Friday, October 08, 2004

My symposium entry

Q. "If you are elected, given Paul Bremer's remarks, and deteriorating conditions as you have judged them, would you be prepared to commit more troops."

A. "I will do what the generals believe we need to do without having any chilling effect, as the president put in place by firing General Shinseki, and I'll have to wait until January 20th.

I don't know what I am going to find on January 20th, the way the president is going. If the president just does more of the same every day, and it continues to deteriorate, I may be handed Lebanon, figuratively speaking. Now, I just don't know. I can't tell you. What I'll tell you is, I have a plan.

I have laid out my plan to America, and I know that my plan has a better chance of working.

And in the next days I am going to say more about exactly how we are going to do what has been available to this Administration that it has chosen not to do. But I will make certain that our troops are protected.

I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, and I will make sure that we are successful, and I know exactly what I am going to do and how to do it.

Q. Duelfer also said that Saddam fully intended to resume his weapons of mass destruction program because he felt that the sanctions were just going to fritter away.

A. But we wouldn't let them just fritter away. That's the point, Folks! If You've got a guy who's dangerous, you've got a guy you suspect is going to do something, you don't lift the sanctions, that's the fruits of good diplomacy. This Administration...I beg your pardon?

Q. You just said [Bush] fictionalized him [Saddam] as an enemy. Now you just said he's dangerous?

A. No. What I said. I said it all the time. Consistently I have said Saddam Hussein presented a threat. I voted for the authorization, because he presented a threat. There are all kinds of threats in the world, ladies and gentlemen. Al Qaeda is in 60 countries. Are we invading all 60 countries? 35 to 40 countries had the same --more-- capability of creating weapons, nuclear weapons, at the time the president invaded Iraq than Iraq did. Are we invading all 35 to 40 of them? Did we invade Russia? Did we invade China? The point is that there are all kinds of options available to a president to deal with threats and I consistently laid out to the president how to deal with Saddam Hussein, who was a threat. If I'd been president, I'd have wanted the same threat of force. But as I have said a hundred times if not a thousand iin this campaign, there was a right way to use that authority and a wrong way. The president did it the wrong way. He rushed to war without a plan to win the peace, against my warnings and other people's warnings. And now we have the mess we have today. It is completely consistent that you can see him as a threat and deal with him realistically just as we saw the Soviet Union and China and others as threats and have dealt with them in other ways.
Hugh Hewitt asks, "What do Kerry's answers to today's press inquiries tell us about Kerry's worldview and character?"

They tell me that he's dishonest. His claim that Shinseki was fired is a lie. He also lies about what the Duelfer report contains, and for all his accusations that Bush is "too stubborn" it is Kerry who continues to repeat that UN Sanctions were working and would still be working if we had achieved the "fruits of good diplomacy."

This "chilling effect" he refers to, supposedly intimidating the generals advising the president recommendations strikes me as much more likely to happen with Kerry, who thinks that his time in Vietnam makes him a greater warrior than anybody alive. Bush has been careful to let the generals tell him how to run a war. Kerry is the one who testified so negatively about the officers in Vietnam, whom he charged with war crimes. He's saying that this wouldn't phase anyone in the Pentagon when he discusses his options with him. Yeah, John. Now pull the other one.

He really is a foggy thinker. He can't seem to make a single coherent point. Instead he makes scattershot conflicting assertions: I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, but I will protect our troops. Again: I Now, I just don't know. I can't tell you. but What I'll tell you is, I have a plan. I have laid out my plan to America.

Does anybody know what his plan is? All I've heard him say is that he will return to the U.N. like the prodigal son and ask for its help in the war. Does that mean in Iraq? Probably not, because he considers Iraq as a diversion from the GWOT instead of center to it.

That's not a plan; it's a fantasy. Anybody who has been paying attention to the blogosphere knew long ago that Saddam had used sweetheart oil contracts and the Oil for Food Program to buy off the UN and several permanent members of the Security Council. Now that the Duelfer report is out, you don't even have to have read any blogs. If better diplomacy is his cunning plan, powerful enough to solve problems he doesn't even know about, he's either a moron or he thinks we are. It wouldn't have worked and it can't work now. How do we know? Because Bush tried it and was rebuffed by the countries who had been paid off by Saddam. Now that they are exposed, how likely are they to join the war?

Kerry operates on the presumption that actually fighting back is an admission of failure. This is Clinton lite. Even Clinton bombed Serbia.

Furthermore, does he really think that the countries who typically send troops to U.N. "peacekeeping duty" would be willing to commit troops who might actually have to fight?

And, of course, none of this addresses the real importance to making democracy work in Iraq, which is essential to defeating terrorism at its roots.

