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George Bush Speech Surprisingly Effective...

But There Were Two Significant Shortcomings

September 20, 2001

George Bush has been mocked by many as a moron, an idiot and incompetent, so an immediate reaction to the World Trade Center attack was to hope Bush had enough intelligent people surrounding him so that he could successfully lead the country through the terrorism crisis.

George Bush on September 20, however, gave an amazingly good speech.  How did Bush do it?

Bush's speechwriters gave him a forceful, well-crafted speech to read. George Bush read the speech much more effectively than anyone has ever seen him read a speech before.

Bush verbally made certain distinctions he needed to make, such as between the terrorists who call themselves Muslims, and the other one billion Muslims in the world.

George Bush didn't smirk, and seemed appropriately serious.

Frankly, I was impressed with Bush's speech.  But two major substantive shortcomings leapt out at me immediately.

George Bush Speech: The Omissions

First, George Bush made no pledge to avoid any military actions which would kill innocent civilians. Such a limitation is a prerequisite before I and many millions of other Americans could support any military strikes.

Those of us who hold this view have a duty to make our "No Killing of Civilians" a national cry.

Second, Bush repeated the simpleton-level explanation of why bin Laden and his group hate us: our freedom and our prosperity. As noted elsewhere, there are legitimate political grievances that many peoples around the world have with the way U.S. foreign policy has hurt and killed their countrymen and ruined their countries.

Bin Laden and his group, who would, if they could, impose a Taliban-like theocratic dictatorship on humanity, with the attendant placing into slavery of all women, might very well hate us even if our government had not committed atrocities all over the world.

Still, U.S. foreign policy needs to be seriously examined and changed.  (Of course, whether that's possible or not given the present power structure of our country is a whole separate debate.)

Be that as it may, a necessary first step is what I suggested yesterday: setting up a non-partisan National Commission on U.S. Foreign Policy Since World War II.  Broad domestic and international input would be critical to its relevance and success.

The mandate of the commission would be to try to come to a consensus on where U.S. foreign policy in the last 56 years has gone right and where it has gone wrong.

George Bush Speech: A Guide for the Future

So what George Bush's speech omitted can guide our political activism in future days:

No killing of civilians, and set up the Commission -- two positions that progressives can espouse with vigor, and without fear of being criticized for wanting to let the terrorists get away with their evil deed.

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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