Friday, September 26, 2003

Howard Dean: "Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz Must Go"

Howard Dean to America: "Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz Must Go"

".....For officials at the highest levels of this Administration to exploit the emotions of the American people regarding the attacks of September 11 to achieve their political objectives is unacceptable....."

".....Americans are contemplating the President’s request for $87 billion -- and wondering why they are being stuck with the bill. They are asking why they will be asked to sacrifice so much to pay it, while the wealthiest in our society continue to reap the benefits of the President’s tax cuts...."

".....our soldiers continue to fight the fight virtually alone because this Administration has damaged our relationships with our friends and allies to such a degree that most are not willing to commit meaningful numbers of troops or financial contributions to what they view as America’s misadventure. The President’s speech before the United Nations did nothing but perpetuate his foreign policy of petulance...."

"....To succeed, we will need the assistance of our allies and the international institutions that this Administration has so recklessly alienated. To rebuild those relationships, credibility must be restored to every aspect of the operation.
Until we have new leadership at the Department of Defense, that credibility will be nearly impossible to achieve. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz must go."

Bush at UN: Simplistic 'us vs. them' speech skirts question: Why do they fight?

Bush at U.N.: Simplistic 'us vs. them' speech skirts
question: Why do they fight?

September 26, 2003
By John Adams
Commentary in Syracuse Post Standard

It is not surprising that the president found few friends at the United Nations. President Bush's speech missed the mark - its "us versus them" rhetoric of division and confrontation is too simplistic to win adherents who are not already in accord with his vision.

The president's use of the rhetoric ofpolarization positions us against "them" without stopping to consider what it is that drives people to terror - to suicide, to apparently diabolical acts of violence against other human beings.

His rhetoric creates a divide that sets out to eliminate the middle ground where negotiation, dialogue or further conversation can take place.

Somebody needs to ask the terrorists what they want. Do we know what they want? Does anybody know what they want?

By asking their apparent leaders this question and listening to their answers, we may at least be reminded of what they're fighting for so we may better understand what we're fighting for.

I challenge President Bush to ask the terrorists the "what" questions. These questions need not be seen as the opening gambit in a spin toward appeasement, but as an attempt to get the terrorists to elaborate their visions of the better world their acts of terror seek to create - the good they hope to accomplish.

What good can possibly come of terrorism? I, for one, want to know their answer.

John Adams, a visiting professor of rhetoric and communications at Hamilton College, spent 10 years as a professor at Syracuse University and also taught at Empire State College.

Copyright 2003 Syracuse Post Standard