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Senator Alleges White House Wrote Allawi's Speech

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the worked-for-caesar dept.

United States 1281

Jeremiah Cornelius writes "In a letter to the White House, a leading US Senate Democrat, Diane Feinstein, expressed 'profound dismay' that the White House allegedly wrote a large portion of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's speech to Congress last week. 'His speech gave me hope that reconstruction efforts were proceeding in most of the country and that elections could be held on schedule. To learn that this was not an independent view, but one that was massaged by your campaign operatives, jaundices the speech and reduces the credibility of his remarks.'"

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Letters from Iraq (5, Interesting)

asciiwhite (679872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401265)

2 letters home from Iraq ( a soldier's letter, & a reporter's letter) [indymedia.org].

As Slashdot has no real interest in having a balanced ground of political news, i thought i'd post this here for any Slashdotters who would like to read it... (and before i get the flood's of "This is a tech website" why don't you actually look at the poltics section, it's about politics.. not all of it is tech related)

Letter from a US soldier Why We Cannot Win by Al Lorentz

Before I begin, let me state that I am a soldier currently deployed in Iraq, I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and naÃve young soldier, I am an old and seasoned Non-Commissioned Officer with nearly 20 years under my belt. Additionally, I am not just a soldier with a muds-eye view of the war, I am in Civil Affairs and as such, it is my job to be aware of all the events occurring in this country and specifically in my region. I have come to the conclusion that we cannot win here for a number of reasons. Ideology and idealism will never trump history and reality. When we were preparing to deploy, I told my young soldiers to beware of the "political solution." Just when you think you have the situation on the ground in hand, someone will come along with a political directive that throws you off the tracks. I believe that we could have won this un-Constitutional invasion of Iraq and possibly pulled off the even more un-Constitutional occupation and subjugation of this sovereign nation. It might have even been possible to foist democracy on these people who seem to have no desire, understanding or respect for such an institution. True the possibility of pulling all this off was a long shot and would have required several hundred billion dollars and even more casualties than weâve seen to date but again it would have been possible, not realistic or necessary but possible. Here are the specific reasons why we cannot win in Iraq. First, we refuse to deal in reality. We are in a guerilla war, but because of politics, we are not allowed to declare it a guerilla war and must label the increasingly effective guerilla forces arrayed against us as "terrorists, criminals and dead-enders." This implies that there is a zero sum game at work, i.e. we can simply kill X number of the enemy and then the fight is over, mission accomplished, everybody wins. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We have few tools at our disposal and those are proving to be wholly ineffective at fighting the guerillas. The idea behind fighting a guerilla army is not to destroy its every man (an impossibility since he hides himself by day amongst the populace). Rather the idea in guerilla warfare is to erode or destroy his base of support. So long as there is support for the guerilla, for every one you kill two more rise up to take his place. More importantly, when your tools for killing him are precision guided munitions, raids and other acts that create casualties among the innocent populace, you raise the support for the guerillas and undermine the support for yourself. (A 500-pound precision bomb has a casualty-producing radius of 400 meters minimum; do the math.) Second, our assessment of what motivates the average Iraqi was skewed, again by politically motivated "experts." We came here with some fantasy idea that the natives were all ignorant, mud-hut dwelling camel riders who would line the streets and pelt us with rose petals, lay palm fronds in the street and be eternally grateful. While at one time there may have actually been support and respect from the locals, months of occupation by our regular military forces have turned the formerly friendly into the recently hostile. Attempts to correct the thinking in this regard are in vain; it is not politically correct to point out the fact that the locals are not only disliking us more and more, they are growing increasingly upset and often overtly hostile. Instead of addressing the reasons why the locals are becoming angry and discontented, we allow politicians in Washington DC to give us pat and convenient reasons that are devoid of any semblance of reality. We are told that the locals are not upset because we have a hostile, aggressive and angry Army occupying their nation. We are told that they are not upset at the police state we have created, or at the manner of picking their representatives for them. Rather we are told, they are upset because of a handful of terrorists, criminals and dead enders in their midst have made them upset, that and of course the ever convenient straw man of "left wing media bias." Third, the guerillas are filling their losses faster than we can create them. This is almost always the case in guerilla warfare, especially when your tactics for battling the guerillas are aimed at killing guerillas instead of eroding their support. For every guerilla we kill with a "smart bomb" we kill many more innocent civilians and create rage and anger in the Iraqi community. This rage and anger translates into more recruits for the terrorists and less support for us. We have fallen victim to the body count mentality all over again. We have shown a willingness to inflict civilian casualties as a necessity of war without realizing that these same casualties create waves of hatred against us. These angry Iraqi citizens translate not only into more recruits for the guerilla army but also into more support of the guerilla army. Fourth, their lines of supply and communication are much shorter than ours and much less vulnerable. We must import everything we need into this place; this costs money and is dangerous. Whether we fly the supplies in or bring them by truck, they are vulnerable to attack, most especially those brought by truck. This not only increases the likelihood of the supplies being interrupted. Every bean, every bullet and every bandage becomes infinitely more expensive. Conversely, the guerillas live on top of their supplies and are showing every indication of developing a very sophisticated network for obtaining them. Further, they have the advantage of the close support of family and friends and traditional religious networks. Fifth, we consistently underestimate the enemy and his capabilities. Many military commanders have prepared to fight exactly the wrong war here. Our tactics have not adjusted to the battlefield and we are falling behind. Meanwhile the enemy updates his tactics and has shown a remarkable resiliency and adaptability. Because the current administration is more concerned with its image than it is with reality, it prefers symbolism to substance: soldiers are dying here and being maimed and crippled for life. It is tragic, indeed criminal that our elected public servants would so willingly sacrifice our nation's prestige and honor as well as the blood and treasure to pursue an agenda that is ahistoric and un-Constitutional. It is all the more ironic that this un-Constitutional mission is being performed by citizen soldiers such as myself who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, the same oath that the commander in chief himself has sworn. September 20, 2004 Al Lorentz [send him mail] is former state chairman of the Constitution Party of Texas and is a reservist currently serving with the US Army in Iraq.

