29 May 2008

All the nuance you could want in Sen. Kerry

Ah, how the winds of fate twists and turns on those seeking the Presidency!

From AP via Yahoo! news 28 MAY 2008 (H/t: http://hotair.com/archives/2008/05/28/are-you-ready-for-secretary-of-state-john-kerry/):

Four years after a failed presidential bid and amid a race for a fifth Senate term this fall, Kerry's moves have prompted some questions:

_Is the Massachusetts Democrat positioning himself to be secretary of state in a potential Barack Obama administration?


Kerry aides insist he's not angling for the job and point to his long involvement in foreign affairs. It started with his famous testimony as a 27-year-old veteran questioning the Vietnam War before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It continues today, at age 64, as the No. 3 Democrat on the same panel.

But envisioning him in the post would hardly be a stretch given Obama's chances at securing the Democratic nomination, a general election shaping up as a "change" campaign and Kerry's relationship with the Illinois senator.

Kerry would likely face competition from Sen. Joseph R. Biden of Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, a former Peace Corps volunteer who also sits on the panel, and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, a top Obama adviser.

Really, that has been something that folks on the Right have been quick to criticize Sen. Obama on - his nuanceophilia! Where meetings without preconditions are somehow different when he prepares for them! Yes, such lovely 'nuance' that it is unsurprising to see the Junior Senator from MA angling for a spot in diplomatic circles. I mean, he was in Vietnam, in case you have forgotten! He has the 'magic hat' to prove his daring deeds, and the home videos he had others shoot of him doing heroic things while he was there. Then he came home and talked about how his fellow soldiers were like unto Genghis Khan's army... and then threw someone else's medals over the White House fence. And he was for the Iraq war before he was against it!

Do note that the majority of that litany is pre-Iraq, although his lack of stance after it follows in the same line of thought: say tough things today and tomorrow say just the opposite, all to look tough and 'nuanced'.

So, here is the question: would a Presidential candidate considering Sen. Kerry, Biden, Dodd, Daschle, et. al. be a candidate you would trust? I mean look at the squish factor there, where brave talk in the 1990's against Saddam turned into jello knees when it came time to pay the price of removal and putting something better in its place. I mean they were all so hot for stopping Saddam from getting WMDs that they even asked for Iraq to be attacked while under a cease-fire:

"We are skeptical, however, that Saddam Hussein will take heed of this message even though it is from a unanimous Security Council. Moreover, we are deeply concerned that without the intrusive inspections and monitoring by UNSCOM and the IAEA, Iraq will be able, over time, to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs."

Signed by Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Frank R. Lautenberg, Dick Lugar, Kit Bond, Jon Kyl, Chris Dodd, John McCain, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alfonse D'Amato, Bob Kerrey, Pete V. Domenici, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Mikulski.

Thomas Daschle, John Breaux, Tim Johnson, Daniel K. Inouye, Arlen Specter, James Inhofe, Strom Thurmond, Mary L. Landrieu, Wendell Ford, John F. Kerry, Chuck Grassley, Jesse Helms, Rick Santorum.

October 9, 1998

All 'bi-partisan' and everything, too! I am sure that they were all aware that attacking during a cease-fire effectively ENDS IT? Oh, wait, Saddam had been shooting at us all that time and we were not doing a damned thing to hold him to his word. How silly of me to forget that we can't even understand the Laws of War and Peace. I mean such Congresscritters should realize this, no? Firing during a cease-fire ends the cease-fire. Apparently not, not enough 'nuance'.

Still, the idea is that some of these folks looking for this job of Sec. State might just want to have some idea of what they are doing, right? Maybe keep a continuous thought in their heads about calling for 'tough action' means following through when the action actually gets tough? So, considering that some of these 'bi-partisan' Congresscritters aren't all that hot in understanding basics of foreign policy, and how firing during a cease-fire ends it and such like, you wouldn't want to place much on them calling for simple missile attacks that would, of course, signal that we were done with the cease-fire. Because if the US can't stick to its word, then why should we try to keep Saddam to his?

Got a bit of steam up on this concept? See Sen. Obama as a bit of an appeaser looking towards the squishy left to get support?

In a FindArticles archive article from Insight on the News of 13 MAR 2000, we get just what the McCain senior team would look like when he last ran for President, and if you don't like Sen. Obama's inclinations, then do think about what Sen. McCain was looking at back then:

"What's the first thing you would do as president?" the Detroit News recently asked McCain.

