08 September 2004

Kerry/Edwards: specious campaign logic

In commenting on the over-1000 dead in Iraq, John Kerry said that there are now more terrorists in Iraq than were there before our troops went in. Obviously, this is intended as a criticism of President Bush's prosecution of the war, but at least Kerry is willing to assent to the claim that there was a link between the former Iraqi regime and terrorism.

This, we should recall, was one of the reasons for the invasion of Iraq in the first place. There was certainly little reason for terrorists to be in Iraq if Iraq was not, as the administration claimed, was a haven--if not a training center--of sorts for terrorists. Kerry also intended that the increased number of terrorists be seen as a demonstration that the war is not proceeding well.

It is difficult to understand how a proven combat leader like John Kerry could mistake this as evidence that the policy in Iraq is failing. Can he truly believe that terrorists were going to surrender immediately after the first shots were fired? Why should they have done? Kerry, and others, talk as if the present circumstances mean that we are losing the war on terrorists in the Iraqi theater. I think it appropriate to recall that, initially, the South was winning the Civil War. At any time before the tide turned in favor of the North, Yankee pacifists could have argued against continuing the war. (If you want to say, in response to that, that the Civil War was more worth fighting than the war in Iraq, then: (1) The burden of proof is on you; and (2) You're missing the point I'm arguing here.)

We might also recall that, after the invasion of Normandy, the Germans didn't just give up and move out of France; they had to be beaten out of France; and it still wasn't over when that happened. (Thought experiment: Imagine what would have happened if, in response to the invasion of Normandy, Hitler had sent more and more troops into France. Had John Kerry been a senator then he would, no doubt, have complained against Roosevelt that "There are now more Germans in France than there were before we went in.")

It is no different with the terrorists who have moved into Iraq: they are not going to lay down their weapons just because we succeeded in removing from power the man who gave them a home away from home. We shall have to defeat them in Iraq, and wherever else they may be or go. The fact that, as Kerry puts it, there are now more terrorists in Iraq is no more a sign of failure than would have been more German troops in France after D-Day. It simply means that the war continues apace. We were told that would happen.

That we are fighting more terrorists in Iraq now, if true, means that we have taken the battle to them. We are, after all, fighting them in Iraq, not New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, California or Massachusetts. It's not so great for the Iraqi people, of course, but it was their former leader who gave terrorists a home there in the first place. We have to live with the actions of our leaders and former leaders, whether or not we like or agree with those actions; and so do the Iraqi people. On Kerry's view, apparently, if you attack your enemy and he counter-attacks then you are a failure. If only my enemies would be so obliging!


The Vice-President has warned that not voting to re-elect President Bush could result in another terrorist attack. John Edwards, in responding to the Vice-President's warning, said that, by Cheney's logic, if the people of the US vote for Kerry and the US are attacked the people will have only themselves to blame.

This, of course, was a criticism of Cheney for suggesting that the people could be responsible for what happens to them because of the way they vote.
Some Bush/Cheney supporters might prefer to spend time arguing that the VP didn't really say, or even intimate that. Not me. I say, "So what if he did?" Can anyone seriously suggest that the people of the US can vote with impunity? Can we really believe that we can vote for people who make decisions on our behalf and not, even in the least, be responsible for those decisions, or their effects? Did Edwards believe that sort of thing when he was still a trial lawyer?

When the Left have spoken of how the world hates us, have they not all the while implied that we are responsible for the decisions made on our behalf by the people we have elected? (NB: As the Left use the term, 'we' includes our ancestors.) Against Edwards, I assert that if we elect Kerry/Edwards, knowing of their "wait-until-fired-upon" philosophy of battle, and are attacked, then we shall have been somewhat responsible. It could not be otherwise. And there's nothing wrong with saying so.

I'm sure Edwards knows this as well. But he's running for election: the things he says don't really have to accord with the truth. The things he says merely have to inspire anger against his opponents. And we are supposed to be angry with Cheney's implicit assertion that we might have only ourselves to blame if we elect them and then are attacked. But isn't it true that, in fact, we very well may be responsible?

Well, not exactly. I won't be: I vote Republican.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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