Skip to comments.Gore's Speech Telling
Posted on 09/27/2002 11:42:33 AM PDT by Mark
Gore's speech telling
No limit to former vice president's muddle-headedness
By Jonathan Shapiro
There is a very great difference between avoiding a hard task on principle and shirking it for personal reasons. The courageous do the former. The selfish do the latter.
In 1941, in the face of an overwhelming national consensus, Rep. Jeanette Rankin, R-Mont., an ardent opponent of fascism, nevertheless cast the lone vote against military action following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. She did so, she said, because in a democracy war should never be declared unanimously.
Compare such heroism to the tawdry appeasement offered up by Al Gore this week in San Francisco. Gore's speech pouring invective on President Bush's efforts to control Saddam Hussein proves what many of us who voted for Gore have come to realize -- there is no limit to the former vice president's muddle-headedness or shamelessness.
The protean nature of Gore's past and the absurdity of his present policy stance make clear that it is Democratic control of the House of Representatives and then the White House that Gore cares about, not the Beast of Baghdad.
In a shrill campaign speech masquerading as a foreign policy address, Gore illogically accused the president of foreign adventurism as a means of distracting the nation from its war on terrorism.
Targeting Saddam, Gore suggested, means ignoring al-Qaida.
This is an odd, if not utterly absurd approach to a global conflict fought by individuals but financed by nations. A good thing Gore wasn't president in 1941. If he had been, the United States would have refused to engage Hitler in order to focus entirely on Japan.
More absurd was Gore's criticism of Bush's "do-it alone, cowboy-type" approach to foreign policy. He urged the president to pursue a coalition against Saddam built with members of the world community and our allies, a wonderful idea few could oppose. But which allies was Gore talking about?
Surely not Germany -- that nation just elected its most anti-American leader in recent memory, which, for Germany, is really saying something. Nor France, nor Italy, nor any of the European nations, whose willingness to accept genocide in their own backyard (witness their inaction in Bosnia), is matched only by their acceptance of it elsewhere (witness their inaction to ethnic cleansing in Rwanda and of Kurds in Iraq).
And Gore could not have meant Russia or China, whose economic ties to Iraq, specifically involving arms and oil, place their national interests far from our own.
Was he thinking of the Middle East? If so, our most reliable ally there, Israel, which stands to shed the most blood should war come, has already committed itself to our side. All other nations in the region have refused.
If Gore believes the strongest superpower on Earth should refrain from checking a ruthless tyrant who threatens its existence until Cameroon or Sri Lanka or Denmark approves, he should say so.
By the same token, if he believes the United States should simply wait and see if the rest of the world comes to its senses and joins us in this act of mutual self-defense, all the while granting Hussein the time he needs to develop nuclear weapons, he should certainly say that, too.
Of course, Gore means none of this. Platitudes and generalities come easily to politicians like him. Only statesmen and leaders are expected to be specific.
When it comes to confronting our enemies, neither Gore nor President Clinton were ever long on specifics.
For eight years, their foreign policy dithering provided an environment for our nation's enemies to grow strong. That they now admit having tried haphazardly to destroy Osama bin Laden excuses nothing. Failure may not be cause for sanction. But ineffectiveness in the face of calamity is not quite worthy of praise either.
Debate on whether to attack Iraq is not merely appropriate, it is essential. So, too, is scrutinizing the arguments and motives of those engaged in the debate.
For all his missteps, real and imagined, Bush has provided the world with ample evidence that Saddam has evil motives toward us, as well as the means to carry them out.
In contrast, the putative leader of the political opposition, Gore, has provided the nation with a speech that is more evidence -- as if it was needed -- that he will say anything at any time to keep his political ambitions afloat.
Gore has served neither the nation nor his party well.
------------------------------------------------------- Jonathan Shapiro, a former federal prosecutor and chief of staff to California Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante, is an adjunct law professor at USC School of Law.
I thought this article was going to be about Gore's lisping in San Francisco.
When I first looked at the byline, I thought this was an article from the Los Angeles TIMES. Then, after reading the tough stand it took against Al Goron, I thought I had just witnessed one of the seven signs of the apocolypse.
Okay, I feel better now . . . Top
This statement is only valid if Bush emulates Jimmy Carter, when Carter wasn't able to function due to the Iranian Hostage situation, making his last year in office completely ineffectual.
It is my belief that President Bush is capable of walking and chewing chewing gum - both at the same time!