Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Cheney Flip-Flops -- Turns Out He's "Sensitive," Too

Vice President Cheney has been trashing Sen. John Kerry -- by taking out of context the word "sensitive," which Kerry used in a speech last week.

Here's the key line from Kerry:

I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values and history.

Kerry, just like Bush and Cheney, believes in sensitivity to our allies and sensitivity to the issues. That's why he said "more sensitive," rather than just plain ol' sensitive.

But Cheney, on numerous campaign stops, twisted Kerry's sensitivity out of context to suggest Kerry wants to be sensitive toward Al Qaeda and other terrorists.

For example, while campaigning in Nevada on Saturday, Cheney said: The men who beheaded Daniel Pearl and Paul Johnson will not be impressed by our sensitivity.

Disingenuous and mean-spirited, Cheney has become a leader of the "coward conservatives" who spend more time distorting and exaggerating and denigrating. Cheney is among the first to say that it's wrong to politicize the "war on terror," but then does it himself.

Cheney can't simply present his version of the Bush-Cheney policy on terrorism and trust the voters -- he'd prefer to treat his partisan, hand-picked crowds like morons who must be lied to in order to command their allegiance. It's sad.

But what's sadder is that Cheney couldn't prevent himself from using that same word, "sensitive." Even as he's trashing Kerry, he's flip-flopping with the same word, in essentially the same usage as Kerry.

Here's a part of that Q&A, conducted by conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt last week:

HEWITT: Will the Najaf offensive continue until that city is subdued even if that means a siege of the Imam Ali shrine?

CHENEY: Well, from the standpoint of the shrine, obviously it is a sensitive area, and we are very much aware of its sensitivity.

Will the media notice this flip-flop from Cheney? Will the media be forced to look closely at the disingenuous, mean-spirited way that Cheney laughed at Kerry for saying something his own administration has been saying throughout the "war on terror"?

Or will voters be subject to more of this shameful display, and the subsequent reverberations through the conservative noise machine. Cheney and his cohorts are playing partisan listeners for fools. The media should grow a spine and offer the truth.



Blogger David R. Mark said...

More on the topic, from Progress Report:

Cheney's 'Sensitive' Hypocrisy
In yet another effort to put politics over substance, Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday blasted Sen. John Kerry (D) for his comments earlier this week insisting that America must be more "sensitive" to allies and American citizens' concerns in the "war on terror." Cheney's retort: "America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive." He went on: "A 'sensitive war' will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans and who seek the chemical, nuclear and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more." Cheney's attack could have been leveled at himself and others in the Bush administration, both of whom have frequently used the "s" word. See these other examples of how Cheney's cheap political attack contradicts his own stated positions on military affairs and social issues.

PRESIDENT BUSH STRESSES NEED TO BE "SENSITIVE" IN MILTARY AFFAIRS: On 3/4/01, President Bush stressed the need to be "sensitive" in conducting military affairs, stating, "because America is powerful, we must be sensitive about expressing our power and influence." And just last week, President Bush said, "In terms of the balance between running down intelligence and bringing people to justice obviously is -- we need to be very sensitive on that."

SPECIAL FORCES STATE NEED TO FIGHT "SENSITIVE WAR ON TERRORISM": The Bush campaign's latest salvo, while aimed at Kerry, also is an attack on the military's top special forces commanders. On 7/20/04, the Bush administration sent one of the Air Force's top special forces officers to Capitol Hill to assuage concerns about tactics being used in the War on Terror. In his testimony, Chief Master Sgt. Robert Martens reassured Republican Chairman Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ) that "our special operators offer a seasoned, culturally sensitive war on terrorism."

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY SAYS MILITARY MUST NOT BE INSENSITIVE: On 4/13/04, Cheney said the Bush administration was focused on conducting sensitive military operations. He stated, "We recognize that the presence of U.S. forces can in some cases present a burden on the local community. We're not insensitive to that. We work almost on a continual basis with the local officials to remove points of friction and reduce the extent to which problems arise in terms of those relationships."

RUMSFELD STRESSES NEED TO BE "SENSITIVE" IN THE WAR: In the lead up to the Iraq war and afterwards, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld promised the Pentagon would be "sensitive." On 2/5/03, he said "we have to be sensitive, to the extent the world thinks the United States is focused on the problems in Iraq, it's conceivable that someone could make a mistake and believe that that's an opportunity for them to take an action which they otherwise would have avoided." On 7/9/03, he reassured the public that his department was being "sensitive" to troop needs during the war. He said U.S. commanders are "sensitive to the importance of troops knowing what the rotation plan will be so they have some degree of certainty in their lives. And [they] are sensitive to the importance of the quality of their lives."

GEN. RICHARD MYERS SAYS MILITARY NEEDS TO BE "SENSITIVE" IN WAR: On 10/31/01, Gen. Richard Myers, Bush's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about whether the military would be "sensitive" to religious issues in prosecuting the War on Terror. He said "We are, I think, very culturally sensitive." On 1/7/03, Myers touted the Army's ability to be "sensitive." He said "we can ask of our troops to go out there and be, on the one hand, very sensitive to cultural issues, on the other hand, be ready to respond in self-defense to a very ticklish situation, all at the same time." On 11/19/03, Myers said U.S. troops "are very sensitive to the balance between appropriate military action and not trying to turn the average Iraqi against the coalition."

GEN. TOMMY FRANKS SAID THE WHITE HOUSE MADE SURE TO BE "SENSITIVE": On 7/10/03, Gen. Tommy Franks went to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the War on Terror. He said the Bush administration explicitly understood the "sensitive" need for the U.S. to continue pursuing al Qaeda in Afghanistan, instead of appearing like it was solely focused on Iraq. Franks said, "Everyone from the president to Secretary Rumsfeld right through me were very sensitive, to be sure, that our operations moved ahead in Afghanistan in parallel with what we were doing in Iraq."

ASHCROFT CLAIMS THE ADMINISTRATION IS BEING "SENSITIVE" IN WAR ON TERROR: Attorney General John Ashcroft has repeatedly stressed the need for the Bush administration to be "sensitive" in fighting the War on Terror. On 4/28/03, just a month after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Ashcroft said, "The United States is very sensitive about interfering in the internal politics of other countries." On 3/20/02, he said the Justice Department was making sure to be "sensitive" in hunting down terrorists. He said, "The agents and officers who conducted the interviews did so in a sensitive manner, showing full respect for the rights and dignity of the individuals being interviewed."

CHENEY & LOTT URGE MILITARY TO BE SENSITIVE IN CONDUCTING WAR: In conducting the first war in Iraq, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney repeatedly stressed the need for America to fight a "sensitive" war. On 9/11/90, Cheney told Congress that he "was very concerned about...the clash of cultures" brought on by U.S. troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia, and that the U.S. must "try to be sensitive." Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) concurred, saying, "I would agree to that. I think [the Saudis] are sensitive, but we also are sensitive."

CHENEY SAYS PENTAGON MUST BE "SENSITIVE" IN DEVELOPING WEAPONS: On 2/7/90, Cheney told Congress that the Pentagon must be "sensitive" in developing weapons. He said that he understood the need for the Pentagon to explore civilian uses of weapons-related technology, saying, "I think we need to be very sensitive to that as a department."

WOLFOWITZ SAYS MILITARY MUST BE "SENSITIVE" IN WAR ON TERROR: On 11/9/01, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a key hawk on military issues, said the armed forces must be "sensitive" to religious issues surrounding the War on Terror. He said, "I think we've made it clear we're going to be sensitive to the fact that Ramadan is the holiest month on the Muslim calendar and we will have that in mind."

2:34 AM  

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