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Dennis Hans: Bush the Fork-Tongued Scaredy Cat

Bush the Fork-Tongued Scaredy Cat

By Dennis Hans

Is there a more cowardly man who walks the earth than George W. Bush?

Saddam Hussein has a political and human-rights record that makes him highly vulnerable to even a mediocre debate opponent, but our president is scared silly of taking up Saddam’s challenge to a debate.

What’s the matter, tough guy? Afraid you’ll have to shake Saddam’s hand? It’s not fatal. Rough-and-tumble Rummy did the deed 20 years ago, and he’s still going strong.

Don’t have confidence in your arguments? Afraid to put them even to an easy test? That’s what I thought.

Jacques Chirac of France has implicitly challenged Bush to a different sort of debate: Let us use the democratic tools of verbal persuasion and the marshalling of evidence, and let us see who can convince the most members of the United Nations Security Council of the rightness of our conflicting positions on Iraq.

The scaredy-cat president wants no part of that sort of competition. Debate the solemn issue of war and peace on its merits? Not on Bush’s life.

So while France proceeds in the manner and spirit of a democracy, patiently explaining to Angola, Mexico, Russia and the other members of the Security Council the rationale behind France’s support for continuing and intensifying the inspections regime, the spoiled-brat rich kid with the chip on his shoulder sends his henchmen all over the globe to bully and bribe reluctant leaders of even-more reluctant citizenries.

Is it any wonder that people the world over laugh themselves silly when Bush speaks of fostering “democracy” — first in Iraq, then throughout the Middle East? This from the guy who welcomed a (short-lived) coup in Venezuela and promotes warlord rule in Afghanistan!

Is there a more dishonest man who walks the earth than George W. Bush?

When Iraq grudgingly complies with Hans Blix’s ruling that the al Samoud2 missiles fly a few miles too far and must be destroyed, the president who had told the U.N. his goal was Iraqi disarmament now huffs and puffs that nothing short of regime change will suffice.

The U.N. is indeed “irrelevant” if it cannot sanction and restrain a president — and his discredited secretary of state — who look the world body in the eye and lie.

Bush has shown repeatedly in his speeches on Iraq his utter contempt for the bedrock democratic principle “informed consent of the governed.” Instead, he seeks “disinformed consent,” peppering every address with exaggerations, distortions and lies to con the very citizens most inclined to trust him. (For the despicable details, see my essay “The Disinformation Age,” at

By the rules of democracy, Bush’s mendacious ways brand him a cheater. Or as they say in the sandbox where he belongs, “Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.”

Paul Krugman, one of the few national columnists with the courage to call Bush a liar, recently told Terri Gross, host of the National Public Radio show “Fresh Air,” that the current administration’s “level of irresponsibility and dishonesty is unprecedented.”

Is George W. Bush the sort of president a great nation follows into war — an unprovoked war of aggression at that? Think about it, America. There’s still time to stop this lying, cheating coward who’s “bravery” consists of putting other people’s lives in jeopardy.


Bio: Dennis Hans is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, National Post (Canada) and online at, Slate and The Black World Today (, among other outlets. He has taught courses in mass communications and American foreign policy at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, and can be reached at

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