Skip to comments.Kerry isn't the answer
Posted on 10/31/2004 9:37:04 PM PST by MissouriConservative
Since so few readers of The Telegraph have a vote in Tuesday's presidential election, it might seem impertinent or redundant for this newspaper to express a preference in the knife-edge contest between George W Bush and John Kerry. But the economic, military and diplomatic power of the United States is so great - and its links with this country so intimate - that it is important to ask which of the candidates would govern America in a way which better served the British national interest.
Last year, Britain's exports to the US were worth more than £29 billion; American firms invested more than twice as much in this country as they did in any other. It is essential, therefore, that whoever wins on Tuesday has the firmest commitment to free trade. Mr Bush, it must be said, blotted his record in this respect with the deplorable steel tariffs imposed by the US during his period of office. But Mr Kerry goes much further down the protectionist route.
Although the Democrat candidate has a respectable voting record on free trade, his choice of running mate - the arch-protectionist John Edwards - scarcely inspires confidence. Ominously, Mr Kerry has promised a 120-day review of all existing US trade agreements. In an astonishing comparison with the most famous traitor of the American Revolution, he has launched savage attacks on "Benedict Arnold CEOs" for "shipping American jobs overseas". Such callow economic illiteracy is a depressing step back for the Democrats: Bill Clinton's dedication to the completion of the North American Free Trade Agreement was exemplary. By campaigning alongside Mr Clinton in the last days of the contest, Mr Kerry tried to signal that he shares the values of the last Democrat President. To adapt the famous put-down of Lloyd Bentsen: "Senator, you're no Bill Clinton."
The video-taped message by Osama bin Laden released on Friday included a nauseating attack on the President who, this fanatical mass murderer said, left "50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone, because he thought listening to a child discussing her goats was more important" - a contemptible reference to the fact that Mr Bush was in a Florida classroom when he heard the news of the World Trade Center atrocity. The fact that bin Laden's long-awaited "October surprise" was a captious video message rather than a fresh terrorist outrage is - we fervently hope - a sign that al-Qaeda's operational capacity has been seriously eroded by George W Bush's war on terror.
But on one point, bin Laden could not have been more explicit. "Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush," he told the American people. The Islamic fundamentalists will continue their barbarous campaign, irrespective of who is in the White House. The question, then, is which of the two candidates is better qualified to be commander-in-chief as the war on terror proceeds.
Britain has 9,000 troops in Iraq, hundreds of whom are being drawn into the less stable regions of the country at American request. For the foreseeable future, our troops will play a central role in the bringing of order to the liberated country. Mr Bush has made many mistakes in Iraq. But one thing is certain: Saddam Hussein has been deposed. Mr Kerry is not even sure that the Iraqi dictator's tyranny would be over had he been President. "He might be gone," is as far as he was willing to go in an interview with NBC last week.
Indeed, Mr Kerry's position on the war could scarcely be more muddled. The Senator voted for the invasion (unlike the first Gulf War, which he voted against). However, last October, he voted against an appropriation to support American soldiers dealing with the aftermath of a war he had approved. He has said that Mr Bush failed to commit enough troops to Iraq, but at the same time has promised to start bringing American soldiers home six months after taking office. Who, then, will plug the gap? The French foreign minister, Michel Barnier, has said that France will "never" send its troops to Iraq, even if Mr Kerry does win. Germany is no less forthright. How does the Democrat candidate propose to "win" in Iraq - as he says he would - in such operational circumstances?
Mr Kerry has done everything to encourage the charge that he is stranded in the world of September 10. "We have to get back to the place we were," he said this month, "where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance." That would no doubt be desirable. But nothing Mr Kerry has said suggests that he knows how to achieve this goal. The intellectual vacuum at the heart of his candidacy has profound implications for Britain's strategic interests and the lives of our troops: in both cases, this country would be better served by the re-election of Mr Bush.
Let the English leftists rant....the intelligent in Britain know who the true leader is in America.
They know they will get screwed royally (no pun intended) under a Kerry administration.
Kerry is the answer if the question is, "Who's that ignorant jackass?"