Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 23, 2004
POLITICS: Classic Kerry

Kerry, on Tim Russert's Meet the Press, May 6, 2001:

[W]e have to be honest about the mistakes we made [in Vietnam]. We don't have legitimacy in the world, Tim, if we go to other countries, in Bosnia or China or anywhere else, and not say, "You know, we made some terrible mistakes."

And that honesty, that lack of a sense of honesty is part of what is driving people's anger toward the United States today. That's why we have the vote in the U.N. That's why people--our allies, too--are disturbed by this defense posture. You can't abrogate the ABM treaty and move forward on your own to build this defense in a way that threatens the perceptions of security people have. And if you build a defense system, Tim, that can do what they say at the outside, which is change mutual assured destruction, you have invited a potential adversary to build, build, build, to find a way around it. The lesson of the Cold War is, you do not make this planet safer by moving unilaterally into a place of new weapons. Every single advance in weaponry through the Cold War was matched by one side or the other, and that's why we put the ABM treaty in place, and that's why we need to proceed very cautiously and very thoughtfully.

First of all, this insistence on national apologies is very one-sided. Does China have "legitimacy in the world"? When does China apologize for anything?

More importantly - I know I harp on Kerry's past a lot, particularly his views of the Cold War, but a man who could not or would not take the unambiguously pro-American position whenever that conflict got difficult - and who, to this day, can not or will not admit his mistakes in opposing President Reagan's winning strategy at every turn - is never going to understand this war, in which we will often be called upon to make hard decisions. Who on earth thinks that the "lesson of the Cold War" is that we built too damn many weapons systems? Kerry has learned nothing.

All of this is based on the naively dovish theory that strengthening one's defenses is a provocative act, and its necessary corollary that one can make peace by remaining weaker. People on the left, like Kerry, have (retroactively, after all of their Doomsday Clock and "The Day After" talk of the 80s) fallen in love with "mutually assured destruction" as a peacekeeping deterrent. But MAD kept the peace because Russia was afraid we could destroy them if they attacked us; the fact that they could also destroy us was not in any way a good thing. The fact that Kerry still views strengthening our military as a dangerous thing is best demonstrated by his argument, repeated in two of the debates, that it's a bad thing that the US is developing "bunker-busting" nuclear weapons. From the first debate:

Right now the president is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to research bunker-busting nuclear weapons. The United States is pursuing a new set of nuclear weapons. It doesn't make sense.

You talk about mixed messages. We're telling other people, "You can't have nuclear weapons," but we're pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might even contemplate using.

Not this president. I'm going to shut that program down, and we're going to make it clear to the world we're serious about containing nuclear proliferation.

Note that he doesn't even say he will do this through negotiatons - just a unilateral shutdown. The second debate:

[T]he president is moving to the creation of our own bunker- busting nuclear weapon. It's very hard to get other countries to give up their weapons when you're busy developing a new one.

This is Kerry going all wrong again, thinking that nations lead other nations by example. It's just not realistic, and it's a dangerous way to proceed in a dangerous world.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:50 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Why is a nuclear weapon that “busts bunkers” any worse than a regular nuclear weapon? Is Kerry worried that in the process of taking out millions of people, we might also remove someone’s underground nuclear capability?

If you don’t object to our already-massive nuclear stockpiles, it seem silly to object to that initiative, which, in a worst-case scenario, might ultimately save lives.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at October 23, 2004 11:54 PM

How about the Dick Cheney -Gloria Borger transcript?

go check out talkingpointsmemo.com for more on Tora Bora. And the lies.

Tortured arguments for the torturers. Hell of a way to use a law degree. Save some for the clients -- these guys are toast. The only question is whether the trials of GOP officials will be while they're still in office.

And give the GOP Ohio and Florida. Dems can still get to 270+. And then they'll indict the election officials, the corrupt campaign staff, et al.

The GOP has either zero or one national victory left before it collapses. Why extend the pain?

Posted by: hometeamloses at October 24, 2004 12:30 AM

But I dont want to be too harsh. At least you take the time to make a credible issue-based argument.

It does, however, border on the absurd in light of this Administration's inconsistensies ranging from the dismissal of the Bin Laden threat in 2001 to the unnecessary and alliance-dissolving war with Iraq. From Paul O'Neill (not he blessed with the strong arm from right) to Christie Whitman to Colin Powell's apology, one could hardly believe this Administration is being supported for its policies -- save tax cuts and appeals to fundmentalists (the latter through coded appeals to the pro-life community citing Dred Scott!)

Unfortunately, it ain't about issues. And when democracies hold elections that are truly divorced from issues, well, we don't have to pretend to get into historiography, do we?

We could argue who would win if positions on taxes, health care, etc., were clearly disseminated -- but that ain't happening. Ya really wan't to blame Kerry for that?

Posted by: hometeamloses at October 24, 2004 12:42 AM
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