What does a journalist honestly think of the situation in Iraq?

Friday September 24 2004

From: Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal Subject: From Baghdad

Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference. Little by little, day-by-day, being based in Iraq has defied all those reasons. I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to peopleâs homes and never walk in the streets. I canât go grocery shopping any more, canât eat in restaurants, canât strike a conversation with strangers, canât look for stories, canât drive in any thing but a full armored car, canât go to scenes of breaking news stories, canât be stuck in traffic, canât speak English outside, canât take a road trip, canât say Iâm an American, canât linger at checkpoints, canât be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And canât and canâtâ¦. There has been one too many close calls, including a car bomb so near our house that it blew out all the windows. So now my most pressing concern every day is not to write a kick-ass story but to stay alive and make sure our Iraqi employees stay alive. In Baghdad I am a security personnel first, a reporter second. Itâs hard to pinpoint when the âturning pointâ exactly began. Was it April when the Fallujah fell out of the grasp of the Americans? Was it when Moqtada and Jish Mahdi declared war on the U.S. military? Was it when Sadr City, home to ten percent of Iraqâs population, became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the insurgency began spreading from isolated pockets in the Sunni triangle to include most of Iraq? Despite President Bushâs rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a âpotentialâ threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to âimminent and active threat,â a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come. Iraqis like to call this mess âthe situation.â When asked âhow are thing?â they reply: âthe situation is very bad.â What they mean by situation is this: the Iraqi government doesnât control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the countryâs roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerrilla war. In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of healthâ which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers-- has now stopped disclosing them. Insurgents now attack Americans 87 times a day. A friend drove thru the Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday. He said young men were openly placing improvised explosive devices into the ground. They melt a shallow hole into the asphalt, dig the explosive, cover it with dirt and put an old tire or plastic can over it to signal to the locals this is booby-trapped. He said on the main roads of Sadr City, there were a dozen landmines per every ten yards. His car snaked and swirled to avoid driving over them. Behind the walls sits an angry Iraqi ready to detonate them as soon as an American convoy gets near. This is in Shiite land, the population that was supposed to love America for liberating Iraq. For journalists the significant turning point came with the wave of abduction and kidnappings. Only two weeks ago we felt safe around Baghdad because foreigners were being abducted on the roads and highways between towns. Then came a frantic phone call from a journalist female friend at 11 p.m. telling me two Italian women had been abducted from their homes in broad daylight. Then the two Americans, who got beheaded this week and the Brit, were abducted from their homes in a residential neighbourhood. They were supplying the entire block with round the clock electricity from their generator to win friends. The abductors grabbed one of them at 6 a.m. when he came out to switch on the generator; his beheaded body was thrown back near the neighbourhoods. The insurgency, we are told, is rampant with no signs of calming down. If any thing, it is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated every day. The various elements within itâBaathists, criminals, nationalists and Al Qaedaâare cooperating and coordinating. I went to an emergency meeting for foreign correspondents with the military and embassy to discuss the kidnappings. We were sombrely told our fate would largely depend on where we were in the kidnapping chain once it was determined we were missing. Here is how it goes: criminal gangs grab you and sell you up to Baathists in Fallujah, who will in turn sell you to Al Qaeda. In