What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

He said, He said

George W. Bush, not one to admit when he is wrong (or when he has spectacularly screwed up), has been painting a rosy picture of the situation in Iraq. Bush has said repeatedly that he is "pleased" with the progress in Iraq. Life is great in Iraq! Schools are being built, infrastructure repaired, male pattern baldness has been cured, and so on.

For some reason, Secretary of State Colin Powell has a different view on Iraq.

Powell appeared on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, saying the insurgency in Iraq was getting worse and that and that the U.S. occupation of Iraq has created resentment of the United States in Muslim countries.

Also on Sunday, Reuters reported that internal Pentagon documents contradict Bush's claims of progress in Iraq. For instance, Bush's claim of nearly 100,000 Iraqi security forces already on the job does not mesh with reality: only 8,169 of security personnel have received the standard eight weeks of security training, and the documents list nearly 47,000 others as being untrained. In fact, it will be July 2006 before we see the planned 135,000 member Iraqi police force.

Other security personnel remain untrained, which puts our troops at risk, since they will be performing the bulk of police work until Iraq's forces are fully trained.

Meanwhile, new polls released today have President Bush with a strong lead over John Kerry. The Washington Post/ABC News poll has Bush with a six-point lead over Kerry; the USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll has Bush with an eight-point lead; and the Pew poll also shows Bush with an eight-point lead.

This is bad news for John Kerry.

I really, really hope Kerry's debate preparation includes lessons on how to communicate less formally. Kerry needs to connect with voters and if he comes across as stiff and formal he will not make that connection with people watching the debates. Say what you will about George W. Bush, but the man connects with people, just like Bill Clinton did (and still does). It's pretty obvious the presidential race will not have much to do with issues. Instead, it will be that important emotional connection between the voter and the candidate that makes the difference.

One last thing: I forgot to link to this week's Top 10 Conservative Idiots at DU. Enjoy.


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