Why is Bush afraid to debate Saddam Hussein?

According to the tranlation here Saddam Hussein says:

“The important thing is that the debate should be heard in a normal and correct way, but in the UN the voice of people are not always heard. I do not mean, by the debate, that Mr. Bush and I deliver speeches; we should sit together as we are doing now with you, with the difference that each one of us would be in a different location, and I would ask him questions he would ask me questions. I would explain Iraq’s position, and he the US position. He would explain why does he want to go to war, and I would explain why do we hold on peace and defend Our dignity, sovereignty, and rights, in away that the American, Iraqis and other peoples would hear us in a direct and honest way and without pre-written speeches. The citizens want to see a direct and live dialogue. I think this applies to the psychology of American just as it does for Iraqis. The peoples do not want to listen to speeches, but to a dialogue where each party presents his reasons and counter reasons. The debate should air live and in its totality from American and Iraqi TV.”

This seems like a reasonable proposal.

Two questions:

(1) Is Bush afraid to debate Saddam Hussein? (2) Why?
My answer: Bush is afraid because he knows he would lose.

I think it’s pretty sad when you trust Saddam Hussein more than the president of the United States.

Is that what I said? I don’t think so.

I do admit to thinking that the Shrub is a big zero, however.

What does Bush have to gain by debating Sadaam Hussein? Nothing. Debate is unnecessary to fulfill Bush’s aims.

However, if Bush is perceived as losing a debate, it undermines his position.

Seems like a potentially damaging situation for Bush whereas Hussein would have nothing to lose.

It’s even more sad that Hussein has a good point, however. If Bush were truly in the “right”, wouldn’t he have nothing to lose by debating, as well?

Why should Bush give Saddam any credibility as Dan Rather has already done? A debate would only be for show, to incite opposition to the United States throughout the world. Saddam is a ruthless dictator who kills anyone who opposes him, the fact that he’s offered a debate is laughable.


Although Bush can wage war without any debate at all, he would probably like as much support as he can reasonably get, so he certainly doesn’t want to lose any support by potentially losing a debate.

Bush is a pretty lousy debater, relatively speaking. His chances of losing a debate are far greater than any chance of losing any impending military conflict.

Being in the “right” is a very slippery and subjective construct and not so relevant in a debating context. It’s not so much who is right but who is perceived to have the more persuasive arguments. I have seen debates on seemingly ridiculously one-sided issues where the better prepared and more skilled debater defending the indefensible has won.

I don’t usually do “what he said” posts, but Lorenzo’s nailed it. There is just no good reason for Dub to debate Saddam, and he’s plenty smart enough to know that. Not everybody is, though.

I would have to disagree with this part of your post. I think he performed well in the 3 presidental campaign debates.

[copyrighted material deleted; the text can be found here

Besides the logistics of the thing, any debate between these two men would be an absolute circus with the media. The proper forum I suppose would be at the UN, where each man could state his case. BTW, I found it very interesting that Ari Fleisher condemned CBS and Dan Rather for conducting the Hussein interview. Isn’t CBS News a news organization, and isn’t an interview with Saddam considered newsworthy? Also, Fleisher was upset that CBS didn’t give the White House opportunity to rebut Saddam’s charges. First of all, CBS news does not work for the US government. Second of all, CBS did give President Bush the opportunity to be interviewed, but the White House rejected that offer, claiming it would place Bush and Hussein on the same level of stature. What a crock of shit! The White House wasn’t about to send Mr. Articulate out to do a live interview on national television. :wally

Jojo , I kept picturing Will Ferell in a split screen, and kept waiting to read “Live From Chicago…It Straight Dope!!”

My thought is that there is no reason for W to debate Saddam, win or lose. Saddam has had 12 years to comply with UN resolutions, and has chosen not to. This debate “offer” is just blowing smoke. And, paraphrasing a line from the SDMB (I don’t remember where it originally appeared, but OpalCat had it on her website) “If we wanted that much smoke blown up our ass, we could sit at home with a carton of cigarettes and a short length of hose.” There is no reason to give Saddam the percieved credibility of a debate.

That really cracked me up JoJo, almost as much as the first time I read it on Guardian Unlimited. You really ought to attribute stuff you cut and paste, even when it is really, really funny.

Ahh sounds like the quote of the insecure bully from high school.

“C’Mon tough guy, why don’t you fight me? Huh? Huh? Are you scared? If you are’nt scared I’ll kick your ass then why don’t you just come fight me? That’s right you won’t fight me because you know I’ll kick your ass!” Then Saddam walks aways with his buddies laughing and making up stories about all the hot strippers he’s banged.

Fear Itself,

oh is that where it came from. I did cut and paste it from another website but I didn’t realise it came from the Guardian (I just thought it was funny, s’all)

Anyway this is IMHO not GD or GQ so you don’t have to attribute things here do you?

If it’s not your own work a.) attribute and b.) beware of copyright violations in posting an entire piece.

Saddam only asked for the debate because GW refused his similarly genuine offer of a duel. :rolleyes:

Mod note:

The rules regarding copyright extend to every forum on the board. You can quote a small piece, with attribution, but just linking to the original site is the best option. (If nothing else, folks can read the whole shebang, in situ, as it were.)

It can be tricky, especially when humor pieces get spread across the net so widely, and usually without attribution. You didn’t know the real source for this, JoJo, so it wasn’t anything deliberate. As a general reminder to all, if you find some really prime stuff, somebody, somewhere wrote it. There’s a good chance it’s from a copyrighted source. When in doubt, just link to where you found it.

Thanks to the alert folks who spotted this. As a favor, please consider letting us know by the “report this” function. I just happened to see this on my daily rounds. It isn’t tattling, it just steers us toward where housekeeping is needed.

for the SDMB

Think we can get Mills Lane to be the Ref?

This isn’t a situation that calls for debate. When the cop pulls you over for erratic driving, and you and the car smell like booze, he doesn’t debate whether he should test, search, arrest, etc.

And the quote in the OP shows what Saddam has in mind. Bush is a warmonger, whereas Saddam just wants peace, dignity, and rights. Classic debating trick.

To my view, seeing a debate as somehow appropriate in this situation displays a naivete that surpasseth understanding.