Thursday :: May 27, 2004

Kerry Lays Out Foreign Policy, Bushies Spout Usual Drivel

by Steve

John Kerry rolled out his major foreign policy/terrorism speech today in Seattle. Although there was nothing major or significantly different in his proposals today, the speech did manage to lay out the themes of his approach to foreign policy and fighting terror, and how they differed from those of George W. Bush. And as usual and as if on auto-pilot, the best the Bush campaign could do was to say ridiculously that any critique of Bush on terrorism is nothing but “hate-filled attacks,” and “playing politics.” The Bushies, without reading what Kerry actually said, also proclaimed that Kerry offered nothing of substance today.

Kerry offered four principles for his foreign policy and anti-terror program, including rebuilding international alliances to fight terrorism that Bush blew asunder with the invasion of Iraq; modernizing the US military to deal with terrorist threats; using all tools at America’s disposal to fight terror, not just war; and pursuing energy independence to free us from being held hostage to Middle East oil. Kerry also pointedly bashed Bush for ignoring the warnings of military leaders about the risks of invading Iraq.

"This administration has disregarded the advice, wisdom, and experience of our professional military officers. And often ended the careers of those who dared to give their honest assessments," Kerry said. "That is not the way to make the most solemn decisions of war and peace."

This is a smart move because it begins a theme of driving a wedge between the professional soldiers and the chicken hawks in the White House who treat them like cannon fodder. Kerry is making an attack on Bush/Cheney’s judgment as well. This is what the White House is so steamed about, and it is something that Kerry is well positioned to exploit.

Kerry also asserted that America must always be the “world’s paramount military power,” a phrase that makes it impossible for Pacemaker Dick or anyone else to credibly assert that Kerry is weak on defense. Kerry also said he would be tougher on Saudi Arabia than Bush, and clearly stated his priority for fighting terror:

"My No. 1 security goal will be to prevent the terrorists from gaining weapons of mass murder. And our overriding mission will be to disrupt and destroy their terrorist cells," he said.

And the campaign, while endorsing the mission of UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, is shrewdly pointing out that Bush has gone from totally ignoring the UN to relying on a Sunni Arab to save us from our screw-up, a decision that leaves our fate in the hands of a man who doesn’t necessarily share our interests in Iraq.

All in all, a good day with solid proposals and good coverage, and another opportunity for the Bush campaign to look idiotic. And it comes on a day when Kerry has caught and pulled ahead of Bush in the critical state of Pennsylvania.

Steve :: 5:11 PM :: Comments (16) :: Digg It!