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con-pilot
27th Dec 2006, 04:56
Former President Gerald Ford just died. RIP to a man that did a great job in a very difficult time.

:(

Romeo Delta
27th Dec 2006, 05:05
Indeed. RIP Gerald Ford. A good man. Never really had much of a chance to make a difference. Voted out too early.

Howard Hughes
27th Dec 2006, 05:08
Although only very young during his Presidency, I do remember him as a fine upstanding President, if only he were to have been President for longer who knows what he might have achieved!

RIP.:(

Wiley
27th Dec 2006, 05:21
Hmmmm.... I think the conspiracy theorists and the part they say he played in the Warren Commission will be dusting off their old files and re-submitting them to us all.

Huck
27th Dec 2006, 07:01
There's also a little bitty pardon to talk about.....

Still, the man was headed for retirement when called to serve in the eye of the hurricane that was Watergate. His reputation for honesty and fairness did much to calm the nation and put to rest the Long National Nightmare.

Binoculars
27th Dec 2006, 13:34
Jeez, first Jack Palance, then Pinochet, now Gerald Ford. The jackpot in Death Lotto is not getting a chance to, well, jackpot. I suppose my long term pick Ronnie Biggs will die in the next few days and I'll get absolutely nothing. :{

I seem to remember the subject of this thread was also the object of LBJ's enduring observation; "Gerry Ford is so dumb he can't chew gum and fart at the same time", though this was bowdlerised immediately into the quote we all know today involving his ambulatory ability rather than his gifts involving flatulence.


Ho hum.

brickhistory
27th Dec 2006, 13:41
What, this is the seventh post in this thread and nobody has blamed GWB for Ford's death or at least had a rant against him?

Standards are slipping, I tell you...........

pigboat
27th Dec 2006, 13:42
Whatever his ambulatory shortcomings, he was a decent human being. :(

Binoculars
27th Dec 2006, 14:04
No argument from me pigboat. That was almost certainly the cause of the pejorative comments.

It's always intrigued me that the population generally likes politicians with the appearance of being not too far above its own level, yet if those same politicians run for office they are crucified by the savvy politicians not just of the opposition but of their own side. Subsequent results indicate the nominally supportive voters desert that candidate completely when the time comes to mark his name on the ballot.

No wonder the electorate is regarded as stupid by the body politic.

Airbus Jockey
29th Dec 2006, 11:27
con, GOP'ers may not be so keen on Ford anymore when they read of his dissaproval iof the Iraq War...very interesting comments. Ol Dubya will certainly be peeved. Though Ford should really have said this while still alive, his comments would have carried a lot of weight at the time and the national interest would have been served better by having alternative, credible voices questioning the decison to go to war...

Ford believed Iraq war was not justified: report

Updated Thu. Dec. 28 2006 11:19 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Former U.S. President Gerald Ford secretly questioned the Bush administration's justifications for invading Iraq, in interviews he granted under the condition they not be released until after his death.

In an embargoed July 2004 interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward, Ford said the Iraq war was not justified.

"I don't think I would have gone to war," said Ford, about a year after U.S. President George W. Bush launched the invasion.

He said U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney -- who served as Ford's White House chief of staff -- and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who also served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief, made a "big mistake."

"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford told Woodward. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

Ford said he would have done things differently if he were president.

"I don't think I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer."

He also questioned Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people."

"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," said Ford. But he was unsure if it was possible to "detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest."

"And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."

Woodward said the interview was for a future book project but that Ford had said that his comments could be published any time after his death.

Under the same embargo conditions, Ford also spoke to the New York Daily News last May.

In that interview, Ford again criticized Bush for invading Iraq based on claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

"Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him," he told Daily News' Thomas DeFrank. "But we shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does (Bush) get his advice?"

When asked why the vice-president was not popular in public opinion polls, Ford told the Daily News that "Dick's a classy guy, but he's not an electrified orator."

Ford's funeral will start Friday, with a private prayer service for family at St. Margaret's Church in Palm Desert, Calif.

On Saturday, officials will transport Ford's remains to Washington. His hearse will make a brief stop at the Second World War memorial, to honour the wartime navy reserve veteran and others in the service, according to family representative Gregory Willard.

Ford will then receive a state funeral in the Capitol Rotunda on Saturday evening. Afterwards, his body will lie in state until Tuesday morning, and the public will be allowed to bid a final farewell.

In a gesture towards his time in Congress, the 38th president will also lie in repose outside the main doors of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Binoculars
29th Dec 2006, 12:18
Opinion polls and anecdotal evidence would suggest that something more than a small minority of GOP supporters including serving legislators agree entirely with Ford's views.

