Day: <span>October 3, 2004</span>

‘Mike’ wrote in a comment on my last post, “Apparently you did’t listen too closely, Kerry most certainly referred to a ‘global test’, here is Kerry’s quote:”

“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.


I finally had an hour to spare so I could watch some of the post-debate coverage from Fox News on my TiVo. I wanted to have a change to post some video clips here, with a little analysis to help shed some light on their right-wing bias.

This video is a snippet captured from Fox News’ debate replay coverage, 6 hours after the debate took place. It’s of Bill (William) Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, reacting to the debate. Kristol is previously known for his position at the Project for Republican Future, and was previously Vice PResident Dan Quayle’s chief of staff.

Have a look at the video, and then let me break it down for you…

After a little wishful pontification on Bush having missed an opportunity to knock Kerry out of the race, Kristol attempts to weaken Kerry’s position on Iraq by in essence saying that he offers nothing new, and that he’d just do the same thing that Bush was already planning to do anyway, which is to fight aggressively to win the conflict.

Then something strange starts to happen: Kristol says, “The President will attack Kerry for his excessive deference to global institutions; there’s some kind of global test, I think you’ll hear Republicans saying an awful lot of this in the next days…” The host reiterates, “global test, yeah…” Kristol continues, “The President quickly came back and said, ‘the test I’m interested in is defending America.'” The implication here, of course, is that by using diplomacy and accepting support from our allies, that we’re somehow not defending America.

But what was actually said in the debate? Watch the video again. Kerry never used the words “global test”. In fact he never said the word test at all. He did use the word global, but only when describing Bush’s “turning away from the global warming treaty”.

But “global test” must have been the GOP attack-Kerry-phrase for the week. Bush turns around and says, “Aah… Let me um… I’m not exactly sure what you mean, ‘passes the global test’, you take preemptive action if you ‘pass a global test’? My attitude is that you take preemptive action in order to protect the American people; that you act in order to make this country secure…”

Again, the implication is that the country is not secure if you involve the U.N., if you use diplomacy, if you trust your allies, if you respect treaties. What the fuck kind of attitude is that? Screw you, Dubya.

For what it’s worth, Kristol is a frequent commentator on Fox News. He’s a smart guy, and a dangerous spinner. Watch out for him!