Thursday, September 30, 2004

Pat Buchanan Praises Kerry

Conservative and vocal critic of the Iraq War Pat Buchanan has some unexpectedly nice things to say about John Kerry:
After the swift boat attacks of August and the Rathergate debacle – CBS' botched attempt to paint President Bush as an insolent National Guard officer deserving of court martial – John Kerry seems to have found his footing. Kerry seems a liberated man.

He is now pummeling the president on the great issue of this campaign. "The invasion of Iraq was a profound diversion from the battle against our greatest enemy, Al Qaeda," declares Kerry. It has turned Iraq into a haven for terrorists. He describes "the real war."

"(T)o destroy our enemy we have to know our enemy. ... They are not just out to kill us, they want to provoke a conflict that will radicalize the people of the Muslim world, turning them against the United States and the West. And they hope to transform that anger into a force that will topple the region's governments and pave the way for a new empire: an oppressive, fundamentalist superstate stretching across a vast area from Europe to Africa, from the Middle East to Central Asia. That's their goal."

Truth be told, this is exactly what we confront. So, Kerry has rolled the dice to offer himself as a leader to disengage us from what he calls a mistaken, mismanaged war, to redirect our fire at Al Qaeda:

"As president, I pledge to you, America, I will finish the job in Iraq. ... I will refocus our energies on the real war on terror. I will wage this war relentlessly, with a single-minded determination to capture or kill the terrorists, crush their movements and free the world from fear."

But he also offers an historical perspective on his odds of winning:
History is not on Kerry's side. In wartime America, the peace candidate and the dovish party always lose.

Gen. McClellan was defeated by Lincoln in 1864 after Sherman took Atlanta. William Jennings Bryan was routed by McKinley when we were bogged down in a Philippine insurrection even bloodier than Iraq. Nixon routed McGovern, the antiwar candidate, in 1972 49 states to one.

Eisenhower and Nixon ousted ruling parties in unpopular wars in 1952 and 1968. But Truman and LBJ had been bloodied in primaries and did not run again. And Ike was more hawkish than Adlai Stevenson and Nixon more hawkish than Hubert Humphrey, who had promised a bombing halt.


Post a Comment

<< Home