by David Sisler

It has been one of the hallmarks of this presidential campaign: John Kerry is a master of the flip-flop

In last Thursday night’s debate, President Bush said, “[Kerry’s] core convictions keep changing because of politics.”

Again: “As the politics change, his positions change.”

And again, “He changes positions on something as fundamental as what you believe in your core, in your heart of hearts.”

John Kerry explains: “[It is okay to] be certain about a principle and then learn new facts and take those new facts and put them to use in order to change and get your policy right.”

In other words, flip-flop.

Let’s check John Kerry on the consistency issue where it deals with involving other nations in coalition with us in order to improve American foreign policy.

Throughout this campaign and throughout the first debate, John Kerry hammered President Bush, saying that the President did not build a strong coalition before attacking Iraq.

Kerry: “I believe America is safest and strongest when we are leading the world and we are leading strong alliances.”

Kerry: “This president has left them [multi-national alliances] in shatters across the globe.”

Kerry: “We need to rebuild our alliances.”

Kerry: “He [President Bush] made a mistake in not building strong alliances.”

Kerry: “[We need to] bring the allies back to the table and to do what’s necessary to make it so America isn't doing this alone.”

Kerry: “This president hasn’t even held the kind of statesman-like summits that pull people together and get them to invest in those states. In fact, he’s done the opposite. He pushed them away.”

So John Kerry is consistent on the issue that in dealing with other nations, with rogue nations who may export terror, who may possess weapons of mass destruction, who may be a threat to world peace, we should always build strong alliances before confronting them. Either in using diplomacy or in using military force, John Kerry says we should always build strong coalitions.

Well, I’m confused. Why does Mr. Kerry state that our foreign policy in Iraq demands multi-national coalitions and our foreign policy with North Korea demands bilateral talks?

John Kerry condemns President Bush because the President did not build a coalition strong enough to suit the Senator, but when President Bush confronts the dictatorship of North Korea with a five-nation unified front, John Kerry says that is wrong.

Kerry on North Korea: “I want bilateral talks which put all of the issues, from the armistice of 1952, the economic issues, the human rights issues, the artillery disposal issues, the DMZ issues and the nuclear issues on the table.”

Kerry: “I’m going to immediately set out to have bilateral talks with North Korea.”

That was certainly good news for Kim Jong Il.

When President Clinton chose to go it alone in solving the nuclear problem in North Korea – the Agreed Framework – the Kim government quickly agreed, knowing they could get fuel oil and two light water reactors and continue their nuclear arms program undeterred. They eventually reneged on the deal, dismantled cameras and threw out inspectors.

A Kerry presidency would renew same mistake of the Agreed Framework.

Last year President Bush formed a coalition of China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia to confront North Korea in the so-called Six-Party Talks.

President Bush said, “I can’t tell you how big a mistake I think that is, to have bilateral talks with North Korea. It’s precisely what Kim Jong Il wants. It will cause the six-party talks to evaporate. It will mean that China no longer is involved in convincing, along with us, for Kim Jong Il to get rid of his weapons.”

Japan certainly had a right to be at these disarmament talks because Kim has repeatedly threatened Japan. Most recently he said he would turn Japan into a “nuclear sea of fire.”

China has for decades unofficially given North Korea financial support.

South Korea has trade agreements in place and has given North Korea cash payments, as well.

Those two nations are certainly in solid positions to bring diplomatic pressure against the rogue government in Pyongyang.

Add Russia and the United States, and together with China and South Korea, there a multi-national coalition strongly allied against North Korea’s currently unchecked nuclear proliferation. President Clinton’s Agreed Framework has been a bilateral failure. Renewing that failure would be nothing short of stupidity.

President Bush said, “The only consistency about my opponent’s position is that he’s been inconsistent.”

That is especially true on the issues of demanding a coalition against Iraq, and insisting on following the failed policy of going it alone against North Korea – a nation John Kerry deems a greater threat to American safety and security than Iraq.

Consistency, thou art a jewel!


Copyright 2004 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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