Friday, October 08, 2004

Hugh Hewitt's New Symposium Question

"What do Kerry's answers to today's press inquiries tell us about Kerry's worldview and character?"

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 think you’re smart enough to know the General retired on schedule. I don’t think you’ll dare call me on it. Damned if I know what I’d do as Commander-in-Chief, it’s not a job I’m interested in. I want to be Super-Senator, and you can’t expect me to speak for the subcommittee called the Joint Chiefs of Staff before they report to my Executive Committee sometime after January 20th. When they report I’ll demand they solve it for me and adopt their conclusions—in their entirety!—as my own.

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.
That whole Governing Council-Interim Government probably just exists on paper. Same thing with the tens of thousands of Iraqi Army and National Guard that swore allegiance to the Basic Law. It’s all smoke and mirrors, man. What you have there is a country ready to come apart at the hinges, like Lebanon in the 1980s. Now I can see some of you wondering how that could happen when no faction in Lebanon had 200,000 foreign and local troops. Well, that just shows why you’re down there listening to me, and not vice versa. And, if it gets too tough, I’d just have to quit, you know? I’d “work harder than I ever have in my life” and then Jan. 23rd I’d let you know it wasn’t worth trying.

Now, I just don't know. I can't tell you. What I'll tell you is, I have a plan.
A secret pl—whoops.

I have laid out my plan to America, and I know that my plan has a better chance of working.
Although bear in mind if a two-star general opposes my plan I’m free to abandon it, or I may abandon it in any case if I feel the situation has deteriorated too much by January 20th. I’ll certainly keep a tape of this interview handy if it slips your mind.

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.
With the important caveat that nothing I say prior to January 20th is binding on me subsequent to my inauguration, or binding on the brass that swore to obey me as Commander-in-Chief.
And because the Super-Senator can't let foriegn policy eclipse domestic concerns, I will get in my Hindsight Express and visit pregnant teenagers to talk about abstinence, visit an AA meeting to talk about moderation, and visit a state prison to talk about integrity.

But I will make certain that our troops are protected.
As Patton said, you don’t win by dying for your country, you win by pulling out and letting some other poor bastard die for his. Or something like that.

I will hunt down and kill the terrorists,
Unless they disperse into 60 countries, a clearly unmanageable number…

and I will make sure that we are successful,by defining success as narrowly as necessary, when I’m ready to define it.

and I know exactly what I am going to do and how to do it."So neener-neener.

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?

Don’t you SEE? We could use our permanent veto to sink all the Franco-Sino-Russian resolutions to lift sanctions! That’s diplomacy! That’s working with allies, not going it alone!

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.

Nor do I mean a threat of WMD or of terrorism, because that’s all a vast-right-wing-conspiracy. What sort of threat exactly, I won’t be able to say until after I get my bottom firmly in the Oval Office. And because I saw a real threat where the President saw only a chance to lie to the American people, I voted to authorize his illegal war.

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?
And would we? Hell no! I never said ‘with us or with the terrorists’. There’s a bag limit for the War on Terror…, say 1 out of 60…maybe 1 ½… I’ll know for sure by January 21st if you elect me.

Did we invade Russia?
I beg your pardon? 1919? Shove it.

Did we invade China?
I beg your pardon? 1900? Shove it.

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.
I even wrote an op-ed in the New York Times. I said to him, go to the UN with a plan of regime change, and if they won’t have any part of it, carry it out unilaterally. So clearly I wanted him to spend a few years in the UN first.

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.
That’s part of being Super-Senator I’ll do better. I will go to Congress and open a permanent dialogue, instead of demanding one-syllable responses and then rushing off to ‘execute’.

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.
Now you take me. I have a plan to win the peace. But if my generals warn me to throw it away, then it’s a dead letter! That’s leadership!

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.
I beg your pardon? Do I consider the People’s Republic of China a threat on the level of the USSR, and do I expect it to fragment into 25 separate democratic governments? Shove it.

1 comment:

Mark said...

When Kerry says either "secret plan" or "I have a plan" without revealing a hint of what it might be. Just edit to read, "super duper sekret (gurls not allowed) plan".