Jewish World Review Jan. 28, 2003 / 25 Shevat, 5763
The elites versus the voters
As Saddam continues to play hide and seek, many in the "world community" want to take the opportunity to knock President George Bush off his high horse. In an effort to do this, one prominent politician recently said that America should:
Who said the above? Jacques Chirac? Gerhard Schroeder? Good guesses. But the statements were those of presidential hopeful, Senator John Kerry.
The remarks were part of Kerry's first major foreign policy speech since announcing his likely White House bid. The address is a great window into the mindset of today's liberals. Their strategy should be obvious by now-advocate a foreign policy that favors international institutions over American power, independence, and old-fashioned common sense.
John Kerry concedes that Saddam is a "menace," that he must be disarmed, yet he insists that the US put its own security on the back burner until the "international community" can be persuaded to do the right thing. (Note: the burden is always on the US.)
Yet there is little sign that the international community is interested in coming to grips with reality. On Monday chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix reported that the inspectors recently found thousands of pages of documents hidden in the home of an Iraqi scientist, that some of those papers dealt with uranium enrichment, that inspectors' request for 11 private interviews with Iraqi scientists have all been denied, that the Iraqi declaration did not account for stockpiles of deadly VX and sarin gas. The Blix conclusion: Give us more time to inspect.
According to UN Resolution 1441, passed unanimously by all 15 members of the Security Council, such "omissions" or "misstatements" as those outlined by Blix, automatically constitute material breach, which in turn is to be met with "serious consequences."
Heaven forbid the UN actually enforce its own resolutions.
Given the non-reaction of our UN allies, Kerry's love-affair with multilateralism is either venal or na´ve or both. It is na´ve to think anything except that Germany and France prefer the status quo-they do not care if Saddam is disarmed and would rather have him remain in power. Both countries are more worried about maintaining their sweetheart business deals with Saddam than stopping weapons proliferation.
At what point, using Kerry's foreign policy approach, would it be appropriate for the US to go it alone? What if despite all the evidence of Iraq's failure to comply, our so-called friends in the global village won't budge? Is that still a failure, as Kerry claims, of the Bush Administration?
The more malevolent interpretation is that many of today's Democrats are intent on expanding our reliance on international institutions like the UN because these bodies are inherently more liberal than American voters. Kerry has more fans in Europe than he has in the fly-over states (like Iowa), where he admitted he loathes visiting. Kerry warns of America's reputation for arrogance. Again, that language could have been lifted straight from last year's Gerhard Schroeder stump speech.
Here's the real kicker: Kerry says President Bush's "high-handed treatment of our European allies, on everything from Iraq to the Kyoto climate change treaty, has strained relations nearly to the breaking point." In other words, if we only gave in on onerous emission regulations that would hurt American business (Kyoto) and agreed that our soldiers be subjected to the whims of an global judicial bureaucracy (International Criminal Court), all of Europe would be nicer to us.
On taxes, the environment, and foreign policy, today's liberals are much more aligned with the European elite than they are with American voters. A majority of Americans still believe that our borders should be enforced, that individual liberty should trump international bureaucracy, that American independence should always come before concern about offending the "interdependent global community." Much to the chagrin of Kerry and his compatriots on the Left, the democratic process in the US has not resulted in banning guns, the death penalty or SUVs. This means if liberalism is to get off life-support in the US, it will need to do an end-run around American voters as often as possible. That's where courts, international institutions, non-governmental organizations (the ACLU, ANSWER, etc.) enter the picture.
This strategy is a long-term one, and is supported by media, academic, and Hollywood elites who think most Americans are too stupid to know what's good for them. As much of the world is jealous of American success and power, much of today's Democrat power base is resentful of conservatism's success and power.
Kerry's salvo presents an opening for other Democrats vying for their party's nomination. Will Joe Lieberman rise to the occasion and stand up for American sovereignty? Or will he give in to the pressures of the liberal wing of his party that has more in common with the anti-Americans abroad than it does with the American voters?
In his State of the Union, President Bush should remind all of us that we
fought for our independence because we believed that G-d had given us the
inalienable right to create our own destinies. Once we give that up, we
relinquish our own ability to make and enforce our own laws, to protect
our people, to safeguard our liberty. There are countries in Europe and
throughout the former Eastern Soviet bloc who still value these
principles. They deserve our friendship.
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01/22/03: Playing (and losing) Homeland Security politics