Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
The great issue in the 2004 election—it seems to me as an Englishman—is, How seriously does the United States take its role as a world leader, and how far will it make sacrifices, and risk unpopularity, to discharge this duty with success and honor? In short, this is an election of the greatest significance, for Americans and all the rest of us. It will redefine what kind of a country the United States is, and how far the rest of the world can rely upon her to preserve the general safety and protect our civilization.He enumerates a number of reasons why Kerry's vision of the US role in the world is wrong and dangerous, and why his character is not one suited for the Presidency at this time. The most important reason he cites why Kerry must be defeated, however, is how our enemies will see this election.
Behind this second line of adversaries there is a far more sinister third. All the elements of anarchy and unrest in the Middle East and Muslim Asia and Africa are clamoring and praying for a Kerry victory. The mullahs and the imams, the gunmen and their arms suppliers and paymasters, all those who stand to profit—politically, financially, and emotionally—from the total breakdown of order, the eclipse of democracy, and the defeat of the rule of law, want to see Bush replaced. His defeat on November 2 will be greeted, in Arab capitals, by shouts of triumph from fundamentalist mobs of exactly the kind that greeted the news that the Twin Towers had collapsed and their occupants been exterminated.
I cannot recall any election when the enemies of America all over the world have been so unanimous in hoping for the victory of one candidate. That is the overwhelming reason that John Kerry must be defeated, heavily and comprehensively.
This is a good sign, and points toward a solution for the pesky problem of European anti-Americanism, if Bush wins. For "Why Europeans don't like Bush" has a shiny obverse, which is "Why Americans care less and less." The commonplace observation is that the end of the Cold War means that the Europeans no longer have to rely on the U.S. for protection, so they can be as self-serving and duplicitous as they wish. But what Americans seem to finally be understanding is that what the end of the Cold War really means is that the U.S. no longer has to give a damn about a European "alliance" at all — especially one dominated by French and Germans. The solution to rampant, hysterical, angry anti-Americanism is cold, practical, systematic anti-Europeanism.
A world left to the UN as supreme arbiter would not be the world of law of Kofi Annan's incantation. It would be the opposite: a world of lawlessness. Nor would a United States that had been induced to yield to the superior majesty of the UN be replaced by an equivalent force for good, and certainly not by the UN itself. Instead, the peace we have known since 1945 would crumble.Reading this article it is stunning that a candidate for President of the US would be so willing to place any trust in this "squalid circus", in the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
True, no UN rule or regime could stay America from defending its own territory, and citizenry. But numerous weaker nations whose security America has linked to its own would pay dearly for the wistful dream of a parliament of man, a dream that the sordid reality of the UN has turned into a mockery. And for this, in the end, America would surely suffer as well.
In short, the more sophisticated, the more technological, the more hyped and televised war becomes, the more pundits and strategists warn us about "fourth-generational," "asymmetrical," "irregular," and "new dimensional" conflict, the more we simply forget the unchanging requisite of the will to win that trumps all other considerations. John Kerry has no more secret a plan than George Bush — because there is no secret way to pacify Iraq other than to kill the killers, humiliate their cause through defeat, and give the credit of the victory, along with material aid and the promise of autonomous freedom, to moderate Iraqis. Victory on the battlefield — not the mysterious diplomacy of "wise men," or German and French sanction, or Arab League support — alone will allow Iraq an opportunity for humane government.Caroline Glick, meanwhile, compares the wartime leadership of Israel and the US, and their will in prosecuting this War on Terror.
Meanwhile, we all vote. One candidate urges us to return to the mindset of pre-September 11 — law enforcement dealing with terrorists as nuisances. He claims the policies that have led to an absence of another attack at home, the end of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, idealistic efforts to extend freedom, and radical and positive changes in Pakistan, Libya, the West Bank, and the Gulf have made things worse. In contrast, the other reminds us that we are in a real war against horrific enemies and are no longer passive targets, but will fight the terrorists on their home turf, win, and leave behind humane government. No choice could be clearer. It is America's call.
We know there is no silver bullet – that this war is long because it is great. We know that Palestinian terrorism is the prototype for the terrorism the entire world now faces. As with the Nazis before them, these present-day fascists began their war with the Jews because we were the most isolated enclave of the freedom and progress they hate. And like the Nazis, they have expanded their aims to world domination, while continuing their war against the Jews.
Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the same states that support the PLO and its charter members – Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah – are the main supporters of the terrorists fighting the rest of the world today. This, we know, will be a long war, but we also know, because we have seen reality unfiltered, that we have no choice but to fight.
In the US, the situation is reversed. Like Israel, the United States possesses an awesome military that has raced to match its capabilities with the tasks it must perform on the battlefield. Unlike Israel, the United States has been given the leader it needs for this fight – Bush. It seems that the only element in question is whether the American people are willing to accept the reality they have been dealt or if they hope, like Israel's leaders, that they can somehow wish it away with silver bullets that never seem to hit the proper targets.
Have a look at those confidence levels. Yup, 95%. That is, a one in twenty chance that the effect simply does not exist. Look at the relative risk ratios (leave out Falluja; I don't think anyone is really very surprised to see a higher mortality rate there): 1.1-2.3. It isn't just that it is an absurdly wide one (note, a relative risk ratio of 1 would mean no effect whatsoever) it is that if this paper was written to generally accepted statistical standards it would never have been published. With a 95% confidence level a relative risk ratio of anything less than three is regarded as statistically insignificant. Just to clarify that, by "insignificant" no one is stating that it is not important to those people who undoubtedly have been killed during the War. What is being said is that we don't have enough information to be able to say anything meaningful about it. "Statistically insignificant" means "we don't know".Once again, science is perverted for political purposes.
In effect, what has been found in this paper is nothing. Nada. Zip.
Ignore for a moment the conflicting details of the incredibly confusing story about the 380 tons of high explosives that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility south of Baghdad. Accept, for now, John Kerry's contention that the explosives went missing after the fall of Baghdad and that President Bush's negligence in the planning and execution of the war and its aftermath are responsible.
