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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Politics: Kerry Speaks About Terror/Iraq 

Senator Kerry addressed NYU recently in regard to the War on Terror and his views about war in Iraq.

I'm not going to do a Stephen Green-worthy fisking job, but I do take exception with some of his speech.

In fighting the war on terrorism, my principles are straightforward.
The first thing I think of when I think of John Kerry is most certainly "straightforward." Um...

As president, I will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat our enemies. But billions of people around the world yearning for a better life are open to America's ideals.

We must reach them.

To win, America must be strong. And America must be smart
Define "doing whatever it takes." Because I believe that doing whatever it takes means putting American interests over world opinion, and acting unilaterally if necessary. The United Nations is not our government.

The greatest threat we face is the possibility al-Qaeda or other terrorists will get their hands on a nuclear weapon.
Maybe. I think we face a lot of threats. A nuclear Iran is one of them. South Korea remains a threat, though I don't think they're an imminent one at this point.

To prevent that from happening, we must call on the totality of America's strength.

Strong alliances, to help us stop the world's most lethal weapons from falling into the most dangerous hands.

A powerful military, transformed to meet the new threats of terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Well if Kerry thinks he's going to bring Germany, France and Russia on board with us, then more power to him. Otherwise, he should look at our current coalition and see what "strong alliance" we've yet to forge. And if he's truly interested in building a stronger military, then maybe he should vote for their funding next time.

National security is a central issue in this campaign.
Actually it's the central issue. President Bush isn't going to argue with that point, which is why, I think, that he put it at the forefront of his campaign since day one, instead of pimping something he was involved with more than a quarter century ago.

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
Yes, you do owe it to the American people to have this debate. The President agrees. In fact, as my morning campaign update stated, the first Presidential debate on Sept. 30, will focus on such foreign policy matters. For the record, the President has openly spoken of his choices for months, while Senator Kerry was stuck in 1972.

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.
If we're willing to "do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat our enemies," then "the prospect of a war with no end in sight" is just a simple reality. The only "crisis of historic proportions" is that there are millions of sick Islamifascists that want to kill us for no reason other than we're us.

We are fighting a growing insurgency in an ever-widening war zone.

In March, insurgents attacked our forces 700 times. In August, they attacked 2,700 times - a 400% increase.

Falluja, Ramadi, Samara... even parts of Baghdad are now no-go zones, breeding grounds for terrorists who are free to plot and launch attacks against our soldiers
As long as we continue to kill and pursue terrorists, the war zone will continue to be "ever-widening." This isn't 1945. We're not marching toward Berlin, against an enemy that occupies borders. The insurgency is going to grow. The war zone is going to widen. And unless we continue to hunt these vermin down, it's going to widen to our own doorsteps.

Violence against Iraqis, from bombings to kidnappings to intimidation, is on the rise.

Basic living conditions are also deteriorating
Iraqis lived like kings during Saddam's regime, didn't they?

Raw sewage fills the streets, rising above the hubcaps of our Humvees.

Children wade through garbage on their way to school.

Unemployment is over 50%.

Insurgents are able to find plenty of people willing to take $150 for tossing grenades at passing US convoys.

Yes, there has been some progress, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our soldiers and civilians in Iraq.

Schools, shops and hospitals have been opened. In parts of Iraq, normalcy actually prevails
According to this ABC News report, unemployment actually sits at 70%. That's horrible. It's climbed a whole ten points since before the war. Workers also have seen wage increases in the post-war period, though Senator Kerry neglects to mention that. There's nothing like hypoble-filled rhetoric to get a crowd buzzing, is there? I'm sure that plenty of Brooklyn children wade through garbage on their walk to school, too. And while sewage flooding Baghdad streets presents a problem, it also plagued Iraq prior to the war. Do we now blame President Bush for Saddam Hussein's neglect of plumbing maintenance?

Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell. But that was not, in itself, a reason to go to war.

The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: we have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure
It seemed to serve as a reason in regard to Slobodan Milosevic. As far leaving America "less secure," I'm not sure how he reaches that conclusion.

At home, the American people are less likely to trust this administration if it needs to summon their support to meet real and pressing threats to our security.

Abroad, other countries will be reluctant to follow America when we seek to rally them against a common menace - as they are today.

Our credibility in the world has plummeted...
Well boo hoo. The world thinks we're not credible. John Kerry's going to fix that, is he? I think that rest of the world is going to find him about as credible as Americans find him trustworthy.

In Iraq, this administration has consistently over-promised and under-performed.

This policy has been plagued by a lack of planning, an absence of candour, arrogance and outright incompetence
Substitute "America" for Iraq and "campaign" for "administration," and I swear Kerry would be talking about his own Presidential bid. Seriously, John Kerry is bemoaning someone else's arrogance.

Nuclear dangers have mounted across the globe. The international terrorist club has expanded. Radicalism in the Middle East is on the rise.

We have divided our friends and united our enemies. And our standing in the world is at an all-time low...

The president's policy in Iraq precipitated the very problem he said he was trying to prevent.
If he thinks that our actions in Iraq were the catalyst for all of this, then I truly do fear the consequences of a Kerry administration. I would hope that we've united our enemies, by the way. It makes them easier to kill.

Two years ago, Congress was right to give the President the authority to use force to hold Saddam Hussein accountable.
I cannot believe that anyone takes this guy seriously. How do you ramble on for twenty minutes about everything that's wrong about the Iraqi War, yet then maintain we were right to go to war. He continues to say that he would have done things better, but he never says what, specifically, he would have done differently. Does anyone look at this transparent shell of a chandidate and honestly believe that he belongs in the White House situation room?

First, the president has to get the promised international support so our men and women in uniform don't have to go it alone. It is late; the president must respond by moving this week to gain and regain international support.
WE'RE NOT "GOING IT ALONE." From where should we seek this international support? France? Germany?

At every critical juncture in Iraq, and in the war on terrorism, the president has made the wrong choice. I have a plan to make America stronger.

The president often says that in a post-9/11 world, we can't hesitate to act. I agree. But we should not act just for the sake of acting. I believe we have to act wisely and responsibly.

George Bush has no strategy for Iraq. I do.

George Bush has not told the truth to the American people about why we went to war and how the war is going. I have and I will continue to do so...
Blah blah blah. You know, when Martin Luther King, Jr., told America that he had a dream, he proceded to tell us what the dream was. John Kerry keeps saying that he has a plan. Apparently it's a secret plan.


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