July 2004

Christopher Hitchens is not impressed with John Kerry’s firehouse line, either. In his Slate column he write:

This would mean that all the protest about dead and malnourished Iraqi infants was all for show. Surely that can’t be right? Whatever you think about the twists and turns of U.S. policy toward Baghdad in the last three decades, there can be no doubt of any kind that we have collectively incurred a huge responsibility there, much of it political but a good deal of it purely humanitarian. To demand that American funds be cut off or diverted, just as the country is fighting to rebuild and struggling toward a form of elections, is unconscionable from any standpoint.

Hitchens doesn’t pick up the way Kerry associates firehouses with the front lines in the war on terror but he is devasting on the hyposrisy of the left.


In speech after speech on National security, including his speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry repeats this line:

And we shouldn’t be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America.

Here’s the line in context:

And the front lines of this battle are not just far away – they’re right here on our shores, at our airports, and potentially in any town or city. Today, our national security begins with homeland security. The 9-11 Commission has given us a path to follow, endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and the 9-11 families. As President, I will not evade or equivocate; I will immediately implement the recommendations of that commission. We shouldn’t be letting ninety-five percent of container ships come into our ports without ever being physically inspected. We shouldn’t be leaving our nuclear and chemical plants without enough protection. And we shouldn’t be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America.

So John Kerry sees firehouses in the US as the front lines in the war against radical Islam. Just how will lots of firehouses, filled with shiny, new fire engines and dues paying firemen help in this war? Will they deter an attack? Will they detect an attack? Will they prevent an attack? No, no and no. You need firehouses if the enemy has launched another successful attack on American soil. But that is way too late in the game. That’s playing defense after the other side has scored a touchdown.

On the other hand, building a civil society in Iraq that offers Arab Muslims a better life, and functioning civic services are part of that process, takes the fight to the enemy’s heartland. It seems Kerry has no idea about playing offense, let alone preemption. To him, it’s all about playing defense, responding to an attack. Here he goes again:

I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.

Wake up, Mr. Kerry. We’ve already had war declared on us. We’ve already been attacked numerous times. Bush is delivering the swift and certain response you promise. Every moment of every day, Bin Ladin wonders when he’ll join the Al Qaeda brass that have already been caught or killed.

And Mr. Kerry, if you were honest, you’ll also tell us that after a mere 4 months of defending this country, you dedicated your life to giving aid and comfort to the enemy by falsely accusing your fellow American servicemen of war crimes. Nice one, and you have never repudiated what you said and did back then.

According to SpaceWar, Israel’s Arrow II hits a real Scud missile on its 7th successful test.

Some six minutes after the 11-meter-long (38 feet), seven-ton Scud was launched at a height of dozens of kilometers above the Pacific Ocean, it was intercepted and destroyed by the Arrow II, or Hetz in Hebrew, which traveled nine times faster than the speed of sound, the papers said.

The test was carried out jointly with the US Missile Defense Agency at the Point Magu Sea Range in California.

Lest we forget, Israel was hit with 39 Scud missiles during the first Gulf War. With Iran likely to go nuclear, and threatening Israel with a nuclear holocaust, its comforting to know that Israel can knock their missiles out of the stratosphere.

Anti-missile systems are a lot harder to build than missiles. This is an arms race that Israel is winning and one certain to give the mad mullahs pause. In 2002, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s former president said that on the day the Muslim world gets nuclear weapons the Israeli question will be settled forever “since a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.” But if you can’t guarantee that your bomb will get through the missile shield, and you have no shield of your own, you risk annihilation by launching a strike. Israel can now say, “Go ahead punks, make our day!”

Let’s see him address these issues of trust and credibility. Otherwise, he’ll prove himself unworthy of trust and devoid of credibility.

Campaign Advisor Richard Clark

Romesh Ratnesar writing in Time catalogs many of Clarke’s claims, some contradicted by the accounts of others involved in the same events, and some contradicted by his own book. Pejmanesque posts about the conflicts between Clarke’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, the 9/11 Commission and his book. Clarke remains in high favor in Democrat circles.

House Intelligence Chairman Porter Goss (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that former White House anti-terror czar Richard Clarke, the author of a new book critical of President Bush’s handling of the al Qaeda threat before Sept. 11, 2001, may have lied in testimony to his committee, and said he plans to explore whether Congressional action on the matter is warranted.
Clarke’s “testimony to our committee is 180 degrees out of line with what he is saying in his book,” Goss said. “He’s either lying in his book or he lied to our committee. It’s one or the other.”

