Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
Praise for Voice
"A smart fellow...I do like, recommend and learn from Barbera's blog." -Roger L. Simon
"Your blog is bullshit"- anonymous angry French reader.
Sorry, anyone who follows this page knows I am a pretty solid supporter of President Bush. However, I give his performance tonight a D-. I think this was possibly the most important news conference/speech he has made to date. He must make the case for war. And, unlike Afghanistan he doesn't have the well of Sept 11th support. Public opinion polls in Britain, Australia, Spain and even some Eastern European countries are not supportive, even though those governments are. This had to be for the governments against and on the fence. I know Bush is sincere. They couldn't care less. It's not what they feel that will not sway them. Only proof will. There should have been one overriding purpose to the night instead it drifted at times and seemed message-less at times.
First, let’s put it in context. Today Mr. Straw and Mr. Powell made solid appearances in press briefings at the UN. Secondly in recent days France and Germany have continued their opposition to any new resolution. And, apparently, have convinced China and Russia to back that position. Saddam has bought himself breathing space with Kofi, the nations on his side, the world media and others by destroying the al-Sammoud missiles and claiming to have found some anthrax and VX.
From all indications Hans Blix is going to say that Iraq is showing very positive signs of cooperation. This is going to put France and Germany on the offensive while Straw and Powell are going to have to make very strong cases. It should have been President Bush’s job to make de Villepin and Fischer think twice before going into tomorrow with their prepared statements. He needed to come out swinging. He needed to lay the case out in no uncertain terms. He failed.
Tonight’s news briefing should have been focused on a single message. Saddam is not complying; we have proof that he is not complying; we are going to present that proof and force every nation in the Security Council to look at that proof; then we are going to all vote yes or no on whether they think Saddam is in ‘full’ compliance. Make de Villepin and Fischer come in and defend their positions to the countries still unconvinced. Instead it is now up to Straw and Powell alone to face down Kofi, Blix, Germany, France, Russia, China and the others. The President did not give Powell and Straw anything to work off.
In short, now that we are in the ‘final stages of diplomacy’ it is time to show what cards we are holding. "Full House Aces and Kings. Show us what you've got." Make Blix defend his report against our proof. Force France and Germany to go on the defensive instead of going through the motions with their pre-written speeches. They should have gone into tomorrow’s briefing afraid and knowing they have a lot of work to do. Instead they go in confident that they can deflect whatever Blix says and put the burden of proof on Straw and Powell.
The only thing that saved him from an F is that he made very clear that his duty is first and foremost to the American people and the Constitution. Saying that he was going to give the resolution no matter what would have been effective if he had been able to knock France and Germany off balance. He didn’t, so it was a useless remark. Plus, there were some questions that he should have hit out of the park instead they dribbled foul. I am very disappointed and not optimistic about what will happen tomorrow.
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