The other day, Kerry said: "After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq, this administration failed to guard those stockpiles — where nearly 380 tons of highly explosive weapons were kept. Today we learned that these explosives are missing, unaccounted for and could be in the hands of terrorists."
Kerry has just bollixed up his own storyline about the war in Iraq. He is concluding his campaign by drawing an explicit association between Saddam Hussein, dangerous weaponry and international terrorists.
That's Bush's argument. Not Kerry's.
Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling will accompany President George W. Bush to his campaign stops in Manchester and Portsmouth on Friday.Schilling also appeared on Good Morning America today and told everyone to "vote Bush". The Daily Recycler has the video.
The Union Leader has learned Schilling will appear with Bush at rallies at the Verizon Wireless Arena and at the Pease International Tradeport.
The bottom line is that, if the explosives were ever there, the Iraqis moved them before our troops arrived. There is no other plausible scenario.
Sen. Kerry knows this is a bogus issue. And he doesn't care. He's willing to accuse our troops of negligence and incompetence to further his political career. Of course, he did that once before.
The last refuge of scoundrels is not patriotism. It is finicky liberal humanitarianism.Of course, the only time the UN does spring into action is to condemn Israel. The pronouncements of Kerry's foreign policy advisers continue to show that he would not confront the UN on this, and in fact would probably resurrect Clinton's program of pressuring Israel to give more and more while getting nothing but war in return.
How would John Kerry have dealt with Saddam? He has told us Saddam needed to be "confronted." But the word itself--which implies that the United States could have overthrown Saddam without using military force--tells us what we need to know. Had the United States and our allies not embarked on this war, the Iraqi mass murderer would still be in power. And, were international sanctions gone, as they soon would have been thanks to Russia and France, he would have been on his way back to having and deploying weapons of mass destruction. And the senator from Massachusetts would not have raised his voice.
Kerry's main problem is that the United Nations, the designated proctor for his "global test," is an impediment to prompt and effective action against savage governments.
Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.What is even more interesting is that Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former high-ranking Romanian intelligence official, wrote about this in August of 2003.
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.
"The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."
Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloging the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.
Iraq, in my view, had its own "Sarindar" plan in effect direct from Moscow. It certainly had one in the past. Nicolae Ceausescu told me so, and he heard it from Leonid Brezhnev. KGB chairman Yury Andropov, and later, Gen. Yevgeny Primakov, told me so too. In the late 1970s, Gen. Primakov ran Saddam's weapons programs. After that, as you may recall, he was promoted to head of the Soviet foreign intelligence service in 1990, to Russia's minister of foreign affairs in 1996, and in 1998, to prime minister. What you may not know is that Primakov hates Israel and has always championed Arab radicalism. He was a personal friend of Saddam's and has repeatedly visited Baghdad after 1991, quietly helping Saddam play his game of hide-and-seek.Primakov has long been known by the CIA to be on Saddam's payroll. It seems Pacepa's article was pretty much ignored by everyone then. In light of this new Gertz report it would be interesting to ask the Russians where exactly they put all of Saddam's weapons.
The Soviet bloc not only sold Saddam its WMDs, but it showed them how to make them "disappear." Russia is still at it. Primakov was in Baghdad from December until a couple of days before the war, along with a team of Russian military experts led by two of Russia's topnotch "retired"generals,Vladislav Achalov, a former deputy defense minister, and Igor Maltsev, a former air defense chief of staff. They were all there receiving honorary medals from the Iraqi defense minister. They clearly were not there to give Saddam military advice for the upcomingwar—Saddam'sKatyusha launchers were of World War II vintage, and his T-72 tanks, BMP-1 fighting vehicles and MiG fighter planes were all obviously useless against America. "I did not fly to Baghdad to drink coffee," was what Gen. Achalov told the media afterward. They were there orchestrating Iraq's "Sarindar" plan.
This evening, there was a lunar eclipse that began about an hour before the game, a rarity that would have produced a blood-red moon during the game if only the sky had been clear instead of cloudy. Perhaps the overcast was better. Lunar eclipses are so mundane, if you think about it. Why, another one is due in 2007 -- barely a blink in baseball time.
The victory that arrived on this evening for the Red Sox and their true believers was far too rare and precious, too long overdue and spectacular in its consummation, to be upstaged by something so commonplace as the earth, moon and stars.
In sum, a Kerry presidency will lack either the vision or the resolve to finish the war, resulting in a defeat for the United States in Iraq — with calamitous consequences for the brave reformers there, an end to liberal momentum in the Middle East, a reversal in the conduct of Libya, Pakistan, and the Gulf, and assurance to Syria, Lebanon, and Iran that the United States is conducting not war but a criminal investigation akin to efforts against gambling or prostitution. Chamberlain-like, we will return to the complacency of the pre-9/11 days, regarding the telltale signs of the destruction to come as mere "nuisances." All the hysterical invective of John Kerry's surrogates — like George Soros, Michael Moore, Terry McAuliffe, and Teresa Heinz Kerry — cannot change that bleak and depressing fact.
But far more important, Kerry's complaints about Bush only enforce Bush's reason for invading Iraq. Think about it.Like pretty much every one of the Democrats' gotcha stories against Bush, this one is just plain garbage. Kerry is showing his desperation by continuing to trumpet this non-story.
Kerry and Edwards say that Bush didn't do enough to prevent the disappearance of the explosives, which could be used against Americans here at home. But the very existence of such explosives -- whether defined as weapons of mass destruction or not -- was the reason Bush led the nation into Iraq in the first place.
Why did we invade Iraq? Specifically, so dangerous weapons would not be used
against us here at home -- either by Saddam Hussein's forces or by his terrorist friends. Did we miss some of these weapons? Of course. But we got a lot more than we would have gotten if we had not gone into Iraq in the first place.
