Monday, September 20, 2004

It's security, stupid

Babble on.

Over the past couple of months, John Kerry has discovered that the undecided voters he's been trying to convert to his cause won't buy his domestic policy line until they believe his foreign policy line.

"Yeah, ok, we know the eeeevil Republicans hate gays, dump toxic waste into pristine lakes and rivers for fun, and want to turn control of every woman's uterus over to Dick Cheney. Spawn of Satan, yadayada. We get it.

But what the hell are you going to do about Al-Qaeda and Iraq?"

Well, the DNC has finally woken up to the fact that "it's security, stupid" and put JFK on the warpath. Today's speech is a good start:

In fighting the war on terrorism, my principles are straight forward. The terrorists are beyond reason. We must destroy them. As president, I will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat our enemies.


...

National security is a central issue in this campaign. We owe it to the American people to have a real debate about the choices President Bush has made... and the choices I would make... to fight and win the war on terror.
That means we must have a great honest national debate on Iraq. The President claims it is the centerpiece of his war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions and, if we do not change course, there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight.


...

In the dark days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy sent former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Europe to build support. Acheson explained the situation to French President de Gaulle. Then he offered to show him highly classified satellite photos, as proof. De Gaulle waved the photos away, saying: "The word of the President of the United States is good enough for me."
How many world leaders have that same trust in America's president, today?


...

Think about it for a minute. Consider where we were... and where we are. After the events of September 11, we had an opportunity to bring our country and the world together in the struggle against the terrorists. On September 12th, headlines in newspapers abroad declared "we are all Americans now." But through his policy in Iraq, the President squandered that moment and rather than isolating the terrorists, left America isolated from the world.



Kerry's at his strongest when he attacks the Bush administration's planning, its diplomacy, and its focus, because all have been horribly flawed.

But here's the problem: Kerry's got no real plan either. Oh, he talks with considerable 'nuance' on the subject, but when it comes right down to it, the essence of his plan is as follows:

We must make Iraq the world's responsibility, because the world has a stake in the outcome and others should share the burden.


OK, good plan. What happens when the rest of the world refuses to go along with it? Because that's what they're going to do.

Don't believe me? See Darfur. It's a clear-cut humanitarian nightmare. It's in the public eye. Sudan is a breeding and hiding ground for terrorists, and it has oil. All the ingredients are here for Left and Right, Europe and America, all the colours of the frickin' rainbow to come together in an international-UN-hug-fest consensus and do something. And the vaunted 'international community' is doing precisely nothing.

So don't expect any different in the exponentially-more-complicated Iraq. The question for John-John is "what's your Plan B?" Because if he gets elected - and I'm still hoping he doesn't - that's what we'll be stuck with.

Babble off.

3 Comments:

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Greg said...

The truth is B, that neither of them can tell the truth about Iraq. The truth is that the U.S. is screwed. No country is going to come and help them and they are getting their asses handed to them in Iraq. The U.S. will be stuck in that hell hole for years, no matter who is president. Kerry puts out this fiction about other countries helping out, in order to jab at Bush for failing to create a viable coalition and also, I believe, to avoid admitting there are only two choices-- stay and continue to bleed or leave and create a heap of trouble. He can't say either or else the Republicans would destroy him.

Bush, well, Bush lives in his own fantasy world where everything in Iraq is just peachy. He can't tell the truth to the American people because I honestly think he believes his own fantasy. So there are your choices, a guy who won't tell the truth and a guy who wouldn't recognize the truth if it came up and bit him. Kinda makes endless haggling over medicare seem tame, eh?

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Doug said...

That means we must have a great honest national debate on Iraq.

And it's been raging for over two years now. Thanks for joining it - or have you?

The President claims it is the centerpiece of his war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists.

From anyone else, this would be an unequivocal admission that they still have no understanding of Islamist terror. From John Kerry however, nothing is so clear as to be unequivocal.

On September 12th, headlines in newspapers abroad declared "we are all Americans now." But through his policy in Iraq, the President squandered that moment and rather than isolating the terrorists, left America isolated from the world.

A newspaper abroad made that declaration; I don't know whether I'm more ticked that it would be a French paper that he cites, or that he actually appears to credit Le Monde with being 'the world' (L'exception francaise, est ce pas?)


Greg - While I agree with your assessment that the US will be engaged in Iraq for some years (or will it pull out in 6 months? We'll see some time after Nov. 2, I suppose), I'll thank you not to denigrate the commitments and sacrifices of the countries which have already come to help in Iraq. I suppose the viability of the coalition depends on how you would define 'viable', but if your definition denies the efforts of the 26,000 allied troops serving in Iraq -- and sundry other assistance rendered to the enterprise -- then I have to find your definition fatally flawed.

 

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