Former Campaign Advisor Sandy Berger

The fact that Bergergate has now disappeared off the front pages makes it a virtual certainty that the story of his purloining highly classified documents was leaked by the Democrats. There has been no sign of Kerry acknowledging Berger’s wrong doing. All he said was:

“Sandy Berger is my friend, and he has tirelessly served this nation with honor and distinction. I respect his decision to step aside as an adviser to the campaign until this matter is resolved objectively and fairly.”

Sounds like Sandy is still in the running to get his old job back.

Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Now proven an out-and-out liar by the 9/11 Commission and his own reports. Still no sign of the Democrats distancing themselves from this rabidly anti-Bush partisan and his partner in lies, secret CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Propagandist Michael Moore

Still a favorite of mainstream Democrats. The Kerry campaign has been happy to support his vile anti-American propaganda film, Fahrenheit 9/11.

George Tenet and the Clinton CIA that Bush inherited

It was the George Tenet, the Clinton appointed CIA Director. who assured President Bush that it was a “slam-dunk” that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. When Tenet resigned, Kerry said:

“I have known George Tenet for many years, and I wish him the very best. He has worked extremely hard on behalf of our nation, and we are grateful for his effort.

“There is no question, however, that there have been significant intelligence failures, and the administration has to accept responsibility for those failures…”

But the intelligence was cumulative going back through the Clinton years. As the 9/11 Commission found, both administrations bore some responsibility for intelligence failures.

The foreign intelligence services that believed Saddam had WMD

British, French, German, Russian and Israeli intelligence services believed Saddam had WMD.

The Democrats who believed Saddam had WMD and posed a threat

Right Wing News lists a bunch of them. Here’s a sample:

“[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” — From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

“The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

“(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983” — National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

“The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” — John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

“I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force – if necessary – to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” — John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

“The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation.” — John Kerry, October 9, 2002

“(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. …And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War.” — John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003

Saddam Hussein, who confirmed everyone’s beliefs by failing to comply with UNSC 1441

Is John Kerry claiming that he believed Saddam had no WMD even when Saddam failed to comply with UNSC 1441? Because if he isn’t claiming that, he should stop saying Bush misled the country into war.

It wouldn’t be hard if he really was the reincarnation of JFK.

Andrew Sullivan has become oh so impressed by Kerry for the slimmest of reasons. The issues that drove Sullivan to the Kerry fold seem to be gay marriage, the over-hyped scandal at Abu Ghraib and the media-induced impression of a quagmire in Iraq. Sullivan seems to think a senator from the extreme left of a party that has drifted ever leftward since the 1960s can do better that a centrist Republican.

Iraq is a done deal. If Kerry says that he’ll finish the job there, then that is because he is stuck with it. If he pulls the US out too soon and Iraq explodes into a civil war, or worse, then Kerry and the Democrats would be toast for a generation. The more pressing issues are now Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Islamic terrorism and North Korea.

Iran is on the threshold of building nuclear weapons. It has thumbed its nose at the UN, at the IAEA, and the multilateral Europeans delegated to handle the problem Kerry-style. Worse, it has threatened Israel with a nuclear holocaust.

Here’s what John Kerry has said on the threat posed by Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs:

And that is why I am here today to ask that America launch a new mission, that America restore and renew the leadership we once demonstrated for all the world, to prevent the world’s deadliest weapons from falling into the world’s most dangerous hands. If we secure all bomb making materials, ensure that no new materials are produced for nuclear weapons, and end nuclear weapons programs in hostile states like North Korea and Iran, we can and will dramatically reduce the possibility of nuclear terrorism.

We can’t eliminate this threat on our own. We must fight this enemy in the same way we fought in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War, by building and leading strong alliances. Our enemy has changed and is not based within one country or one totalitarian empire. But our path to victory is still the same. We must use the might of our alliances.

When I am president, America will lead the world in a mission to lock up and safeguard nuclear weapons material so terrorists can never acquire it. To achieve this goal, we need the active support of our friends and allies around the world. We might all share the same goal: to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, but we can’t achieve it when our alliances have been shredded.

As near as I can tell, the current US policy is to use the “shredded” alliance of Britain, France and Germany to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions. So far the policy has been abject failure, yet Kerry prescribes more of the same. He also enunciates a laudable goal, “to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism”, but he seems to be utterly clueless on how to get there other than using the “active support of our friends and allies around the world”.

