No sale

The snap polls showing John F. Kerry 'won' last night's presidential debate miss the point entirely. Maybe a few teachers of rhetoric will base their voting decision on the quality of the self—presentation last night. Lawyers, actors, college professors, and other occupations which place more faith in eloquence than in the realities of getting a difficult real—world job done, will support Kerry. But they already do, in overwhelming numbers.

 

Most Americans are looking to other qualities in their wartime Commander—in—Chief. They want a president who will defend us in a world that both candidates agree is pretty scary. As the stated positions of each candidate are evaluated over the next week, some of Kerry's words will come back to haunt him. Important seeds were planted last night, and I think they will ripen into bitter fruit for the Kerry campaign.

 

By drawing forceful attention to the nuclear threat of North Korea and Iran, Kerry intended to heighten his current critique of the Iraq invasion and occupation. The current Kerry refrain, that the war he voted to authorize was a diversion from more important priorities, looks like it will last for the next month. But now, in addition to proclaiming that Afghanistan should have been the focus, Kerry is also contending that somehow the war and occupation of Iraq diverted attention and resources from North Korea and Iran.

 

That contention is laughable. Did Kerry intend to use the United States Military to invade either of those countries? If so, he could argue that the military forces should not have been diverted to Iraq. But an invasion of either of those two countries would have been much riskier and far bloodier than toppling Saddam. And, on the basis of what argument does Kerry make the case that either was more invasion—worthy than Iraq? Does Kerry propose to invade any country which is believed to be developing nuclear weapons?

 

Maybe Kerry meant that he only intended to 'threaten' the use of military force, not to actually use it. But neither the Norks nor the Mullahs have much of a history of backing down in the face of empty threats. Incidentally, he is on the record that he voted to authorize the use of force, but didn't intend for force to actually be used. Now that he has exposed his own belief that empty threats are an appropriate tactic, will any future foe of a United States under President Kerry regard his threats as anything other than empty?

 

Or maybe Kerry just meant that our spy satellites, monitoring activity at the nuclear reactors in North Korea and Iran, were diverted to monitoring the battles in Iraq for several critical days. During those particular days, the significant progress he now decries was made. If this is what he means, I am anxious to see his program for expanding our satellite monitoring capabilities. But I remain skeptical that critical nuclear activity could have been accomplished in the two countries during the brief time of actual combat in Iraq. Especially since Iran and North Korea have built underground facilities for many of the critical processes involved in building nukes.

 

Which brings us to Kerry's promise to kill the current American program to develop super bunker—busters, mini—nuclear weapons designed to explode underground and release little or no radiation to the atmospheric environment — precisely the counter—weapon needed to surgically remove the looming nuclear bomb production capacity in rogue states like North Korea and Iran.

 

When he said that he would kill this critical weapons program once he was inaugurated, an audible groan escaped my lips, waking up my slumbering 16 year—old political junky son, for whom the excitement had long since passed. Kerry had announced that our biggest external threat was nukes in the hands of Little Kim and the mad mullahs, and now he was telling us he wouldn't allow development of the weapons to neutralize that threat.

 

That is a position which will not sell, I am pretty sure. It rests on the simplest of the simple—minded slogans of the left wingers over the past several decades: American nukes are bad, bad, bad. New nukes in American hands are worse than new nukes in the hands of Kim Jong—il and the Ayatollahs.

 

The American public will just not buy it. This belief that America is not to be trusted with the power to defend itself is popular among the pseudo—sophisticates on the academic left, but it is fatally detached from reality in both the moral and practical sense.

The snap polls showing John F. Kerry 'won' last night's presidential debate miss the point entirely. Maybe a few teachers of rhetoric will base their voting decision on the quality of the self—presentation last night. Lawyers, actors, college professors, and other occupations which place more faith in eloquence than in the realities of getting a difficult real—world job done, will support Kerry. But they already do, in overwhelming numbers.

 

Most Americans are looking to other qualities in their wartime Commander—in—Chief. They want a president who will defend us in a world that both candidates agree is pretty scary. As the stated positions of each candidate are evaluated over the next week, some of Kerry's words will come back to haunt him. Important seeds were planted last night, and I think they will ripen into bitter fruit for the Kerry campaign.

 

By drawing forceful attention to the nuclear threat of North Korea and Iran, Kerry intended to heighten his current critique of the Iraq invasion and occupation. The current Kerry refrain, that the war he voted to authorize was a diversion from more important priorities, looks like it will last for the next month. But now, in addition to proclaiming that Afghanistan should have been the focus, Kerry is also contending that somehow the war and occupation of Iraq diverted attention and resources from North Korea and Iran.

 

That contention is laughable. Did Kerry intend to use the United States Military to invade either of those countries? If so, he could argue that the military forces should not have been diverted to Iraq. But an invasion of either of those two countries would have been much riskier and far bloodier than toppling Saddam. And, on the basis of what argument does Kerry make the case that either was more invasion—worthy than Iraq? Does Kerry propose to invade any country which is believed to be developing nuclear weapons?

 

Maybe Kerry meant that he only intended to 'threaten' the use of military force, not to actually use it. But neither the Norks nor the Mullahs have much of a history of backing down in the face of empty threats. Incidentally, he is on the record that he voted to authorize the use of force, but didn't intend for force to actually be used. Now that he has exposed his own belief that empty threats are an appropriate tactic, will any future foe of a United States under President Kerry regard his threats as anything other than empty?

 

Or maybe Kerry just meant that our spy satellites, monitoring activity at the nuclear reactors in North Korea and Iran, were diverted to monitoring the battles in Iraq for several critical days. During those particular days, the significant progress he now decries was made. If this is what he means, I am anxious to see his program for expanding our satellite monitoring capabilities. But I remain skeptical that critical nuclear activity could have been accomplished in the two countries during the brief time of actual combat in Iraq. Especially since Iran and North Korea have built underground facilities for many of the critical processes involved in building nukes.

 

Which brings us to Kerry's promise to kill the current American program to develop super bunker—busters, mini—nuclear weapons designed to explode underground and release little or no radiation to the atmospheric environment — precisely the counter—weapon needed to surgically remove the looming nuclear bomb production capacity in rogue states like North Korea and Iran.

 

When he said that he would kill this critical weapons program once he was inaugurated, an audible groan escaped my lips, waking up my slumbering 16 year—old political junky son, for whom the excitement had long since passed. Kerry had announced that our biggest external threat was nukes in the hands of Little Kim and the mad mullahs, and now he was telling us he wouldn't allow development of the weapons to neutralize that threat.

 

That is a position which will not sell, I am pretty sure. It rests on the simplest of the simple—minded slogans of the left wingers over the past several decades: American nukes are bad, bad, bad. New nukes in American hands are worse than new nukes in the hands of Kim Jong—il and the Ayatollahs.

 

The American public will just not buy it. This belief that America is not to be trusted with the power to defend itself is popular among the pseudo—sophisticates on the academic left, but it is fatally detached from reality in both the moral and practical sense.