bush belligerence update
It's certainly refreshing to see Bush being held accountable for his rhetoric for a change: Bush Taking Heat for 'Bring Them On' Remark
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has used colorful language before to great effect, but he is taking some heat for his "Bring them on" challenge to Iraqi militants attacking U.S. forces, who he said were tough enough to take it.
Even some aides winced at Bush's words, which Democrats pounced on as an invitation to Iraqi militants to fire on U.S. troops already the subject of hit-and-run attacks by Saddam Hussein loyalists and others.
"These men and women are risking their lives every day, and the president who sent them on this mission showed tremendous insensitivity to the dangers they face," said Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.
Another Democratic presidential candidate, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, said condemned the comment, saying, "The deteriorating situation in Iraq requires less swagger and more thoughtfulness and statesmanship."
...University of Texas political scientist Bruce Buchanan, a longtime Bush watcher, said Bush uses such language when under strain, and that he is likely feeling the heat of criticism about the lagging post-war effort in Iraq.
He called the remark an unfortunate choice of words because it sounded belligerent.
"I think that when he feels up against it, as he did at the time of the 9/11 attacks, or when he does when coming under criticism now, he has a tendency to strike back verbally, and I think that's what you're seeing there. He's not choosing his words diplomatically at those moments because he's not feeling particularly diplomatic," Buchanan said.
...Brookings Institution presidential scholar Stephen Hess said many Americans like what they hear from the president, calling his words reminiscent of his defiant stance against the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks when he stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center towers and vowed to fight back.
The obvious difference being, of course, that in the aftermath of the terror attacks that occurred on his watch, Bush promised we'd prevail, but didn't dare the terrorists to strike again. Hess may feel it's "more than a stretch" to say that Bush was inviting another attack, but he's mistaken; that's what Bush said, and it's "more than a stretch" to parse some other kind of meaning into it.