Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Redefining Politics

The Democrat left has gradually over the last few years revised the lexicon employed in our political debates and Viewpoint, as a public service, wishes to announce the following updates in no particular order:

Lie: Anything that turns out not to be true or might not be true, or which has not yet been proven to be true. Note that it is only a lie when a Republican, especially the president, says something which satisfies these criteria. When a Democrat does it, it's interpretive spin or personal narrative, or if, say, a meteorologist is wrong about a weather forecast that would be an honest mistake resulting from inadequate data.

Censorship: Any instance of someone expressing any manner of disagreement with what a liberal says. E.g. If people refuse to buy Dixie Chick CDs, that's censorship. If, on the other hand, a conservative speaker gets shouted down on a college campus that's a sign of a healthy exercise of first amendment rights.

Leadership: Securing permission from the French, no matter how much groveling it may take to get it, to defend ourselves from those who are determined to kill us.

Political Mainstream: Any current of opinion found on the left of the ideological spectrum. More specifically, any idea held by Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, or John Kerry.

Extremist: Anyone who opposes the mainstream idea that we should be able to kill unborn children for any reason whatsoever, or who rejects the mainstream view that the 2nd amendment is obsolete, or who is so far out of the mainstream as to believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, or who flouts the mainstream by holding any traditional religious conviction.

Unilateral: Any action taken either by oneself or with any number of partners but which does not include France.

Hero: Anyone who applies for a Purple Heart after suffering a self-inflicted wound requiring a band-aid. Alternatively, anyone who is awarded a Silver Star for conduct which is in violation of the Geneva conventions and the United States' Military code.

Perhaps readers can think of some additional revisions. We'll post updates as they are available.

Kerry on Iraq

TruthOut.Org is touting an article by Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times on Senator Kerry's recent remarks to that paper about his plans for Iraq. His intentions are, essentially, to persuade more foreign countries to help shoulder the load:

Within a first term as president, Sen. John F. Kerry thinks he could attract enough international help in Iraq to make it a "reasonable" goal to replace most U.S. troops stationed there with foreign forces, he told The Times in an interview.

Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for Bush's reelection campaign, said Kerry's promises to increase foreign participation ignored the contributions being made by "more than 30 nations [that] stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States, engaged in helping the Iraqis build a secure democratic future."

Sensing, perhaps, that the Times was expecting a little more contrast with the White House's goals for Iraq, especially after the sharp battles fought in the Democrat primaries over just this issue, Kerry went on to explain how he would accomplish this.

Kerry said he would offer several tangible inducements to encourage European and Arab nations to do more to help secure and rebuild Iraq. Among those steps would be the appointment of a U.N. high commissioner to give the international community a greater say in the development of a permanent Iraqi government, granting other countries greater access to reconstruction contracts and the convening of an international conference "that brings leaders together for an immediate raising of the stakes of diplomacy."

Setting aside the incoherence of the last sentence, we might ask why the Senator thinks the U.N. should have any say at all in how Iraq is rebuilt? If the U.N. had had its way, Saddam would still be cutting out Iraqi tongues and filling huge trenches with bullet-riddled bodies. Iraq is now a sovereign nation. It doesn't need the U.N. telling it what to do. The only countries who should profit from the rebuilding process, aside from those to whom Iraq deigns to award contracts, are those who stood with us in OIF and who are standing with us now. The American taxpayer is footing much of the bill for this "rebuilding" and for Kerry to think that we should subsidize French industry after their attempt to sabotage the liberation of Iraq in the Security Council is looney.

Kerry said he believed other nations had failed to respond as much as they should to Iraq's needs, and that he would challenge them with a "message of responsibility." He also said he could exert such pressure more effectively than Bush by combining it with efforts to build more international cooperation on other issues.

"A message of responsibility"?! That'll stir European consciences. "More international cooperation on other issues"? Like what, the Kyoto Treaty? Tariffs? Is Kerry telling us that he'll be able to get the cooperation of other countries in Iraq by capitulating to their demands on everything else?

Indeed, how much of our sovereignty is Senator Kerry willing to cede to the United Nations? This is not an idle question. In 1971 he stated that he was an internationalist and would like to see our troops disbursed around the world "only at the direction of the United Nations." In 1971 he was eager to turn over de facto control of our military to the likes of Kofi Annan. It might be instructive for one of the journalists on his campaign bus to ask him where he stands on that issue today.

"I've done this for a long time," Kerry said. "I have negotiated personally with leaders of other countries.... And I believe I come to this table with greater experience and a greater sense of direction than George Bush."

This is pure flummery. Kerry has been a senator for nineteen years and has done nothing to distinguish himself. Now he expects us to believe that he will suddenly be a forceful, influential leader in the international arena when he was little more than a "back-bencher" for three terms in the senate.

"I know what it means to convene a meeting of chiefs of agencies and chiefs of police and set expectations and demand a plan for the protection of nuclear and chemical plants and implement it," he said. "It hasn't happened" under Bush.

Many people, of course, know what it means to convene meetings and demand plans. The only reason for saying such a vacuous thing as this is to try to sound like a tough guy and make Bush seem weak. Nor does the senator know what Bush has demanded of his subordinates in the years since 9/11. Kerry's statement is just simply fatuous, and this nullity comes from a man who prides himself on being smarter than everyone else.

Kerry also said his administration would be more open than Bush's. He pledged to hold monthly news conferences. (Bush's have been sporadic.) And although the Bush administration has fought in court to avoid disclosing records of meetings held by Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, Kerry said that as president, he would open some of the meetings his officials would conduct with outside groups....Kerry said he is committed to unprecedented transparency.

If Kerry wanted to demonstrate his commitment to openness he could start by releasing his medical records from Vietnam. Kerry has made his military service a major, if not the chief, reason why Americans should vote for him. His service, therefore, is relevant to this campaign and should be thoroughly examined, including his medical records. As long as he refuses to let us see what's in those he shouldn't talk to us about unprecedented transparency and openness.