If we had followed Kerry's strategy, Iraq today would have far more than 380 tons of explosives to use against us.
Mowafaq Al-Tai, a London-educated architect and intellectual, said different types of resistance fighters have different views of the U.S. election.The terrorists understand the dynamics, hopefully enough Americans will too.
The most pro-Kerry, he said, are the former Saddam Hussein loyalists — Ba'ath Party members and others who think Washington might scale back its ambitions for Iraq if Mr. Kerry wins
Resistance leader Abu Jalal boasted that the mounting violence had already hurt Mr. Bush's chances.Sounds a lot like the tactics of the Democrats.
"American elections and Iraq are linked tightly together," he told a Fallujah-based Iraqi reporter. "We've got to work to change the election, and we've done so. With our strikes, we've dragged Bush into the mud."
From the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993 until September 2000, when the Camp David summit came to naught, about 256 Israelis -- civilians and soldiers alike -- were killed by Palestinian violence. Bill Clinton was in office during those years.and therefore, Bush is bad for Israel. This analysis is simply inane. The Israeli casualties over the last four years are the direct result of the Oslo accords and Clinton's insistence on pressuring Israel for concessions while allowing the Palestinians to abrogate all their agreements. Clinton's insistence on appeasement led to the Oslo War. A Kerry administration would return to the failed policies of the Clinton years by pressuring Israel, as Kerry's main foreign policy adviser has explicitly stated. Cohen then goes on to make more errors of analysis.
The next four years were mostly Bush's, and the numbers tell a different story. Between Sept. 29, 2000, and September 2004 -- four, not eight, years -- 1,026 Israelis were killed by Palestinians.
But the isolation of Arafat, while immensely satisfying, cannot be said to have saved lives -- not Israeli and not Palestinian. In fact, his demonization is characteristically Bush. Arafat is another Saddam Hussein -- vile, evil and all of that. But just as the capture of Hussein has not made Iraq any safer for Americans, so has the isolation of Arafat not ended the intifada. In both Iraq and what can be called Palestine, the problem is not a single man but mass movements.Cohen doesn't seem to understand that Arafat is the problem. The PA's propaganda of vilification of Israel and Jews, led in large part by Arafat, led to the radicalization of the Palestinian population. He has almost single-handedly brought up a generation bent on Israel's destruction and seeking the martyrdom that they have been taught as early as pre-school.
An incumbent President from the heartland faces a strong, experienced challenger from the Northeast. The challenger is strong in part because the incumbent seems weak -- inarticulate and gaffe-prone. But not too weak: Insiders make jokes about him, but he seems to connect with ordinary voters outside the Boston-New York-Washington, D.C. corridor. (Within that corridor he is plainly unpopular, and the Northeastern media overwhelmingly oppose his reelection.) When he came to office, the incumbent had only modest experience. No one had thought of him as a major player in American government during the decade before he moved to the White House, and what experience he had prepared him for domestic policymaking, not foreign affairs. But foreign policy has dominated his presidency -- especially a shadowy not-quite-war, not-quite-peace with an adversary who has agents scattered across the globe. Within the administration, cabinet officers have openly battled over the country's foreign policy. One cabinet member has already been fired; after his dismissal the ex-cabinet member went public with scathing criticism of the President. The Secretary of Defense has not been fired -- yet -- but is a source of major controversy.
The challenger mocks the incumbent's lack of sophistication and touts his own greater experience and competence. But he seems stiff and boring on the campaign trail; platitudes roll off his tongue. His party is solidly behind him, but he does not have its heart -- his nomination is a marriage of convenience, not love. A minor event on the campaign trail captures one reason why: A small accident leads the challenger to snap at the person who caused it; the challenger's harsh words contribute to the widespread impression that he is not a nice man. Still, his party is passionately committed to ousting the incumbent, and the challenger can count on sweeping the Northeast. For his part, the incumbent seems certain to carry the South, including border states like Kentucky and Oklahoma. The key battleground will be the Midwest. If the election comes down to a single state, there is a good chance it will be Ohio.
As for this Bush-failed-to-get-bin-Laden business, 2-1/2 years ago I declared that Osama was dead and he's never written to complain. There's no more evidence for his present existence than there is for the Loch Ness monster, which at least does us the courtesy of showing up as a indistinct gray blur on a photograph every now and again. Osama is lying low because he's in no condition to get up.
But, even if he weren't, that's a frivolous reductive way of looking at this war. He's not a general or head of state; he can't sign an instrument of surrender, and make all the unpleasantness go away. The enemy is an ideology that appeals to various loose groupings from the Balkans to Indonesia, as well as to entrepreneurial free-lancers like the shooter who killed two people at LAX on July 4, 2002. If Kerry's oft-repeated "outsourcing Osama" crack is genuinely felt, it shows he doesn't get this war. And, if it's just cheapo point scoring, it's pathetic.
What slightly disturbs me about most liberals is their hypertense refusal to admit the corollary. "Anybody But Bush"--and this from those who decry simple-mindedness--is now the only glue binding the radical left to the Democratic Party right. The amazing thing is the literalness with which the mantra is chanted. Anybody? Including Muqtada al-Sadr? The chilling answer is, quite often, yes. This is nihilism. Actually, it's nihilism at best. If it isn't treason to the country--let us by all means not go there--it is certainly treason to the principles of the left.
AT THIS late stage, it is clear that only a joint US-European threat of draconian UN Security Council sanctions, the fall of the mullahs, or military action could block Iranian nukes - and none of even these scenarios is foolproof. Navigating this minefield will be the first major challenge for Bush, if he is reelected. Even assuming that Bush is determined, there are no guarantees of success.Also, the LA Times has an article about the choice facing Israel and the possibility that a decision on military action will need to be made very soon.
There is more certainty in the case of a Kerry win, but it is in the wrong direction.
"The realist temptation in the American foreign-policy establishment is always powerful, principally because it is the path of least resistance and least action, and it dovetails nicely with the status-quo reflexes of the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the military brass at the Pentagon," explains Gerecht. "Senator John Kerry appears to have embraced the realist cause."