I'm sorry, but there is no way out of this for supporters of the US action in Iraq. The withdrawal will be far more humiliating than the withdrawal from Vietnam. The whole episode will contribute more towards the destruction of goodwill to the US than Osama Bin Liner could have dreamed possible, thousands of young American lives will have been sacrificed for diddly squat, and absolutely nothing positive will have been achieved. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. SFA.

At least we are almost in 2007, so we can almost say that sometime this year the blinkered ideologue who got us (yes, us) into this will be gone. It's a lay down misere that nobody standing for President would even think of standing for a continuation of current policy, so in that circumstance it matters little who wins.

Dubya will no doubt go down guns blazing and with a few hardy souls still supporting him. Fortunately even the thickest of the population has got the message, and Dubya will be assigned his proper place in history.

BenThere
29th Dec 2006, 12:48
As I read it, Ford's critique is primarily to find fault with the over-emphasis on WMD as the causus bellum, rather than present the litany of charges against the Hussein regime which together supported the action taken. Taken in that context, I agree with him.

Your assessment of the impact of the Bush administration is a tad premature, Binos, and if the worst happens, such as nuclear detonations in Western cities, you might one day decide it would have been better for civilization to have gone along with Bush against his 'axis of evil', an option which may no longer exist.

Twenty years from now we'll have a better perspective, and the cost to the world of America's new isolationism will be more clear.

The larger conflict has some legs, and seeing the backs of Bush, Blair, and Howard aren't going to get any one of us out of it.

frostbite
29th Dec 2006, 12:57
OK to say that, Ben, but "if the worst happens", it could happen solely as a reprisal for the invasion itself.

Binoculars
29th Dec 2006, 14:12
BenThere, it's become something of a sine qua non for conservatives to argue that we will have to be patient to see the results of the Iraq venture. Rome wasn't built in a day and all that. Building a functioning democracy will always have a few stumbling blocks.

From my viewpoint, which admittedly stands opposite yours, these pleas are becoming increasingly desperate in a bid to gain time. I'm sorry, I don't go along with them. There comes a time in every argument when it's best to accept that all is lost. Attempts to salvage respectability by stalling reach a PNR. That point has come.

Let's wait and see how many Presidential candidates are prepared to campaign on the basis of continuing the err, effort? in Iraq.

This is more of a lost and hopeless cause than Vietnam ever was, and it's time to admit it. I suspect that as in most similar situations the irritation of having to put up with "I told you so" comments from the opposition is a powerful motive to continue denying the obvious.

I for one am not interesting in points scoring. I want the bloodletting of western kids in a hopeless cause to cease, the same way I did in Vietnam back when I was in my early twenties. Iraqis will continue to die if we leave? Err, so? Please don't make me mention the millions who are dying every day under brutal dictatorships and who go unnoticed and unremarked for reasons you are free to deduce for yourself.

Occasionally in life we have to stand back and look at things from something outside our normal perspective. I was as appalled as anybody at the horrors of Sept 11, the vision still haunts me. I was as hawkish as anybody when Dubya put on the white hat and said by God we're gonna kill those motherpharkers.

That was five years ago. It's time to admit he's lost the battle. And the war.

vapilot2004
30th Dec 2006, 03:31
President Ford was one of the most honest and decent politicians of the last century. He had our family's vote in 1976.

While I knew he played college ball, only recently did I discover that Mr. Ford could have gone pro but did not. I think he made the right choice.

West Coast
30th Dec 2006, 08:03
"OK to say that, Ben, but "if the worst happens", it could happen solely as a reprisal for the invasion itself"

A kind of chicken/egg conundrum...

Fair question, I'd point to numerous terrorist acts against the US and other Western countries prior to the invasion to help develop an opinion.

OneWorld22
30th Dec 2006, 12:45
I'd point to numerous terrorist acts against the US and other Western countries prior to the invasion to help develop an opinion.

Sorry? What?

Terrorist attacks prior to the war had precisely what to do with Iraq??? :bored:

chuks
30th Dec 2006, 13:44
This is the fellow who let Tricky Dicky off the hook when many of us simply wanted to see Nixon get justice.

Not to speak ill of the dead but LBJ may have summed it up when he said that Ford played too many games of football without a helmet. He did what looked very much like an inside deal (Okay, so you make me President and I give you an Executive Pardon, right? And this shouldn't affect my chances of being elected at all, right? Uhh, okay, that sounds good to me!) that robbed us of seeing Nixon pay for his crimes. Instead, thanks to Ford's pardon, Nixon could skulk off to California to cloak himself in an aura of self-sacrifice, having nobly chosen to step down to save us the agony of seeing him impeached, tried and convicted of having given the Constitution a right seeing-to. Bah!

Ford's just a footnote in the history books, the only man to serve as President without first having been elected. Well, with the possible exception of George Walker Bush, of course!

West Coast
30th Dec 2006, 17:13
One world
What brings you out of the desert?

The question as I read it spoke to the overarching attacks and jihad planned against the west, not just 9/11