Monday, October 18, 2004

John Kerry - The 9/10 Democrat

Mark Steyn has read Kerry's NY Times Magazine interview and absolutely nails him in his latest column: Backward-thinking Kerry unfit to lead U.S. The whole thing is one long hilight, but here are some of the best parts:

On his new-found determination to "kill" terrorists:
This is to dispel suspicions that in reality he'd hunt down the terrorists and serve them with a subpoena, possibly from one of the less robust judicial systems, such as The Hague or Massachusetts, and possibly for mail fraud, if the whole mass murder thing looks like it won't stick.
On his seeming flip-flop in the interview:
But it's exhausting having to remember when to spit out the tough talk, and so your concentration wanders, and you get relaxed, and then you say things like this to the New York Times:

''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. As a former law enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise.''

So the senator has now made what was hitherto just a cheap crack from his opponents into formal policy: The Democrats are the Sept. 10 party.

The ''I'll hunt down and kill America's enemies'' line was written for him and planted on his lips. The ''It's just a nuisance like prostitution'' line is his, and how he really thinks of the issue.
On his analogy to reducing terrorism to a "nuisance" like prostitution or illegal gambling:
This is aside from the basic defect of the argument: If some gal in your building is working as a prostitute, that's a nuisance -- condoms in the elevator, johns in the lobby; if Islamists seize the schoolhouse and kill your kids, even if it only happens once every couple of years, ''nuisance'' doesn't quite cover it.
On the consequences of what Kerry's strategy means:
And, as Kerry says, we've been here before: in the '90s. Back then, every so often al-Qaida blew up some military housing, a ship, couple of embassies, etc., and the Bill Clinton team shrugged it off as a nuisance. No matter how flamboyantly Osama bin Laden sashayed down the sidewalk in his fishnets and mini-skirt he couldn't catch the administration's eye. In 2000, after 17 sailors were killed on the U.S.S. Cole, Defense Secretary Bill Cohen said the attack ''was not sufficiently provocative'' to warrant a response.

So Osama tried again, on Sept. 11, 2001. And this time, like the escort ads in the Boston Yellow Pages, he was very provocative. And that's the point: Even if you take the Kerry Doctrine as seriously as the New York Times does, the nuance of nuisance depends largely on the terrorists. When all they could do was kill a few dozen here, a few hundred there, they were a ''nuisance'' to Clinton, Cohen, Kerry and Co.; when they came up with a plan that killed thousands, they became something more than a nuisance. But that change in status was determined largely by them. The Kerry Doctrine leaves it in their hands. And, in this kind of conflict, if you're not on the offensive, you're losing.

That's what John Kerry means when he says ''we have to get back to the place we were'' -- back to the '90s. Mem'ries light the corners of his mind, misty watercolor mem'ries of the place we were, but the reason they're misty watercolors is that we didn't see clearly what was going on. It wasn't just the nuisance of the biennial embassy bombing, it was the terrorist annexation of flop states and the thousands upon thousands of young Muslim men graduating from al-Qaida's training camps and then heading off wherever the jihad calls.
Please read it all.