September 28, 2004


A Personal Message from George Soros: Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush (Prepared text of speech delivered at the National Press Club, Washington, DC, September 28, 2004)

I grew up in Hungary, lived through fascism and the Holocaust, and then had a foretaste of communism. I learned at an early age how important it is what kind of government prevails. I chose America as my home because I value freedom and democracy, civil liberties and an open society. [...]

The war in Iraq was misconceived from start to finish -- if it has a finish. It is a war of choice, not necessity, in spite of what President Bush says. The arms inspections and sanctions were working. In response to American pressure, the United Nations had finally agreed on a strong stand. As long as the inspectors were on the ground, Saddam Hussein could not possibly pose a threat to our security. We could have declared victory but President Bush insisted on going to war.

We went to war on false pretences. The real reasons for going into Iraq have not been revealed to this day. The weapons of mass destruction could not be found, and the connection with al Qaeda could not be established. President Bush then claimed that we went to war to liberate the people of Iraq. All my experience in fostering democracy and open society has taught me that democracy cannot be imposed by military means. And, Iraq would be the last place I would chose for an experiment in introducing democracy - as the current chaos demonstrates.

Of course, Saddam was a tyrant, and of course Iraqis - and the rest of the world - can rejoice to be rid of him.

This is a spectacularly moronic essay. Exactly how does Mr. Soros think the Holocaust was halted and fascism disposed of if not by the resort to military means to impose democracy? And is there anything more despicable than someone who had to flee Nazism and communism and now casts himself as an advocate of "open society" proclaiming that the Iraqi people should have been left subject to a completely closed society?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 28, 2004 7:49 PM

George Soros is an embarrassment to his very brave
father, Tivadar. A currency speculator who crashed
the pound in '92, helped provoke the Asian economic crisis of '97-98; with his playing the
Thai baht; facilitating Al Queda's growth in South
East Asia. At one time, he was some kind of investor in Harken Energy, and is even associated
with the great MoveOn/Moore bogeyman; The Carlyle
Group. He seems to meet the profile of the next
James Bond villain; much more than the Murdoch manque in the earlier film.

Posted by: narciso at September 28, 2004 9:20 PM

No doubt many liberals have a similar complaint, especially about religious conservatives, but I get so tired of the shallowness of much of the criticism and analysis coming from the Left. (Not to mention the outright duplicity).

Aren't liberal Democrats supposed to be a bastion of intelligence, knowledge, education, cleverness, and perceptive insight ?

Yet, posted on BrosJudd during the past week, we've had Austan Goolsbee, Ph.D., a professor of economics at the University of Chicago; Paul Krugman, Ph.D., noted former Professor of Economics at MIT, current New York Times op-ed columnist and economic illiterate; and Stephen Zunes, Ph.D., an associate professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, all LIE about aspects of their life's work, releasing for public consumption analyses, opinions and "studies" that they hope will sway public opinion and politics, containing predictions and projections that THEY KNOW TO BE FALSE.

They are charlatans, hypocrites, and pimps, cynically prostituting their knowledge, prestige, and professions, sneeringly confident that the rubes will never see through their tissue of lies and deceits.
They don't even bother to hide the slights of hand required to change reality into "reality".

As for Soros:

The arms inspections and sanctions were working.

The sanctions were working ?!?

After twelve years and over 1.5 million deaths directly attributable to the UN sanctions, 500,000 of them children under the age of five, Saddam had still not disarmed, and indeed had thrown the previous weapons inspection team out of the country.
Saddam was still spending billions of dollars a year on "palaces", concrete mausoleums commemorating Saddam, but rarely visited by him; on the Iraqi armed forces, including banned weapons and weapons systems; but oddly enough, next to nothing on maintaining and upgrading the country's oil infrastructure.
UN administrators and their cronies were reaping hundreds of millions of dollars annually from kickbacks from the "oil for food" humanitarian programme.
There were many attempts in the UN, over the previous decade, to soften or end the sanctions against Iraq. Given enough time, the UN sanctions would have ended, without accomplishing any of the goals that they were intended to, and killing millions along the way.

The arms inspections were working ?

As previously noted, Saddam kicked the inspectors out of Iraq in '98.
How did they get back to inspecting ?
Did Saddam have a change of heart ?
No, President Bush put 200,000 American troops on Iraq's borders, and Saddam decided to try to flim-flam the inspectors, which in fact he was successful at doing.

We could have declared victory [without going to war]...

Sure, as long as the US were prepared to keep hundreds of thousands of troops stationed along Iraq's borders.
For how long would the US' public put up with paying for that ?
For how long would Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar allow it ?

This "victory" would have lasted fewer than five years.

The weapons of mass destruction could not be found...

Wait, I thought that the arms inspections were a success ?
Everyone knows that Iraq had WMD, the Iraqis couldn't account for what happened to them, and now they can't be found ?

A) Isn't that more disturbing than finding them ?
B) Isn't it a failure when, during a policing action, the contraband can't be found or accounted for ?

Soros is either a complete moron, or, more probably, he's aware that he's peddling aether, but his contempt for the average American is so great that he's sure that nobody will notice this piece's internal inconsistencies and half-truths.

Posted by: Michael "Doesn't hold a Ph.D." Herdegen at September 28, 2004 9:48 PM

If George Soros wants an open society, he should just move to Holland and leave America alone.

Posted by: Vince at September 28, 2004 10:11 PM

Or Canada. Why are Leftists so adamant in wanting to turn the US into another one when they already have so many earthly paradises to choose from? (And we can include Cuba and North Korea for the true believers.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 28, 2004 10:56 PM

Some years ago, Holman Jenkins writing in the WSJ dismissed all the high-brow talk of George Soros as a vainglorious rationalization of what was, at bottom, a unique talent for sensing, in a visceral way, what direction the markets were going to move. When an investment was about to go south his back pain flared up, and when a promising opportunity beckoned his mouth watered.

Perhaps his subconscious integrated input from hundreds of sources in a way that his conscious mind never could have, i.e., he was a freak of nature or an idiot savant. Or, perhaps the man was unreasonably lucky for many years, a statistical phenomenon that is bound to occur a few times in a very large sample of investors.

Either way, the Midas touch deserted him years ago, and he has been casting about for ways to secure a place in history as an intellectual giant and champion of democracy. Unfortunately for him, the more the goal eludes him the faster he is parting with his money.

If I were in media sales, though, I would just love him to pieces :-)

Posted by: Eugene S. at September 29, 2004 8:43 AM

Soros' is a character right out of far-right

What would Ford and Lindbergh think of this

Posted by: J.H. at September 29, 2004 9:40 AM

No need to be coy J.H., your previous postings indicate all too clearly how you feel about Jews.

Posted by: Eugene S. at September 29, 2004 9:49 AM