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The Devil in the Details: The Gaping Differences between Bush and Kerry that the GOP Tries to Hide

By Cheryl Seal

The latest strategy by Bush's top thug, Karl 'Ballon-face McGoon' Rove is not only to attack Kerry viciously in some key areas, thereby appealing to the rightwing core, but to also try to imply that Bush and Kerry "are the same" in other key areas, thereby "validating" the propaganda of the Naderites and pushing the wishiwashies (undecided) toward Bush (wishiwashies, unable to think critically, will always opt for the familiar if they can be convinced there's not much difference between that and an alternative). So Rove and his corporate campaign goons claim that Kerry's plan for, say, Iraq is pretty much just like Bush's - they only differ in the details. Ah, but as they say: the Devil is in the details!

" The War on Terror is Winnable"

WHAT BUSH MEANS: The US will keep using force, intimidation and revocation of human rights against a poorly defined "bogeyman" that shifts in identity and scope week by week, hoping to eventually invade and occupy enough countries and kill or imprision enough "enemies" to claim "victory."

WHAT KERRY MEANS: The need felt by desperate people to use terrorism against the US can be disarmed by reforging alliances with other countries, investing more money in constructive aid (education, food, medical) to struggling nations, promoting religious and racial tolerance around the world, and dismantling the feudal power of US corporations over poor nations.

"We will stay in Iraq as long as is required to get the job done"

WHAT BUSH MEANS: We will stay in Iraq long enough to kill or imprison enough "rebels" to allow US oil companies to extract enough oil to make it worth their while, even if it takes 20 years.

WHAT KERRY MEANS: We will stay in Iraq long enough to reinstitute real efforts at diplomacy and thereby regain the trust of our allies and to return the rule of the nation to Iraqis - not a puppet government, even if it takes a year or two.

"We will work toward America's energy independence"

WHAT BUSH MEANS: We will drill in ANWR and every national park in the continental US where there's even a vague hope of striking oil, use it up, then be back where we are now in less than a decade, while handing out billions to keep the fossil fuel industry going and polluting full steam. Meanwhile, we will throw out a PR line about hydrogen cars - but always have them in the "study stage" so we never really have to build them.

WHAT KERRY MEANS: We will stop relying on fossil fuel and start investing billions into do-able alternative technologies, such as hydrogen power. We will thereby preserve our last pristine wildlands AND be independent from foreign fuel sources within a decade or two.

"I supported the war in Iraq.

WHAT BUSH MEANS: I supported invading a country that I knew darn well did not have WMDs because I wanted to prove to my Daddy that I was a bigger man than him, and that his oil baron buddies would like me better because I got them Iraq. I supported the lies the war was based on because I never thought I'd get caught.

WHAT KERRY MEANS: I supported the war in Iraq because I assumed that when the president of the United States presents evidence to Congress it is not fabricated because that would clearly be unthinkably evil. As a result, I believed there was a chance that Saddam Hussein might attack the US with WMDs and that the President needed the power to respond within a very limited time frame. Thus, I voted to give Bush power to declare war under conditions of imminent threat.

"I believe we had to get tough on Saddam Hussein

WHAT BUSH MEANS: I believe I had to remove Saddam because he stood between my pals in the oil industry and Iraq's oil fields. Sure, he was probably no worse than the guy in North Korea, but there's no oil in No. Korea. I also needed a bogeyman just as scary as Osama to convince those saps in Congress to back a war, so I made them believe Saddam was Satan himself, armed with nukes and anthrax - even though the CIA intelligence I got indicated he was a broken down old man getting a little senile who didn't have any WMDs.

WHAT KERRY MEANS: I believed, based on the evidence presented by the President of the United States, that Saddam was a threat to world security and that therefore it was imperative to send a clear warming to him. This warning would have been delivered in the form of constant inspections backed by the implied threat of force from a strong, united alliance of the world's most powerful countries (as opposed to a "coalition" of second- and third-rate powers and tiny nations). An invasion would only have been mounted had REAL compelling evidence of WMDs and their imminent use against the US been found.

"I will be tough on National Security":

WHAT BUSH MEANS: I will use national security as an excuse and tool for anything I see fit and that is politically expedient to ME. I will call code orange alerts when I am down in the polls and withhold critical information from the nation in the name of "security." I will round up people who use the word "Allah" instead of "God" and hold them without charges to show my rightwing fundy friends just how tough I am on folks who don't believe in the right God. I will make huge cuts in federal aid to police and firefighters in our nation's cities and leave our ports and borders inadequately defended, and cut airport security, while harassing liberals trying to board planes. I will deploy the most hated and distrusted people I can find, like John Negroponte, to the worst troublespots on the globe, therefore making sure the US continues to be a target of extremists.

WHAT KERRY MEANS: I will increase the police and firefighters's numbers and first-response resources, and deploy sufficient money and manpower to secure our ports and airports. I will use coded alerts extremely sparingly because to do otherwise would be a colossal waste of precious funds and credibility with the public. I will more activbely promote racial and religious tolerance, work cooperatively and non-arrogantly with our allies, and deploy seasoned, trusted diplomats to trouble spots around the globe, thereby making the US less of a target for extremists.