Sunday, August 08, 2004
The conventional wisdom: The conventional wisdom among the swing voters and the lukewarm leaning-Kerry voters is that when it comes to protecting America, both candidates would do an equally good job.
For the past 2+ decades, when Islamist radicals have attacked the United States, the country has retreated -- during both Republican and Democrat administrations. From the Beirut Marine barracks bombing that killed more than 200 through the African embassy bombings and the attack on the USS Cole, the U.S. response was to retreat or to respond in a much too measured fashion with pinprick strikes on sites timed to kill the night janitors.
This long pattern of timidity emboldened Osama bin Laden and his ilk and brought us Sept. 11.
The perception on the part of our terrorist enemies that they merely need to bloody the United States enough and we will fold must be disproved by eventually leaving Iraq as a free and democratic nation. Both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry have said they won't abandon Iraq to foreign terrorists and Baathist holdouts.
However, Tacitus over at RedState.org makes an excellent case for why Kerry isn't committed to staying the course in Iraq, and is really just aiming to get out -- quick.
John Kerry avers that "diplomacy" can secure a peace or stability of sorts from groups and peoples with whom we are at war and whom we have yet to defeat. This, he asserts, will create the conditions for troop withdrawals. Oh, and if it doesn't? Because it won't: "[I]f it can't produce a different ingredient on the ground, lemme tell you something, that says something about what Iraqis want, and what the people in the region want." The rhetorical ground is prepared. The will-of-the-people rhetoric is deployed. The stage for the grim, resolute, yielding-to-reality (so unlike those neocons!) President John F. Kerry is set. Remember: if every best-case scenario for withdrawal doesn't work; if diplomacy(!) mysteriously fails to sway murderous fanatics to goodwill; if the French don't abruptly dispatch the Foreign Legion to Anbar Province; and if big-hearted Europeans don't immediately begin training thousands of Jeffersonian-minded Iraqis -- in short, if there's still a war to be won:
He's going to withdraw anyway. [emphasis in original]
Go read the whole thing.