"The first thing I would do," the candidate answered, "is call in John Kerry, Bob Kerrey, Joe Biden, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, Dick Lugar, Chuck Hagel and several others and say we've got to get foreign-policy, national-security issues back on track."

That statement ricocheted through cyberspace, with Washington national-security experts wondering, "Is McCain nuts?" The formula doesn't compute:

* John Kerry is the very liberal senator from Massachusetts who ran Vietnam Veterans Against the War and whose dogged efforts to save Nicaragua's Marxist regime in the 1980s prompted his hometown paper, the Boston Herald, to refer to him as "the Sandinista ambassador."

* Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democratic senator and Clinton/Gore critic, is retiring and won't even be in the Senate when or if McCain makes it to the White House.

* Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden, solidly on the left, is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but won't set its agenda because Sen. Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican, still will be the chairman.

* Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter's national-security adviser, is admired for a toughness toward Moscow that's matched by a puzzling softness toward Beijing.

* Henry Kissinger, architect of President Nixon's premature detente with the Soviet Union and the opening to Communist China, has made millions of dollars consulting with international business while advising U.S. political leaders (see "Lion Dancing With Wolves," April 21, 1997).

* Dick Lugar, the thoughtful, even-handed Indiana Republican senator, has been a key ally of the Clinton administration's failed Russia policies.

* Chuck Hagel, Lugar's eager apprentice, is a first-term Republican senator from Nebraska whom Kissinger wowed on a trip to China. Hagel is formally a member of the McCain camp's "senior foreign-policy team," with a grand total of three (count 'em, three) years' experience in the Washington foreign-policy world. (Hagel is such a Kissinger fan that he told the newspaper The Hill that Kissinger's book Years of Renewal was his "summer reading.")

McCain's anointment of these men left GOP national-security experts scratching their heads. "It shows he has a certain lack of confidence when he has so many people from wholly different environments," a former senior State Department official tells Insight.

That is not what I would call an outstanding concept even in 2000. Not only was this team stuck in the Cold War, they were some of the prime architects that led to the inability of the US to actually understand terrorism. Kissinger, if one can recall, decided that siding *against* the world's largest democracy because it was getting help from the USSR meant that we should help Pakistan, then undergoing one of its regular cycles between dictatorial rule and quasi-democracy, because it was aligned with China which was more or less siding against the USSR. Say, why couldn't we just talk with another democracy and see what we can do between us against thugs, tyrants, communists, and totalitarian states? Even during the Cold War President Nixon and Henry Kissinger were criticized on these grounds. Brzezinski was the prime architect of 'Support the Shah' then 'Don't Support the Shah' then 'Feel out the Ayatollah to form an alliance of Green Islamic States' against the USSR and then against that when it became clear the Ayatollah wanted nothing to do with either the US or USSR.

Can you imagine Sen. McCain turning to *that* team on 2001? A year after 9/11 they would still be trying to figure out which way to go and waffling all over the landscape, because they had no clue as to what to do during the Cold War to thwart Islamic terrorism.

So do remember, that Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama both thought to a lot of the same people as the FIRST ONES to turn to... of course Sen. Obama now can see how the nuancers and wafflemaniacs have performed under pressure.

And Sen. McCain? When looking around I found this article Human Events looked at this on 02 APR 2007:

At a recent Manhattan fundraiser, Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) was asked whom he is relying on for foreign policy advice in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He listed Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, Robert Kagan, George Schultz, Lawrence Eagleburger, William Kristol and Robert Zoellick. “And, you’ll be surprised how often I touch base with that circuit” he told the crowd.

Yes, more of the failed 'realists'. Don't worry, I am sure that Sen. McCain can make it more 'bi-partisan'. I just can't think of anyone from the Democratic party I would want in that sort of arrangement, especially if these nitwits are showing up to pontificate about their 'experience' during the Cold War.

The Cold War is over.

Can we get a President who can understand this? We are really in need of one who doesn't see old ideas like 'rational states' as a way to deal with Iran: it hasn't been rationally governed for a few decades, now. Or heading back to appeasement: that didn't work out so well for the world, either.

Going back to those is a 'change' but it is certainly not 'progress'.

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