Shortly after he took office, Thomas Jefferson – America's first chief diplomat – laid out the goals of American foreign policy: "We are pointing out the way to struggling nations who wish, like us, to emerge from their tyrannies." For 225 years . . . these words have guided an America that has come to believe that the surest way to defend our people is to advance our ideals. . . . Saturday evening, halfway around the world . . . Jefferson's promise was fulfilled again. Saddam Hussein was a totalitarian who waged a reign of terror against his people and repeatedly endangered the peace of the world. And no one can doubt that we are safer – and Iraq is better – because Saddam Hussein is now behind bars. . . . I also believe that those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe we are not safer with his capture don't have the judgment to be President – or the credibility to be elected President."(emphasis supplied).Now President Bush said rather the same thing about Saddam in the 2003 State of the Union Speech:
"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late."And when he signed the U.S. resolution authorizing force against Iraq:
"The Iraqi regime is a serious and growing threat to peace. On the commands of a dictator, the regime is armed with biological and chemical weapons, possesses ballistic missiles, promotes international terror and seeks nuclear weapons. The same dictator has a history of mass murder, striking other nations without warning; of intense hatred for America; and of contempt for the demands of the civilized world."So, according to John F
OK, I can understand that. Lots of people agree with Kerry on this count, even fellow liberals like Tony Blair. But what I can't figure out is why lefties who'd respond to a Kerry win over Bush with howls of joy so high-pitched only a dog could hear them, think John Kerry is a sick and malevolent demagogue:
Daniel Schorr: "Sept. 11 provided momentum for an attack on Iraq, although no connection between the terrorist acts and the Saddam Hussein government has ever been convincingly established. . . . And now, the continuing and escalating guerrilla war against US troops has raised the question of whether the administration took America into the war under false pretenses . . . ."According to Schorr, Krugman and
Paul Krugman: "There is no longer any serious doubt that Bush administration officials deceived Americans into war. . . . Thanks to reporting by . . . The New York Times and The Washington Post, and . . . The New Republic, we now know that top officials, including Bush, sought to convey an impression about the Iraqi threat that was not supported by actual intelligence reports. . . . [S]ome commentators have suggested that Bush should be let off the hook as long as there is some interpretation of his prewar statements that is technically true. Really? We're not talking about a business dispute that hinges on the fine print of the contract; we're talking about the most solemn decision a nation can make. If Bush's speeches gave Americans a misleading impression about the case for war, close textual analysis showing that he didn't literally say what he seemed to be saying is no excuse."
Albert Gore, Jr.: [W]hat we now know to have been false impressions include the following: (1) Saddam Hussein was partly responsible for the attack against us on September 11th, 2001, so a good way to respond to that attack would be to invade his country and forcibly remove him from power; (2) Saddam was working closely with Osama Bin Laden and was actively supporting members of the Al Qaeda terrorist group, giving them weapons and money and bases and training, so launching a war against Iraq would be a good way to stop Al Qaeda from attacking us again; (3) Saddam was about to give the terrorists poison gas and deadly germs that he had made into weapons which they could use to kill millions of Americans. Therefore common sense alone dictated that we should send our military into Iraq in order to protect our loved ones and ourselves against a grave threat. . . . Now, of course, everybody knows that every single one of these impressions was just dead wrong. . . . I think it is no longer possible to avoid the conclusion that what the country is dealing with in the Bush Presidency is [a systematic effort to manipulate facts in service to a totalistic ideology that is felt to be more important than the mandates of basic honesty].
So which is it? Is John Kerry a lying demagogue with a totalist ideology that he and Democrats think is more important than the mandates of basic decency? Or does