Whatever else you think about in that voting booth, consider this: With one vote, there is a chance that the clock can still be turned back on the coming Islamist nuke; with the other, hold on to your hats.
He really does want to end America's isolation. And he has an idea how to do it. For understandable reasons, however, he will not explain how on the eve of an election.
Think about it: What do the Europeans and the Arab states endlessly rail about in the Middle East? What (outside of Iraq) is the area of most friction with U.S. policy? What single issue most isolates America from the overwhelming majority of countries at the United Nations?
The answer is obvious: Israel.
In what currency, therefore, would we pay the rest of the world in exchange for their support in places such as Iraq? The answer is obvious: giving in to them on Israel.
John Kerry says he wants to "rejoin the community of nations." There is no issue on which the United States more consistently fails the global test of international consensus than Israel. In July, the U.N. General Assembly declared Israel's defensive fence illegal by a vote of 150 to 6. In defending Israel, America stood almost alone.
You want to appease the "international community"? Sacrifice Israel. Gradually, of course, and always under the guise of "peace." Apply relentless pressure on Israel to make concessions to a Palestinian leadership that has proved (at Camp David in 2000) it will never make peace.
The allies will appreciate that. Then turn around and say to them: We're doing our part (against Israel), now you do yours (in Iraq). If Kerry is elected, the pressure on Israel will begin on day one.
In answer to a question about gay marriage, Kerry said: "Because we are the United States of America, we're a country with a great, unbelievable Constitution, with rights that we afford people, that you can't discriminate in the workplace. You can't discriminate in the rights that you afford people."The phrase "rights that we afford people" highlights one of the key differences between Bush and Kerry - as well as Republicans and Democrats in general. Kerry's belief is "help is on the way", as he repeated numerous times in his acceptance speech, in the form of the government. Kerry's view of government is of an overbearing nanny state that will grant us rights and take care of all of us, whether we want to be taken care of or not.
Would such growls from voting machines satisfy liberals that an undervote need not represent either a remediable flaw in the voter or in the technology? Can liberals accept that an undervote usually reflects either voter carelessness, for which the voter suffers the condign punishment of an unrecorded preference, or reflects the voter's choice not to express a preference? No, otherwise they would not be liberals: obsessive about rights, blind to responsibilities.My take on the voting problems with punchcards and butterfly ballots are a little less nuanced than Will's. If you don't have the intellectual capacity to figure out a ballot, then you certainly don't have the capacity to figure out the complex issues of the campaign and make a reasonable decision and therefore shouldn't be allowed to vote.
On Monday a Colorado judge upheld a new requirement that voters are responsible for producing identification before being allowed to vote. And Florida's Supreme Court rejected the argument that voters are disenfranchised when provisional ballots they cast in the wrong precincts are not counted.
Imagine that: Voters are responsible for proving who they are and knowing where they are supposed to vote. There will be charges that both rulings permit "intimidation," which in today's liberal lexicon is a synonym for linking rights to responsibilities.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about—this is going to cause some trouble with people—but as an historian now and studying the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?Aside form being completely wrong in terms of the human cost of the Revolutionary War, what does he mean by saying it was unnecessary? It seems for Carter all wars are unnecessary.
CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we‘ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.
MATTHEWS: Do you think as an historian you would have foreseen, had you been president, the nationalistic fight of those people in Iraq once we got in there?For Matthews to characterize the insurgency in Iraq as "nationalistic" is simply inane; many of those fighters are foreign, and they do not have a positive idea of creating an Iraqi nation. At the same time, Carter's answer is belied by the success of the elections in Afghanistan.
CARTER: Well, I think almost any reasonable person who knew history would say that you can‘t go into an alien environment and force by rule of arms by forcing the people to adopt a strange concept.
Even his wife and benefactor, Teresa Heinz Kerry (or, Teresa Heinz, as she by law had to identify herself on her recently released tax returns) doesn't like him. Whenever he grabs her to give her a smooch in public, she twists out of his clutches. (Her bank accounts weren't so lucky.) When she refers to her "husband" she is referring to the dead one (yes, I know, how can you tell them apart?).
Perhaps the strangest thing about this election campaign is that despite all the vulgarities, lies, and probably criminal vote-stealing going on, the Clintons are largely out of the picture. Apparently American elections have developed to the point where they can be deeply corrupt without the assistance of the boy from Hope and his bride from Yale.
This month, the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn terrorism. The resolution was introduced by Russia, still grieving over the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan, and perhaps the unanimous vote will give it a measure of solace.
But the convoluted text and the dealings behind the scenes that were necessary to secure agreement on it offer cold comfort to anyone who cares about winning the war against terrorism. For what they reveal is that even after Beslan and after Madrid and after 9/11, the U.N. still cannot bring itself to oppose terrorism unequivocally.
The reason for this failure is that the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which comprises 56 of the U.N.'s 191 members, defends terrorism as a right.
I'm not trying to make a moral point here about sleazy campaigning. Politics ain't beanbag, and in the final days of a close campaign, exaggerations are the norm. I'm talking about competence and what this period says about Kerry and his campaign.And as John Podhoretz notes, negative campaigning by itself is not a winner; a candidate also needs to display his own positives.
Bush's key vulnerability is that people fear he is in over his head. By lashing out wildly, Kerry muddles all that. Instead his blunderbuss approach suggests a candidate devoid of perspective, driven by unattractive and naked ambition.
Kerry has an agenda of sorts for the future, but he's mostly content to say he has "a plan" to fix things without spending much time or effort explaining what that "plan" is. And he almost never talks about his Senate record. Instead, he concentrates almost exclusively on the negative — hammering the president and his record.Kerry is simply reinforcing the view that he is a naked opportunist who is willing to say anything to anyone, regardless of the truth, to get elected.
