September 27, 2004


Disgraceful: The disgraceful behavior of John Kerry and his team is sufficient grounds for concern about his fitness to be president (William Kristol, 10/04/2004, Weekly Standard)

[K]erry and his advisers have behaved disgracefully this past week. That behavior is sufficient grounds for concern about his fitness to be president.

[K]erry was asked about Kofi Annan's description of the war in Iraq as an "illegal" invasion. Kerry answered: "I don't know what the law, the legalities are that he's referring to. I don't know." So the U.S. government is accused of breaking international law, and Kerry chooses not to defend his country against the charge, or to label it ridiculous or offensive. He is agnostic.

Then Kerry continued: "Well, let me say this to all of you: That underscores what I am saying. If the leader of the United Nations is at odds with the legality, and we're not working at getting over that hurdle and bringing people to the table, as I said in my speech yesterday, it's imperative to be able to build international cooperation." It's our fault that the U.N. is doing almost nothing to help in Iraq. After all, according to Kerry, "Kofi Annan offered the help of the United Nations months ago. This president chose to go the other way."

Leave aside the rewriting of history going on here. The president of the United States had just appealed for help from the United Nations and its member states to ensure that elections go forward in Iraq. Kerry could have reinforced that appeal for help with his own, thereby making it a bipartisan request. He chose instead to give the U.N., France, Germany, and everyone else an excuse to do nothing over these next crucial five weeks, with voter registration scheduled to begin November 1. If other nations prefer not to help the United States, the Democratic presidential candidate has given them his blessing. [...]

Two days later, Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi spoke to a joint meeting of Congress. Sen. Kerry could not be troubled to attend, as a gesture of solidarity and respect. Instead, Kerry said in Ohio that Allawi was here simply to put the "best face on the policy." So much for an impressive speech by perhaps America's single most important ally in the war on terror, the courageous and internationally recognized leader of a nation struggling to achieve democracy against terrorist opposition.

But Kerry's rudeness paled beside the comment of his senior adviser, Joe Lockhart, to the Los Angeles Times: "The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips."

Is Kerry proud that his senior adviser's derisive comment about the leader of free Iraq will now be quoted by terrorists and by enemies of the United States, in Iraq and throughout the Middle East? Is the concept of a loyalty to American interests that transcends partisan politics now beyond the imagination of the Kerry campaign?

John Kerry has decided to pursue a scorched-earth strategy in this campaign. He is prepared to insult allies, hearten enemies, and denigrate efforts to succeed in Iraq. His behavior is deeply irresponsible--and not even in his own best interest.

There is some chance, after all, that John Kerry will be president in four months. If so, what kind of situation will he have created for himself?

The same kind he left Richard Nixon in Vietnam and tried to create for Ronald Reagan in Nicaragua?

Flirting With Disaster: The vile spectacle of Democrats rooting for bad news in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Christopher Hitchens, Sept. 27, 2004, Slate)

Ever since The New Yorker published a near-obituary piece for the Kerry campaign, in the form of an autopsy for the Robert Shrum style, there has been a salad of articles prematurely analyzing "what went wrong." This must be nasty for Democratic activists to read, and I say "nasty" because I hear the way they respond to it. A few pin a vague hope on the so-called "debates"—which are actually joint press conferences allowing no direct exchange between the candidates—but most are much more cynical. Some really bad news from Iraq, or perhaps Afghanistan, and/or a sudden collapse or crisis in the stock market, and Kerry might yet "turn things around." You have heard it, all right, and perhaps even said it. But you may not have appreciated how depraved are its implications. If you calculate that only a disaster of some kind can save your candidate, then you are in danger of harboring a subliminal need for bad news. And it will show. What else explains the amazingly crude and philistine remarks of that campaign genius Joe Lockhart, commenting on the visit of the new Iraqi prime minister and calling him a "puppet"? Here is the only regional leader who is even trying to hold an election, and he is greeted with an ungenerous sneer.

The unfortunately necessary corollary of this—that bad news for the American cause in wartime would be good for Kerry—is that good news would be bad for him. Thus, in Mrs. Kerry's brainless and witless offhand yet pregnant remark, we hear the sick thud of the other shoe dropping. How can the Democrats possibly have gotten themselves into a position where they even suspect that a victory for the Zarqawi or Bin Laden forces would in some way be welcome to them? Or that the capture or killing of Bin Laden would not be something to celebrate with a whole heart?

Because they hate George W. Bush more than Islamicism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 27, 2004 4:26 PM

I don't know about my brother ex-pats but it's just terrible for me to come home on R&R from overseas work to read and hear things about Kerry. He and his pals are not fit to command. Simply not qualified and the country deserves better. I wonder if those morons really understands what they are getting in their quest for anyone but Bush?

Posted by: Tom Wall at September 27, 2004 5:11 PM

I just don't know know about Hanoi John and his pals: my General Loan finger is getting twichy.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 27, 2004 8:22 PM