turn, cash and weapons flow the other way from Al Qaeda to the Baathist to the criminals. My friend Georges, the French journalist snatched on the road to Najaf, has been missing for a month with no word on release or whether he is still alive. Americaâs last hope for a quick exit? The Iraqi police and National Guard units we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are being murdered by the dozens every dayâover 700 to date-- and the insurgents are infiltrating their ranks. The problem is so serious that the U.S. military has allocated $6 million dollars to buy out 30,000 cops they just trained to get rid of them quietly. As for reconstruction: firstly itâs so unsafe for foreigners to operate that almost all projects have come to a halt. After two years, of the $18 billion Congress appropriated for Iraq reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent and a chuck has now been reallocated for improving security, a sign of just how bad things are going here. Oil dreams? Insurgents disrupt oil flow routinely as a result of sabotage and oil prices have hit record high of $49 a barrel. Who did this war exactly benefit? Was it worth it? Are we safer because Saddam is holed up and Al Qaeda is running around in Iraq? Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say theyâd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler. I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad. Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to him about elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the importance of voting. He said, âPresident Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost.â One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground itâs hard to imagine what if any thing could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it canât be put back into a bottle. The Iraqi government is talking about having elections in three months while half of the country remains a âno go zoneââout of the hands of the government and the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations. The Sunnis have already said theyâd boycott elections, leaving the stage open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war. I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a leadership. His response summed it all: âGo and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?â

-Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal "Farnaz Fassihi" on Fri, 24 Sep 2004 04:09:29 -0400

Al Lorentz (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401345)

Incidentally, Al Lorentz is under the threat of serious jail time for speaking out.

Mod parent down for telling the truth! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401361)

Isn't this the Bush admininstration in a nutshell? If you disagree with us, you are un-American, disloyal, unpatriotic.

That's what America is all about: blindly following our commander-in-chief, not questioning their policies, always agreeing.

Just give me my 12 hours of TV, and my low-carb 2000 calorie retired dairy cow hamburgers, and my gas-guzzling SUVs, and I WILL BE HAPPY.

Is this news? (3, Insightful)

Bryan_W (649785) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401269)

Is this really news to anyone? I watched only a small clip of the speech and said "Bush's speechwriters wrote that speech.

Re:Is this news? (1, Insightful)

jarich (733129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401374)

No this is not news. It's the desparate tactics of the people whose candidate is starting to slide, so their house of cards is starting to fall apart.

Assuming that staff at the Whitehouse did assist him "write" his speech (quite a stretch already), then it was an assist. He's the leader of the free country. I say he asked for help polishing the speach; we have people here who do that... they'll help you! Your side says he came her as a lap dog to do his master's bidding? Was given a statement read like a puppet before being cast out of the great White House?

One side is quite reasonable... the other side has team members who are missing the meds!

Re:Is this news? (4, Insightful)

marx (113442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401405)

Leader of a free country?


How is Iraq less of a dictatorship today than it was under Saddam Hussein?

Bush's Votes (0)

ValiantSoul (801152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401270)

I wonder how this will affect Bush's votes.