The problem is that this approach gets stale. You can only say the same things over and over again for so long without running out of gas. That's why a successful campaign must balance the negative with the positive — must give people reason to vote for as well as reason to vote against.
John Kerry hasn't given people much reason to vote for him. He's betting his political future that 50.1 percent of the American people will cast a negative vote against George W. Bush.
Contrary to Senator Kerry, President Bush never "took his eye off the ball" when it came to Osama bin Laden. The war on terrorism has a global focus. It cannot be divided into separate and unrelated wars, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. Both are part of the same effort to capture and kill terrorists before they are able to strike America again, potentially with weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist cells are operating in some 60 countries, and the United States, in coordination with dozens of allies, is waging this war on many fronts.Will Kerry now stop making these mendacious statements? Unlikely...They way he figures it, if you repeat a lie often enough there will be plenty of people who will start believing it.
As we planned for potential military action in Iraq and conducted counterterrorist operations in several other countries in the region, Afghanistan remained a center of focus. Neither attention nor manpower was diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. When we started Operation Iraqi Freedom we had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, and by the time we finished major combat operations in Iraq last May we had more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.
So why am I still exercised about John Kerry?In this, as in his proposals of how to deal with terrorism, we see a return to the tried and failed policies of the '90s. Does Kerry actually have any new ideas? Or will he simply keep butting his head against the wall in the deluded hope of achieving something that is impossible?
It's the ramifications of his foreign policy in general, especially his fixation on the United Nations as the arbiter of international legitimacy, proctor of that "global test."
Save for the U.S. veto in the Security Council, Israel loses every struggle at the U.N. against lopsided majorities. In the General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission, Muslim states trade their votes to protect aggressors and tyrannies from censure in exchange for libels against the Jewish state. The body's bloated and dishonest bureaucracies are no better, as evidenced most recently by the head of the U.N. Palestine refugee organization, who defended having Hamas militants on his staff.
I've searched to find one time when Kerry — even candidate Kerry — criticized a U.N. action or statement against Israel. I've come up empty. Nor has he defended Israel against the European Union's continuous hectoring. Another thing that bothers me about Kerry is the deus ex machina he has up his sleeve: the appointment of a presidential envoy. It's hard to count how many special emissaries have been dispatched from Washington to the Middle East to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. What's easy to see is that none of them has gotten to "yes."
Americans are presented with a choice in this election rare in our history. This is not 1952, when Democrats and Republicans did not differ too much on the need to stay in Korea, or even 1968 when Humphrey and Nixon alike did not wish to withdraw unilaterally from Vietnam. It is more like 1972 or 1980, when a naïve McGovern/Dukakis worldview was sharply at odds with the Nixon/Reagan tragic acknowledgement of the need to confront Soviet-inspired Communism. Is it to be more aid, talk, indictments, and summits — or a tough war to kill the terrorists and change the conditions that created them?Every time that Kerry speaks of his foreign policy views he hurts himself not because he says something wrong, but because he displays himself for what he really is - a left-leaning pacifist who will not use America's power. As much as he tries to hide behind the veneer of toughness, his true internationalist side emerges in his non-prepared comments.
Mr. Kerry believes that we must return to the pre-9/11 days when terrorism was but a "nuisance." In his mind, that was a nostalgic sort of time when the terrorist mosquito lazily buzzed about a snoring America. And we in somnolent response merely swatted it away with a cruise missile or a few GPS bombs when embassies and barracks were blown up. Keep the tribute of dead Americans low, and the chronic problem was properly analogous to law-enforcement's perpetual policing of gambling and prostitution. Many of us had previously written off just such naïveté, but we never dreamed that our suspicions would be confirmed so explicitly by Kerry himself.
John Kerry is probably going to lose this election, despite the "Vote for Change" rock tour, despite Air America, despite Kitty Kelley's fraud hyped on national media, despite Soros's moveon.org hit pieces, despite Fahrenheit 9-11, despite the Nobel Prizes and Cannes Film Awards, despite Rathergate and ABC Memogate, despite the European press, despite Kofi Annan's remonstrations, despite a barking Senator Harkin or Kennedy, despite the leaks of rogue CIA Beltway insiders, despite Jimmy Carter's sanctimonious lectures, despite Joe Wilson, Anonymous, and Richard Clarke — and more. You all have given your best shot, but I think you are going to lose.Mark Steyn, meanwhile, boils down Kerry's mistaken view to this key paragraph, in an excellent article,
Why? Because the majority of Americans does not believe you. The majority is more likely to accept George Bush's tragic view that we really are in a war for our very survival to stop those who would kill us and to alter the landscape that produced them — a terrible war that we are winning.
When all is said and done, it still is as simple as that.
‘It’s a different kind of war,’ says Kerry. ‘You have to understand it’s not the sands of Iwo Jima.’ That’s true. But Kerry’s mistake is in assuming that because it’s not Iwo Jima, it’s somehow less of a war. Until recently we thought of ‘asymmetrical warfare’ as something the natives did with machetes against the colonialist occupier. But in fact the roles have been reversed. These days, your average Western power — Germany, Canada, Belgium — is utterly incapable of projecting conventional military might to, say, Saudi Arabia or the Pakistani tribal lands. But a dozen young Saudi or Pakistani males with a little cash, some debit cards and the right phone numbers in their address books can project themselves to Frankfurt, Ottawa or Antwerp very easily and to devastating effect. That’s the lesson of 9/11.
As a form of low-intensity warfare, intifada is an instrument in the service of a policy. The problem for the Palestinians is that it is used not as a means to an end but as an end in itself. What Arafat rejected in 2000 was clear. But what exactly it was that he wanted was never clarified. This ambiguity is the inevitable result of contradictions in the strategy that Arafat developed from 1991 onwards.While the first part of that quote is correct, I think that Arafat knew exactly what he wanted, and clarified it, if only in Arabic. Arafat saw Oslo as one part of the Phased Plan for the destruction of Israel. Getting territory in close proximity to Israel, from where he could launch attacks was always his plan. There was never an intention to make peace.
