My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Oh, Really?

In his acceptance speech last night John Kerry asserted that the "Bush Administration has run the most inept, reckless, arrogant, and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our country."

Let's deconstruct this a little bit.

Inept? Let's see. . . two successful, if ongoing, military interdictions in Iraq and Afghanistan versus (just as an example) the Iran Hostage Crisis and Soviet expansion during the Carter administration.

Reckless? Removing from power a corrupt megalomaniac who committed genocide and was a major figure in international terrorism versus granting diplomatic legitimacy to the North Korean regime that was building nuclear weapons materials right under the noses of our treaty during the Clinton administration.

Arrogant? Asserting obvious American supremacy in the world and unapologetically taking American security into American hands versus trying to force-feed a peace agreement to the Israelis in the interest of a legacy during the Clinton years.

Ideological? First of all, what policy is not ideological? This is the sort of silly argument that seems to disarm conservatives while not actually containing any substance. ANY policy had better be an outgrowth of a philosophy--in effect, an ideology. Is it safe, then, to assume that the Senate Dems blockade of judicial appointments is an ideological policy? Of course it is! We've just given up too much of the rhetorical ground on this point, and I hope the President tries to take some of it back. Secondly, I would argue instead that the most ideological--and idealistic--foreign policy in modern history belonged to President Reagan. That "ideology" oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and the spread of democracy to Eastern Europe. Maybe, just maybe, ideology is not such a bad thing.

On top of that, notice how Senator Kerry has yet to articulate just what he would do in office, much less have done different during the last three years. Is it safe to assume, based on his rhetoric, that he would have invaded Afghanistan, but then not worked to detain the enemy combatants? In effect, just scattering the ants away from the ant hill to re-constitute elsewhere? Perhaps he would have spent weeks or months more at the U.N. trying to construct a multi-lateral force to. . .silly me. No, he would have pressed for more sanctions in Iraq. . . Well, no that's not quite right, either. I know--he would have spoken very harshly to Saddam Hussein. And maybe he would not have described North Korea as part of the "Axis of Evil"--thereby guaranteeing that the "secret" nuclear program could continue unabated into the forseeable future.

The point is that anger is not a good substitute for policy, and John Kerry has yet to articulate a policy. Vague references to Franco-German-American relations do not suffice for articulating a coherent view of the world and the dangers it presents. If John Kerry intends to be a serious candidate--meaning weighty and substantial--he had better bring more to the table than his standard stump fluff.

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