From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
The Debate -- unspun

October 3, 2004 5:54 PM

The Spinsanity guys un-spin the first presidential debate. It's so frustrating how our leaders mislead us constantly. Incredible.

More from the archive in Lies and Deceit.

The Debate -- unspun (10.03.2004)

Next Entry: Sicko rumors: Camera phones! (10.03.2004)
Previous Entry: Friedman's back (10.03.2004)

Read the 6 comments.


TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran on Sunday rebuffed a proposal by U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry who has suggested supplying the Islamic state with nuclear fuel for power reactors if Tehran agrees to give up its own fuel-making capability.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said it would be "irrational" for Iran to put its nuclear program in jeopardy by relying on supplies from abroad.

"We have the technology (to make nuclear fuel) and there is no need for us to beg from others," Asefi told a weekly news conference.

Washington says Iran plans to use its nuclear facilities to make atom bombs. Tehran says it merely wants to generate electricity from nuclear power.

President Bush wants Iran referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program.

But Kerry says he would put Iran's intentions to the test by agreeing to supply it with nuclear fuel for its power reactors provided Tehran stopped efforts to make its own fuel and returned the spent fuel after use.

Iran has rejected repeated efforts by European countries to get it to scrap its nuclear fuel-cycle activities -- which could be used to make atomic bombs.

Asefi said Iran could not trust any deal from the West to supply it with reactor fuel.

"What guarantees are there? Will they supply us one day and then, if they want to, stop supplying us on another day?" he said.

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton, in comments published in Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, stressed the Bush administration's tough line on Iran.

"We are not considering any military intervention at the moment. But our position is that we should not exclude any option from the start. Iran must understand that our policy red line is the acquisition of nuclear weapons," he said.

"The most important thing at the moment is to get Iran on to the agenda of the U.N. Security Council to demonstrate that the international community won't accept it acquiring nuclear status," he added.

Š Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

Looks like JFK lost all his debate points over Iran.

Mon Oct 4 2004 8:21 AM


Robert Novak's column covers it best:

"....Kerry persisted in his annoying habit -- usually exhibited when he is being applauded -- of nodding his head up and down. Bush was much worse. He appeared at his least attractive: smirking, bored, annoyed, looking as though this were the last place in the world he wanted to be. Republican pollster Frank Luntz's focus group of undecided voters were most unhappy with Bush's smirking and his lament that the presidency is such "hard work."

For his part, Kerry persisted in spreading urban legends. He once again claimed that President Bush fired Gen. Eric Shinseki as chief of staff of the U.S. Army because he demanded more troops for Iraq. That is simply not true (as a Kerry military spinner, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, sheepishly admitted after the debate). Kerry insisted that North Korea obtained nuclear arms during the current Bush administration when in fact the breakthrough came under Bill Clinton.

The greater Bush letdown, however, was his failure to fully point up Kerry's inconsistencies on foreign policy -- especially Iraq. He never capitalized on the senator's inability to explain his votes and his past statements.

Can a front-runner really lose the election because of poor debating skills? He might if the debate exposes the candidate's basic flaws. That's why Bush supporters are worried about the town hall debate Friday in St. Louis."

Kerry clearly won the "style debate" Bush won the "substance deate". Problem is if you are still an undecided voter you are obviously uniformed. An uninformed person would not have been smart enough to call BS on Kerry's line about N. Korea or his still changing position on Iraq. After the debate no one could honestly say if he was for the US being there or not. He wouldn't even commit to "Since we are there let's complete the job" position.

Bush should have hammered Kerry on his mistakes about N Korea and exposed his lack of knowledge about foreign policy, which people claim is Kerry's strong suit. I'm sure Kerry spent an enormous amount of time preparing for this debate and I was shocked when he made the claim that North Korea gained nuclear weapons under Bush's watch. Only the truly uniformed would ave fallen for such a line. The Clinton policy of appeasement in the 1990s gave the most isolated nation in the world a nuclear weapon capable of striking the United States (the Taepo Dong 2 missile) since at least 1999. Instead Bush gave several Dan Quail like expressions to the camara before wondering back on track.