Re:Bush's Votes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401306)

Why is the parent post not at +5, funny yet?

Re:Bush's Votes (1, Flamebait)

aled (228417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401338)

Very funny. He lied to his country people, started a war, destroyed his country economy and is still first in polls. Who will care about this?

Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401271)

Just re-emphasises the fact that the US thinks that it should place it's influence on everything and everybody.

Re:Right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401386)

I wish someone would be a good influence on you and teach you how to use a fucking apostrophe correctly.

Ahh (5, Interesting)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401276)

Writing the speeches of your conquered enemies. You know this is the exact same tactic Julius Caesar used against the nations he conquered, and he was one of Rome's greatest leaders.

To sum up, worked-for-caesar.

Re:Ahh (4, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401283)

Wasn't Alawi a CIA operative? I guess it's more like pulling your puppet's strings or giving one of your agents orders.

Re:Ahh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401289)

et tu, Rumsfeld?

Re:Ahh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401327)

I wouldn't exactly say Allawi was one of the "conquered"... more like one of the conquerors.

I think you're making a mistake if you're viewing the Iraq war as a war the United States waged against Iraq. I prefer to think of it as a war that the Bush Administration and the Iraqi "insurgents" are jointly waging against the American and Iraqi people.

Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401333)

The US has been too complacent since we WWII and the Cold War. We've let terrorism rise up against us, and enemies don't fear us.

I'm glad President Bush has set upon this crusade at taking out our foes one by one, and remaking it in our image. Their dictators fall, and their citizens live in freedom, meanwhile we gain a foothold in another part of the world.

I for one am glad to be a part of this new Empire. Sucks if you go against us, but tough noogies.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401410)

I'm glad President Bush has set upon this crusade at taking out our foes one by one, and remaking it in our image. Their dictators fall, and their citizens live in freedom, meanwhile we gain a foothold in another part of the world.

The sad thing is that America's image in the rest of the world is so bad right now, that as a foreigner, I am not entirely sure that this guy is trolling.

Re:Ahh (4, Interesting)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401433)

Why are parallels between Rome and the USA becoming so common? Oh... right, the conquest, slavery, and facade of Democracy.

Why do you hate America? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401277)

n/t

Let's face it... (3, Insightful)

Audent (35893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401278)

nobody writes their own speeches all the time any more. There are spin doctors and there are teams of spin doctors. Under Clinton the model was to use competing teams of writers, similar to the model used by TV show Friends I'm told, to come up with the best speech possible.

Having said that, I would have thought his own spin doctors would have written it, not White House staff, but really this idea that Iraq is somehow sovereign and no longer merely existing at the whim of the US is bollocks. The White House is the final authority in Iraq today and will be for many years to come.

Flame away...

Re:Let's face it... (3, Insightful)

philipdl71 (160261) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401310)

The White House is the final authority in Iraq today and will be for many years to come.

If the White House wanted to be the final authority in Iraq for years to come why are elections scheduled in Iraq this January? Doesn't this give the people of that country the right to elect their own leaders to effect the policy they desire?

Re:Let's face it... (2, Insightful)

aled (228417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401362)

They could vote only if they are not violent [cnn.com].
Given the number of recent attacks, if safe to say that the whole country is unsafe and going to civil war.

Re:Let's face it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401355)

but really this idea that Iraq is somehow sovereign and no longer merely existing at the whim of the US is bollocks.

Nevertheless it's bollocks the White House is successfully convincing much of the American public to be true.

Alternative (1, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401371)

At this point, it's much better than the alternative. It's too late to not invade Iraq, so the best thing the US can do is manage things until the government is strong.

Just look at Africa -- after Britain and France pulled out, everything went to straight to hell. America is doing th right thing by keeping a firm hand on Iraq. A decade from now, pulling out completely will be viable. Doing so now would create a situation so bad that the rest of the middle east would look like a picnic.

Re:Let's face it... (1)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401382)

nobody writes their own speeches all the time any more.

The last speech I heard of being completely attributed to a president was the Gettysburg Address.

Not sure that's such a bad thing. Delegation is a big part of leadership, and I don't see a problem with someone who has a vision getting help with the presentation. It's the polished and charismatic politicians that concern me. But they seem to get the votes.

