Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Reference tool: Kerry's Cold War record

I've been banging my drum about Kerry's horrendous Cold War record and Joshua Muravchik has tied the whole thing up in a neat little package. Muravchik's views support my thesis that Kerry is the Manchurian Candidate of the peaceniks. Here's a lengthy excerpt (emphases mine), before the LA Times caches his editorial:

The Cold War [ ] provides our best measuring stick for estimating how Kerry might perform as commander in chief, and in that conflict Kerry's instincts were always awry. Had the country heeded his counsel, we might not yet have won it.

Many leaders had a hand in Washington's Cold War triumph, but Ronald Reagan's contributions were pivotal, and Kerry opposed every one of them. Reagan's defense buildup disabused Soviet leaders of any hope that they could ultimately come out ahead of the United States. Kerry derided these military expenditures as "bloated" and "without any relevancy to the threat." In particular, Reagan's plan to seek a missile defense system against Soviet ICBMs and NATO's decision to station new missiles in Europe to counteract the new Soviet deployment there rendered futile the Kremlin's vast investment in nuclear supremacy. Instead of these measures, Kerry advocated that we adopt a one-sided "nuclear freeze."

Reagan also showed the Soviets that history was not necessarily on their side by ousting the erratic communist regime in Grenada and arming anti-communist guerrillas to challenge the leftist oligarchs of Nicaragua. Kerry condemned the U.S. action in Grenada as "a bully's show of force," and he opposed our support for guerrillas in Nicaragua as vociferously as anyone in the Senate, even traveling to Managua to try to cut a deal with Sandinista strongman Daniel Ortega to thwart Reagan's policy.

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Not only in the Cold War but also in other events that foreshadowed today's challenges, Kerry consistently got it wrong. In 1986, Reagan bombed Moammar Kadafi's residence when intelligence intercepts showed that the Libyan dictator was behind the terrorist bombing of a nightclub full of American soldiers in Germany. Kerry denounced the U.S. retaliatory strike as "not proportional." And when Saddam Hussein swallowed Kuwait in 1990, Kerry opposed using force to drive him out, calling instead for reliance on economic sanctions.

All in all, in his 20 years in the Senate, Kerry ranks as one of the five most dovish or liberal members on foreign policy if you tally up the key votes selected by the liberal advocacy group, Americans for Democratic Action. Is it any wonder that Kerry is seeking to focus voters' attention on his courage as a Navy officer rather than his judgment as a political leader?

Since 1972, when McGovern . . . made the Democrats the party of dovishness, only two Democrats have won the White House. Both of them, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, presented themselves as more hawkish than their Republican opponents . . . Once in office, each pursued softer foreign policies than the Republican he had defeated.


oyster said...

Comments now-- cool!

"Bill Clinton, presented [himself] as more hawkish" than GHWB? Really?

I don't recall that, and I'm positive that wasn't decisive in winning election in 92 or reelection in 96.

The Monk said...

Monk agrees that Clinton's pseudo-strength in foreign policy was not determinative of his victory in '92, but attacking Bush from the right on Somalia and Bosnia (where Bush REALLY dithered), sounded the right foreign policy notes that distinguished Clinton from Mondale and Dukakis.

As for the '96 election -- the Republicans nominated Bobdole. 'Nuff said.