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"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Condoleeza's Box

On the Sunday news programs, Condoleeza Rice, the President's National Security Advisor took some time to try to help the President make the argument he couldn't during the debate. Firstly, she said that Kerry advocated an abstract sounding World Test for preemption:

"I heard Senator Kerry say that there was some kind of global test that you ought to be able to pass to support pre-emption, and I don't understand what that means."

(She doesn't understand? Perhaps she'd like us to forget that she has a Doctorate in Political Science!)

Conservatives have jumped on this phrase to declare once again that Kerry would ask "for permission" to defend the country.

Normally, at this point in the blog, I would be lamenting that the Kerry campaign took so long to respond to such criticism, and writing what they should say. Turns out Kerry is on the ball this time. This is what he said to a group in New Hampshire (where, by the way, he has to campaign now--he had it wrapped up there a few weeks ago, ugh):

"I can do a better job of protecting America's security because the test that I was talking about was a test of legitimacy, not just in the globe, but elsewhere. If you do things that are illegitimate in the eyes of the other people, it's very hard to get them to share the burden and risk with you."

Not only that, if your country is really and truly in danger from a specific threat, especially if you're the U.S., countries will be lining up to help you. Look at how the world rallied around us after Sept. 11th. It's not about asking permission, it's about a critical world eye which sees the difference between self-defence and using revenge as an excuse to settle old scores. It's important that the world see any war we fight as legitimate so that we can continue to lead. Oh, and also, if you think some country will be pointing nukes at us, and John Kerry will wait for the U.N. to approve a war before he defends this country, think again. Then agan, if you think that some country will be pointing nukes at us, and the U.N. will want us to wait at all, then you've got international politics all wrong.

It comes down to this: Even though John Kerry has really fought for this country, the Bush administration wants to scare America into thinking he is a long-haired hippie pacifist. Don't believe it.

Second, Condi said, "the idea that you just deal with Osama bin Laden and you're through with the war on terror simply is not a good understanding of the war on terror," implying that all the Kerry campaign wants to do is get rid of Osama bin Laden.

Of course, she's right that you can't just deal with Osama, but her implication (read the article) that Kerry would have stopped there is irresponsible. By the way, when will the Bush administration stop? After Iran, or Syria, or North Korea? He still hasn't told us. Perhaps it will go on forever. . .

Pretty soon we'll run out of money and troops to "defend ourselves" this way. Perhaps we ought to start finding ways to give these people jobs so they don't spend all their time thinking about new ways to commit terrorist atrocities.


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