This is John Edwards on Monday at a rally in Newton, Iowa: "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."As the campaign draws to a close, the Kedwards campaign seems willing to do and say anything to win.
In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable.
The idea that President Bush and Mr. Cheney would declare such a statement to be proof that Mr. Kerry is unfit to lead actually says more about them than Mr. Kerry. Excuse me, I don't know about you, but I dream of going back to the days when terrorism was just a nuisance in our lives.Unfortunately for Tom, that is not really possible. Terrorism has existed for a long time, but only recently has it grown into more than just one man with a bomb. Terrorism, as a tactic, has completely been absorbed by the Islamic world as the answer to all their problems. And having allowed it to continue, and in fact to be rewarded (think Arafat and the PA), we have created something that can not be just a nuisance until we achieve victory over the Islamofascist ideology. And as Arnold Ahlert points out, how do we define nuisance?
And I suspect that other relatively large-scale instances — the Beslan school massacre, the Madrid train bombings, the Bali nightclub bombing and a couple of the more effective insurgent bombings in Iraq — would also be considered "too much."But neither Tom nor John Kerry can really answer that question.
But what about some of the "lesser" terror events in which a relatively small number of people were killed? The attack on the USS Cole, the murder of the pregnant Israeli women and her four daughters, and the burnings and hangings of Americans in Fallujah spring to mind — "just" 19, 5 and 4 deaths respectively.
Smaller? How about the execution of reporter Daniel Pearl, or wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer pushed off the deck of the Achille Lauro, or any of the beheadings in Iraq that resulted in only one death per "event"? Have we gotten to "nuisance level" yet, Sen. Kerry?
I wish Mr. Kerry were better able to articulate how America is going to get its groove back. But the point he was raising about wanting to put terrorism back into perspective is correct. I want a president who can one day restore Sept. 11th to its rightful place on the calendar: as the day after Sept. 10th and before Sept. 12th. I do not want it to become a day that defines us. Because ultimately Sept. 11th is about them - the bad guys - not about us. We're about the Fourth of July.Once again, Tom decides to close his eyes and dream. Sept. 11 was more than "about them", it actually is about us. It is the day that we (at least some of us) finally realized that there is a war going on, and that it has been raging for a few years. It is a war against all of us in the civilized world. And whether Tom likes it or not, it does define us. Like Kennedy's assassination defined that generation, or Pearl Harbor the generation before, 9/11 defined our generation. Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when the Twin Towers fell. We can't just close our eyes and pretend that the threat doesn't exist.
Here we had a situation where two parties were not equal but Clinton’s political correctness deemed them as equal: equally wrong and equally right, equally culpable and equally innocent. It’s beyond most liberal Democrats to admit that some countries are better than others and some cultures are better than others. Clinton’s White House carried this notion to the extreme in its dealings with Israel and the Palestinian Authority.This moral equivalence guided the media to show Israel as an aggressor instead of a victim of a terrorist onslaught. And the difference between Clinton and Bush is striking.
Moral clarity. Bush has it, Clinton didn’t. Bush understands that there’s no difference between a Hamas suicide bomber and an Al Qaeda suicide bomber. He recognizes that Israel’s struggle against its enemies is but another front of the same “war on terror”. Clinton, through the actions of his State Department appeared to fail to grasp this. Instead, he helped create the leftist myth that the self-defensive actions of Israel and the terrorism of Palestinian Arabs are morally equivalent. To this day, much of the mainstream international press echoes this sentiment. Bush has no such illusions. Clinton cared about Clinton. As I said earlier, legacy was his primary concern, so in essence the actual quality of the peace he attempted to facilitate through the Oslo Accords was immaterial. Since in my opinion he was essentially chasing a trophy, peace at any cost was to him, acceptable.Peace at any price is exactly where John Kerry wants us to go back to.
The Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee are advising election operatives to declare voter intimidation -- even if none existsThe DNC is advising its operatives to, in effect, cheat. Apparently Kerry is not taking his mother's deathbed advice of "Integrity, Integrity, Integrity". I used to think that Kerry was a generally decent person who was just completely wrong about all the issues. At this point, I think he is an incredibly slimy politician, who will take any position and pander to anyone on any subject if he thinks it will help him.
As President, he has been denounced as a traitor who has "betrayed" Americans, a liar, a corrupt manipulator who misled America and sent its young and innocent to battle in full knowledge that their mission was fraudulent and their deaths needless. It has been charged that the sole reason he sent the young to die was to line the pockets of his corporate Texas cronies. He has been accused in advance of being responsible for any dirty nuclear bomb that terrorists detonate in the United States. And these are merely the attacks originating with Al Gore and Ted Kennedy before spreading through the Democratic ranks. Not a single Democrat, by the way, has stood up to deplore the recklessness of these smears, or to speculate on how such attacks might affect the fortunes of the troops under the President's command. Instead of fulfilling their role as neutral arbiters of the facts, the media have regularly given these destructive and despicable accusations a free pass.Even more interesting, however, is the Kerry campaign's cover-up of who its advisers actually are. Lawrence Kaplan shows how in order to "amplify" the message of his campaign Kerry's unpaid and secret advisers have been appearing in the press supporting his themes.
The campaign has concerns other than intellectual integrity, foremost among them the "amplification"--a term favored at Kerry headquarters--of its foreign policy message. Hence, in messages from Kerry aides to members of the campaign's advisory teams, the stipulation holds: Go forth and spread the word, but say it's your own. As a result, when these scholars take to the airwaves and the newspapers in agreement with Kerry's positions, they do so under their own names and affiliations. This leaves readers completely unaware of an expert's affiliation and makes it impossible to disentangle a scholar's views from the campaign's. "If you've signed on to a campaign, even in an unpaid capacity," says the Center for Public Integrity's Bill Allison, "and you don't disclose your affiliation when writing about campaign issues, you're misleading the public."