Television (and radio and telegraph before it) has been a great detriment to political discourse.

Re:Let's face it... (2, Interesting)

spludge (99050) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401391)

This makes Bush's debating points about leading Iraq towards freedom seem even more hollow. How can the US ever get out of Iraq when the Bush administration cannot even let the Iraqi government speak for themselves.

Iraq is now a mismanaged mess that didn't need to be. With full the support of other countries we would not have to stretch ourselves so thin to help Iraq rebuild... of course that was never going to happen with the Bush administration.

Re:Let's face it... (0)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401420)

Under Clinton the model was to use competing teams of writers, similar to the model used by TV show Friends I'm told, to come up with the best speech possible.

Funny, "Friends" sucked too.

Youre missing the point (4, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401447)

The point isn't that "people dont write their own speeches" the point is that a foreign government's party (the Republicans) wrote a speech for an Iraqi national AND Prime Minister (Allawi) to deliver to the US congress.

That's not "spin" or "status quo" thats outright imperialism.

Is anyone surprised? (4, Insightful)

hwestiii (11787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401279)

Why should we be surprised by this? The entire Iraq war has been managed more as a political event than a military action. That this administration, which is profoundly unwilling to consider any views than those expressed in its own talking points, would spoon feed self-serving rhetoric to its hand picked Iraqi puppet shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

I suspect Senator Finestein's shock is strictly rhetorical. I certainly hope it is.

Debate (3, Interesting)

simgod (563459) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401280)

Hey, I watched the debate... Bush praised Allawi very much... sure ... because he really is a puppet ... he was a CIA agent for christ's sake ... but Kerry surely won it ...

Re:Debate (-1, Flamebait)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401302)

And Kerry is a self admited war criminal, does that make what he says any less true or false?

Re:Debate (0, Troll)

linzeal (197905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401352)

This is a good point, Kerry in front of congress no less said that he participated in some of the attrocities committed in Vietnam. Does that make him more or less likely to lie now if in fact he did not commit those crimes, which appears to be the case.

Re:Debate (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401409)

Will you ever stop beating your wife?

Read Senator Kerry's testimony to the Senate from 1971. Read it all. Comprehend. Then form an opinion and speak.

If you can read english, you will see that Kerry was relating details of war crimes related to him by over 100 other men. War crimes that they were coerced and abetted in committing by commanding officers. They knew it was wrong, and they admitted it out of shame, and because they knew that it tarnished the credibility of the United States, which they defended because they loved.

Fast forward 33 years. Location: Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq. Same story. Nothing learned. Our national credibility savaged. Maybe because we have a president who admittedly "doesn't read much".

Front Page News For Nerds?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401281)

Really..this is hardly the stuff that matters to most slashdotters.

To the large number of non-US readers, this issue is pretty dumb. And even to US readers, who the hell really cares who wrote his speech? Everybody knows these politicans have dozens of speechwriters that do it anyway. They were hardly his own words in the first place.

It's pretty sad how slashdot has devolved into a Bush-bash fest.

Re:Front Page News For Nerds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401297)

It's pretty sad how slashdot has devolved into a Bush-bash fest.

You can't tell me he doesn't deserve it.

Bush is fucking loathsome and a disaster for our country.

Re:Front Page News For Nerds?? (1)

ValiantSoul (801152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401311)

I really don't want to see what Kerry could do to it. I vote Bush in a heartbeat (just my opinion though)

Re:Front Page News For Nerds?? (1)

xQx (5744) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401334)

Not just YOUR country mate.

Though, half my blame lands on our esteemed prime-minister John Howard...

Re:Front Page News For Nerds?? (1)

Skids72 (818121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401440)

Howard's just a lackey for G.W. As Latham said he's an arselicker or something along those lines. Of course my comments could be misconstrued as yank bashing, leftist, pinko bull......

Re:Front Page News For Nerds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401304)

Stop beating around the Bush!

Who's alleging this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401284)

And on what evidence?

Re:Who's alleging this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401331)

Flamebait my ass! Check this out, I allege that the White House didn't write that speech. Are the editors going to post an article about that?

