Debate 1: Bush Falsehoods

Courstesy of Douglas from Progressive Thought.

Eight Bush Falsehoods in the First Debate

Bush made the following false statements in the debate. I am sure there more but this is a good start:

Falsehood #1: “. . . to have bilateral talks with North Korea. It’s precisely what Kim Jong Il wants. It will cause the six-party talks to evaporate. It will mean that China no longer is involved.”

Truth: Each of the other four countries involved in the six-part process have also held private talks with North Korea. China has repeatedly asked the Bush administration to talk directly with North Korea and has never said it would pull out of the six-part talks if the U.S. enters bilateral talks. In fact, the Bush Administration has held several direct talks with North Korea. As recently as a few months ago, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell met with his North Korean counterpart.

Falsehood #2: “Actually, we’ve increased funding for dealing with nuclear proliferation about 35 percent since I’ve been the president.”

Truth: In his first budget, he proposed a 13 percent cut — about $116 million — and much of the increases since then were not in Bush’s budgets but have been added by Congress.

Falsehood #3: “Saddam Hussein had no intention of disarming.”

Truth: The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming that Hussein was concealing stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq asserted in its filing with the United Nations in December 2002 that it had no such weapons and none have been found. All evidence points to the conclusion that Saddam Hussein had disarmed.

Falsehood #4: “Ten million citizens have registered to vote (in Afghanistan) . . . Forty-one percent of those 10 million are women.”

Truth: A Sept. 28 report from Human Rights Watch said: “The tally of registered voters in Afghanistan, over 10.5 million in a voting age population of 26 million, is now believed to be significantly inaccurate, the result of widespread multiple registration by voters. As explained here, pronouncements by Afghan and international officials boasting that 40 percent of registered voters are women ignores the likelihood that tens of thousands of women have been registered more than once (some believing their voting card would entitle them to benefits or food rations), and masks regional variation in the figures, including data from some southern provinces showing that less than 10 percent of those registered are women.”

Falsehood #5: “We busted the A.Q. Khan network. This was a proliferator out of Pakistan that was selling secrets to places like North Korea and Libya.”

Truth: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan, a national hero in Pakistan, in February. Not a single person involved in Khan’s alleged network has been prosecuted anywhere.

Falsehood #6: “We convinced Libya to disarm.”

Truth: The Libyan offer to disarm was known by the Bush Administration years before they accepted it. Experts credit the patient diplomacy begun by the Clinton Administration for persuading the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to cooperate.

Falsehood #7: “(Kerry) voted against the $87-billion supplemental to provide equipment for our troops, and then said he actually did vote for it before he voted against it.”

Fact: Kerry supported a different version of the bill, which was opposed by the administration. In a floor statement explaining his vote, Kerry said he favored the $67 billion for the troops on the ground, but he faulted the administration’s $20 billion request for reconstruction because of the no-bid contracts.

Falsehood #8: (In response to Kerry’s statement “when we went in (to Iraq), there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States.”) “Well, actually, he forgot Poland. And now there’s 30 nations involved, standing side by side with our American troops.”

Truth: Poland did not participate in the invasion of Iraq and only supplied peacekeeping troops later. It is true that 30 nations are providing personnel to Iraq operations. However, the vast majority of those personnel are in non-combat roles and 16 of the 30 countries are providing only token forces of under 200 personnel each. In fact, 84% of all operational forces and over 95% of combat forces are U.S. troops. Bush also neglected to mention the six countries which have pulled all of their troops out of Iraq: Nicaragua (Feb. 2004); Spain (Apr. 2004); Dominican Republic (May 2004); Honduras (May 2004); Philippines (Jul. 2004); and New Zealand (Sep. 04). He also neglected to mention that four countries have announced they will reduce their forces in Iraq – United Kingdom, Ukraine, El Salvador (complete pullout), and Poland. source(: globalsecurity.org)

by Douglas Giles

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