Bush's hypocrisy on terrorism as a "nuisance"

Politics and policy.
Oct. 12 2004 7:14 AM

Nuisance Nuance

Bush was for reducing terrorism to a nuisance before he was against it.

"Now just this weekend, Sen. Kerry talked of reducing terrorism to a 'nuisance'—(laughter)—and compared it to prostitution and illegal gambling. (Booo!) Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the offensive, destroying the terrorist networks, and spreading freedom and liberty around the world."

—President Bush, Victory 2004 Rally, Morrison, Colo., Oct. 11, 2004

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

"Nor can we think of our goal in this war in the way Sen. Kerry described it yesterday in the New York Times. 'We have to get back to the place,' he said, where terrorism is 'a nuisance.' ... This is naive and dangerous."

—Vice President Cheney, Victory 2004 Rally, Batavia, Ohio, Oct. 11, 2004

"Now Kerry says we have to get back to the place where terrorists are a nuisance like gambling and prostitution; we're never going to end them. Terrorism—a nuisance? How can Kerry protect us when he doesn't understand the threat?"

—Bush-Cheney television ad, Oct. 10, 2004

"These fights that we are having against Mugtada militia [in Iraq] are not stretching us thin at all. They are pretty much street thugs with weapons. They don't present much of a military threat. They're a nuisance. They're a harassment. And sadly, as you can imagine with street thugs with weapons, sometimes they kill and wound our soldiers. But in engagement after engagement, they have not been able to stand and fight."

—Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, Deputy Director for Coalition, [Iraq] Coalition Provisional Authority Briefing, May 17, 2004

"The Taliban can kill innocent civilians in small numbers, and be a nuisance, and be a distraction, but it cannot and will not be allowed to be a force, a political force in Afghanistan."

—Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman, Department of State,New York, N.Y., Jan. 14, 2004

"We have a number of explosions that happen every other night. I mean, these are tactically insignificant mortar rounds being fired. We are not aware of any casualties, either civilian or military, that accompanied that. There was no attack on any coalition facility that we're aware of. These were nuisance bombings. They're clearly trying to go make a statement, a spectacular statement, but militarily, tactically insignificant."

—Kimmitt, CPA Briefing, Nov. 17, 2003

"Chemical and biological weapons aren't going to affect the operational outcome on the battlefield, and I think the Iraqis know that. They can be a terror weapon, they can be a nuisance, they can slow certain elements, but they would never—they never had the potential to change the operational outcome, to stop the movement of forces."

—Army Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director for operations, Department of Defense News Briefing, April 4, 2003

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.