Ted Kennedy, wrong again

By Joseph Farah

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

— President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address

President Kennedy understood you could only achieve peace through strength.

He didn’t always govern that way, but he comprehended the principle.

“Finally,” he concluded in his inaugural address, “to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction. We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.”

In other words, Kennedy said, we weren’t going to blink as the Soviet Union threatened us with total annihilation by nuclear weapons. Because of policies like that, later exemplified by President Ronald Reagan, the Soviet Union, once the gravest threat to our freedom and very existence, imploded of its own dead weight.

Last week we heard from the late President Kennedy’s younger brother, Ted.

Remember Ted? He was the one who caricatured President Reagan’s brilliant strategy of building a missile defense for the America people as “Star Wars.” For years, while President Reagan denounced the “Evil Empire” and stared down Soviet leaders with his “peace through strength” strategy, Kennedy supported a nuclear freeze. Kennedy liked to characterize Reagan as a warmonger. But the truth is more people died in Teddy Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than did in Reagan’s showdowns with the Soviet Union.

Now Ted wants us to believe he knows better than President Bush and 80 percent of the American people who want to clean Iraq’s clock for a decade of supporting al-Qaida, for hosting the terrorist network that attacked America Sept. 11 and for developing weapons of mass destruction they won’t think twice about using on us.

He gave this speech last week by raising fears of a global apocalypse – triggered, by the way, by an Israeli nuclear first strike.

“If Saddam’s regime and survival are threatened, he will have nothing to lose, and may use everything at his disposal,” Kennedy said. “Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has announced that instead of its forbearance in the 1991 Gulf War, this time Israel will respond if attacked. If weapons of mass destruction land on Israeli soil, killing innocent civilians, the experts I have consulted believe Israel will retaliate, and possibly with nuclear weapons. This escalation, spiraling out of control, could draw the Arab world into a regional war in which our Arab allies side with Iraq, against the United States and against Israel. And that would represent a fundamental threat to Israel, to the region, to the world economy and international order.”

But the fear-mongering didn’t end there.

“Nor can we rule out the possibility that Saddam would assault American forces with chemical or biological weapons,” he continued. “Despite advances in protecting our troops, we do not yet have the capability to safeguard all of them.”

Kennedy made it clear he thinks the dirty job of dealing with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq is the responsibility of the United Nations.

“Before we go to war, we should give the international community the chance to meet the President’s challenge – to renew its resolve to disarm Saddam Hussein completely and effectively,” he said. “This makes the resumption of inspections more imperative and perhaps more likely than at any time since they ended in 1998.”

I remember what Ted’s brother did when Russian ships tried to bring nuclear missiles to Cuba.

He didn’t ask the U.N. to help. He didn’t try to put together an international coalition. He didn’t call for inspections. He ordered Cuba blockaded by the U.S. Navy and threatened to have our sailors board Russian ships. Moscow turned the ships around.

John Kennedy wasn’t always right. But his batting average was a lot higher than his brother Ted’s. In fact, can anyone ever recall Ted Kennedy being right about anything?

His speech has strengthened my own resolve that attacking Iraq is the right thing to do.