I've said it several times before, if the democrats had fielded a decent candidate I'd vote democrat this election but in both style and substance neither put on much of a performance.

Mon Oct 4 2004 1:04 PM

Independent Jones:

Yes, Robert Novaks column does cover it best...from the republican standpoint, as he is the conservative commentator for CNN. So, what does that mean? Does that mean that because I clearly understood Kerry's position while wondering if our Commander-in-Chief was capable of keeping more than three thoughts in his head, that I am "uninformed"? Or does that just mean that I'm not a republican?

These opinion columns are great, but they are a dime a dozen and pack no more punch than all of our incessant prattle on Jimbo's blog.

Mon Oct 4 2004 1:18 PM


So is Kerry staying in Iraq or running if elected?

During the debate he took the many positions:

On staying in Iraq:
I'm not talking about leaving. I'm talking about winning.".... "We have to succeed. We can't leave a failed Iraq."

On leaving Iraq:
"And our goal in my administration would be to get all of the troops out of there ..." "I believe that when you know something's going wrong, you make it right. That's what I learned in Vietnam."

On America acting alone:
"I'll never give a veto to any country over our security."

On America acting only with world support:
"But if and when you do it (act alone), Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test ..."

On the war being a mistake repeated 3 times:
1. "This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment."
2. "The president made a mistake in invading Iraq."
3. "The war is a mistake."

On the agreeing with this "mistake":
"I believe that we have to win this. The president and I have always agreed on that."

After hearing Kerry call the war a mistake, Jim Lehrer asked the question: "Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?

Kerry's answer: "No, and they don't have to, providing we have the leadership that I'm offering."

Tue Oct 5 2004 8:41 AM

Independent Jones:

No Name,

Come on now, you're doing what the political spin doctors are doing. Taking pieces of statements and stripping them of their supporting context and pretending they represent something they don't.

If you listened to the debate and reprinted Kerry's entire statements you can easily see that all of his comments are representative of the same position that he stated numerous times during the debate. 1) Hussein was a threat 2) He needed to be disarmed 3) The war needed to be handled the right way. His position is that Bush mishandled the invasion. He should not have gone in the way he did, having misunderestimated the costs and what it would take stabalize the country after the attack. His position continues further to state, that though the war was mishandled by the current administration, the fact is we are there now and need a better plan moving forward than what the Bush administration is delivering to us.

The president made a mistake in invading Iraq, his mistake was in his aggressive underestimation of the enemy, but we're there now and there is no choice but to win. The question is whether or not Bush has a plan in place to fix the problem he has created. The answer seems to be no, because you can't fix something that you don't think is broken. If you don't think Iraq is broken, then massive insurgencies and beheadings must be part of your daily commute.

That is essentially Kerry's position and isolating sentences does not change that.

And one more thing, the Global Test thing the Bush-mongers keep hammering on is getting a bit sorry. No where did he say we need to get the approval of another nation to defend ourselves. What he says is that as part of the world community we should be able to show that we have solid legitimate reasons for attacking another nation. Why is this concept so unreasonable? Our reasons for attacking Iraq were as unstable as the country is now...first it's WMDs, then it's attempted WMD's, then it's no WMD's, but terrorists, etc.

Now I would assume that you are an intelligent person who actually is able to grasp Kerry's position, but your job is to undermine the competition, as is Jim's.

Tue Oct 5 2004 9:10 AM


Kerry says Franco-German troops unlikely

By Stephen Dinan and Rowan Scarborough

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry conceded yesterday that he probably will not be able to convince France and Germany to contribute troops to Iraq if he is elected president.

The Massachusetts senator has made broadening the coalition trying to stabilize Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign, but at a town hall meeting yesterday, he said he knows other countries won't trade their soldiers' lives for those of U.S. troops.

"Does that mean allies are going to trade their young for our young in body bags? I know they are not. I know that," he said.

Asked about that statement later, Mr. Kerry said, "When I was referring to that, I was really talking about Germany and France and some of the countries that had been most restrained."

Wasn't that a point he kept attempting to make in his debate? I guess having the leaders of those two countries tell him to "shove it" even before being asked is finally starting to sink in.

Thu Oct 7 2004 3:01 PM

Jim Gilliam
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