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October 06, 2005

Bush at NED: If a speech falls in the forest...
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

So I really wanted to watch the President's newly-ballyhooed (as of this morning) speech at NED and share my impressions with the blog.  Scott McLellan promised us the speech would contain "new details" about our strategy and actions in the war on terror. 

It's being broadcast on CSPAN-3.  I didn't know there was a C-SPAN 3.  MY cable provider doesn't appear to know there's a C-SPAN 3.

So I'll be back when I can figure out what's in the speech...

11:15 update:  We'll look more closely at the text later today.  But here's what I didn't see:

New strategy, or even "new details" that would convince me there is a strategy.

New details of actions we're taking.  Huh?

This looks like another dip into the "let's frighten civilians" pool.  Two problems here:  first, the excerpts I've read so far manage to take the extremist, caricatured doctrines of Al Qaeda and make them sound even more caricatured.  Second, if the President ratchets up the rhetoric like this in response to a bad couple of weeks, what are we going to do on the day that Al Qaeda gets a nuclear weapon or something else really, really bad happens?  This kind of cheap speech-making is producing a "boy who cried wolf" effect.  People flinch when they hear the rhetoric; it has the (intended?) effect of driving them further out of politics and public life; and then nothing happens.  So people are at once deeply afraid and deeply cynical.  That's a dreadful place for our national life, regardless of who's president.

1:00 update:  Judd Legum over at ThinkProgress agrees and has a nice list of some of the better fearmongering bits.

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» BUSH PUTS TERRROR CARDS ON TABLE from The Heretik
BUSH PLAYED THE SAME HAND again on the war on terror. [story] [White House transcript] The Heretik now asks how come Bush again tries to play everyone else as jokers. This time he played with some specifics, but they [Read More]

» BUSH PUTS TERRROR CARDS ON TABLE from The Heretik
BUSH PLAYED THE SAME HAND again on the war on terror. [story] [White House transcript] The Heretik now asks how come Bush again tries to play everyone else as jokers. This time he played with some specifics, but they [Read More]

» BUSH PUTS TERRROR CARDS ON TABLE from The Heretik
BUSH PLAYED THE SAME HAND again on the war on terror. [story] [White House transcript] The Heretik now asks how come Bush again tries to play everyone else as jokers. This time he played with some specifics, but they [Read More]

Comments

http://www.whitehouse.gov. Live at 10:10 ET via realplayer on the website. Not the best option, but at least available.

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In fact the two can't co-exist if either is deficient. It matters to the leaders of Iraq how you pronounce the name of their country. It matters to nations with nuclear weapons how you pronounce the very weapons you are trying to suppress the spread of. It matters to the credibility of America that our leaders are able to speak in terms that doesn't make them look like fools. And tonight, Sarah Palin failed this critical test.

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