, or at least who is in the lead, and that’s what we then use to determine “electability.” They are so busy telling us who is in the lead, or who lost the lead, or who might do this or that, so the end result is no time at all gets spent discussing real issues. Pisses me off.

    So, the media will have picked out a “frontrunner” or two for me to choose from when it’s my turn to primary, and it’s really not a decision that I have to make on my own at all. I will vote for whoever the media tells me has the best chance of beating Bush, and that’s all I can do.

    It’s too bad Bush has so much pull with the media. why else do I keep hearing things like “it’s an uphill battle for whoever gets the Democratic nomination” or “Bush has the most money, so he will probably win,” or worse, the reports that the Democrats have “given up” on 2004, and are waiting for 2008. What’s up with that shit?

    How come everyone I know hates Bush, but the media tells me that the country is split 50/50? This oil slave is ruining our country and our reputation, and he’s got record high approval ratings? where do these ratings come from anyway? Probably one of his friends.

    Anyway, enough ranting from me. Whatever happens in the primaries happens, it’s a straight Democratic ticket when the real election comes, and I reccomend everyone else do the same. It’s too bad the Democrats are really just the lesser of two evils, albeit much much much less evil.

    Dude, where IS my county?

  • 3 Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo // Jul 11, 2004 at 2:18 am

    I have been serving in Iraq for over five months now as a soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the “ROCK.”

    We entered the country at midnight on the 26th of March; one thousand of my fellow soldiers and I parachuted from 10 jumbo jets (known as C-17s) onto a cold, muddy field in Bashur, Northern Iraq. This parachute operation was the U.S. Army’s only combat jump of the war and opened up the northern front.

    Things have changed tremendously for our battalion since those first cold, wet weeks spent in the mountain city of Bashur. On April 10 our battalion conducted an attack south into the oil-rich town of Kirkuk, the city that has since become our home away from home and the focus of our security and development efforts.

    Kirkuk is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms. After nearly five months here, the people still come running from their homes, in the 110-degree heat, waving to us as our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. Children smile and run up to shake hands, in their broken English shouting “Thank you, mister.”

    The people of Kirkuk are all trying to find their way in this new democratic environment. Some major steps have been made in these last three months. A big reason for our steady progress is that our soldiers are living among the people of the city and getting to know their neighbors and the needs of their neighborhoods.

    We also have been instrumental in building a new police force. Kirkuk now has 1,700 police officers. The police are now, ethnically, a fair representation of the community as a whole. So far, we have spent more than $500,000 from the former Iraqi regime to repair each of the stations’ electricity and plumbing, to paint each station and make it a functional place for the police to work.

    The battalion also has assisted in re-establishing Kirkuk’s fire department, which is now even more effective than before the war. New water treatment and sewage plants are being constructed and the distribution of oil and gas are steadily improving.

    All of these functions were started by our soldiers here in this northern city and are now slowly being turned over to the newly elected city government. Laws are being rewritten to reflect democratic principles and a functioning judicial system was recently established to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the rule of law.

    The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.

    The fruits of all our soldiers’ efforts are clearly visible in the streets of Kirkuk today. There is very little trash in the streets, there are many more people in the markets and shops and children have returned to school.

    This is all evidence that the work we are doing as a battalion and as American soldiers is bettering the lives of Kirkuk’s citizens. I am proud of the work we are doing here in Iraq and I hope all of your readers are as well.

    Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo

    “Die dulci fruimini!”