“But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you’re doing what you’re doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.”
You are indeed correct, Mike. Also, thanks for checking the transcripts — that’s more than many people might do. I’ll concede that I didn’t listen closely enough. But … (don’t read on if you’re already decided on voting for Bush. You won’t be happy.)
Here’s the full exchange on the preemptive war question, via CNN. The salient part of Kerry’s response:
“… The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for pre-emptive strike. That was a great doctrine throughout the Cold War. And it was always one of the things we argued about with respect to arms control.
“No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to pre-empt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.
“But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you’re doing what you’re doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.
“Here we have our own secretary of state who has had to apologize to the world for the presentation he made to the United Nations…”
The fact remains that many, many Americans haven’t been convinced that a ‘preemptive response’ in Iraq was necessary: There are no WMD’s, likely never were, and now we’re in a world of shit on the ground in Iraq, fighting the insurgency.
The Bush administration justifies the war in Iraq as a response to the 9/11 attacks, and yet there’s no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein, or anyone in Iraq was even partially responsible.
This doesn’t pass my own muster, and the reason Bush so vehemently resists the idea of any outside influence, is that it doesn’t pass theirs either. (This may not be true for Dubya himself, but it’s probably true for many of his advisors. Time will surely tell, in innumerable best-selling auto-biographies.)
I’m of the conviction that any military action must be absolutely necessary, with justification based in fact not conjecture, and supportable by our sensible or at least reasonable allies. England? Ok. Australia? Ok. Poland? Ok. What about Canada, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and the rest of Europe? What about Japan, China, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and any number of other countries?
I think that my straw-man point still stands, given the full context of Kerry’s response. Bush attempted to imply that by enlisting the support of our allies, we somehow make the American people less secure, and that by signing treaties that hold the U.S. accountable under international law — law that is abided by among most other modern nations — that we are somehow pandering to foreign influences. Bah.
Read Bush’s response. Put on your thinking cap. See spin for what it is, and facts for what they are.