Sept. 21, 2004 #01Political Satire/Commentary where satire is always commentary but commentary isn't always satire 
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John Kerry, George W. Bush; the Rattlesnake and the Scorpion; Saddam Hussein and Usama bin Laden; and Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

            John Kerry's latest position on Operation Iraqi Freedom is that if he were to have been president, he would never have launched it-- i.e., he's now adopted the Howard Dean position he so caustically mocked in overtaking Dean in Iowa.  This position du jour rests on several flawed premises.  

            Since we have not yet found WMD stockpiles after toppling Saddam, then it necessarily follows that continuation of inspections by Inspector Blixeau, et al, would have concluded with a pronouncement that Saddam no longer possessed WMD stockpiles or programs.  Surely Kerry doesn't contend that our French "allies" would then have joined us in an Operation Iraqi Freedom.  To the contrary, his stated intent of "cooperating" with our allies means he would have felt obliged to agree to our "allies" demands for ending of sanctions and withdrawing the quarter-million troops we had dispatched to the Persian Gulf to coerce Saddam into permitting inspections to resume.  (I'm assuming, arguendo, that a President Kerry would have dispatched a force of such size to "coerce" Saddam into re-admitting inspectors-- even though I seriously doubt he would have done so, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Kerry doesn't seem to understand that our "allies" wouldn't have even supported the 17th resolution except that they thought it would buy them enough time to prevent Bush from toppling Saddam.  Believing it highly unlikely Kerry could have convinced any of  them he was prepared to topple Saddam, I think it's highly unrealistic to think the allies would have supported the 17 resolution and hence even more unlikely that Saddam would have ever allowed the inspectors to return.)

            Thus, Kerry's argument necessarily implies that a President Kerry would have been willing to take a leap of faith in a Blixeau pronouncement that Saddam no longer possessed WMD's or programs notwithstanding the fact that Saddam had successfully kept most of his WMD stockpiles and programs hidden from U.N. inspectors from 1991 until 1995 when a defector revealed them to inspectors who had already declared their non-existence.   Indeed, Kerry's own internationalist logic would have forced him to take such leap of faith-- otherwise, the "allies" would have become as disdainful towards him as they became toward Bush and Blair, whose impeccably liberal credentials didn't shield him from the calumny of the French and our other "allies."

            Kerry's argument necessarily further implies that Saddam, being freed from sanctions and from the coercive effect of our having 250,000 troops in the Persian Gulf, would have been unwilling to furnish WMD expertise (if not materials) to aid the al Qaeda in attacking us even though he had no compunction about risking being associated with the plot to assassinate former President Bush.  Kerry knows, but chooses to ignore, the fact that before World War II, Stalin and Hitler made pacts of mutual convenience for perceived temporary tactical advantages even though their ultimate strategic goals were inherently incompatible.  (Indeed, Stalin was Saddam Hussein's greatest hero.)  This would require a leap of faith far greater than that taken by the most ardent religious fundamentalists, of whom Kerry and the secular fundamentalists who support him are so disdainful.   

            Reduced to its essence, Kerry's position is that he would have left the Saddam Hussein rattlesnake behind him in the same tall grasses in which he would be diligently searching for the Usama bin Laden scorpion.  Such checkers-game strategy by Kerry would have maximized the ability of al Qaeda sympathizers to concentrate their resources on further attacking the United States and its allies.  What Kerry ignores is that neutralizing the rattlesnake was a necessary strategic move in Bush's chess-like strategy against the scorpions in the terrorists networks.  That the terrorist sympathizers have flooded into Iraq to make establishment of a non-terror-supporting democratic state far more difficult than we expected is not proof of the failure of the chess-game strategy but rather is proof of it's ultimate wisdom.  How much more effectively could the al Qaeda sympathizers devoted resources to attacking the United States if they were not locked in such a life-and-death struggle against modernity in Iraq right now?

            One wonders that if Kerry were to have been running against FDR in 1944, and if the Battle of the Bulge were to have occurred in September rather than December of that year, would he have ardently focused on the Battle of the Bulge as a basis for questioning the wisdom of Eisenhower's and Roosevelt's insistence on seeking unconditional victory rather than something less? Surely he would deny that today-- but why?  Because he now knows the outcome after the Battle of the Bulge.  The test of leadership is perseverance in a morally right course of action rather than seeking nuanced positions of moral blamelessness in the refuge of alliances.

            The course of history presented us with three times for acting to effectively prevent Saddam Hussein from becoming able to use the threat of WMD's to further destabilize the Middle East and/or covertly provide such weapons and/or knowledge to our al Qaeda enemies:  (1) at precisely the right time, (2) too soon, or (3) too late.  Lacking confidence that the real world would provide us the insight to know when would be precisely the right time, I prefer too soon rather than too late. 

--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com.

 

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