Friday, October 01, 2004

Debate one wrap-up

Last post on the debate, I promise. While it's tempting to parse it all, the fun just has to end, so here's an assortment of observations in no particular order [all emphasis mine].

KERRY: I believe America is safest and strongest when we are leading the world and we are leading strong alliances. I‘ll never give a veto to any country over our security. But I also know how to lead those alliances.

Even when the allies you're most concerned about have no interest in being led? It might have escaped your attention that when the Cold War ended, their self-interest in America's strength and safety went with it. Welcome to the new world order.

So... can anybody explain the difference between a veto and "the global test"?

KERRY: And what we need now is a president who understands how to bring these other countries together to recognize their stakes in this. They do have stakes in it. They‘ve always had stakes in it. The Arab countries have a stake in not having a civil war. The European countries have a stake in not having total disorder on their doorstep.

Which is precisely why their policy is "Leave well enough alone, and hope any problems land elsewhere." After a few decades of seeing where that path leads, we're no longer so enamored with that policy - they still are. So how, exactly, would you bring disaffection to them as well?

If the president had shown the patience to go through another round of resolution, to sit down with those leaders, say, “What do you need, what do you need now, how much more will it take to get you to join us?” we‘d be in a stronger place today.

Ah, of course - you'd bring them into the fold of the "coalition of the coerced and bribed".

KERRY: Secondly, when we went in, there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States. That‘s not a grand coalition. We can do better.

Three?! You've got to be kidding me, did you sleep through the run-up to the war? Poland, Spain, Italy - any of these places ring a bell? But pay attention -

BUSH: My opponent says we didn‘t have any allies in this war. What‘s he say to Tony Blair? What‘s he say to Alexander Kwasniewski of Poland? You can‘t expect to build an alliance when you denigrate the contributions of those who are serving side by side with American troops in Iraq.

BUSH: And now there‘s 30 nations involved, standing side by side with our American troops. And I honor their sacrifices. And I don‘t appreciate it when candidate for president denigrates the contributions of these brave soldiers.

You cannot lead the world if you do not honor the contributions of those who are with us. He called them coerced and the bribed. That‘s not how you bring people together.

And there you have it: proof positive that the President reads Loose Coins, and you should too.

Best "Whoops! I can't believe I almost said that" moment:

LEHRER: Speaking of Vietnam, you spoke to Congress in 1971, after you came back from Vietnam, and you said, quote, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?

KERRY: No, and they don‘t have to, providing we have the leadership that we put- that I‘m offering.

The leadership that we put... in the white house?

KERRY: Osama bin Laden uses the invasion of Iraq in order to go out to people and say that America has declared war on Islam.

Which is to say that cancer causes cigarettes...

Al-Qaeda was so lacking adequate recruitment tools before that, right?

KERRY: And the question, is it worth the cost, reminds me of my own thinking when I came back from fighting in that war. And it reminds me that it is vital for us not to confuse the war, ever, with the warriors. That happened before.

Gee, just where did that confusion come from? Would you happen to know anything about that, you reprehensible waste of plasma?

KERRY: He also said Saddam Hussein would have been stronger. That is just factually incorrect. Two-thirds of the country was a no-fly zone when we started this war. We would have had sanctions. We would have had the U.N. inspectors. Saddam Hussein would have been continually weakening.

A no-fly zone where our pilots were fired on an average of over 500 times per year, and useless inspectors. Incidentally, what evoked your hallucination that Saddam was doing anything like continually weakening for 12 years?

KERRY: Thirty-five to forty countries in the world had a greater capability of making weapons at the moment the president invaded than Saddam Hussein. And while he‘s been diverted, with 9 out of 10 active duty divisions of our Army, either going to Iraq, coming back from Iraq, or getting ready to go, North Korea‘s gotten nuclear weapons and the world is more dangerous. Iran is moving toward nuclear weapons and the world is more dangerous. Darfur has a genocide.

How many of those countries are in the heart of the ideological cesspool that spawns jihadopaths? For how many of those are there actually established grounds for multilateral action? And thanks for noticing that people in Darfur are still being persecuted, but exactly how is it more relevant to the war on terror than Iraq?

KERRY: I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren‘t willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together. The president did nothing.

With respect to North Korea, the real story: We had inspectors and television cameras in the nuclear reactor in North Korea. Secretary Bill Perry negotiated that under President Clinton. And we knew where the fuel rods were. And we knew the limits on their nuclear power.

What the..? Hellooooo Johnny! Did you learn nothing at all from the Clinton/Carter Korean adventure? You can't have forgotten it, you went on to talk about it in the next breath!

KERRY: There‘s some 600-plus tons of unsecured material still in the former Soviet Union and Russia. At the rate that the president is currently securing it, it‘ll take 13 years to get it.
And this president, I regret to say, has secured less nuclear material in the last two years since 9/11 than we did in the two years preceding 9/11. We have to do this job. And to do the job, you can‘t cut the money for it. The president actually cut the money for it. You have to put the money into it and the funding and the leadership.

Well, I do try to learn something new every day. Yesterday I not only learned that securing Soviet-era nuclear material is the job of the President of the United States, but also that he's not doing it as well as John Kerry would like. Why isn't it the job of our "allies"?

KERRY: And so I acknowledge that his daughters—I‘ve watched them.

That's why we have a Secret Service.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

andy said...

proof positive that the President reads Loose Coins, and you should too.Well, if it's good e-nough for the president, then, darn it, it's good e-nough for me.

I think Kerry spoke too much about OBL. OBL is not the only terrorist out there. But, Kerry had to grab at something.

One other comment. Kerry said that OBL is using Iraq to say we declared war on Islam....Well, I say, perhaps it is time we in fact DO delclare war on Islam. It's no big secret who is causing all this carnage in the world....

Nice review, Doug.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Let me be at least the billionth person to point out that all of Islam isn't the problem, and make some pertinent comment about babies and bathwater.

That said though, I'd be moderately comfortable betting that those muslims who aren't part of the problem, and aren't likely to ever be, are also already fully aware of the fact. The only people likely to be taken aback by such a declaration are probably already on the way to the dark side - and I sure don't mind offending that lot.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Good takedown of Kerry on his untenable positions. He surely won the debate on style, but what he actually said cannot withstand serious analysis.

10:27 PM  

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