September 17, 2004

INTERVIEW

I read this long interview with John Kerry (thanks to this comments section), and I don't think I understand him any better. He naturally goes through a long list of reasons why the W stands for wrong, instead of answering the direct, completely un-vague question that was posed.

IMUS: What is this plan you have?

KERRY: Well, the plan gets more complicated every single day because the president...

IMUS: Try to simplify it for me so I can understand it.

...

KERRY: Well, Don, I realize that, but the fact is that the president is the president. I mean, what you ought to be doing and what everybody in America ought to be doing today is not asking me; they ought to be asking the president, What is your plan?

He rambles for a bit, and then the interviewer throws him a ba-zing:

IMUS: We're asking you because you want to be president.

Indeed. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas in Cambodia. But what are you going to do about it, Kerry? Stop saying what we should be asking the President and start explaining why we should vote for you. What would you do differently, and don't give me this bullcrap about bringing allies to the table. No single country has agreed to do anything differently, even if you're President. You criticize the President for "not having a plan to win the peace"; explain why you think the world will be more peaceful if you yank all the troops out. Explain it, please. Cuz last year you said

Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.

More stuff from the interview:

IMUS: Did you read "Unfit for Command?"

KERRY: No.

IMUS: Did anybody on your staff?

KERRY: I have no idea.

IMUS: Why wouldn't you want to know what's in it? It's the No. 1 "New York Times," of course, it says nonfiction bestseller.

KERRY: Because they have right wing people to buy them in bulk, and that's what they're doing.

Can't possibly be individuals who want to search for the truth themselves rather than buying what CBS is peddling? It's gotta be Karl Rove buying books by the crate and turning them into fertilizer for Bush's secret cocaine stash. Please. You can't be president if you believe in a book-buying conspiracy. (By the way, none of these conspiracy nutjobs are mature enough to be president either.)

Here's a zinger of a question:

IMUS: Back in May of 2001 on "Meet the Press," you said you yourself have committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers in violation of the Geneva Conventions. And my question, Senator Kerry, is, is there a difference between what happened in your case in Vietnam and what happened at Abu Ghraib, in that both were acts in violation of the Geneva Conventions?

KERRY: There is a difference.

IMUS: What is it?

KERRY: There is a difference. What I was referring to in that testimony was the general categorization of free-fire zones in Vietnam and the general categorizations of some of the weapons that were being used, which were in violation of the accords. We didn't learn that until we came home. I didn't know any of that while I was there. I didn't know any of that over there, nor did most soldiers.

That sounds mighty different from what he said before about Jengis Khan. That wasn't just weapons types, that was

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

Why can't we get a straight story out of this man?

IMUS: Do you think there are any circumstances we should have gone to war in Iraq -- any?

KERRY: Not under the current circumstances, no, there are none that I see.

But he just got done saying something that sounds different...

KERRY: Let me explain it to you. I felt in 1998, and I said that Clinton ought to have the power, the authority to use force, in order to force Saddam Hussein to have inspectors, to be able to disarm. The only way to get the inspectors in was to be tough, to have the threat of force and the authority to use force. I was prepared to use the force if he didn't do what he needed to do. But I warned the president, as did many people, take the time to build up the international coalition, don't rush to war, because the most difficult part is not winning the military part of the war; it's winning the peace. [emphasis added]

Kerry would've gone to war if "he didn't do what he needed to do." Who is "he"? Saddam, I guess. What did he "need to do"? "Have inspectors" and "be able to disarm". That's an extremely vague sentence, and it would be nice to know what exactly the last straw would've been for Kerry. What exactly would've made him decide it was time to go to war? What exactly would've made it too imminent for him?

What exactly is his platform?

Posted by: Sarah at 04:29 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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September 16, 2004

COST

I just heard part of John Kerry's speech to the National Guard, just the live snippet that the news played. In it he criticized the President, saying that 95% of the cost of the Gulf War was paid by our allies. That was shocking to me, so I looked it up. The two figures I found amounted to only 88%, so I'm not sure how he got 95%. But still, 88% is a big number. A closer look revealed that more than half of the cost was shouldered by Kuwait (makes sense) and Saudi Arabia. I'm not sure I want Saudi Arabia considered one of our "allies", as Kerry's speech classified them. Japan paid a big chunk of change in 1991, much appreciated, and Korea paid a bit. Germany forked over a bit more than $5 million. Appreciated too, but I'm not sure what point Kerry is trying to make today. He criticizes the President for not getting our "allies" to help pay in 2004 like they did in 1991, but France isn't even on the list. And isn't that really who we always mean when we talk about "getting allies on our side"? And would we really be happier with the current war in Iraq if Saudi Arabia were helping to foot the bill? I'm not sure I would be.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:07 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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September 01, 2004

GOVERNATOR

I can't get the link at C-SPAN to work, which is disappointing because I'd really like to hear Gov. Schwarzenegger's charming voice as he gives this speech. I'm with Lileks: I like him.

MORE TO GROK:

Kalroy's link worked. Heh. Arnold just said "girlie-men", and George H.W. Bush and I both cracked up!

Posted by: Sarah at 02:29 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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