Friday, November 19, 2004

Reply from Bruegge

John Stettner’s letter published in the November 10, 2004 Springfield Reporter missed the mark in countless ways but at the core of his expansive prose lies the statement: “I have yet to meet or hear a single person who can make a compelling case that ‘Bush lied.’” Mr Stettner, let me introduce the “true” wartime President George W. Bush.

Bush lied about the single most defining event (to date) for this generation of Americans, and he did so with what I consider to be a calculated and politically-driven distortion. Bush lied or, at the very least, as “Commander-in-Chief” perpetuated a myth – the myth that Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 or had any meaningful link to the Al-Queda members who facilitated and/or carried out 9/11. Half of the people who voted for W. still believe this is the case, according to at least one widely reported exit poll. As I recall it, as recently as the week of Halloween, Dick Cheney was making that connection in speeches on the campaign trail. It is indisputable that it was at least politically convenient – if not also morally reprehensible – to trade on this misperception in seeking to wage war on Iraq.

Mr. Bruegge, I take great pride in my work because I strive to be correct. My younger brother often complained that I “always have to be right.” I am pleased that you consider my prose “expansive”, but I dare say you haven’t a clue where “the mark” is and thus have no frame of reference to determine if I’ve missed it. It is fortuitous that my recent letter (printed last week alongside yours) addresses your core issue, thus relieving me of the need to repeat myself. It is notable that where I provide case after case of Hussein/al-Qaeda connections, you either overlook that evidence or are purposely being ignorant of it. I put to you Mr. Bruegge, that while I have invested a significant amount of time educating myself on these issues from sources such as journalists, direct source documents, government reports, and the like, and provide documentation for my positions, you offer nothing but your own opinions which appear to be based on highly partisan, dubious, and outright fraudulent material. While I do enjoy Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Hannity-&-Colmes, I do not quote them. They are commentators, and while I do agree with much of what they say, they are mainly entertainers who comment on current events. By the same token, Jeaneane Garofolo, Al Franken, and Michael Moore are comedians and entertainers, not reliable documenters of fact or news sources. Mr. Bruegge, how about providing your source material?

Add to this the lesser lies that accompanied that propaganda, and ask yourself, did Bush lie about:
a) the necessity of protecting the sovereign security of this nation, the United States, from attack by Iraq, a nation that could hardly fire a missile 500 miles, much less attack New York, Washington or any other part of our country in any fashion approaching the destruction and horror wrought on 9/11;

Just consider for a moment the complete ignorance of this comment. A small band of terrorists (al-Qaeda) sent out an even smaller strike unit (the 9 hijackers), but Hussein with an entire country’s resources at his fingertips couldn’t have done the same thing, or worse? All it takes, Mr Bruegge, is one person with a soda bottle full of weaponized bacteria or a dirty bomb in a suitcase. The hard part of wmds is not, as you might think, the materials (though they are difficult to come by), but rather the delivery system. Louis Alvarez, of the Manhattan Project, said “terrorists, if they had such material, would have a good chance of setting off a high-yield explosion simply by dropping one half of the material onto the other’s a trivial job to set off a nuclear explosion...” In large part, it was the Clintonized-CIA (guided in part by the Gorelick directive) that gave the hijackers their opportunity, not the President. The bottom line, as Bush tried to explain, and was misquoted, no one can defend against terrorists. It is just not possible. The only genuine defense is to take the fight to them so they have to fight in their home, not in ours. Gee, that sounds like the Bush Doctrine of Pre-emption.

b) the fact that prior to 9/11, the Bush White House was obsessed, not with assuring the destruction of al-Qaeda or assuring a meaningful fight against “terrorism,” but rather with developing a missile defense shield (a k a “Star Wars”):

How do you come by this fact? It seems to me that Bob Woodward (remember him, one of the guys that ‘nailed’ Nixon?), states quite clearly in his book, Plan of Attack, that Bush was quite aware of al-Qaeda. I wonder if you derive this from the thoroughly discredited Richard Clarke book? As an aside, considering the proliferation of missile and nuclear technology to rogue states by those allies Kerry kept harping on, wouldn’t it be prudent to have a missile defense? As it happens, the US has been successfully working on ‘Star Wars’ for many years now and has had many successful tests, the most recent of which was on Nov 10 as reported by the World Tribune.

c) his true mettle as Commander-in-Chief, since W.’s first reaction to word that our nation was “under attack” was to sit in a classroom as part of a “photo-op” reading “My Pet Goat” for seven minutes (quicker action in those first seven minutes might not have meant a different outcome or a lesser loss of life, but it gives one pause to think the leader of the free world took seven minutes to do something, anything when notified we were under attack):

It would behoove you to watch less of Michael Moore and more of real journalists. Have you taken the time to learn what the teacher and principal in that school have since said? Are you aware of what other leaders did with their time? Or do you single out Bush because it serves your “calculated and politically-driven distortion”? In fact, there was no seven minute delay (except in the heavily edited Farenheit 911), President Bush, who was aware of an emerging situation, responsibly chose to not alarm the children and behave as an adult. By comparison, John Kerry, who actually was at work that day, joined others in Nancy Pelosi’s office and “didn’t know what to do for the next 45 minutes” or so until the Pentagon was hit and he was evacuated. Kerry, in his own words, told Larry King that he was just in shock and “couldn’t think”. By the way, Mr Bruegge, since you’re throwing the stones - what would you have done had you been President? And no generalities, you can’t say ‘I would have done something’, what exactly should the President have done?

