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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pick a Date

Do we have a 9/10 or 9/12 mindset? Article at Catholic Exchange:

At other times, however, Kerry dismisses the war and its importance. In January
2004, after acknowledging that the war on terror is “occasionally military… and it will continue to be for a long time,” he described it as “primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation.” He has reiterated this point about the conflict not really being a war several times since, and most memorably in an interview earlier this month.

An amazing statement considering how anti-intelligence he has been throughout his Senate career. Even if we take his pathetically low view of terror, he fails the test of being able to protect us, because of his own legislative agenda to gut and leave for dead the intelligence infrastructure. If he really believed in this, he would have a detailed plan for using some (a large portion, actually) of the trillions of dollars of new spending he wants to repair, improve, and support our intel efforts.

The utopian healthcare/retirement/education/every worker a millionaire world he promises (where the lame will walk again) is worthless if we have thousands or even millions of our fellow citizens destroyed by terrorists.

“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. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.”

And the way to "get back to the place we were" is not to allow terror to become commonplace. Kerry's words here betray a complete lack of connection to the reality we face. Can you imagine turning a blind eye to prostitution and gambling if the result was the mass murder of our neighbors? Would you re-elect a County Prosecutor who said, "Well, we haven't caught that guy who's been gutting pizza delivery dudes, but we have to look at that as a kind of nuisance. I mean, he lives in the next state over, and only comes in here occassionally to kill our pizza guys, and that's kind of a nuisance, but we have to focus on redecorating the office and we're trying to get a lower deductible on our health insurance and my secretary is retiring so we have to have a party for her, so we haven't made the pizza-guy-killer a priority. We'll catch him in the act sometime, and boy-howdy, when we do, he'll be sorry!!!"

As for Kerry’s terrorism-as-nuisance idea, Bush impatiently says he “couldn’t disagree more” with it and comments: “Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the offensive, destroying terrorists, and spreading freedom and liberty around the world.” More broadly, he says, Kerry “fundamentally misunderstands the war on terror.”

Others in Kerry’s camp also disdain the war concept. Richard Holbrooke, touted as the Democrat’s possible secretary of state, says that “We’re not in a war on terror, in the literal sense. The war on terror is like saying ‘the war on poverty.’ It’s just a metaphor.” To which Bush replies, “Anyone who thinks we are fighting a metaphor does not understand the enemy we face and has no idea how to win the war and keep America secure.”

And finally, it comes down to a matter of personal experience. Asked how 9/11 had changed him, Kerry replies, “it didn’t change me much at all.” In contrast, Bush stresses how profoundly that day has changed his outlook and his sense of purpose: “I made the pledge to myself and to people that I'm not going to forget what happened on September the 11th.”

As Fred Barnes succinctly puts it, “George W. Bush is a September 12 person. John Kerry is a September 10 person.” The American electorate will make a profound choice next week, deciding whether to turn back the clock to the law enforcement model in place before 9/11 or whether to continue with the war mode in place since that day.

Going back to September 10th, means a September 11th is just around the corner. That isn't a world I particularly want to live in.


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