Unrevising history in this generation is becoming a full-time job. Especially as it pertains to the man who would be president, if he can convince enough Americans his version of history is the truth.
First, a little background – not because it is new information, but because it is accurate.
As a young man, John Kerry wore his nation’s uniform into action in Vietnam. While it may not be entirely true that he volunteered for combat duty, Kerry did spend four months in Vietnam before coming back to the United States to denounce his comrades.
It was during his anti-war, anti-hero period that John Kerry learned how powerful the spoken word could be. It got him elected to the Senate. It got him nominated for president.
And the polls all suggest it won him new votes after last Thursday’s debate. But how he said what he said is what earned him new supporters. What he said must not have made it through the barrier between their ears.
It is a matter of historical fact that John Kerry built his career by opposing the best interests of the United States. Both his anti-war activities in the 1970s and his Senate record in the years since contain all the evidence necessary to establish that as fact. There was his ringing endorsement of the now wholly discredited Winter Soldier investigation, which depicted U.S. troops in Vietnam as rapists and killers. He said that America was the single worst violator on the entire planet of the Geneva Conventions. By Kerry’s lights, any Viet Cong atrocities paled in comparison with those committed by U.S. troops as a matter of policy.
In the ’80s, Kerry was a passionate defender of the communist Sandinistas. Indeed, the point of his infamous “Christmas in Cambodia” Senate speech was to prevent the Reagan administration from taking action to overthrow the communists.
Today, for anybody listening to his recent debate with President Bush, Kerry’s words should have removed any lingering doubt. John Kerry spent the first half of his debate time lambasting the Bush administration for “going it alone” against Saddam. But when it came to North Korea, Kerry lambasted the administration for having too many allies.
Kerry says in that case that America should engage in bilateral talks with Pyongyang. That’s what the North Koreans favor as well. Right now, Pyongyang has to deal with not just the United States, but also China, Russia, South Korea and Japan. That puts the North at a disadvantage it wouldn’t have in unilateral talks with the United States. For that reason, Pyongyang favors a Kerry presidency. After all, look what they won in bilateral talks with another Democrat president – Bill Clinton.
During last week’s debate, Kerry called for sanctions against Iran as a way to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power. When it was pointed out that we already have sanctions against Iran, Kerry blamed the Bush administration for the “unilateral” nature of those sanctions. The sanctions were first imposed by Ronald Reagan in 1987. A second set of tougher sanctions were imposed by Bill Clinton in 1995. And a third set of even tougher sanctions were imposed against Tehran by Clinton in 1999. There weren’t any sanctions left for Bush to impose.
Kerry switched tactics at that point, saying if he were president, he would give nuclear fuel to Iran in return for a promise they won’t use it for weapons. Within hours, Tehran’s Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi laughed at the Kerry proposal. He told a press conference, “We have the technology (to make nuclear fuel) and there is no need for us to beg from others.”
Like the North Koreans, the Iranians were listening closely to the debates. Evidently, they were listening more closely than either the American mainstream media or Kerry’s supporters. Our enemies evidently focused their attention primarily on what Kerry said, instead of how Kerry said it.
According to John Kerry, the only way to effectively combat terrorism is by working with “allies.” But not the 30-odd allies in the coalition. Those allies, Kerry dismisses as “a coalition of the bribed and coerced.”
To Kerry, the only allies that matter are France, Germany and Russia. Paris, Berlin and Moscow did not obstruct U.S. efforts in Iraq because they opposed President Bush – they did so because their own best interests required a Saddam Hussein in power.
In the debate, Kerry insisted he would “never give a veto to any country over our security.” Asked by moderator Jim Lehrer to describe his position on preemptive war, Kerry said this:
No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you’re doing what you’re doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.
This is confusing. Before taking “preemptive” action, America has to pass a “global test”?
What if we don’t pass?
According to Kerry, he wouldn’t have taken action against Iraq without these so-called “allies.” Since, as we now know, they were secretly Saddam’s allies, they opposed the United States tooth and nail. Had Kerry been in office, would he have acted anyway? Wouldn’t French, German and Russian opposition been the equivalent to a veto? It doesn’t make sense.
Kerry now says that while the end result – Saddam’s removal – was fine, the war itself was a tragic mistake. But how else would Saddam have been ousted? Kerry didn’t elaborate, and Lehrer never questioned him.
According to the latest polls, the majority of Americans think John Kerry “won” the debate. He did win in debating skill and style, because his premises were not challenged. Pyongyang and Tehran critically analyzed his content and concluded he could be manipulated to their advantage.
The reality is that America is facing a greater existential threat at this moment in its history than at any time since British troops captured New York City in August 1776. America has no worse enemies among the assembled governments of the world than those in Tehran and Pyongyang. Now is not the time to empower North Korea by abandoning the six-nation diplomatic effort and making it a case of “us against them.” Neither is it the time to offer to give the mad mullahs in Tehran more nuclear material in exchange for only a promise. It didn’t work when Clinton tried it with Pyongyang in 1994, either.
And now is definitely not the time to let the United Nations, France, Germany and Russia decide what is in America’s best strategic interests.
Or John Kerry.