Are we sure? (5, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401291)

Because I distinctly saw President Bush take a drink of water while he was speaking.

Re: Are we sure? (2, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401348)


> Because I distinctly saw President Bush take a drink of water while he was speaking.

But I bet you've never seen Cheney take a drink while Bush is speaking.

Re:Are we sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401407)

That was awesomely funny. I love you. Someone mod him up some more please.

One of the whitehouse puppets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401292)

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is just a whitehouse puppet as is everything that will bring Bush money and votes.

News for nerds? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401293)

Stuff that matters?

Where are my Star Wars action figures?
Where are my Natalie Portman pics?
Where are my eye-burning lasers?
Where are my new programming languages?

I want my Slashdot back!

Re:News for nerds? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401379)

All I ask for are some frickin stories about frickin sharks with frickin lasers on their heads. Throw me a bone guys.

Kerry dominated Bush in today's debate (2, Interesting)

cytoman (792326) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401296)

It was so wonderful to see Kerry dominate Bush in today's debate!! Bush came across as being totally incompetent. Wow. There *is* hope for USA.

I wish Kerry had mentioned this fact in today's debate... that Allawi's speech was influenced by the Bush election (not *re-election, mind you) campaign.

Re:Kerry dominated Bush in today's debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401320)

Kerry looked great. Cool, calm, presidential. The President of the United States was immature and defensive. It was quite a sight.

Re:Kerry dominated Bush in today's debate (0)

SylvesterTheCat (321686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401426)

Somebody gives their opinion and this is considered "interesting?" No facts, no new ideas. Just their opinion based on their observation of a televised event and it is "interesting."

The poster's ignorance is only further demonstrated by the comment of election vice re-election.

Like it or not... George Bush was elected president.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401299)

These are not the issues you are looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.

allawi a puppet (1)

uujjj (752925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401307)

In the last week, there has been a spin war going on between the campaigns about whether Allawi is a US puppet. I'd like to know what most of you guys think: is he independent, sort of independent, or a puppet. I'm especially interested in what non-Americans think.

Re:allawi a puppet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401400)

I'd have to say that despite my opinion of the current situation in Iraq and the interim "government", the people attempting to make Iraq a sovereign nation again are definitely brave and courageous (Or stupid and power hungry) people.

Still, considering his history and that he was essentially hand-picked, my vote is for puppet figurehead for an American-run puppet government. Shame that the American government so quickly forgets history and the fact that every puppet government we created has turned on us. Sometimes I'm ashamed to call myself an American. If only the American public weren't stupid puppets themselves...

Re:allawi a puppet (1)

aled (228417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401408)

From the outside, what I see is that it doesn't matter. Allawi can't have any real power: doesn't have popular support and USA has the military power. With the attacks increasing the population claims for security will weak the government further.

it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401316)

BUSH:

You know, I think about Missy Johnson. She's a fantastic lady I met in Charlotte, North Carolina....

You know, it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can...

Whence the dismay? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401323)


Is she really that naive? Those of us with half an ear toward the news knew a week ago that he was here to spin the war for consumption by the American public instead of for the benefit of Joe Iraqi, and his talking points were just sound bites from the Bush campaign.

Puppet Show? (4, Insightful)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401326)

This kinda news, whether true or not, doesn't help Bush kill the rumors that Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi isn't some kind of a puppet. But, hey, we wrote the Japanese constitution and made the Empiror publicly declare he wasn't a god, and that all worked out.

Is anyone really surprised by this? (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401329)

I mean, this is the most secretive, control freak administration since Nixon. And on a similar vein, does anyone think Bush and Kerry will have a real debate?

The lawyers have given them a string of things to talk about and a string of things not to. The whole thing might as well be as scripted as the Iraqi stooge^H^H^H^H^H^HPrime Minister's speech.

please vote the right way, it affects the rest of world too.

Give me a break... (1, Insightful)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401330)

(I HAVE read the article)

I am a professional speaker, and I am also a security auditor. I get paid to give people an honest opinion of what I think. Even then, I will still ask the parties with whom I am going to speak for input on what they want to get out of a meeting with their group.