Edwards: 'When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again'.This is simply absurd.
The explicit demand to dismantle Israel rather than seek a Palestinian state alongside it is growing also as a result of the current Palestinian assessment. It is a "right of return" to the 1960s and 1970s arising from the combination of a lost intifada, victory in the international propaganda war, and refusal of a real compromise peace.I think that Rubin is somewhat overly optimistic to believe that no one will fall for this ploy. There are plenty of leftists, academics, and Israel-haters who will jump on this and attempt to frame Israel as another apartheid state like South Africa.
It is also one more in a long series of Palestinian mistakes. For every person in the West ready to go along with the Palestinian demand to destroy Israel there are five or 10 willing to accept the movement's supposed nationalist narrative.
They will buy the argument that Palestinians just want their own homeland, but not the idea that it should include Israel as well.
This is even truer of Western states and politicians. The PLO's new line is likely to be a public-relations disaster, undoing many of the movement's apparent gains in the battle for public opinion.
This year's General Assembly has got off to a roaring start with the usual priorities. In mid-September, the well-funded UN apparatus dedicated to the Arab side of the Arab-Israeli conflict swung into full gear. The UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held its annual Conference of Civil Society in Support of Palestinian People.
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL'S turn arrived the following week. Kofi Annan opened the General Assembly on September 21 by naming only one country on earth as guilty of violating international law through the "excessive use of force."
You guessed it – Israel. A previous version of the speech, which was distributed to journalists, condemned "Israeli operations presented as 'self-defense'" – Annan's quotations, not mine.
Most nations in the world look out for themselves. We cringe at the idea of a 'global test' because we know who's going to be grading the test. We know the anti-Americanism that exists around the world. We know the incompetence and corruption that dominates the UN. We know that leaders like Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder are determined to take any opportunity to hinder the United States. We know that international media organizations, from the BBC to Al-Jazeera, are doing everything they can to whip up even more hostility toward this country. In short, we know that you would have a better chance at a fair hearing in an Olympic figure-skating competition than you would of getting a fair grade on a 'global test.'"
And yet, if you're as invested as the Democrats are in reconstructing the cardboard facade of Sept. 10, I can understand why you'd think Pretty Boy did a grand job last Tuesday. That's what my tennis/football analogy boils down to: One team's playing by Sept. 11 rules, the others are running a Sept. 10 campaign. I find it hard to believe that 51 percent of folks in states totaling 270 electoral votes are willing to cast a delusional ballot to return to the fictions of Sept. 10. But, if they are, so be it. If a majority of Americans want to pretend that the U.N. isn't a sewer of corruption and that the French are America's allies, not Saddam's, well, we'll just have to live with the consequences.
Asked about his qualifications to be vice president and thus -- in the event of John Kerry being felled by a grisly windsurfing tragedy -- president and commander in chief, John Edwards talked about what ''the American people want in their president and in their vice president.'' First, he said, ''they want to know that their president and their vice president will keep them safe.''
Oh, phooey. That would be a neat line if the American people had all got lead-poisoning and hired you to file the all-time class-action suit on their behalf. But no president can guarantee safeness in unsafe times. What he can do is demonstrate the necessary will to roll back the threat and exterminate it, and encourage the American people to maintain that resolve, too -- as Churchill did in Britain's darkest hour, after the fall of France and with German invasion imminent, when he told the people ''you can always take one with you.'' In time of war, free peoples don't stay free if they look to a smooth-talking shyster-president to shelter them in the embrace of the nanny-state.
The strongest force in international affairs is inertia. It's everywhere: a continuous pressure from the U.N., the EU, the Chinese, the Arab League, the State Department and half the federal bureaucracy to do nothing about anything -- do nothing about the Sudanese genocide until everyone's dead, do nothing about Iran's nuclear program until it's complete and the silos are loaded, do nothing about anything except hold meetings and issue statements of concern. To resist the allure of inertia will require enormous will, not just from the president but from the American people. After the vice presidential debate, it was said by many on the right that Dick Cheney came over as the grown-up and John Edwards as the callow youth. But that goes for the audience too. Cheney treated the American people as grown-ups, Edwards condescended to the electorate as a nation of coatless girls. He's wrong, I hope.
The unasked questions: Is there anything you can ask John Kerry that he doesn't have a plan for? Is his plan to have a plan for everything? If you ask him whether he's concerned that something might come up that he doesn't have a plan for, does he have a plan to deal with things he hasn't planned? Has he planned for the possibility that he might misplace one of his plans?Of course, he never tells us what these plans actually are; just that they exist.
Do the bad guys -- the terrorists in their Afghan caves and Iraqi redoubts -- want George Bush defeated in this election? Bush critics, among them the editors of the New York Times, have worked themselves into a lather over the mere suggestion that this might be so. A front-page "analysis" in The Post quoted several Republican variations of this theme -- such as Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage saying that the terrorists in Iraq "are trying to influence the election against President Bush" -- then noted that "[s]uch accusations . . . surfaced in the modern era during the McCarthy communist hunt."
Intimations of McCarthyism constitute a serious charge. But the charge is not remotely serious. Of course the terrorists want Bush defeated. How can anyone pretend otherwise?
The Islamists and Baathists in Iraq are conducting their own Tet Offensive with the same objective as the one in 1968: to demoralize the American citizenry, convince it that the war cannot be won, and ultimately encourage it to reject the administration that brought the war upon them and that is the more unequivocal about seeing it through.
It is perfectly true, as Bush critics constantly point out, that many millions around the world -- from Jacques Chirac to the Arab street -- dislike Bush and want to see him defeated. It is ridiculous to pretend that bin Laden, Zarqawi and the other barbarians are not among them.
You voted for this war but you voted against the peace you say is so important to win merely because you decided that toppling the tyranny of Howard Dean's high poll numbers was worth paying any price, bearing any burden.The sad and scary thing is that there are plenty of people who believe Kedwards and think just like him.
