Monday, October 25, 2004

Not-so-quick shots to start the week

WOW! Finally, back to the blogging! What, you ask, could possibly bring me back into the writing world? Well, it starts at the Washington Times story that intends to do Kerry some damage with regards to his honesty (more about that later), but the REAL motivation is my prediction for the Presidential election! So you see, it's not like I have ambitions with my scribblings tonight.

First, a prediction: We're not going to know the winner of this election on Nov. 2, or 3, or maybe even 23. On election night, while all states may be "declared" one way or the other (and I'm willing to bet at least one of those declarations will be prior to the end of polling in that state), I bet in the aftermath of the "get out the word first" press put on by major media outlets and the like, more than a few states will have a slippery slope to navigate in order to determine where their electoral fate lies. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Oregon are pretty much guaranteed to fall into that category; Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and my beloved Colorado are possible. And how any one of those states turn once the lawyers get involved is something I don't even care to guess at--so much legal mumbo-jumbo that a person like me can only sit back and hope that it turns out right. But as I have written before, the "spectacle" that this election will turn into has the potential to serve as a perfect example of Democracy Gone Bad. When violence, fraud and lawyers hold sway over the purest of processes, nobody is the winner. Thanks, fanatics, for making a mockery of over 200 years of Democracy. It's almost enough to make a guy lose faith in the system--but fortunately, I'm not that guy!

Item #2: as my friends know, I have been talking about this supposedly "big" story that a major media outlet was going to break that is damaging to the Kerry campaign. That story appears in the Washington Times, titled "Security Council Members Deny Meeting Kerry". The thrust of the story is that on more than one occasion, one as recently as the second Presidential debate, Sen. Kerry has claimed to have met with the members of the U.N Security Council in the week prior to the passage of Resolution 1441, which served as the hammer that President Bush decided to drop on Saddam. Apparently, that claim is false. While the reporter, Joel Mowbray, is able to verify that Kerry met with at least some of the members of the Council, there are others whose missions (not just the ambassador to the U.N., but the entire "team" that represents a country to the U.N.) claim never to have met Kerry. To the "facts":

- In the second debate (town hall meeting, where selected members of the audience asked the questions), Nikki Washington asked the President "What is your plan to repair relations with other countries given the current situation?" (She set the question up by talking about America's perceived unpopularity in Europe) The President responded by basically stating that making the right decisions sometimes makes you unpopular, and that axiom especially holds true in Europe. During Kerry's 90-second response, the Senator hailed back to 4 years ago when, in the debates, Bush talked about under what circumstances he would choose to go to war. The crux of Kerry's answer, as it is presented in the WaTimes article today, is the following:

"The president stood right here in this hall four years ago, and he was asked a question by somebody just like you, "Under what circumstances would you send people to war?"
And his answer was, "With a viable exit strategy and only with enough forces to get the job done."

He didn't do that. He broke that promise. We didn't have enough forces.

General Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, told him he was going to need several hundred thousand. And guess what? They retired General Shinseki for telling him that.

This president hasn't listened.

I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable. I came away convinced that, if we worked at it, if we were ready to work and letting Hans Blix do his job and thoroughly go through the inspections, that if push came to shove, they'd be there with us."

- In a speech before the Council of Foreign Relations in December of last year (transcript available here--and please go read it. There are so many gems in this speech that are worth re-visiting today that it is impossible to list them!), Kerry responds to a question from Andy Nagorski of Newsweek, who asks exactly HOW Kerry would've got French and German participation in our coalition efforts in Iraq, as follows:

Thanks to some friends in New York, I was invited to come up and meet with the Security Council in the week prior to the vote, and I wanted to do that, because I valued my vote. And I wanted to know what the real readiness and willingness of our partners was to take this seriously. So I sat with the French and British, Germans, with the entire Security Council, and we spent a couple of hours talking about what they saw as the path to a united front in order to be able to deal with Saddam Hussein.

Germany was not on the Security Council in 2002, when the Security Council unanimously approved Res. 1441 on November 8, and when the U.S. Senate voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in October. So which vote was Kerry researching when he talked to Germany?

To the reports: Mowbray claims that the missions of at least 4 members of that 15-member security council never had contact with Sen. Kerry. In fact, the only countries that Mowbray was able to directly confirm meeting with Kerry are France, Singapore and Cameroon. Second-hand testimony refers to a meeting between Kerry and representatives of Great Britain's mission. Assuming the Kerry didn't actually have to meet with the mission from the U.S. to understand their intentions, that still means that of the 10 OTHER countries that belonged to that Security Council (membership changes every year with the exception of the 5 permanent members--the U.S., Russia, France, the U.K. and China), 4 of them claim to have never had contact with Sen. Kerry. Certainly the folks of Mexico, Columbia and Bulgaria would remember spending a couple of hours talking with Sen Kerry, wouldn't they? Either as part of a forum (which it appears is the unlikely manner in which this supposed meeting went down) OR as part of an individual office call, certainly a statesman of the stature of John Kerry would leave an impression on the officials of these missions, wouldn't he?

Read the rest of the WaTimes article to form your own opinions. For my take on it all, read on:

Kerry is caught in another lie, another lie that he tells frequently to make himself look like an incredible statesman. Either he doesn't understand the power of the internet (which makes him totally disconnected from reality) OR he doesn't know that what he is saying is a lie. Will this damage him in his quest to the White House? I don't know--this story certainly won't get the media play like something that reflects negatively on Bush would, and some people might not even find this story all that interesting. But I don't know how it will play on the "undecideds" stage--the stage that as of yet must be unconvinced that Kerry is a do-nothing pretentious name-dropper whose election would signal that the worst possible type of politician has ascended to the highest office of the land. Do they think that kind of person is better than Bush? Well, I certainly hope not--either that, or they really aren't all that "undecided" to begin with.


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