NEW YORK – Sen. Zell Miller, a Democrat from Georgia, delivered a blistering attack on his own party tonight at the Republican convention here.

The man who delivered a keynote address for his own party in 1992, tonight indicted the Democrats as a party that has been hijacked by leadership that cannot be trusted with American security.



Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga.

“Like you, I ask which leader it is today that has the vision, the will power and, yes, the backbone to best protect my family?” he asked. “The clear answer to that question has placed me in this hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party.”

While noting that the two parties have worked together in the past to ensure freedom would not falter, he said Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry could not be trusted to continue that tradition.

“Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today’s Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator,” he said. “They don’t believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy. It is not their patriotism – it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking.”

He continued: “John Kerry wants to re-fight yesterday’s war. George Bush believes we have to fight today’s war and be ready for tomorrow’s challenges. George Bush is committed to providing the kind of forces it takes to root out terrorists.”

Miller decried the lack of bipartisanship in American leadership – particularly when it comes to foreign affairs.

“Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat’s manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief,” he said. “What has happened to the party I’ve spent my life working in? I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny.”

Miller, a Marine, said nothing makes him madder than when American troops are called “occupiers” rather than “liberators.”

“Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers,” he said. “Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers. Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.”

Miller reminded Americans that “it is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”

“But don’t waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today,” he said. “In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution.”

Miller singled out for special criticism the two senators from Massachusetts – Kerry and Ted Kennedy.

“Together, Kennedy-Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror,” said Miller. “Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.”

He listed:

  • The B-1 bomber that dropped 40 percent of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.

  • The B-2 bomber that delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein’s command post in Iraq.

  • The F-14A Tomcats that shot down Gadhafy’s Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra and the modernized version that delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.

  • The Apache helicopter that took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War.

  • The F-15 Eagles that flew cover over our Nation’s Capital and this very city after 9/11.

    “I could go on and on and on — against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein’s scud missiles over Israel; against the Aegis air-defense cruiser; against the Strategic Defense Initiative; against the Trident missile; against, against, against,” continued Miller. “This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?”

    Miller said Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations.

    “Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending,” he said. “I want Bush to decide.”

    Related stories:

    Text of Zell Miller’s speech

    Text of Dick Cheney’s speech

    Opening night at the GOP show

    Protester gets within 10 feet of Cheney

    Related column:

    Fascism, corruption and my ‘Democratic’ Party


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