The Corner

Kerry On Bush Strawmen

As for the rest of the speech, it was basically respectable Howard Dean. Kerry looks the part of a Senator and gives off none of the ultra-hot insurgent vibe of Howard Dean, but he served up the same sort of rhetoric, just in senatorial tones. For instance: “We have a President who has developed and exalted a strategy of war – unilateral; pre-emptive; and in my view, profoundly threatening to America’s place in the world and the safety and prosperity of our own society. Simply put: The Bush Administration has pursued the most arrogant, inept, reckless and ideological foreign policy in modern history.” Otherwise, Kerry sets up a series of strawmen. He says that “the battle against terrorism is not and must not be a modern crusade against Islam.” But who is actually proposing that? He criticizes the Bush administration for offering a UN resolution calling the U.S. an “occupying power” in Iraq. But that’s what we are. He complained that “by acting without international sanction in Iraq, the administration has in effect invited other nations to invoke the same precedent to attack their adversaries.” Well, maybe if their adversaries are in violation of 15-something UN resolutions over a period of a decade. Kerry still can’t explain how he would square his support for dealing with Saddam Hussein in theory with his support for only doing it with diplomatic unanimity. Asked about this by a reporter, Kerry said he would have gone back to France month after month to ask them whether they are finally ready to support the U.S. invasion, the theory being that eventually France would have been embarassed out of its opposition. Not very likely. Needless to say, this performance was greeted rapturously by the members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Meanwhile, Howard Dean is out somewhere winning actual votes.


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