It would be silly to think that the US Government didn't have input into Allawi's speech. I believe that all of what was said was true because I do not believe that Allawi would take a script and stand and lie to the congress. He is not a puppet, he is one tough sucker. I believe that ALL the major media outlets ARE NOT being fair on their coverage on how well things are actually going out there.

That being said. Allawi may not be a public speaker and he's about to give the most important speech of his life. It would be silly to think that he didn't practice the test in front of folks that could give some meaningful feedback.

Re:Give me a break... (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401347)

Then why doesn't the USGOV release unedited video of all the good things that are happening in Iraq?

Re:Give me a break... (1)

lakcaj (811907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401402)


"I am a professional speaker" followed by "he is one tough sucker"

Here's some friendly advice... you suck!

Re:Give me a break... (4, Informative)

mapmaker (140036) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401431)

You may have read the article but you missed the salient point: It wasn't just the US Government that helped write the speech, it was BUSH CAMPAIGN WORKERS. It was a campaign speech disguised as a diplomatic event.

And that makes it all the more repugnant that Bush and Co. have been complaining about Kerry criticizing the speech. Bush has his puppet prime minister give a campaign speech and Kerry isn't allowed to criticize it? Puh-leeze.

From the double-speak department: (0, Troll)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401335)

So when it is forged memos... we should ignore the minor detail of who actually wrote them and stay focused on what the memo's say... but when it is a speech we have to disregard it, regardless of content because someone may have helped with the message?

No. (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401392)

You should ignore the memos, slap upside the head anyone who still claimed they were legitimate once the Microsoft Word and Selectric typewriter recreations were available, and be aware of the large body of valid circumstantial evidence of irregularities in Bush's National Guard service record.

You should also be aware of what it means when a political leader supposedly chosen to be autonomous is literally acting as a spokesperson of the group that put him in power.

You should also never take on faith the words of either 60 minutes or the Bush Administration, but that should have been clear before this latest incident.

Re:From the double-speak department: (1)

asciiwhite (679872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401404)

You honestly don't see any 'conflict of interest' with a US government being editorials for an EX-US CIA agent, Now US appointement preminister of IRAQ, who has had allot of flack in regards to his stance on 'Iraqi Interest'. As well as conflict of truth when you have a US government who is currently under big distain worldwide for this UN declared "Illegal war" editing his speech ????

Why is the brain the first thing patriotic people throw out when stories like this arise...

Re:From the double-speak department: (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401442)

What about you check the content of the speech as well. And realize it's a tissue of lies, exagerrations, and pure invention? Reconstruction is going well? Elections in 4 months in a country that might as well be said to be in the middle of a civil war? (Funny most people suspected a civil war would occur when the US left, it didn't even wait for that!)

Compare that to the memos which were but ONE piece of evidence that turned out to be invalid. The issue of whether or not Bush did his military service still exists, and other pieces of evidence point toward the hypothesis that he did not.

Does this belong on Slashdot? (-1, Troll)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401341)

How low is this place gonna sink? Republishing uncorroborated half-truths from one of the biggest political hacks in the House?

Re:Does this belong on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401389)

I gotta agree that this is totally inappropriate for Slashdot, and something that isn't the full and total truth!

Did he have help? Of course! He can hardly speak a word of English, and he was talking to the American people. But the facts are that Allawi said what he wanted to say, and no one was seen holding a gun to his head to say it. Just because he's the leader of a new country does NOT mean that everything he says was written by the Iraqi oil industry! After all, most of the Iraqi oil contracts were held by France (Gasp!) until the U.S. liberated the Iraqi people! Why is Kerry too scared to talk about the French oil connection????

So everyone should just cool their jets. If you didn't see Allawi give his speech on TV, then you have no right to criticize what he had to say.

Re:Does this belong on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401429)

As opposed to publishing uncorroborated half-truths from OSS advocates on the state of the MS monopoly?

daily show (5, Interesting)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401354)

Well, it is nice to see that someone in Washington watches the Daily Show, I guess. The night after the speech they did a segment showing that several of the phrases in the speech were exactly the same as the president uses.