This same policy prescription applies to North Korea. The Bush Administration has rejected the unilateral approach of the Clinton administration — an unmitigated disaster — and taken a multilateral approach. The key step was to dump the problem into China’s lap. Does China want a nuclear armed North Korea to start a nuclear arms race involving Japan, South Korea and Taiwan? One hopes not, and China holds the key to solving that problem. The Kerry approach is so vague as to be useless as a guide to what he would do in office. Droning on about alliances does no good when some of our shredded allies have actively worked against our interests in pursuit of their own narrow interests. Kerry risks being accused of giving France, Germany and the UN veto power over US foreign policy. And here’s a tip for Mr. Kerry – China, India and Japan are far more important in the new world order than Old Europe.

Instead of speechifying about the alliances that Bush shredded, Kerry needs to tell us HOW he is going to disarm Iran and North Korea. Will he seek a UNSC resolution threatening force if Iran does not immediately comply? Will he do that before the election? Does he have a better way than relying on the failed alliances and institutions of the past? So far, no.

Kerry has been highly critical of the war on terror. While he promises more action, he also emphasizes law enforcement, energy independence and increased homeland security. But we know he is waffling when he inserts something like this into his speech:

We cannot be deterred by letting America be held hostage by energy from the Middle East. If I am President, we will embark on a historic effort to create alternative fuels and the vehicles of the future – to make this country energy independent of Mideast oil within ten years. So our sons and daughters will never have to fight and die for it.

As Steven den Beste pointed out, there is no way to get from the present pattern of energy production and consumption to Kerry’s brave new world of “alternative fuels and the vehicles of the future”. The US is already largely independent of Mideast oil; most US consumption comes from this hemisphere. But that point is irrelevant. Oil is a fungible quantity and its production, transportation and consumption is governed by the laws of supply and demand. European and Asian economies are highly dependent on Mideast oil and they are intertwined with the US economy. If they can’t get Mideast oil, their economies, and ours, would collapse. And if the Mideast can’t sell its oil, the current unrest in the Arab world would look like a picnic compared to what would follow. Making the US “independent of Mideast oil” so that “our sons and daughters will never have to fight and die for it” is an utterly moronic policy prescription worthy only of loons like Chomsky and Moore. This is not a war about oil, as Kerry implies. It is war between radical Islam and the modern world. The 9/11 hijackers did not ram our planes into the WTC and the Pentagon because we buy Mideast oil. They did it to weaken the United States and force our withdrawal from the Muslim world, from formerly Muslim lands (Spain and Israel), from the rest of Europe and from the rest of the world.

If Mr. Kerry wants US energy independence, he needs to open up ANWAR, and remove the NIMBY roadblocks that prevent the exploitation of domestic energy resources. That won’t reduce our dependence on the supply of Mideast oil — we are still dependent on it even if not a drop makes it to the US — but it will reduce energy costs. And if he is serious about the war on terror he needs to tell us how he is going to achieve his goals. Listing goals doesn’t cut it, but that is all he ever seems to do.

Lowell Ponte, writing in Frontpage Magazine exposes Edwards deep and enduring connections to the Trial Lawyer industry. Read it and weep for an America losing out to John Edward and his cronies. They include:

  • Fred Baron, the leader in asbestos lawsuits
  • Bill Lerach, the self-described “Willy Horton of securities law”
  • John O’Quinn, the top lawyer in silicon breast implant litigation
  • Tab Turner, specialist in automotive defects such as “unintended acceleration”
  • Paul Minor, who earned $71.5 million from tobacco settlements

Don’t expect the Washington Post or New York Times to tell you anything about these lawyers, their shady practices, their reliance on junk science, or the damage they are doing to the American economy. They’d far rather tell you about alleged accounting irregulaties and over-charging by Halliburton, Cheney’s old firm. But Trial Lawyers have gotten fabulously wealthy at our expense. According to Ponte:

the huge cost that lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits adds to everything…[costs] the average American family of four at least $2,884 every year in the higher price tags of everything from hamburger to health care.

Robert Musil at Man Without Qualities picks up on a certain inconsistency in Jimmy Carter’s speech to the DNC.

So who but Jimmy Carter would open a Convention set to nominate as its candidate a man married to a woman worth One Billion Dollars with the line:

“[W]e need new leaders in Washington whose policies are shaped by working American families instead of the super- rich and their armies of lobbyists in Washington!”

Robert might also have added that the billionaire’s husband chose a running mate worth a few tens of millions of dollars, and said running mate is supported to the hilt by others of his ilk, the ultra-powerful trial lawyers lobby.

Now Bush and Cheney are not poor either. Bush made his money by getting out of oil and into baseball. Cheney moved from government service to Halliburton, performed well, and was rewarded accordingly. But neither are super-rich, like Mrs. Kerry. Nor did they make their money in the sleazy style that characterizes John Edward’s ascent to wealth, nicely documented in this NYT hit-piece.

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