d) that rather than supporting the 9/11 commission in seeking to gather all the facts and perhaps seek to improve our defenses against any future attack, W. initially opposed the 9/11 commission, then once the groundswell of support for the 9/11 Commission was nearly overwhelming he “flip-flopped” (yes, flip-flopped) and “supported” its work. But in the end, when the fruits of the commission work became legislative action, he again flip-flopped and opposed the enactment of new law to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations (To date none of the Commission’s recommendations have been enacted) and/or;

Many people saw the 9/11 Commission for the farce that it was. It will be written of in future history as a bread-and-circus to appease that “groundswell of support”. Bush opposed the commission on the grounds that it was too soon after the event to have hearings, especially while investigations were still on-going – that sounds responsible to me. The Congressional Commission framework, and especially this commission, is fatally flawed. As has always been the case (look at McCarthy or Clinton), the commission was used as a political bludgeon to harass and confound the Bush Administration. Richard ben Vineste? Please! This commission was at best window dressing and at worst the first payback for the Clinton impeachment. I watched the shabby and disrespectful treatment of Rice and Rumsfeld, as opposed to the fawning and stroking Joe Wilson and Richard Clarke got, both men pandering their new books while being completely discredited outside the commission! That Jamie Gorelick sat for the testimony of her previous boss, Janet Reno, and did not recuse herself was ridiculous, but that she was not struck from the panel and forced to testify before when her memo came to light was incomprehensible. As to the recommendations of the commission, well, as is always the case when you let politicians loose, their suggestions would have undermined the ongoing operations and likely have produced no long-term benefit. Have you actually read the 9/11 Commission report?

Additionally, in the American government, it is Congress that writes legislation for the President to sign into law. The President can not sign a law he has not gotten. If you go to

you will see that Bush approves of much of the Commission's work and is waiting for Congress to pass it up to him.

e) the countless politically-driven manipulations surrounding the Iraq War – most notably the “Mission Accomplished” photo-op, to say nothing of the camouflage of recognition and/or funerals for those killed in Iraq – a strategy designed to safeguard his political popularity, while sweeping under the rug the sacrifice required due to wrong-headed choices and execution in Iraq.

You obviously don’t take your information seriously, Mr Bruegge, or you would know the story behind the headlines and propaganda. ‘Mission Accomplished’ was not a White House deal, but rather something the military put up to give the servicemen and women a “shot in the arm” and it was accurate, which if you had served time in uniform you would know all to well. The ‘mission’ was accomplished. The objectives of that phase of the war was accomplished, but in your drive to hate Bush you allow the propaganda-machine on the left to frame the event in completely the reverse of what it was. Moreover, your casting of the funerals is more spin (“if not also morally reprehensible“), though I could be mistaken, I am not aware of any Presidents, in time of war, who attended military funerals.

I never had to go to war and feel lucky to have been protected by the honorable service of countless service men and women in my lifetime. My father took shrapnel in Korea and earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, and I feel duty bound to make my community better whenever and however I can because of his sacrifice.

Ask yourself if you really believe that George W. Bush is a strong Commander-in-Chief or a callow Chickenhawk who avoided service in Vietnam, and allowed ideological and political concerns to trump action required to genuinely secure our borders and internal security. Ask if he led us to war in Iraq as a re-election strategy or in order to make us safer.

The “Chickenhawk” who learned to fly a fighter jet? The “Chickenhawk” who took the controls of the fighter jet on his way to the “Mission Accomplished” celebration? The “Chickenhawk” who flew in the unarmed, nearly indefensible, Air Force One across the globe and into a war zone on Thanksgiving to be with the troops? The “Chickenhawk” who braved the rioters in “little Beirut”? The “Chickenhawk” who time and again faces the crazies buying the two versions of ‘How to Kill President Bush’? And since you bring it up, I’ll debate Bush’s Vietnam service over Kerry’s any day - ‘bring it on’! (Yuh see, I got me some facts, places, names, and dates.) And since you’re bring it up, when and where were the attacks since 911 because we have no “internal security”? And since you bring it up, the concept of “Iraq as a re-election strategy” is the best political joke I’ve heard this year.

America already answered at the polls, but history will provide the final answer... and George W. Bush won’t get to rely on Karl Rove or Dick Cheney, or on any “lifeline,” for that matter, when history answers. I, for one, strongly believe that George W. Bush has wasted lives, global goodwill and resources in waging the “wrong” war.

You are so right, “America already answered” and you should be asking yourself, if all these other people think so differently from me, maybe they have a point. You can believe whatever you like, Mr Bruegge, but opinions don’t matter, facts do and you seem to be a little shy on them. Servicemen and women voted for Bush by over 70% - doesn’t seem like they think he wasted lives. Over 56 million Afghanis and Iraqis seem to agree with them, as do many Libyans. This “global goodwill” you are referring to, would that be France, Germany, Russia, and China (the coalition of the bribed), or North Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Iran (the coalition of coercers and soon-to-be-nuclear dictatorships)? As for the resources, I’ll stand by the majority of the world that doesn’t disagree we’re better off without Saddam Hussein and you can stand with the Baathists.

Some books you might read are Treachery, by Bill Gertz, Misunderestimated, by Bill Sammon, Losing bin Laden, by Richard Miniter, and Dereliction of Duty, by Lt Col Robert Patterson. It wouldn’t hurt to read Bias and Arrogance, by Bernard Goldberg, Treason and Slander, by Ann Coulter, What’s So Great About America, by Dinesh D’Souza, Because He Could and Rewriting History, by Dick Morris, and The Handbook Of The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, by Mark W. Smith.

John W. Vorder Bruegge
Springfield, Vt


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