The first half-hour was probably a draw, but then I thought Edwards went chasing after too many loose ends and repeated talking points when he would have been better off thinking on his feet and actually answering the questions. I can't believe he wouldn't answer the direct question about why we should have faith in his ability to potentially be president and commander-in-chief.
Of course, Dick has gone down the rabbit hole, living in Alice's Wonderland, but, still, if you knew nothing about what was really going on, you might believe him. So, here are some snippets of reality:
A first example of how the Bush Administration continues to say that black is white:
Report Expected to Say Iraq Posed Little Immediate ThreatThis whole article is worth reading.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 6, 2004
Filed at 7:59 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The final report of the chief U.S. arms inspector for Iraq is expected to undercut a principal Bush administration rationale for removing Saddam Hussein: that Saddam's Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction. Weapons hunter Charles Duelfer will provide his findings Wednesday to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In drafts, Duelfer concluded Saddam's Iraq had no stockpiles of the banned weapons but said he found signs of idle programs that Saddam could have revived once international attention waned.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday the report will conclude ``that Saddam Hussein had the intent and the capability, that he was pursuing an aggressive strategy to bring down the sanctions, the international sanctions, imposed by the United Nations through illegal financing procurement schemes.''
The White House maintained Duelfer's report will support its view on Iraq's prewar threat.
``The report will continue to show that he was a gathering threat that needed to be taken seriously, that it was a matter of time before he was going to begin pursuing those weapons of mass destruction,'' McClellan said.
On the Iraq War front: Last week Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi came to the U.S. and delivered a very nice speech written by a Republican political operative, former CPA spokesman Dan Senor. But, here is what Allawi is telling his own people without, one presumes, the speechwriting talents of the GOP:
Iraq Chief Gives a Sobering View About Security
By EDWARD WONG
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 6 - In his first speech before the interim National Assembly here, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi gave a sobering account on Tuesday of the threat posed by the insurgency, saying that the country's instability is a "source of worry for many people" and that the guerrillas represent "a challenge to our will."
In his speech, Dr. Allawi, who has cast himself as a tough leader since taking office in late June, insisted that elections would go ahead in January as planned, but he acknowledged that there were significant obstacles standing in the way of full security and reconstruction. The nascent police force is underequipped and lacks the respect needed from the public to quell the insurgency, he said, and American business executives have told him that they fear investing in Iraq because of the rampant violence here.
His tone was a sharp departure from the more optimistic assessment he gave to the American public on his visit to the United States last month. At his stop in Washington, Dr. Allawi made several sweeping assertions to reporters about the security situation in Iraq, including saying that the only truly unsafe place in the country was the downtown area of Falluja, the largest insurgent stronghold, and that only 3 of 18 provinces had "pockets of terrorists."
He did not directly contradict those statements on Tuesday, but his latest words reflected a darker take on the state of the war.
"It is true that the security situation in our country is the first concern for you, and maybe for your inquiries, too," Dr. Allawi said in the 100-member National Assembly, which asked him combative questions after his speech in the nearly hourlong session.
The insurgents "are today a challenge to our will," he continued. "They are betting on our failure. Should we allow them to do that? Should we sit down and watch what they are doing and let them destabilize the country's security?"
Though Dr. Allawi joined President Bush last month in boasting of having 100,000 fully trained and equipped Iraqi policemen, soldiers and other security officials, he acknowledged Tuesday that there were difficulties in creating an adequate security force.
"It's clear that since the handover, the capabilities are not complete and that the situation is very difficult now in respect to creating the forces and getting them ready to face the challenges," he said.
He added that "the police force is not well equipped and is not respected enough to lay down its authority" without backing from a strong army.
Dr. Allawi's talk, given inside the fortified government headquarters on the west bank of the Tigris River, comes at a crucial juncture for the American enterprise in Iraq. Insurgents have stepped up a deadly campaign of car bombings and assassinations even as American-led forces push back into guerrilla territory. The successes of the American offensives in Samarra and Babil Province will ultimately depend on whether the Iraqi security forces can combat the insurgency on their own after the American troops withdraw to their bases.
At stake now are the scheduled elections, which will appear legitimate only if there is a large voter turnout. In recent months, experts have voiced increasing doubts about the ability to hold such elections, given the instability here.
A nationwide poll of 3,500 Iraqis just completed by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies shows that the number of Iraqis who say they are "very likely" to vote in the elections has dropped to 67 percent, from 88 percent in June. About 25 percent say they will "probably" vote. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
More than 52 percent of those polled said they would not vote for a candidate who was not from their ethnic, religious or linguistic group.
Violence flared up in other areas on Tuesday. Two car bombs exploded in the city of Ramadi, an insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, killing four Iraqis and igniting a gun battle between insurgents and American soldiers, The Associated Press reported.