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Friday, August 27, 2004
 
Not Qualified for the Job

There's a lot of interesting stuff in this NYT interview with Bush, stuff like he didn't know anything about a White House report concluding that greenhouse gasses, including CO2, are the only likely explanation for recent global warming patterns, that he might have "miscalculated" when it came to conditions in Iraq, that Kerry had been truthful about his record in Vietnam, etc., etc.

There's a lot of meat for our side in the interview. But what caused the bottom to drop out from under my jaw was this:

Mr. Bush also took issue with Mr. Kerry's argument, in an interview at the end of May with The New York Times, that the Bush administration's focus on Iraq had given North Korea the opportunity to significantly expand its nuclear capability. Showing none of the alarm about the North's growing arsenal that he once voiced regularly about Iraq, he opened his palms and shrugged when an interviewer noted that new intelligence reports indicate that the North may now have the fuel to produce six or eight nuclear weapons.

He said that in North Korea's case, and in Iran's, he would not be rushed to set deadlines for the countries to disarm, despite his past declaration that he would not "tolerate'' nuclear capability in either nation. He declined to define what he meant by "tolerate.''

"I don't think you give timelines to dictators,'' Mr. Bush said, speaking of North Korea's president, Kim Jong Il, and Iran's mullahs. He said he would continue diplomatic pressure - using China to pressure the North and Europe to pressure Iran - and gave no hint that his patience was limited or that at some point he might consider pre-emptive military action.

"I'm confident that over time this will work - I certainly hope it does,'' he said of the diplomatic approach. Mr. Kerry argued in his interview that North Korea "'was a far more compelling threat in many ways, and it belonged at the top of the agenda,'' but Mr. Bush declined to compare it to Iraq, apart from arguing that Iraq had defied the world community for longer than the other members of what he once called "the axis of evil.'' Nor would he assess the risk that Pyongyang might sell nuclear material to terrorists, though his national security aides believe it may have sold raw uranium to Libya in recent years.

(Emphasis added)


The guy who killed almost 1,000 of his fellow citizens and tens of thousands of Iraqis, who shredded decades' worth of diplomatic capital, and who got us into a quagmire that could well sap our strength for years to come, for the express purpose of removing from power a dictator he erroneously claimed to have weapons of mass destruction and the desire to distribute them to terrorists, "opened his palms and shrugged" at the prospect of a dictator of a country with which we are technically in a state of conflict who actually has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, and who has distributed nuclear weapons technology to at least one known terrorist. (whew!)

He's like "regular folks," who don't have the first idea what to do about North Korea, all right. Thing is, it's his fucking job to deal with the biggest threat in the world. That's why we have a president. We need a leader, or at the very least, someone who takes this kind of thing seriously.

And, George, you're on record giving timelines to a dictator. That's how we got into Iraq, remember? Or are you admitting the whole "let weapons inspectors in or else" thing was bullshit and you were going to invade no matter what? Did you lie to us, George?

This needs to be in a Kerry ad, stat.