micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Monday, November 11, 2002
Just about anything that makes President George W. Bush look dumb will be believed
Brendan O'Neill has recently written in the "War watch" section of his blog:
Apparently Bush can't tell the difference between bin Laden and Saddam: 'I can't distinguish between the two, because they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil and equally as destructive.' Let's help him out: bin Laden is the mad Islamic fundamentalist who carries out the occasional terrorist attack against American interests, while Saddam is the head of Iraq's pseudo-socialist government that sees Islamic terrorists as a threat and has no links with the likes of al-Qaeda. Does that help?The link O'Neill includes will take you to a September 25 story by Ron Hutcheson and Diego Ibarguen of Knight Ridder Newspapers which supports O'Neill's interpretation of the quote:
Hoping to build support for tough action against Iraq, the Bush administration on Wednesday highlighted possible ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, without producing any public evidence of such links.However, the actual transcript of Bush's comments refutes this interpretation. Patti Wilson of Reuters asked Bush, "Mr. President, do you believe that Saddam Hussein is a bigger threat to the United States than al Qaeda?" Bush responded:
That's a -- that is an interesting question. I'm trying to think of something humorous to say. (Laughter.) But I can't when I think about al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. They're both risks, they're both dangerous. The difference, of course, is that al Qaeda likes to hijack governments. Saddam Hussein is a dictator of a government. Al Qaeda hides, Saddam doesn't, but the danger is, is that they work in concert. The danger is, is that al Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam's madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world.Bush's actual comments are hardly what Hutcheson and Ibarguen would have you believe they were.
(None of this should be understood as saying that the President doesn't say some odd things from time to time. For some recent examples, see my entry "How many corporate Americans does it take to screw in a light bulb?")