Even after the first debate, Bush is trying to make it seem as though he is stronger on security. Bush contends that the Kerry approach to foreign policy would give other governments veto power over the security of the United States.
But that isn’t at all what Kerry said.
"Global test" is a bit metaphorical in the sense that there is no real "test." There are agreements, treaties, conventions, and the like, most of which don’t seem to mean much to this administration no matter how long they took to negotiate. But there is no forum, not even the UN, where foreign countries would be allowed to veto actions we needed to take in last resorts or to protect our country in any reasonable way. The trouble is that Bush made a bit deal about going it alone.
People are ridiculing the idea of reaching out to other countries again. Well, it’s clear that Bush can’t do it – but Kerry could. So could Clinton. So could Carter.
John Kerry said that “no president through all of American history has ever ceded and nor would I the right to pre-empt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you’ve got to do it in a way that passes the test. That passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you’re doing what you’re doing. And you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.” [First Presidential Debate (Miami, FL), 9/30/04]
Did we understand fully why we did what we did? No.
Can we prove to the rest of world that we did it for legimate reasons? No.
That’s the test – and we failed it in Iraq.
Like Hitler failed it when he invaded Poland in 1939.
Jimmy Carter, "We have substantially abandoned the war against terrorism. There was an unprecedented outpouring of support after 9/111, and we have wasted away all that support. We are the most unpopular country in the world. Even friends have turned away."
On local news, there was an interesting guy quoted the night of the debate. Holding a notebook and pen in preparation, he looked very serious and said that he was looking at the election as though we are the shareholders electing a CEO. "It doesn’t matter," he said, "whether you want to invite the guy over for a barbeque in your back yard."