Kerry seems to think that if he makes idiotic statements (like his "global test" remark in the first debate) with conviction and a touch of anger, it will not be challenged. I suspect that the reason Bush didn't nail him on this during the debate is that it was goofy in so many respects that it was hard to know where to start.

I don't want higher voter turnout . . .

if it means that we will allow non-citizens and especially uninformed citizens to vote. This is not what the Constitution intends. People who, like the people I saw during the Florida recount who were upset that after they were told by Democrat operatives how to vote and they tried, but were confused by the butterfly ballot.

Thomas Sowell explains what it takes to be a responsible voter and not merely a dupe of demagogues.

Print this and distribute it

The Wall Street Journal explains what the Duelfer Report really means. It's the story the mainstream media aren't reporting. What is most disturbing to me about all this is that the American people are so evenly divided in this election. Are we really this insouciant about our national security?

He's already conceded the war

Kerry yesterday said if he becomes president he will inherit Lebanon, i.e. he's already written off Iraq.

Fox News reports that Arab Americans are overwhelmingly voting against Bush.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Saddam was a WMD

Power Line Blog discusses the Iraq Survey Group's report. The headline was that Saddam had no WMD, but he had assembled the means to make them on short notice once he was able to defeat U.N. sanctions through bribery of nations positioned to do so. This report from April notes that searchers did find huge stockpiles of chemicals that could be converted to WMD quickly. Whether he had actual WMD or only the components is not enough of a difference to conclude that Bush lied. In fact, the ISG report explains that Saddam had told his own generals conflicting stories. It was from these that our intelligence agencies concluded that he could have them.

What I find most troubling about all this is that the American people are still so evenly split on the war. The arguments from the Democrats are incredibly naive, particularly the view that the French and Germans are the sine qua non of foreign policy. Anybody else would look at the picture and say they were the ones out of step. The worst kind of dishonesty is to believe and espouse arguments that attempt to rewrite reality. Kerry would have us believe that Iraq is not part of the global war on terrorism, and that America is the most serious source of nuclear proliferation. His vow to kill the program for better bunker busters, without any more explanation than that the term "nuclear" is involved, is pure fearmongering. How cancelling this program would limit proliferation is the point he doesn't make, because it isn't there to be made.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

The U.N. is dead.

It just hasn't admitted it yet. It's obvious that the world isn't ready for international government at least until all nations are republics.

We thank thee, O God, for thy prophets!

The LDS Church concluded its October General Conference today. It's difficult to absorb so much counsel in one listening, but these conferences, which are broadcast live in Utah and other areas with large Mormon populations, always confirm my faith that God still speaks to mankind. Gordon B. Hinckley and the other apostles of the church truly are revelators. It's difficult to convey the feelings that I have hearing their testimonies and teachings. All I can say is that the spirit of God speaks through our emotional apparatus and gives individuals knowledge that can't be conveyed any other way. In our age of science, we forget that the scientific means of establishing truth is quite a recent standard, and that there are many truths that cannot be measured or perceived with instruments. As scientists explain away the feelings we have and spiritual experiences as mere biochemical processes, nobody can really believe that without losing some of his humanity. I have never understood how one can explain love as merely a genetic imperative.

Read President Hinckley's statement from this morning's session about his late wife and his following comments about womanhood and you'll know what I mean. I believe that he is a prophet because of what I feel when I hear him speak and read his admonitions. He is a Christlike man, as all of his predecessors have been. He's close to 95 years old and he has spent 67 years serving in the church and learning from spiritual giants, but it is his own humility and desire to serve that makes him a great man.

The church announced two new apostles to fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve today, one of whom is a German, Dieter F. Uchtdorf. The other is David A. Bednar. These men have the same role in the church as the original apostles, to travel throughout the world establishing and overseeing the spread of the church which is growing at an amazing pace. Uchtdorf is 63 years old and Bednar is 52. This is the one calling in the church from which one never retires or is released, except by death (or excommunication, which occurred several times during the era of severe persecution). Apostles serve for life. The president is always the most senior apostle and therefore the one with the most experience in the office. There are, in fact, 15 apostles, three in the First Presidency and 12 in the Quorum of the Twelve. The President or Prophet of the church holds all of the presiding authority or "keys" for the church. He has two counselors who with him comprise the First Presidency. When he dies, the First Presidency is dissolved and the counselors rejoin the Quorum of Apostles who as a group hold the keys but exercise them only when there is no President. The Apostles then ordain the most senior among them to the Presidency and he selects and calls his counselors. All of the Apostles are special witnesses of Christ and are considered prophets, seers and revelators by the church.

The fact that God's church should be led by continuing revelations from him should be self-evident, since the church established by Jesus Christ himself was so led, but it has been so inculcated in most Christians that revelation ceased with those earlier Apostles, it often strikes them as heresy.