Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, September 13, 2004

Unbe-fucking-lievable

      The ability of the Kerry campaign to deposit bullets in its leg continues to astonish me.

      After ducking the press for almost six weeks, the Sen. sits down with a magazine reporter, and gives his lower extremity his best shots:

TIME
Speaking of clarity, a number of your allies have said that you haven't drawn a clear contrast between yourself and President Bush on Iraq.

KERRY
The contrast could not be clearer.  They spent a lot of money trying to confuse people, but I have been consistent.  I would not have taken the country into war the way he did.  I would not have put young Americans in harm's way without a plan to win the peace.  I would not have interrupted as abruptly the effort to build alliances with other countries.  I would not have turned my back on the international community.  And Americans are paying a $200 billion cost today because this President rushed to war.

TIME
Is the President being as aggressive as he should be in dealing with insurgent strongholds in Iraq?

KERRY
At this moment in time, I'm not sitting with the generals in front of me for the full briefing.  I'm not going to comment on that right now.  That is up to the President.  It's his decision to make.  But I will tell you this, that we've gone backward in Iraq, and we've gone backward on the war on terror.  I'm not President until Jan. 20, if America elects me.  I don't know what I'll find in Iraq.

But I'll tell you this: I will pursue a far more aggressive, proactive statesmanship role to bring countries to our side in an effort in which they have an interest.
  Ninety percent of the casualties and costs are being borne by Americans.  That's inexcusable.

I believe very deeply that it takes a new President, a new credibility, a fresh start, to change the whole equation in Iraq.  I will get countries involved in ways that the President doesn't have them involved today, and I will get our troops home.

TIME
How?  Diplomats say that it is not in our allies' political interest—

KERRY
George Bush has made it not in their interest today.  There are all sorts of options with respect to Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds in the region that this Administration is not exploring.  They have failed in their diplomacy utterly.  In fact, they have made it easy for countries to say no, because of their arrogance, because of the way the President chose to go to war.

TIME
As President, who would be the first person you would phone?

KERRY
I'm not going to say one, two, three.  I will tell you that I have 20 years of experience on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  I have personal relationships with leaders around the world.  I will not cede our security to any other country.  I won't cede our security to any institution, but I know how to reach out to countries and leaders and build bipartisan-support structures necessary to strengthen the country.

TIME
You can't be more specific?

KERRY
I know exactly what I'm going to do, but I'm not the President today.  I've already laid out the international conference, the shared responsibilities between European and Arab countries, the more rapid training of Iraqi police and military. ; I think it's almost pathetic the rate at which we have done that.  They [the Bush Administration]are hardly behaving like we're truly a country at war.  It's pathetic that they left ammunition dumps and nuclear facilities unprotected.

They disbanded the Iraqi military.  They didn't protect the borders.  It's one of the most catastrophic jobs of management that I've ever seen.

TIME
Will you be more specific about timetables for getting troops out?

KERRY
I have said that I have a goal to be able to bring our troops out of there within my first term, and I hope to be able to bring out some troops within the first year.  But what's important here is that I can fight a more effective war on terror.  George Bush diverted the focus from Afghanistan.  The 9/11 commission makes it clear that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al-Qaeda.  The war was against al-Qaeda and for getting justice for 9/11.  George Bush diverted attention from that.  And we're spending $200 billion over there [in Iraq] now that could have gone to schools in America, could have gone to after-school programs, could have gone to health care, could have gone to infrastructure.


      So, somehow he would have persuaded countries that were opposed to our intervention to do something or other different, and if that didn't result in something or another, he'd have taken an unspecified action that would have some way or another have brought about results that aren't described, but would have been better.  Now that that chance has been thrown away, he'll go to some other countries, and get them to put troops into Iraq, and get them to pay us large sums, unless they do something else.  Clear now?

      The only thing that's definite in that mess is that he'll withdraw troops ASAP, and that Saddam wasn't involved with al-Qaeda.  The first part is Viet Nam all over again.  The second part is factually untrue -- Saddam was aiding al-Qaeda, though it's not certain they helped or knew about 9/11 beforehand.

      But if the above wasn't vague enough for you, just wait!  Here's more:

TIME
How would you go about winning the war of ideas in the Middle East?

KERRY
What I intend to do is to put in play the economic power, the values and principles, the public diplomacy, so we're isolating the radical Islamic extremists and not having the radical extremists isolate the United States.  It means bringing religious leaders together, including moderate mullahs, clerics, imams—pulling the world together in a dialogue about who these extremists really are and how they are hijacking the legitimacy of Islam itself.  That takes leadership, and that leadership has not been put on the table.

You have almost 60% of the populations of Egypt and Saudi Arabia under 30, and 50% under 18.  We have to engage in a way that offers them some alternative to the radical madrasahs that are educating them to hate and to go out and strap explosives around themselves.

They [the Bush Administration] haven't even engaged in a legitimate effort to try to really transform the ability of Israel to find a legitimate entity to negotiate with.  The only thing they do is rattle the saber.


      I think this means that in addition to the money we're somehow going to get to pay someone else to finance the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, we'll also somehow offset all the oil money that Iran and Saudi Arabia use to support Islamofacism around the world.  And we'll somehow find Israel a "legitimate entity" to negotiate with.  Does this mean we'll try to get rid of Arafat?  And is a "legitimate entity" going to do anything to stop Hamas and Hezbollah?  Beats the Hell out of me.  But Sen. Kerry, supernegotiater, will do what no one has been able to do in eighty years, i.e., make everybody in the Near East love each other.  Sure.

      But maybe the problem is just a total disconnect from reality:

TIME
Are you surprised at the bounce Bush got out of his convention?

KERRY
I don't know what you're talking about in terms of the Bush bounce.  This is a very close race, and I'm not somebody that runs around worried about polls.


      Go read the whole thing for more jaw droppers.  Me, I feel like I need a stiff drink.

Update:
      Just to prove he's willing to be stupid with multiple news outlets, Kerry called The New York Times and gave them a 15 minute phone interview in which we find:

When Mr. Kerry was pressed about how he would handle the threat of a North Korean nuclear test if he was in the Oval Office, he declined to be prescriptive, other than to say that the issue would probably have to be taken to the United Nations Security Council.  "Hypothetical questions are not real," he said, arguing that North Korea was a case for preventive diplomacy, and that Mr. Bush's "ideologically driven" approach had kept him from truly engaging North Korea.  "The Chinese are frustrated, the South Koreans, the Japanese are frustrated," he said.


      So, Sen. Superdiplomat won't tell us what he'll do in this case either, but whatever it is, it would work.  Just trust him on that one, OK?

SAUDIA ARABIA MUST BE DESTROYED!

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home