Monday, August 16, 2004
A win for war protesters: Bowing to demands by grungy, hirsute, perpetual college students, President Bush today announced that he was bringing U.S. troops home. (Those signs did say "U.S. troops out of Germany," right?)
This move has been a long time coming. With the demise of the Soviet Union, there is no real foreign threat to Germany. It is much the same throughout Asia. The main concern there is North Korea and China. North Korea's conventional forces can be handled easily by South Korea, with a little assistance from the U.S. China cannot easily invade Taiwan, especially with a U.S. carrier battle group in the Pacific.
The complaints lodged by Kerry and his surrogates are puzzling to say the least.
In a statement released by the Democratic National Committee, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a former presidential candidate and former NATO supreme commander, said the redeployment from Europe and Asia would "significantly undermine U.S. national security."
"This ill-conceived move and its timing seem politically motivated rather than designed to strengthen our national security," Clark said.
Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and an adviser to Kerry's presidential campaign, called Bush's plan "pretty alarming."
Holbrooke, who is also a former ambassador to Germany and former assistant secretary of state for Asia, said, "I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals. The Koreans are going to be equally unhappy. How can we withdraw troops from Korea while engaged in a delicate negotiation with the North Koreans? And there's a country that really does have weapons of mass destruction."
U.S. troops based at the DMZ in Korea are hostages and nothing more.
As far as the Germans go, the biggest blow to them will be to the local economy. I'm befuddled as to how exactly having troops in Germany is essential to our national security. Admittedly, having troops in Germany is a good idea if France were to attack the U.S. But, with the amount of money our "allies" in Western Europe spend on defense (the U.K. excepted), its doubtful that any EU nation has the ablility to invade another.
Don't forget, this is the same Germany whose president ran an anti-American campaign the last time around.
It seems that the Democrat foreign policy establishment has its priorities bass ackwards. Priority No. 1: Make sure France and Germany like us. Priority No. 2: Defend America so long as it doesn't conflict with Priority No. 1.
If Kerry is elected President of the United States, then Americans should demand the right to vote in French elections -- after all, we should have some say over our foreign policy.