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Old 10-04-2004, 06:53 PM   #1
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Angry How John, How?

How John, How?
By Gregg Bish
October 4, 2004

During the first Presidential debate, John Kerry suggested that the United States had incurred ninety per cent of the casualties, and ninety per cent of the cost, of the war in Iraq. Complaining that America had spent "$200 billion in Iraq" that could have been used here at home for health care, infrastructure, and relief for the poor, Kerry accused President Bush of "taking his eye off the central focus of the war on terror, Usama bin Ladin". When Kerry was pressed by moderator Jim Lehrer in the fifth question of the debate, "how would you improve homeland security", Kerry dodged. Instead of giving details of his plan for improving homeland security, he launched into a series of specious attacks against the President. His answer, from the transcripts of the debate, didn't provide a single, solitary detail of his plan. He had, during the first question of the debate, offered only the most vague and indeterminate shadow of a plan for fighting terror. His plan? Have a summit of world leaders; strengthen the military; strengthening intelligence services; go after finances more authoritatively; rebuild world alliances; and most curiously, "reaching out to the Muslim world so they don't isolate America". Kerry offered no details, only what could best be described as conjecture.

Kerry later made a reference to his plan once again, and referred listeners to his website. The Kerry-Edwards website offers no more detail than Kerry's debate answers. At the best, the campaign page raises more questions. Kerry says that he will "improve our ability to gather, analyze, and share information so we can track down and stop terrorists before they cause harm."

How?

Kerry and Edwards say they will "make our airports, seaports, and borders more secure without intruding upon personal liberties."

How?

They further say they will "take strong measures to harden likely targets-including nuclear plants, trains, and subways-against possible attack."

How?

Suggesting that first-responder readiness is at low ebb, Kerry and Edwards say they will "ensure that America's first responders have everything they need to protect their communities."

Are they kidding? Does the Kerry-Edwards campaign have any idea how many local law enforcement jurisdictions, full-time and volunteer fire and rescue services there are in America? How, John, How?

What is possibly most tantalizing about the Kerry - Edwards "plan" is the degree to which it resembles actions that the President has already taken. But, perhaps the most telling feature about the plan is the degree to which it relies on turning the United States into Fortress America. One could only be more authoritative in pursuing terrorist financial interests by being more invasive of American businesses, business records, and business assets. One could only make airports, borders and seaports more secure by thoroughly inspecting and investigating every ship, every truck, and every passenger using these services, grinding commerce and travel to a standstill. One could only harden soft commuter, chemical and energy infrastructure by increasing the presence of armed guards and deployment of heavy weapons to these locations. And, one can only painfully visualize the huge burden of cost that would be attached to giving every first-responder service in the United States everything they need to protect the homeland, a burden that would most certainly be paid for with tax revenue.

Since John Kerry provided no details of his plan, one is left to guess, to offer conjecture on what the plan might be. One may, however, make a credible inference that to do all of the things Kerry suggests, one could be faced with a huge tax bill, and that the daily commute to work would be characterized by long waits at government checkpoints along the highways, under the eye of heavily armed guards, while identity papers and travel permits were scrutinized. One's papers must certainly be in order, in that case.

Unacceptable. No greater encouragement could be given to terrorists that their ugly machinations had born fruit, than for the Untied States to become a latter day manifestation of the failed and hated Soviet regime.

By contrast, the Presidents plan is elegantly simple. To be safe, America will find the terrorists, and kill them. More painful initially, perhaps. More controversial, to be sure. But the reality is that one does not encourage bad behavior with a reward. Terrorism is bad behavior of the ugliest kind. Why would America want to reward the terrorists, by retreating within its borders and building a fortress?

One is left to wonder how the punditry considers John Kerry the victor of the debates. He never answered the questions. Perhaps, as it was in the Clinton era, it's enough just to "look Presidential" and to make unsubstantiated promises.

But then, the Clintonites are in charge of the campaign, now. Why shouldn't this all look familiar?
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Old 10-04-2004, 06:58 PM   #2
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