Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bush at the U.N.: Platitudes at the podium

By Michael J.W. Stickings

President Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly. And it was -- drum roll, please -- the same old same old same old. As Steve Benen puts it, "[f]or 20 minutes, the president said exactly what he was expected to say". You know, 9/11, campaign of murder, extremist ideology, great ideological struggle, nuclear weapons, terror as a weapon. And that's just one paragraph. He went on to mention a world beyond terror, freedom and justice, the forces of freedom and moderation, democratic changes. As well as to address directly the people of Iraq, the people of Afghanistan, the people of Lebanon, the people of Iran, the people of Syria, and the people of Darfur. All of which sounds good, and reads well, but, given reality, Bush's words, his exhortations to peace, are little more than, if nothing else than, platitudes, the same ones we've come to know so well. We don't have to read this president's lips. We already know what he's going to say.

This address, Steve reminds us, comes at the end of a 19-day White House p.r. campaign -- an "offensive" designed, whatever the spin, to boost Bush's popularity and the Republicans' electoral fortunes:

And what have we learned in these 19 days? First, we learned that the news networks will give Bush all the airtime he wants, whether he has anything new to say or not. Second, we learned the Bush doesn't, in fact, have anything new to say. Third, we learned the president's team is under the impression that simply repeating the same talking points, and using the same arguments as part of the same election strategy, is enough to help tip the scales a little in the GOP's favor.

And fourth, that they may actually be right.

That fourth consideration leads to a USA Today report that Bush's approval rating has increased to 44 percent, "his highest rating in a year". Steve Soto explains:

Bush is focusing on his Daddy Protector image because it's the only selling point he left with anyone, especially the cultists. Bashing the media and Democrats for being against him is Bush’s way to drive up his numbers with the base and get those approval ratings to a safe enough number so that the wingers don’t stay home on Election Day. The president commands all the news cycles, and Democrats lack a single voice of opposition that can get an alternate message into the same news cycle. Neither Harry Reid nor Nancy Pelosi are suited to that task, yet it is critical that both of them designate one member from each house to rebut everything Bush says every day and get the opposing view into the same cycle...

The only way for Democrats to maintain the momentum necessary to take back the Congress is to battle Bush for every news cycle between now and the election, and get the alternate message out there every day so that Bush cannot spin his message without rebuttal. Democrats need to focus the media back towards terrain more favorable to them, because the media will not do it themselves.

Quite so. It is incumbent upon all of us, including those of us in the blogosphere, to stay focused, to keep this election campaign focused on national politics, on issues like Iraq and Katrina, on Bush and the Republican Congress. Each one of us, large or small, can make a difference -- a difference that truly matters come November.

(See also Taylor Marsh and The Heretik.)

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    DARFUR VIGIL DAY 116 (now in NYC); 56 DAYS HUNGER STRIKE since July 4, 2006; Jay McGinley (jymcginley@cs.com) 484-356-6243 http://standwithdarfurwhitehouseii.blogspot.com/

    It only took just one failed component, one failed component out of millions that painstaking effort had made right, to cause the searing tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. You'll remember that for Challenger it was a faulty "O ring."

    The contributions of the many that led to a brilliantly executed September 17th series of worldwide events is something we all should humbly honor, praise, reverence and express our deep respect and gratitude for. I do. It was awesome. And a handful of truly heroic efforts took place - promoting/filling busses from Pittsburgh, Boston, Ohio, Washington...; logistics; PR.... Thank you and God bless your commitment. And your accomplishments including front page coverage in the New York Times, appointment of a special envoy to Darfur as desrcibed in Bush to Name Envoy for Darfur Washington Post, By Colum Lynch and Glenn Kessler Staff Writers Tuesday, September 19, 2006; and finally, a spotlight on China, for example The Genocide Test, Editorial, Washington Post.

    What the September 17th teams worldwide did is absolutely necessary! But there is a faulty "O ring" in the Campaign to Save Darfur. SEPTEMBER 17TH, AND THE FOLLOW-ON EVENTS CONTEMPLATED AND PLANNED WILL NOT STOP THE GENOCIDE. And I have yet to have anyone prominently involved with the Darfur movement disagree. And I've asked them. And I've received responses.

    A crucial component is missing; a component that has been essential for every previous social-change movement. Stopping Genocide requires Monumental Social-Change - NEVER has genocide been stopped. N-E-V-E-R. Never. Not Rwanda, Cambodia, Kurds, Serbrinka, not 6,000,000 Jews.... Kosovo was far too late addressed to some degree.

