Saturday :: May 1, 2004

Kerry Should Hit Bush On Prison Attrocities


by Steve

The recent revelations about the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison are on the verge of setting off major problems for us in a region that already hates us. These are the same private security forces that Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz (pictured above touring the prison last year), Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Bremer brought in through sweetheart contracts to, in essence, run amok without accountability in a region where any resemblance to Saddam’s behavior would be lethal for our efforts to convince Iraqis we are there to “liberate” them.

Bush’s pathetic “disgust” at the revelations yesterday is apparently being left unchallenged by the Kerry camp, possibly out of fear that any attack would be used by Bush to claim that Kerry isn’t supportive of the troops. Hogwash. If Kerry really had a top-notch campaign team in place, they would be all over this story already with commercials up and running in key states, and lead Bush into defending why he isn’t on top of this except to say that those involved will be punished. Bush is already in a free-fall over his handling of Iraq according to several polls, but Kerry misses an opportunity to challenge Bush and hold him accountable for the actions of the troops and more importantly the contractors.

Voters still say they trust Bush more than Kerry to handle national security. Why?

Because Kerry misses opportunities to tell voters that Bush’s mismanagement of Iraq and national security is doing more harm to us that any perceived good. This story is a great example. How come there aren’t commercials up and running showing some of the haunting images from the “60 Minutes II” piece this week, asking voters “Is this what America stands for? Is this how Iraqis think of us? When did we contract out our foreign policy to unaccountable campaign contributors? What else don’t you know about Iraq, Mr. President?” Kerry needs to be hitting Bush for only being disgusted with this, when if he was doing his job he would have been on top of this and keeping it from happening in the first place. Being disgusted with it gives Kerry the opening to question how well Bush is really managing events in Iraq, what little he knows, and why he doesn’t know more. Those type of arguments, and yes through shaming Americans to confront them, will begin to whittle away at voters’ comfort with Bush’s handing of national security, and only drive their disapproval of his handling of Iraq higher.

Sorry Senator, but if you really had a Tier Two effort and a political killer mentality in your campaign, you would have done this already. If the media gives you an opening, you'd better start using them, or else the media will assume you won't attack with it. And once they feel that, you're done.

Steve :: 12:13 PM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!