Skip to comments.Editorial: The Gore Doctrine
Posted on 09/26/2002 12:22:30 AM PDT by Pat Bateman
Editorial: The Gore Doctrine
Savannah Morning News
THE NATION this week got a glimpse of what a post-9/11 America would look like under a President Gore.
It wasn't pretty.
In a major, hyped-in-advance speech Monday to San Francisco's Commonwealth Club, Al Gore sharply criticized the Bush administration's policy on Iraq and its prosecution of the war on terror, without offering any substantive alternatives.
In doing so, he didn't just break with the president, a majority of the American public and even leading members of his party, including his running mate in 2000, who support the policies. He broke with himself, contradicting statements he's made on Iraq over the last 11 years.
By positioning himself to the left of the Democratic Party on the war, he stands to benefit only if the war goes poorly, so he can be the one to say, "I told you so." In other words, Mr. Gore gains if Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida succeed.
Ironically, that high-risk, go-it-alone political strategy rests on a foreign policy vision that is exceedingly cautious and hyper-multilateral, not to mention disjointed and unmoored to reality.
Under President Gore, the war on terrorism would focus almost exclusively on capturing Osama bin Laden and rounding up every last one of his al-Qaida henchmen.
Nothing else could proceed until this mission was accomplished, and there was no acknowledgement that opposing Iraq might be vital component of the war.
Mr. Gore on Monday accused the Bush administration of botching this: "Those who attacked us on Sept. 11 ... have thus far gotten away with it." Huh? Did he miss the fact that the Taliban have been toppled in Afghanistan, there were thousands of al-Qaida killed there, hundreds more are incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay and the world hasn't heard a peep from Osama in months?
He said the administration "has quickly abandoned almost all of Afghanistan after defeating a fifth-rate military power there." On the contrary, the U.S. still has a substantial military presence there and is assisting President Hamid Karzai in establishing a democratic government (American troops even recently thwarted an assassination attempt against him). And if the Taliban were such pushovers, why didn't Mr. Gore and his boss defeat them when they had the opportunity years ago?
Mr. Gore believes action against Iraq must wait until every loose end in Afghanistan is accounted for, as if America can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Yet, in the past he has talked of making Iraq a security priority.
For example, just last February he said the time had come to oust Saddam in a "final reckoning" with Iraq, describing the country as a "virulent threat in a class by itself."
On Monday, with Saddam closer to acquiring weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Gore essentially said: Whoa, George, what's the hurry?
It's too bad Mr. Gore didn't wait a day to give his speech so he could have listened to British Prime Minister Tony Blair deliver to parliament a chilling and compelling 55-page dossier on Saddam's weapons capabilities. Mr. Blair and Mr. Gore are cut from the same center-left political cloth. Why does one clearly see a growing threat in Iraq while the other dithers?
Mr. Gore's timetable on Iraq would not be set according to how close Saddam was to passing a nuclear device under the table to a terrorist network, but by how long it took to assemble an international coalition to confront him.
When will we eventually get Saddam? Mr. Gore promises it will be "in a timely fashion." As timely as the Clinton-Gore administration dealt with the problem over eight years?
His fixation on international opinion being a baromter of American legitimacy led him to make this appalling statement of moral equivalence Monday: "In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, we had an enormous reservoir of good will and sympathy and shared resolve all over the world. That has been squandered in a year's time and replaced with great anxiety all around the world, not primarily about what the terrorist networks are going to do, but about what we're going to do."
If our "allies" truly fear terrorism less than they fear America's efforts to defeat it, Mr. Gore should be pointing out how that anxiety is misplaced instead of using it as a domestic political weapon. This is rhetoric befitting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, not a former vice president. Mr. Gore should be more concerned with the security of America than the sympathy of the world.
Mr. Gore on Monday exhibited neither the moral clarity nor broad strategic vision that President Bush has since 9/11, just the same leaden political calculation he did during the 2000 campaign. The world would be a different place today if not for a few handfuls of hanging chads.
