If you missed the broadcast tonight or wish to review it, you may do so here
It would be nice if questions that require a "yes" or "no" for a response are initially answered as such. If a more detailed response is necessary then it would be appropriate to do so after initially answering the question. It really seemed like some very serious questions were side-stepped with political rhetoric, repeated keyword placement and somewhat confusing doubletalk. While a public forum such as this is not Mr. Bush's forte, I believe he could have really aided his credibility and, in turn, helped him for his bid for re-election by more succinctly and directly answering the questions posed by the reporters.
For a portion of the broadcast while I was eating, I stopped listening to NPR and instead watched the televised coverage via the CBS network. Something that struck me during the question and answer session was that while the camera was on the President, the picture appeared softer and the colours warmer. Likewise when the camera switched positions to show a reporter asking a question, the colours were colder and the image much sharper. Was this done intentionally to soften the image of the President while making harsher the appearance of the media?
Here are a few excerpts from the above text that got me going the most. The original dialogue is in italics
. My commentary follows each excerpt.
Saddam Hussein was a threat. He was a threat because he had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. He was a threat because he coddled terrorists. He was a threat because he funded suiciders. He was a threat to the region. He was a threat to the United States. [...] The person responsible for the attacks was Osama bin Laden. That's who's responsible for killing Americans. And that's why we will stay on the offense until we bring people to justice.
I am glad everyone finally got that straight. However when addressing the public and stating we need to do this and that for this and that reason, it would be a good idea to keep the issues separate. Sure Saddam Hussein was a horrible person but the time selected in order to launch this Iraqi offensive was inappropriate. While the real responsible person(s) continue to be wandering free we have devoted our military power to entering a foreign land, overthrowing the hostile leaders and regime and now babysitting until a self-sufficient governing body can be established. I think the United States has been caught enough lately pants down and this time right now would really be a great opportunity to strike again while we are so distracted.
I think the hearings will show that the Patriot Act is an important change in the law that will allow the FBI and the CIA to better share information together. We were kind of stove-piped, I guess is a way to describe it. There was kind of – departments that at times didn't communicate, because of law, in the FBI's case.
There is no hearing, no organisation and no single person that can possibly classify the Patriot Act as an important change to the United States. It is a fundamental step backwards, bringing us closer to the form of government we are abolishing in Iraq. If we wish to maintain our status as a non-imperaial nation then we should support reform that would repeal the Patriot Act and in its place write a law that addresses the nations' communication flaws allowing our various intelligence-gathering agencies to share data efficiently. We do not need to restrict American citizen's freedoms to fax documents between the NSA, FBI, CIA and the White House.
The people know where I stand. I mean, in terms of Iraq, I was very clear about what I believed. And, of course, I want to know why we haven't found a weapon yet. But I still know Saddam Hussein was a threat, and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. I don't think anybody can – maybe people can argue that.
We have not found a weapon yet because they are either hidden beyond our search capabilities, destroyed so well that we can find not a single trace or never existed. Yes, the world and Iraq are better without Saddam Hussein. But telling the nation and world we are doing something for a specific reason and then when it is discovered to have been a falsehood state we are better off anyway is wrong. You did the right thing for the wrong reason at the wrong time, Mr. President.
REPORTER: I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.
THE PRESIDENT: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us, and I'm looking forward to answering them.
This is possibly one of the best examples of the President not answering a simple and rather valid question. You can both answer the questions separately with the same enthusiasm as you could together. So why not just simply answer the question rather then make it appear that there is more to the story being hidden from the public?
After 9/11, the world changed for me, and I think changed for the country. It changed for me because, like many, we assumed oceans would protect us from harm, and that's not the case, it's not the reality of the 21st century. Oceans don't protect us. They don't protect us from killers.
Really? It is a good thing the United Soviet Socialist Republic was not aware about that otherwise they may have trained nuclear missiles at our country over the course of a multi-decade cold war.
You've often heard me talk about my worry about weapons of mass destruction ending up in the hands of the wrong people.
Like the Iraqi's who received a hearty arsenal from us so they could fight Iran.
The American people may decide to change – that's democracy. I don't think so, I don't think so. And I look forward to making my case. I'm looking forward to the campaign. Now is the time to talk about winning this war on terror. Now is the time to make sure that the American people understand the stakes and the historic significance of what we're doing. And no matter where they may stand on this war, the thing I appreciate most about our country is the strong support given to the men and women in uniform. And it's vital support. It's important for those soldiers to know America stands with them. And we weep when they die, and we're proud of the victories they achieve.
I am really sick and tired of people equating anti-war sentiment with being anti-troop. Of course I support the troops and weep when they die. It is their Commander In Chief I hold responsible for what happens to them. They are simply doing what they are told to do and I wish them the best in doing just that, following orders.
So long as I'm the President, I will press for freedom. I believe so strongly in the power of freedom. You know why I do? Because I've seen freedom work right here in our own country. I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the Earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom.
Sure, so long as that freedom does not personally offend you or other conservative types. For example: the media, homosexuals and privacy. Freedom is unconditional.
...maybe I need to learn to communicate better.
Understatement of the year. Ok, that was low-brow I admit. But I just wrote a lot so give me a break.
Anyone else have comments about the President's message tonight?