So What Exactly is a 'Senitive War' on Terror?
[While I try to grapple with something slightly complicated, here's a guest post from Katrina, currently in Iraq, doing contractual oversight work, including billing reviews, for a U.S. contractor rebuilding Iraqi water, oil, electrical, and irrigation systems at waterside facilities and branch systems.]
Kerry's point was primarily to suggest some different approach to the desires of our allies in regard to our enemies. The Republicans have taken this statement, amplified the least important aspect of the matter, and have dumped it right back on the American public without ever getting to the real heart of the matter. It's yet another political fool-fest that both parties cannot seem to help but produce and which appears to be what you'll be enjoying back there for the next couple of months.
But here is where talk becomes cheap and actions mean everything. In the end, Kerry has a decision to make. Does he take the evidence presented by his own nation and others and act, or does he follow the lead of others and bilk the Oil for Food program for cheap oil and enrich a man who impoverishes and kills his own people? Does he ignore watching those same funds roll back into the hands of the families of terrorists, just so he can enjoy watching more explosions in Israeli restaurants while the arms dealers make a fortune and Israeli subsidies roll out of our treasuries?
Does he continue to supply the bulk of the region's security and the only real onsite enforcement of the Iraqi trade embargo, risking our troops and pissing away his nation's money? Does he do this while others nations fail to sensitize themselves for twelve straight years to the expenses being borne by the US? Does he put our own and their own intelligence on hold while European nationally subsidized oil companies align themselves to make a mint off the miseries of a tyrant's beleaguered nation and throw their weight around in their own governments?
Or does the guy act? Does Kerry say, enough of this shit? Does he say, this clown Saddam is a worthless pile of garbage who has succeeded in turning yet another part of the region into an unstable anti-western mess, and he needs to go, now? Does he say, this man lies to his own people, blaming all of their difficulties on the West, inciting in them a hatred for the US and any of their allies, and producing the seeds of terrorism, which he admires and openly pays for? Or does he just let the shit go because dealing with it would be too expensive, and nations busy profiting off of the misery of Iraq while not carrying their load in securing the peace don't want to rock the boat.
Kerry won't give us a firm answer. Sometimes it's all a huge mistake, blundered into by the Bush administration. Other times it's the same decision he "probably" would have made. If a beltway insider such as himself can't make up his mind with all the information he's priviledge to that you and I aren't, then what exactly could we expect him to stand for? Anything? Would he just simply stand there with a dumb look on his face, if France or Germany told him to? This is exactly what I and many others are afraid he would do. We'd be toast, but everyone would like us.
The fact is, we have not one earthly idea of what the sensitivity Kerry insists is so important would have accomplished. To consider the ideas of our allies means just that, to think them over with an assumption of validity and respect. Maybe you're convinced that wasn't the case with the Bush administration. Maybe he didn't cry enough, or wait long enough for you. But in the end, the questions above were still the questions that had to be either in the positive, or the negative.
And respectfully considering the opinions of others doesn't mean deciding to follow them. It means to consider them, and nothing more. In the end, leadership decisions have to be made from the gut and in maximum consideration of those being directly represented. Bush may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but in the end, I never doubt the principles of where he is coming from.
It's not whether or not Kerry's "sensitivity" towards our allies is right or wrong. It's a case of knowing exactly when and where his sensitivity towards our own security overrides his concern for theirs and their business arrangements. We were sensitive for twelve years, while we carried the burden of enforcing sanctions against a defiant Saddam for the rest of the world, while other nations profited and he did his best to show his ass and kill people. I haven't forgotten all of that. And in my own opinion, I think that's sensitive enough.