by David Sisler

If you are President George W. Bush, or Vice President Dick Cheney you are “harsh” or you are mounting a “scathing attack” if you challenge the record and/or statements of the Democratic presidential candidate.

If you are John Kerry responding to those GOP meanies, you are courageously “fighting back.”

If you are John Kerry, flunking geography, not knowing in your “seared” memory where Cambodia really is, or where you really were on that “life-defining” Christmas Eve, you can keep your three decades of lying afloat by saying you were in “watery borders” and the media will give you a free pass.

If you are President Bush, because you chose to serve in the National Guard you are “AWOL” (in the words of Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe) or a “deserter” (in the words of Democratic propagandist Michael Moore).

I mention the above inequities to raise the question that if President Bush was caught lying about his military service as John Kerry has been caught lying about his (and more revelations may be forthcoming when Unfit For Command gets the close scrutiny it deserves) would it have been dismissed as a simple miscalculation, oh say, in longitude and latitude? Or would the hyenas still be howling?

President Bush was – and still is – pilloried in the press for declaring an end to the major fighting in Iraq too soon. But John Kerry is “sensitive” when he says that six months after he becomes president, American troops will come home from Iraq and be replaced by foreign troops.

Foreign troops? French troops, Mr. Kerry?

Terrorists attacked in Spain, and in a weak, knee-jerk reaction, Spain abandoned the fight for freedom in Iraq. Emboldened, terrorists kidnapped and beheaded innocent civilians, and threatened still more with death, and more nations waffled and ran instead of standing firm against the monsters. Intelligence warns that Osama bin Laden is planning an attack in America to influence the November elections. Since President Bush has put a price on bin Laden’s head, I wonder who al Qaida supports?

How can Mr. Kerry’s promise of retreat be seen as anything other than national weakness to the enemy? Terrorist leaders must be encouraged that if they hold on a few more months, the American Satan will go home, his tail between his legs.

And what of the ordinary Iraqis who are fighting with American men and women to restore freedom and democracy to their nation? Do they see Mr. Kerry’s pledge to cut and run as an inducement for them to continue the fight? Or do they see it as a warning that they are about to be abandoned to the Baathists?

John Kerry says that he will return America to the “time-honored tradition” of “never go[ing] to war because we want to, [but] only go[ing] to war because we have to.” Obviously Iraq was a war we wanted, and so according to the Democratic standard bearer, it was a wrong war (Mr. Kerry’s vote in favor of it notwithstanding).

John Kerry, who is building his campaign on his Vietnam record, seems to forget that war was one which Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson wanted to fight. And he also conveniently forgets President Bill Clinton’s interventions in Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo. And if you discount World War I, you can add a dozen or so other “because-we-wanted-to” military incursions. Mr. Kerry would, I guess, pick only World War II and Afghanistan as “had to” wars.

One brief aside: If Bill Clinton’s draft dodging did not make a difference to the American electorate in 1992 and 1996, and if Al Gore’s hammering of President Geroge W. Bush’s national guard service in 2000 did not make a difference to the American electorate, why is John Kerry hoping that his 30-year-old record of four months active duty will make a difference in 2004? Is it because his public record since Vietnam is so empty there is nothing to stand on?

Vice President Dick Cheney challenged Mr. Kerry on his “sensitive” war and the press howled “not fair!” Bill Lynch, deputy director of the Kerry campaign says that “a group of right-wing Swift boat veterans” are “smearing John Kerry.” The media fawns in defense of John Kerry, and all the while, the Kerry campaign attacks their opponents rather than defend Mr. Kerry’s flag-wrapped strategy, or give truthful explanations for the unveiled inconsistencies.

ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas calls Mr. Cheney’s response a “scathing attack.” To CNN’s John King, it is a “fierce attack.” NBC’s chief talking head, Tom Brokaw called it a “harsh attack.”

John Kerry and his media supporters have come up with a smarmy tactic: “We have been caught with our pants down (no offense, Mr. Clinton), but our opponents are evil because they point out our electoral disfunctions. Shame on them for saying those mean things! Don’t you see how horribly wicked they are for arousing attention to those issues?”

John Kerry and his media supporters will not answer challenging questions. But they will continue to smear their opponents, and hope the wool stays pulled firmly over the eyes of American voters.

Is criticism to be dismissed simply because it may be harsh? Should not a better question be, “But is it true?”


Copyright 2004 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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