Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 30, 2004
POLITICS/WAR: But, Will He Fight?

On the big questions - would Kerry come out as an anti-war candidate or as a guy who stands by his vote for the Iraq war - and its practical significance (does he embrace the idea of an offensive strategy, including preemption and sometimes having to move without French and German allies), Kerry, unsurprisingly, didn't give an answer and tried to have it both ways. I've perma-linked this at the top; you owe it to yourself, in examining Kerry's views on this issue, to watch the RNC's devastating video on his contradictory positions over the years.

Where do we start?

Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesnít make it so. . . . As President, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics.

Of course, Kerry himself cited Saddam's WMD in voting for the Iraq war. But hey, nobody watching at home remembers that, do they?

And as President, I will bring back this nationís time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

In theory, I agree with that, but "have to" means many different things to many different people. Was Iraq part of the larger war, which no one should dispute is one we have to fight?

Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: ďI tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harmís way. But we had no choice. We had to protect the American people, fundamental American values from a threat that was real and imminent.Ē So lesson one, this is the only justification for going to war.

In other words: threat has to be imminent. Initiative has to belong to the enemy. That's a "no" on voting for the Iraq war.

I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a President who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. Thatís the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.

Here is the reality: that wonít happen until we have a president who restores Americaís respect and leadership ó so we donít have to go it alone in the world.

We all know this is hokum - the major European powers have neither the will nor the means to project more than token military support into Iraq. Kerry knows this, and does not care.

And we need to rebuild our alliances, so we can get the terrorists before they get us.

"[B]efore they get us"? Sounds like we're back to preemption and being willing to go on the attack.

I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required.

Required, how?

Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response.

Oh, only if we're attacked first. As if there was any doubt that Kerry would respond to an attack. Well, unless - as is almost invariably true - the intelligence is fuzzy on exactly who attacked us, where they are located, and who their patrons are.

I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security.

Sounds nice, but if you really mean the stuff before about needing allies, eventually there are times when the only realistic choice is to go with only ten or twenty of them or to wait for the whole world to get on board, resulting in inaction.

And I will build a stronger American military.

We will add 40,000 active duty troops - not in Iraq, but to strengthen American forces that are now overstretched, overextended, and under pressure. We will double our special forces to conduct anti-terrorist operations. We will provide our troops with the newest weapons and technology to save their lives - and win the battle. And we will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists.

Note how quick to say "not in Iraq." So much for the idea that we need more troops there. Also, Kerry doesn't exactly have the best record of voting for "the newest weapons and technology."

As President, I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror. We will deploy every tool in our arsenal: our economic as well as our military might; our principles as well as our firepower.

Which sounds good, but I note also that nearly nobody at this convention talked about the sicknesses of jihadism and anti-Semitism and tyranny in the Muslim and Arab worlds. You'd think the problem was just a few renegades.

We need a strong military and we need to lead strong alliances. And then, with confidence and determination, we will be able to tell the terrorists: You will lose and we will win. The future doesnít belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.

Actually, I'd like a president who is willing to say that today.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:57 AM | Politics 2004 • | War 2004 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

[i]And as President, I will bring back this nationís time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.[/i]

Huh? All of Central America did a double take at this. Mexico, Spain, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba, PANAMA!! Why the heck do these countries play baseball? Because the Marines have been invading them for 160 years. Only someone with no sense of American history can say something as silly as this. Then again, only a party with no sense of history could believe it.

Posted by: Sergio at July 31, 2004 1:39 AM
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