The BBC's take on Kerry's acceptance speech
I haven't posted much about American politics for two reasons.
First, there are so many pundits that are far, far better at it than I am.
Second, I imagine most Brits have little interest in the details, just get the election over so we know who we are going to be dealing with for the next four years.
However, since the BBC is widely read, I thought it might be of some help to add some comment on the BBC's take on Kerry's speech.
In a major speech ending the party's convention in Boston, he promised to fight for a stronger America, saying strength was "more than tough words".
What does this mean? Is he saying all Bush has done is use "tough words"? That doesn't square with the successful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He also attacked President Bush's policy on Iraq, and said that he would not "mislead the country into war".
It's refreshing to see the Democrats start to back off the "Bush lied" theme and tone it down to at least "mislead". But that doesn't explain Kerry's voting record or his own words.
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002."
So, Mr. Kerry, exactly how were you misled if you knew Saddam had WMDs?
The speech was preceded by a film of his life story, highlighting his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam.
This, to me, is one of the most bizarre events of the convention. This happened over 30 years ago and Kerry was only in Viet Nam for 16 weeks! I'll give him his due, he was in a war and he was wounded. But how does that short period over 30 years ago qualify Kerry to lead a country?
What is worse for Kerry, is this brings his flip flopping into sharp focus. When Kerry came back from Viet Nam he threw his (or someone's) medals over the White House fence and became an anti-war protester. He accused his fellow sailors of war crimes. Now he wants to use his time in Viet Nam to show what a war hero he is? This just defies logic.
Then, accompanied by his wartime crew mates, the candidate took to the stage.
Hold on a second BBC, you aren't telling us some important details. Kerry was accompanied by several "vets" but how many were actually "his wartime crew mates"? Answer, 2. That is right just 2. The rest of Kerry's "wartime crew mates" are campaigning against him.
When Kerry published a photograph of himself and "his wartime crew mates", they hired a lawyer and issued a "cease and desist" order to stop Kerry from using their photographs in his campaign.
Kerry's wartime crew mates were not happy with Kerry in Viet Nam and after he returned to the states he accused them of war crimes. So, they set up a website called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The main page contains the photograph Kerry used without their permission. When you point to the photograph, the members supporting Kerry are shown, there are just 2.
His wartime crew mates were so angry with the false statements by Kerry that they have even published a book called "Unfit for Command : Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry"
"I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as president," Mr Kerry said.
By saying he "defended this country as a young man", Kerry is saying he believed then and still believes that the US needed defending from Viet Nam. Which makes his anti-war stance look ridiculous.
What is Kerry saying here, "I'll wait till we are attacked and then I will defend it as president"?
He said that as commander-in-chief he would "never hesitate to use force when it is required", and would be prepared for the US to go it alone.
How is any of this different from Bush?
"When it is required"? Would that be after we are attacked?
You would "go it alone"? As in unilaterally?
"I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security," Mr Kerry said.
Again, how does this differ from Bush? Is Kerry saying he will act unilaterally when it suits him? Isn't this a flip flop from the opening of the speech:
"Democratic Party candidate John Kerry has formally accepted the nomination to run for US president, vowing to rebuild America's alliances around the world."
He sought to contrast himself with Mr Bush by highlighting the faulty intelligence used by the administration ahead of the conflict.
"Faulty intelligence"? Then why, as I pointed out earlier, did he say "...I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002. And a year later Kerry said "...So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..." Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003
Even his running mate, John Edwards had this to say:
We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002
"We only go to war because we have to," he said.
That's true, so what is the point here? Is Kerry trying to say we did not have to go to war in Iraq? Kerry voted for the war in Iraq. This line just does not make sense.
"In these dangerous days there is a right way and a wrong way to be strong. Strength is more than tough words," he said.
There is that line again. I keep asking myself as I read Kerry's speech, "what in the hell is he talking about"?
Again, is he saying that Bush is all talk and no action? The facts are obviously otherwise and for all to see.
Afghanistan, Iraq, the closing down of charities, abroad and in the US, funding terrorism, the capture or killing of thousands of terrorists world wide, the creation of the Homeland Security Department and the list goes on and on. These are tough actions, not "tough words".
The more Kerry talks the less he makes sense, kind of like Michael Moore. These two alone will insure the Democrats defeat in November.