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Offense vs. Defense

Reader comment on item: 9/10 vs. 9/12 on [Election Day] 11/2

Submitted by David S (United States), Oct 27, 2004 at 02:26

I like Mr. Pipes' commentary; maybe another way to put the difference is offense vs. defense.

As the candidates have essentially said themselves, a major difference is that Bush believes that you have to take the fight to the terrorists and the states (or at least the leadership within those states) that support them. Kerry believes that we must strengthen homeland defense, take a more collaborative posture that involves joint decision making and action with traditional allies and within the structure of the UN, and return the country to a political posture where it's not really on the table that we'd pre-emptively attack a Saddam's Iraq, for example. There's wisdom on both sides, of course.

The truth is that the Bush Admin probably has lowered its sights on the "offense" approach, given the difficulties in Iraq. Brahimi, the UN, etc. have been very involved for some time now; the whole character of the thing has changed considerably in the last 6 months or so.

The Administration gets far too little credit for its diplomatic efforts and the allies we do have in this Iraq venture. Kerry's insults on this score have been awful and unbecoming of a potential leader. France is always going to be France, but diplomacy with many other nations has been more or less successful, given the competitive national interests they all have to defend. Plus, the Oil-for-Food scandal has clearly been a factor, although we don't know how much.

Bush is actually correct in pointing out that strengthening homeland security to the level Kerry is talking about is going to cost many billions, not to mention the hit to the global economy of tying up commercial trade and shipping in tighter inspections. And the Patriot Act...willl Kerry support strengthening and extending its provisions in the name of better homeland defense? Perhaps so. Perhaps our liberties are safer with Ashcroft.

Anyway, I'm a Democrat, but Kerry's campaign has turned me off big time, and I don't see the wisdom of changing leadership at this time. I am confident in President Bush.
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