What are Gore's substantive achievements? Nearly every position he's ever held has been acquired for him by someone else, usually his father or Armand Hammer. Yes, he was the Vice President. But people didn't go to the polls to elect Gore VP; they went to elect Clinton President. (Yes, yes, I know I'm not supposed to dwell on that instance of national bad taste.) When Gore has put himself forward for national office, he's always lost.
So what does he bring to the table?
I can't find anything. He pledges fidelity to no fixed principles. His approach to issues and general policy is marked by an absolute opportunism, a determined testing of the winds before he'll speak on any subject. He's the ultimate "show me the way the people are headed and I will lead them" politician.
So why Al Gore? Why does anyone pay attention when he speaks? Why is he the probable nominee for President in 2004?
Possibly it's a "sacrificial-lamb" move, as was Adlai Stevenson in 1956 and Bob Dole in 1996. Or possibly, it's that Bill Clinton, for all his odiousness, is the Democrats' national high-water mark in the last fifty years, and Gore is their only hope for borrowing a few final crumbs of the Clintonian magic.
But for sure, it isn't for Al Gore's sake. It isn't because they're dreaming rapturously of an Al Gore Administration, or of all the innovations and bold adventures his tenure would bring. He's no one's crusader for justice. His agenda has one item on it: Al Gore.
If there are any Democrats out there -- small chance of that, I know -- you'd be well advised to drop this man. Better yet, silence him; he's making all of you look bad by association. The Democratic Party's fortunes are diminished by its tolerance of Gore's relentless campaign for its spotlight.
Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit The Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com
Bingo! Nothing nastier than this.
When you're as big a stiff as Al Gore that can be particularly painful.
Only 42% of them with another 20% suckered in by the little lop-eared psycho from Dallas.
This summarizes Gore perfectly. It also summarizes about 90% of the remainder of the Democrat party. Unfortunately, it is a summary of the psyche of American politicians in general, and given the general ignorance of the American people and the conditioned dynamic of 'feelings over reason' that domainate our national psyche, it is the path that most modern politicians see as the key to their own personal ambition of 'leading' ...
Gore has alot of nerve opening his mouth about abandoning people...
According to Time Magazine reporter Scott MacLeod, Vice-President Gore sent a note to Chalabi and the INC to promise the administration's "solid commitment" to "your struggle" and pledged that U.S. officials "will not turn our backs." Gore also announced in a public speech that "We have now decided to seek a United Nations commission to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity of the Iraqi regime." This rhetoric was indeed backed by covert support for the INC, but when push came to shove it was only rhetoric.
A paramilitary operation was planned for March 1995 with forces backed by the INC, KDP, PUK, Iraqi Kurd regional government, and the CIA to take the cities of Kirkuk and Mosul in Iraqi Kurdistan to trigger a CIA-backed coup among Iraqi troops and popular insurrection. The Clinton Administration was hopeful that this could be done simply and quickly before the elections in 1996 to give the president a badly-needed foreign policy accomplishment. But the night before the action unfolded a man named General Adnan Nuri - a former brigade commander who had been recruited by U.S. intelligence to work seperately for both the INC and the Iraqi National Accord in 1992 - landed in Washington, DC to warn government officials that the planned paramilitary operation would require concerted American airpower. President Clinton, concerned about how a war would unfold on American television sets, immediately bowed out. He ordered National Security Adviser Tony Lake to quickly cable Chalabi with five words: "You are on your own."
Kevin Fedarko in Time Magazine reports that on August 31, 1996, the CIA case officers fled at dawn in their "fancy white Landcruiser" as Saddam's forces invaded Arbil, leaving behind "hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of computers, scramblers and satellite phones, as well as equipment used by a TV-radio station... Of the 100 employees who worked for the rebel TV station, only 12 survived." Nearly the entire staff of the IBC, according to reports, were blindfolded and summarily shot in the back of the head.
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