Re:daily show (1)

IndependentVik (582582) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401397)

I saw the exact same episode of The Daily Show. When I saw this headline on /., I immediately scoured the comments to see who was the first person to notice. Proof once more that The Daily Show is the best news there is on tv :)

And, no, I don't get all my news from TV--if I were that uninformed I'd think Bush actually won the debate that he just stumbled his way through.

Re:daily show (5, Funny)

Gregg Alan (8487) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401439)

Well, it is nice to see that someone in Washington watches the Daily Show, I guess. The night after the speech they did a segment showing that several of the phrases in the speech were exactly the same as the president uses.

Phrases indeed. I long for a day when the President of the United States can speak in complete sentances.

"jaundices the speech" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401366)

Sounds good.
wtf does it mean in this context?

Why is this here? (-1, Offtopic)

themaddone (180841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401378)

I'm sorry, but does this really belong on the Slashdot main page? I'm all for a technology-enhanced political debate, as I share a lot of the same sort of technical-style values that I think other /.ers have, but this is completely off the mark. It's just politics as usual, which we can get from anywhere, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fo... Okay, not Fox.

I've got 10 different news sites bookmarked for this stuff. I want Slashdot to make the politics connect to the stuff that I actually read Slashdot for.

Puppeteer? (3, Interesting)

HitByASquirrel (710289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401384)

It's interesting that Bush tonight stated that calling the new Iraqi Prime Minister a "puppet" is preposterous.

But Kerry didn't call him a puppet in the debate.. Bush broght it up. Bush's subcouncious seems to have gotten in his way a few times tonight.

Freedom is spreading like a sunrise... (1)

Lancaibheal (813222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401387)

...just not the freedom for Allawi to write his own speeches, or possibly say something that won't make him look like a US puppet.

The issue (4, Insightful)

grainofsand (548591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401398)

.. is how the President of any other soverign country would behave if he / she was handed a speech to be read while the invited guest of a foreign country.

Imagine the outcry if Bush or Kerry went to China to address the National People's Congress and was handed a speech and told to read it.

Iraq is not a US, EU or UN state; it is a soverign country.

WHY IS THIS ON SLASHDOT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401411)

We all know Slashdot has a liberal slant, so why flaunt it.

I'm done with Slashdot... good luck.

it's cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401414)

Bushe's speeches are COPYLEFT!!!1OMGLOL

<a href="goatse.cx>http://creativecommons.org/images/ public/somerights20.gif<a> ^_____^

Diane Feinstein said it, so it must be true.... (0, Flamebait)

ShamusYoung (528944) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401416)

This is one of Bush's most strident foes, making an announcement that puts him in a negative light in the run-up to the election. But, since it just reinforces what we already want to think, we can just embrace it as truth, right?

Sure, Saddam Hussein is in jail, the torture chambers are empty, the children are out of prison, the flow of money to suicide bombers from Saddam is stopped, Lybia has folded, and the mass graves are no longer being filled... But hey let's keep some perspective and remember that Allawi might not have written the speech!

If Bush had walked accros a river on his way to a children's hospital and then healed all of the children, I'm sure we would be having this little flame war under the heading of:

Bush evades bridge toll on way to photo-op

article from the washington post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401422)

from TAPPED [prospect.org]:

But it turns out [washingtonpost.com] that "the U.S. government and a representative of President Bush's reelection campaign had been heavily involved in drafting the speech given to Congress last week by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi." The same article notes that the official response to some negative data that USAID released a few days ago is going to be to stop releasing the data. The whole story's a must-read, revealing how the entire federal government has been mobilized to fight not the war on terrorism but the president's reelection campaign."

OK, that last sentence is partisan, but read the article.

Ruthless (1)

jimmyCarter (56088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401430)

To think, Cheney et al ripped Kerry for being disrespectful of Alawi.

I despise, but have to admire the tenacity of these guys..

This is Slashdot news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401437)

wtf?

The word of Diane Feinstein? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10401443)

Is it more credible to believe Diane Feinstein? Has Slashdot turned into Michael Moore?

What a crock (1)

Katz_is_a_moron (197780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10401445)

My President would never allow his operatives to write the speech of a head of state. That would mean that he wasn't in charge...oh, wait.
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