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Posts Tagged ‘Kongressen’

IRAK | I år är det tio år sedan invasionen av Irak som avsatte diktatorn Saddam Hussein. Beroende på hur man räknar var 49 länder involverade.

Foto av Charles Ommanney-Contact-Getty

Inför invasionen skrev David Frum 2002 de delar av president George W. Bushs State of the Union tal som handlade om Irak.

Som talskrivare var det hans uppgift att förklara rationaliteten bakom vad som skulle komma att bli presidentens beslut att invadera.

Frasen ”axis of evil” lyftes fram av alla som rapporterade om Bushs tal. Frum har i boken The Right Man (2003) skrivit att frasen i ett tidigt utkast hade formuleringen ”axis of hatred”.

I Newsweek skriver Frum om de omfattande ansträngningar som krävdes för att kommunicera presidentens budskap och lyckas övertyga kongressen och befolkningen. 

The order to begin work on the Iraq sections of the 2002 State of the Union address—what became known as the “axis of evil” speech—was delivered to me in the form of a conditional: what might the president say if he decided … etc. That speech provoked a furor with its claim that state sponsors of terror cooperated with terrorist groups, and its warning that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were arming to threaten the peace of the world. Critics insisted that it was impossible that Shiite Iran would support Sunni Hamas or that Islamic Iran could share technology with Stalinist North Korea. We now know all those things to be true, and many more besides. The founder of the Pakistani nuclear program did attempt to sell bomb-making technology to al Qaeda. The North Koreans did sell Syria materials for a nuclear facility destroyed by the Israelis in 2007.

Some critics claim that the speech blew up a promising U.S. diplomatic overture to Iran. That’s pretty hard to believe, especially after seeing what has happened to U.S. overtures to Iran since 2009. As a description of the strategic challenge facing the United States, the speech has been corroborated by events. No apologies on any of those points.

The speech did mark a point of no return on the road to war with Iraq, although debate continued inside the administration for many more months. The famous Downing Street memo makes clear that as late as July 2002, Tony Blair’s government remained uncertain of U.S. intentions.

 […]

Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz spoke eloquently about Saddam’s appalling crimes against the Iraqi people. But countries rarely fight big, expensive wars for the benefit of others. Everything depended on the evidence that Iraq was acquiring a dangerous arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. How solid was that evidence? Those of us without high security clearances could never truly know. We had to rely on those we trusted—like National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who warned on January 10, 2003, “There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Such assurances by the leading figures in the Bush administration won the support of a broad array of Americans, not only conservatives but “liberal hawks” in Congress and the press, and not only in this country but around the world.

[…]

Brits sometimes question how crucial Blair was in the run-up to war. My own sense, for what it’s worth, is that it was Blair, not Bush, who swayed Democrats in Congress and liberal hawks in the media. Without Blair, the Iraq War would have been authorized with only the smallest handful of non-Republican votes.

Bild: Charles Ommanney/Contact/Getty.

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USA | Hon lyckades inte bli republikanernas presidentkandidat men kan trösta sig med att ha hamnat på listan över de femtio vackraste på Capitol Hill.

Tidningen The Hill – som bevakar vad som händer i kongressen – har tagit fram sin nionde årliga lista över ”Capitol Hill’s best-looking lawmakers, staffers, and lobbyists.…”.

De tre första på ”The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful People” är republikaner. Bland de tio översta finns sex stycken republikaner, två demokrater, en ”independent” och en ”libertarian”. Bachmann hamnade på plats nr 10.

Hey, hey, good lookin’,

Whatcha got cookin’?

How’s about cookin’ somethin’ up with me?

                                  – Hank Williams

Övrigt: Hela listan finns på tidningens hemsida eller som pdf.

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KAVALKAD |  Vem minns längre 2011? Med ”The Dumbest People, Events and Things 2011” hjälper Mad oss återuppliva några av händelserna i USA.

Satirtidskriften bjuder bl.a. på Barack Obama och kongressens ledamöter som levande döda zombies i skuggan av skuldkrisen. (The Walking Debt: They Need Braaaaaains!)

Här är också Arnold Schwarzenegger. Under fjorton år lyckades han dölja det faktum att han fått en son med hushållerskan. (”Arnold Schtups His Housekeeper: The Last Action-on-the-side Hero”).

Här är tre, numera f.d. republikanska presidentkandidater: Donald Trump (”Trump Says Obama Not American: The Born Identity”), Michele Bachmann (”Michele Bachmann Speaks: A Broken Facts Machine”) och Herman Cain (”The Pee-Wee Herman Cain Show”).

Naturligtvis hör också avlyssningsskandalen kring Rupert Murdoch hit (”News Corp Hacks Phones: Getting Away With Murdoch”).

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget och ”The 20 Dumbest …” är hämtat från nr 513, februari 2012. Mad finns på madmag.com.

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STRATEGI: Här en lärdom för alla politiska kampanjer: Ju mer framgångrik motståndaren är när det gäller att implementera vallöften och sin politik desto viktigare att underminera förtroendet för den person som symboliserar politiken.

Detta var vad Mona Sahlin och De Rödgröna försökte men aldrig lyckades med när det gällde Fredrik Reinfeldt.  Men negativa kampanjer fungerar om de görs på rätt sätt.

Republikanerna spenderade omkring 75 miljoner dollar under valkampanjen i november. En stor del av miljonerna gick till att attackera Nancy Pelosi som var House Speaker.

Attacker drog ner opinionssiffrorna för Pelosi till en nivå som fick The New York Times att kalla henne för landets mest impopulära politiker.

Om detta skriver Linda Burstyn i tidskriften Ms.

Adding to insults, Time and Newsweek didn’t think Pelosi newsworthy enough to feature on their covers when she became the first woman speaker (nor since) – Ms. was the only national magazine to recognize her immediately on its cover. Yet both major newsweeklies featured incoming Republican Speaker Boehner on their covers even before he officially took over his new position.

All of which is pretty frustrating, especially considering that […] Nancy Pelosi was probably the most successful House speaker in U.S. history.

[T]he 111th Congress is now considered to have been the most productive since the 89th Congress during Lyndon B. Johnson’s term – and through most of it, Speaker Pelosi didn’t lose a single vote.

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Don Wright den 17 mars 2010.

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