Why Bush Won the First Debate

I must admit that I am surprised by poll results showing that a majority of voters state that they feel that John Kerry won the debate. However, I feel that my assessment will be proven correct in the long run.

John Kerry said in the debate that his plan to end the war in Iraq can be found on his website. However, his website states that his actual plan is to get other countries to contribute more troops to Iraq. This is obviously a silly idea. The other countries are in Iraq now just to get a piece of the pie that America is carving out. As soon as America pulls out, the other countries will pull out too.

Here is what the Kerry website states at http://www.johnkerry.com/issues/national_security/iraq.html.

"Persuade NATO to make the security of Iraq one of its global missions and to deploy a portion of the force needed to secure and win the peace in Iraq."

So, John Kerry plans to bring peace to Iraq by sending more troops there. I wonder how many voters understand that.

I am the first to agree that the War in Iraq is going badly and is going to get worse. George Bush cannot afford to admit this. However, Kerry's solution to get other countries to send their troops to Iraq to replace American troops is just silly.

Kerry made a lot of stupid statements in the debate. For example:

We had Saddam Hussein trapped.

Pretty funny. Saddam Hussein was "trapped" prior to the US invasion? Saddam Hussein was as happy as a clam. The money he was reaping off of the United Nations Food for Oil Program was making Saddam Hussein the richest man in the world.

Unfortunately, he escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora. We had him surrounded. But we didn't use American forces, the best trained in the world, to go kill him.

This statement is stupid because there is no evidence that Osama bin Laden was in Tora Bora. Sending American forces in to go kill him would just have gotten a lot more American soldiers killed.

Bush replied: "The killer the mastermind of the September 11th attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, is in prison."

This reference always gets me because I knew Khalid Sheik Mohammad back in 1982 when he was a student at North Carolina Technical College. This always reminds me of the famous line from the old Japanese War movies, where the Japanese villain says: "I was educated in your country."

we don't have enough troops there.

Here, Kerry calls for more troops in Iraq, as though that will solve the problem.

The president hasn't put one nickel, not one nickel into the effort to fix some of our tunnels and bridges and most exposed subway systems. That's why they had to close down the subway in New York when the Republican Convention was there. We hadn't done the work that ought to be done.

Another ridiculous statement. The New York City subway system, the Long Island Railroad and the Amtrak lines of the old Penn Central Railroad all run directly under Madison Square Garden where the Republican National Convention was held. These railroad lines were built by Sam Sloan. A plan to fortify these areas to make them invulnerable to terrorist attack would have cost more than 10 billion dollars. It would probably have been impossible to achieve in any event. Where would that 10 billion dollars have come from? It would have been better to hold the convention in a remote area, like Death Valley Days. If Kerry would have spent 10 billion dollars on his plan to fortify Madison Square Garden, imagine the other expenditures he will make.

In addition (and by comparison a relatively minor point), what Kerry said was not true. The subway lines did not stop running for the Republican National Convention. The subways and trains continued to run normally. The bus and taxi service around the convention was re-routed, however.

North Korea has got nuclear weapons. Talk about mixed messages. The president is the one that said, "We can't allow countries to get nuclear weapons." They have. I'll change that.

This is the sort of ridiculous statement John Kerry often makes. He says that he will stop North Korea and other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons. How does he plan to do that? He does not say. How does he plan to disarm North Korea, unless he plans to invade and start another Korean War?

There's only 25 percent of the people in there. They can't have an election right now.

Here John Kerry implies that he plans to cancel the elections in Iraq scheduled for January 2005 because only 25% of Iraqis are registered to vote. However, here in America it regularly happens that less than 25% of the eligible voters vote. If Kerry really plans to cancel the Iraq elections, this is a serious problem. The Vietnam War started when President Eisenhower cancelled the elections in Viet Nam. Kerry probably does not know much about VietNam history.

the Pottery Barn rule: If you break it, you fix it.

Everybody knows that the Pottery Barn Rule is: "If you break it, you own it" (and you have to pay for it).

Question: "Can you give us specifics, in terms of a scenario, time lines, et cetera, for ending major U.S. military involvement in Iraq?"

KERRY: The time line that I've set out and again, I want to correct the president, because he's misled again this evening on what I've said. I didn't say I would bring troops out in six months.

Here, Kerry failed to answer this direct and very important question. Instead, he meandered around by telling us what he did not say.

You have to close the borders.

Another stupid remark. Iraq is flat, open, barren desert. It is impossible to close the borders. We cannot even close the border between the US and Mexico.

Saddam Hussein would have been continually weakening.

It is obvious that Saddam Hussein was not getting any weaker. To the contrary, the United Nations was under pressure to drop the sanctions altogether. Saddam Hussein was about to win. There is no reason to believe that further delays or another United Nations resolution would have brought Saddam Hussein to heel.

Thirty-five to forty countries in the world had a greater capability of making weapons at the moment the president invaded than Saddam Hussein.

Sure. Of course. All of the countries of Europe and all of the former republics of the Soviet Union had greater capacity to make nuclear weapons than Saddam Hussein had. However, those other countries do not have the history of attacking other countries and of killing their own people that Saddam Hussein had.

in my plan, I add two active duty divisions to the United States Army, not for Iraq

Here, Kerry says that he wants to increase the size of the US Military. I do not think that many voters want that. I certainly do not.

No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.

Here, Kerry states that we can only make a preemptive strike to defend ourselves if we can pass a "global test" and prove to the world that we did it for legitimate reasons. How are we supposed to prove this to the world? In a court of law? What exactly is the Global Test that we are supposed to pass? Is it a multiple choice test or an essay test? Kerry is going to get hurt on this one.

we could never allow another Rwanda.

Kerry's plan is to become the policeman of the world. Do the voters really understand what he is saying?

Bush said: "I won't hold it against him that he went to Yale. There's nothing wrong with that."

In case anybody missed this one-liner, it is a joke. George W. Bush and John Kerry both went to Yale.

BUSH: I'm trying to put a leash on them.

Here, George W. Bush tries to make light of the fact that he has been having trouble because of the tendency of his two daughters to be arrested for getting drunk in public and messing around with drugs and boys.

he's not acknowledging the realities of North Korea

It is obviously John Kerry who is not acknowledging the realities of North Korea. He keeps saying that the North Koreas will become really nice to us. All we need to do is talk to them in private.

I know exactly what we need to do in Iraq, and my position has been consistent: Saddam Hussein is a threat. He needed to be disarmed. We needed to go to the U.N. The president needed the authority to use force in order to be able to get him to do something, because he never did it without the threat of force.

This is the real problem with John Kerry. He admits that Saddam Hussein was a threat. However, then he says that the president needed the authority to disarm him. What authority did the President of the United States need to defend us against a threat. Did he need a permission slip from Russia? From China?

We could have bilateral talks with Kim Jong Il. And we can get those weapons at the same time

Perhaps the most stupid statement of all by John Kerry. He imagines that all we have to do is agree to talk to the North Koreans and then they will give us all their nuclear weapons. Has Kerry ever heard of the Korean War?

On the substantive issues, Bush clearly won the debate. I am surprised that the polls show that Kerry won. True, Kerry had a more impressive hair-do, is taller, speaks better and looks more presidential than Bush. However, I do not believe that these factors will lead anybody to change their minds and to vote for Kerry.

I believe that the polls merely show that Kerry won on speaking style and presentation. Bush leads on believability, sincerity and substance. Does anybody really believe Kerry's claims that he could just waive his magic wand and end the threats posed by North Korea, Iran and Iraq?

Sam Sloan

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