    What is profoundly missing is a Core Group of Leaders that anyone, EVERYONE SEES is heroically putting their skin in the game, standing up for, getting in harms way for, SACRIFICING PERSONALLY for Darfur. Name major social change that has ever come without this. Civil Rights? Apartheid? Stopping Vietnam War? Suffrage? IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.

    Unmistakable-Sacrificial-Leadership-visible-to-the-masses is the spark plug; the inspiration; the moral clarity; THE PROOF OF IMPORTANCE THAT INSPIRES COMMITTED ACTION IN OTHERS. Leadership of this kind, in sufficient quantity is - the price to Save Darfur. Until the "price" is paid, the genocide will not stop, no matter what else we do.

    We can do everything else right (and these are NECESSARY): advertising, PR, rallies, celebrity participation, strategy, Sudan Envoys... but without the ignition, without the spark-plug we've got our "O ring," our efforts will crash in defeat, and 4,000,000 family members in Darfur are exterminated.

    I have been begging for two years for such effort: 9/23/04: http://platform.blogs.com/passionofthepresent/2004/09/radical_commitm.html, 10/17/04: http://platform.blogs.com/passionofthepresent/2004/10/jay_mcginley_ai.html, 8/11/05: http://rescuerestoredarfur.blogspot.com/2005/08/hunger-strike-day-6-pioneers-must-pay.html, 8/14/05: http://platform.blogs.com/passionofthepresent/2005/08/the_latest_from_1.html, 7/11/06: http://standwithdarfurwhitehouseii.blogspot.com/2006/07/call-to-battle-launch-all-out.html, 8/16/06: http://rescuerestoredarfur.blogspot.com/2005/08/hunger-strike-day-12-enough-radicals.html, 8/22/05: http://platform.blogs.com/passionofthepresent/2005/07/jay_mcginley_hu.html
    So Jay, does all this make you right? What matters is: 1. Might it be correct?; 2. That YOU decide, correctly, in time. As Reverend Gloria said in NYC on Sunday, “It’s about T-I-M-E.”

    Rosa Parks was a seamstress. Steven Beko was from no organization. Ghandi was a young lawyer and the wave upon wave of fellow leaders were from all walks of life. Dr. King a brilliant minister and many co-leaders were uneducated laborers. King said, "Anyone can be great because anyone can serve." Gandhi said, 'The frailest, old crippled body can be just as powerful as any head of state."

    BUT THE MOST LIKELY SOURCE FOR THE LEADERSHIP CORE IS STUDENTS. This has been true in every movement. And if the students of this country do not rise up for humanity and justice, NOW, there is no hope. THEY must form the core of our leadership. We adults in the NGOs, Churches, Synagogues, Mosques HAVE MADE OUR POSITION CLEAR. WE WILL NOT GET IN HARMS WAY FOR DARFUR.

    Someone(s) cried out about the "O ring" long, long before the Challenger exploded. I'm sure of it. He/She/They were blown off as troublemaker, renegade, lone ranger, loner, outsider, not-a-team-player.... The Challenger exploded. All that is left are, regrets. Jay McGinley jymcginley@cs.com

    By Blogger James McGinley, at 10:38 PM  

  • The "war on terror" is nothing more than a thinly-veiled war for control of oil and natural gas resources. And 9/11 was most certainly NOT something that just "fell into the lap" of the Cheney administration, something that "coincidentally" answered their prayers, giving them the "excuse" to do what they had been wanting to do. Let's face it: the "official" 9/11 story is an impossible myth (anything with at least one certain impossibility, let alone MANY certain impossibilities such as the "official" story has, would have to be relegated to fairy tale myth status). And what does that tell us about the ones (Cheney regime) who keep forcefeeding us this impossible myth when they certainly have officials there with enough common sense to know that buildings cannot in the real world "collapse" at anywhere near freefall rate without explosives and that no air force, especially the U.S. Air Force is going to stand aside for the time necessary for the "hijacked airliners" to meander to their targets, that cell phone calls weren't possible from anywhere near the altitude the "official" myth has them at, that a "hijacker's passport" isn't going to survive an "intense" fire that we are told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes AND survive the demolition of the building it was in to be "found" intact a few days later nearby, etc. etc.? Certainly the ones feeding us this bulls**t story have to know they are lying through their teeth. So what does that tell us about them and 9/11?? THAT THEY ARE THE ONES BEHIND IT!!! HELLO!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:16 PM  

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