But forget all that. I just watched John Kerry preen in front of the cameras about how "good diplomacy" would have prevented the mistake he voted for. "Good diplomacy" in John Kerry's world would have let French and Russian politicians continue to line their pockets in the name of keeping Saddam in power so he could rape and murder and torture until "good diplomacy" welcomed him back into the "international community" and gave him the weapons he sought. I suppose in John Kerry's world good diplomacy lets the boys in the back of the bar finish raping the girl for fear of causing a fuss.
Oh, one more thing no one asks. How could Bush think he could pull this thing off? I mean, knowing as he did that there were no WMDs in Iraq, how could he invade the country and think no one would notice? And if he's capable of lying to send Americans to their deaths for some nebulous petro-oedipal conspiracy no intelligent person has bothered to make even credible, why on earth didn't he just plant some WMDs on the victim after the fact? If you're willing to kill Americans for a lie, surely you'd be willing to plant some anthrax to keep your job.
And speaking of the victim, if it's in fact true that Bush offered no rationale for the war other than WMDs, why shouldn't we simply let Saddam out of his cage and put him back in office? We can even use some of the extra money from the Oil-for-Food program to compensate him for the damage to his palaces and prisons. Heck, if John Edwards weren't busy, he could represent him.
Saddam Husayn so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted.It may be too long ago for some people to remember, but France, Russia and China, the "allies" that Kerry so loves and respects, were fighting tooth and nail to end the sanctions so that they could once again restart trade with Iraq - not that they ever truly stopped, it turns out.
No one heard Emad Levy's Rosh Hashana prayers last week and that's how he wanted it. Standing in the living room of his rundown home off a main street in central Baghdad, the last Hebrew-reading Iraqi Jew prayed alone. No shofar was blown and no feast was eaten. When he finished, the 38-year-old bachelor walked to an adjoining room and bathed 80-year-old Ibrahim [Abraham] Shkouri, who is still recovering from a leg amputation.
In many ways, this Rosh Hashana marked an ominous first for a man who embodies the very last vestiges of the 2,600-year-old Iraqi Jewish community.
For the first time, Levy, the community's acting rabbi (there are no more certified rabbis), was unable to go to the synagogue and blow the shofar on Rosh Hashana.
It was also the first time that Levy did not pray at the graves of his dead ancestors at the Baghdad Jewish cemetery - an Iraqi Jewish custom performed the day before Rosh Hashana.
Saddam Hussein believed he could avoid the Iraq war with a bribery strategy targeting Jacques Chirac, the President of France, according to devastating documents released last night.Kerry continues to insist that he would have built a "true coalition", clearly implying that he would have brought France, Russia, and China on board. But from everything it is clear that this would have never have happened. Just today Kerry admitted that it is highly unlikely that he would be able to convince France or Germany to send troops to Iraq now. Yet at every opportunity Kerry and Edwards insist that they "have a plan" for Iraq. Well, what is it????
Memos from Iraqi intelligence officials, recovered by American and British inspectors, show the dictator was told as early as May 2002 that France - having been granted oil contracts - would veto any American plans for war.
A memo sent to Saddam dated in May last year from his intelligence corps said they met with a "French parliamentarian" who "assured Iraq that France would use its veto in the UN Security Council against any American decision to attack Iraq."
The significance of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip is to put the establishment of a Palestinian state on hold, and do so with the permission of the United States, a senior Sharon aide said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday.This should make it clear that terrorism will not be rewarded. The Palestinians were steps away from achieving another state for themselves just 4 years ago. Today they get nothing. I'm sure there will be more handwringing from the EUnuchs, but after having clearly shown their anti-Israel stance, Israel considers them irrelevant. The Palestinians have no one to blame but themselves.
"Disengagement is actually formaldehyde," said Sharon's special adviser, Dov Weisglass. "It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians."
Weisglass said in meetings with Bush administration officials he had received full backing for Sharon's plan to freeze the peace process with the Palestinians, Haaretz reported.It will be a cold day in hell before the Palestinians become Finns.
"What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns," he was quoted as saying.
Israel has arrested 13 U.N. employees and plans to indict them for "suspected links to terrorism," an Israeli army officer said Tuesday.About time Israel has started to go after the UN.
The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) confirmed in a television interview that his group employs Hamas members in Gaza.This of course, comes on the heels of video released by the IDF showing Palestinians loading Qassam rockets into a vehicle marked "UN".
"I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime," UNRWA head Peter Hansen told Canada's CBC television Sunday.
And so for the past few months it has become common wisdom that the war in Iraq is lost, based on what any historian will tell you is far too little evidence to make such a final judgment. Not only that, but the entire approach to foreign policy that has been called the "Bush doctrine" is, therefore, finished.This is a point that Victor Hanson has previously made - namely, that the people reporting on this war, and making judgments about its success completely lack a historical perspective. It doesn't take much in terms of knowledge to become a journalist, and most seem to lack a knowledge of history. Their knowledge of military actions seem to go back only as far as VietNam, and therefore all current reporting is colored by that. Most also do not recognize the nature of the war we are fighting, seeing problems now and instantly declaring failure. This war is truly World War IV, and will most likely last as long as the Cold War. A little patience is needed; an ability to step back and see that more has been accomplished in 1 1/2 years in Iraq than had been accomplished in pretty much any other US military venture.
IDF releases video footage taken by unmanned aircraft showing militants loading vehicle marked `UN` with rocketsUndoubtedly the UN is indispensable to terrorists. This is the organization that will be giving that "global test" to the US.
So Kerry flip and flops like a fish out of water, suggesting that his heart is with Howard Dean while his mind concurs with George Bush — and thus his schizophrenia is on the verge of leading his party to a landslide defeat in the electoral college, and the loss of all branches of government with it. Americans simply have never voted for leaders who insult their allies on the battlefield, claim that their soldiers are losing, and shrug that the war is about lost. And they surely won't this time either.