Fat Steve's Blatherings

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Kerry Reveals Himself, and It Ain't Pretty

      Anyone who wonders what Kerry really thinks about the "War On Terror" can find out in an interview Kerry gave to the New York Times magazine.  It's windy and vague, as Kerry is, but in the end, his viewpoint comes clear.

      John Kerry wants to fight the War On Terror the way he wanted to fight the Cold War: admit we're fundamentally corrupt, and surrender.  He wouldn't put it that way, but that's what it comes down to.

      Kerry sees terrorism the way he saw the former Soviet Union (OOH! I just love to type "former Soviet Union"!) -- which, come to think of it, was a state sponsor of terrorism.  Kerry and his intellectual supporters think about terrorism the same way they thought about the USSR:
The argument going on in Washington has its roots in the dark years of the cold war. Just about everyone agrees that many factors contributed to America's triumph over world communism -- but people differ on which of those factors were most important. The neo-conservatives who shaped Reagan's anti-Soviet policy and now shape Bush's war on terror have long held that the ''twilight struggle'' with the Soviet empire was won primarily as a result of U.S. military intervention in several hemispheres and of Reagan's massive arms buildup, without which democracy and free markets could not have taken hold. Many liberals, on the other hand, have never been comfortable with that premise; while they acknowledge that American military power played a role, they contend that the long ideological struggle with communism ended chiefly because the stifling economic and social tenets of Marxism were unsustainable, and because a new leader emerged -- Mikhail Gorbachev -- who understood that. They see Islamic fanaticism, similarly, as a repressive ideology, born of complex societal conditions, that won't be defeated by any predominately military solution.

      Now, if you really know anything about Mikail Gorbachev, you know this is wrong.  Gorbachev didn't think the Soviet system was 'unsustainable', he thought it was mismanaged.  He aimed, explicitly, to rebuild that system, and make it powerful again.

      And if you know anything about the history of the Cold War, you know that the former (OOH!) Soviet Union never thought about living in a permanent state of peace with the U.S., or any capitalist country.  They always intended to spread their foul tyranny around the world, by any means available.

      Kerry and his posse refuse to let themselves know that.  They think every govt. really wants to live in peace with us, and as soon as we make kissy noises they'll be our friends:
Instead of military might, liberal thinkers believe, the moment calls for a combination of expansive diplomacy abroad and interdiction at home, an effort more akin to the war on drugs than to any conventional war of the last century.

Even Democrats who stress that combating terrorism should include a strong military option argue that the ''war on terror'' is a flawed construct. ''We're not in a war on terror, in the literal sense,'' says Richard Holbrooke, the Clinton-era diplomat who could well become Kerry's secretary of state. ''The war on terror is like saying 'the war on poverty.' It's just a metaphor. What we're really talking about is winning the ideological struggle so that people stop turning themselves into suicide bombers.''

These competing philosophies, neo-conservative and liberal, aren't mutually exclusive, of course. Neo-cons will agree that military operations are just one facet, albeit the main one, of their response to terrorism. And liberals are almost unanimous in their support for military force when the nation or its allies face an imminent and preventable threat; not only did the vast majority of liberal policy makers support the invasion of Afghanistan, but many also thought it should have been pursued more aggressively. Still, the philosophical difference between the two camps, applied to a conflict that may well last a generation, is both deep and distinct. Fundamentally, Bush sees the war on terror as a military campaign, not simply to protect American lives but also to preserve and spread American values around the world; his liberal critics see it more as an ideological campaign, one that will turn back a tide of resentment toward Americans and thus limit the peril they face at home.

      The possibility that winning the ideological war means killing people till the survivors despair isn't mentally acceptable.  The possibility that the "tide of resentment" is stirred up by people seeking power is unacceptable.  And the idea of saying to foreign countries: "The means DETERMINE the end.  If you want your country to be different, you have to do different things," well, forget it.

      The really surprising thing that comes through is that Kerry doesn't believe in democracy, and never has.  The Vietnamese peasants didn't care about the right to vote, and didn't understand the difference between being able to vote out a govt. and not being able to vote it out.  Kerry doesn't talk about his real ideas because the voters aren't smart enough to understand them.  Non-democratic rulers have to be persuaded, through diplomacy, to allow themselves to be voted out of power.

      Kerry basically sees the terrorists as gangs of criminals, like drug trafficers.  All foreign govts. are run by decent people, and all decent people automatically will be opposed to terrorists as soon as their true nature is explained properly.  It hasn't been explained properly, because Bush doesn't understand the legitimate resentment of the First World by the THird World.  Once they're appeased, they'll join with us to surpress the crooks.  Kerry is MR. SUPERDIPLOMAT, who will persuade everyone to join with us (he's also going to persuade the Palestinians to let Israel alone, by . . . uh, well there it gets a tad bit vague, but he'll do it.)  What we need to do is get rid of this military nonsense and bribe them with foreign aid, and perhaps threaten them with sanctions.
When Kerry first told me that Sept. 11 had not changed him, I was surprised. I assumed everyone in America -- and certainly in Washington -- had been changed by that day. I assumed he was being overly cautious, afraid of providing his opponents with yet another cheap opportunity to call him a flip-flopper. What I came to understand was that, in fact, the attacks really had not changed the way Kerry viewed or talked about terrorism

      The Kerry Prescription: Bend Over and Grease Up, America!.  It's all our fault, and we need to grovel harder.

      Nice to have it finally laid out. 

      My wife says the thing that makes her angriest about this presidential election is that there isn't a choice.  Kerry is so out of touch he can't be seriously considered, so you're forced to vote for Bush.  I'm not as angry as her, more disgusted (is this funny looking mediocrity really the best we can do?), but in the end I agree: W. is the only one who can possibly perform succesfully as President.  He's the only possible candidate for serious people.

      May God have mercy on us till 2009.



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