We've had the Year of the Woman, the Year of the Angry White Male and the Year of the Soccer Mom in recent elections. This year, Mark Steyn says it's the Year of the Girlie Men -- as in, those who would be wimps and those who would be strong in the face of Islamofascism.
John Kerry gave every impression that he would be weak: he promised only to go to war when a threat to the US is imminent and that he would strike back if the US is attacked. Those messages are manna from heaven for the terrorists because Kerry will not stop them until there is a near-certain attack on the US about to occur (and that standard is loaded with wiggle room). The "respond to terrorists" concept is carte blanche for any terrorists who want to strike first -- they don't care about their own lives as long as they can take some of us with them; and he also signals that he will not actively PREVENT the attacks, just sit back and hope his counterpunch will hurt someone if he's not already knocked out.
Steyn was on this line of thought before Kerry's convention speech. Here's his analysis from the article linked above:
If we revert to Arnie’s terms, Bush is a terminator: he terminated Saddam and he terminated the Taleban, and if he’s re-elected there’ll likely be a couple more before he’s through. John F. Kerry, on the other hand, is a girlie man. I don’t mean because his extraordinarily luxurious lifestyle is funded by the gazillions his missus inherited from her first husband, nor because of that limp-wristed ceremonial first pitch he threw out at the Red Sox-Yankees game in Boston on Sunday. No, I think Kerry is a girlie man because of his two-decade aversion to the projection of American military power, and his total lack of interest in formulating any alternative approach. On Monday night at the convention, Bill Clinton remarked that ‘strength and wisdom are not opposing values’ . . . But the reality is that Kerry shows few signs of either strength or wisdom. His foreign policy is passive and reactive, and notable for its finger-in-the-windiness. He says George Bush ‘didn’t do Iraq right’, but he never says what he’d have done differently. Those snotty intellectuals who say that Bush is ‘uncurious’ ought to display a little more curiosity about Kerry’s enervated approach to these issues.
. . . Had President Kerry been in office on 9/11, I’ve no doubt there would have been far more UN resolutions, and joint declarations, and beaming faces announcing great progress at Nato summits, and G8, and EU and Apec. But Saddam would still be in power, and so would the Taleban, and no doubt in the latter case, under an agreement brokered by Kerry special envoy Jimmy Carter, Washington would be bankrolling the regime in return for ‘pledges’ to ‘phase out’ the terrorist training camps. The senator gives no indication that he’s up to the challenges of the age.
But according to Andrew Sullivan, embracing Kerry in the Sunday Times, that’s precisely the appeal of Senator Nuance: ‘His basic message to Americans is: let’s return to normalcy. The radicalism of the past four years needs tempering. We need to consolidate the nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, before any new adventures against, say, Iran....’
You could make that argument in any war: we need to consolidate nation-building in the Solomon Islands before any new adventures on, say, the beaches of Normandy. But, honestly, the idea that you can take a four-year intermission from the jihad because everyone’s feeling a bit stressed out is delusional. Do Sullivan and the other moulting hawks believe Iran is going to be sporting enough to go along with it? ‘Right-ho, old chap, we’ll see you back here in 2008 for full-scale Armageddon. Enjoy the break.’
* * *
. . . With every month, nuclear knowhow gets dissipated a little further into the murkier corners of the world. With every year, the demographic changes in Europe render America’s old alliances more and more obsolescent. Even if Kerry’s in the White House, French troops aren’t going to be fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Yanks in any major Muslim country: Kerry wouldn’t either, if he had Chirac’s Muslim population.
Sloth favours the Islamists. Readers may recall that I wanted Bush to invade Iraq before the first anniversary of 9/11. If he had done, he’d have saved himself a whole lot of trouble, and we might even be rid of the mullahs or Boy Assad by now. The President has to be a terminator: he has to terminate regimes and structures that support Islamist terrorism. And, if every bigshot associated with the cause winds up like Uday and Qusay, the ideology will become a lot less fashionable. All these girlie-man options sound so reasonable, but they’re a fool’s evasion, an excuse to put off indefinitely the fights that have to be fought — in Iran, North Korea and elsewhere.
. . . As I wrote back in 2001, the Islamists have made a bet — that we’re too soft and decadent to see this through to the finish. This November, one way or another, they’ll get their answer.
For links to reactions, see Outside the Beltway. The Monk notes that Kerry supporter wannabe Andrew Sullivan hated it and Slate's Chris Suellentrop said eight losers (i.e., the other Democratic hopefuls) helped Kerry write the speech.