Regarding your column, published in the 9-11-04 issue of the Kansas City Star:
Ms. Ivins, let's take your points, one-at-a-time:
1. “Kerry never said we need to have a ‘sensitive war.’”
On 8/5/04, according to one of his campaign sites, Sen. Kerry said, “I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history.”
2. “Kerry never said we need other countries’ permission to go to war.”
He did worse, he said he “wouldn’t go to war without the support of other nations.” (Ignoring the 30 countries that did go to war in Iraq with us.) I guess it has to be the nations he WANTS – like France and Russia, who refused to invade Iraq because (as we now know) Hussein was paying them off. However, Sen. Kerry originally made that statement to the Harvard Crimson in the 1970s and has repeated it throughout this campaign.
3. “The whole list of defense programs Kerry supposedly voted against mostly came out of one vote against a huge defense package in 1990.”
In addition to the extensive package that Ivins refers to, he did vote to restrict or cut certain weapons systems:
In 1984, according to the Boston Globe, Kerry called for cancellation of the MX missile, B-1 bomber, anti-satellite weapons, and the “Star Wars” anti-missile program, along with several conventional weapons that have become mainstays of the present-day military, including the AH-64 Apache helicopter, the Aegis air-defense cruiser, and the F-14 and F-15 fighters. He also called for a 50% reduction in the Tomahawk cruise missile.
Kerry also advocated reductions in the M-1 Abrams tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the F-16 jet.
From 1989-92, he supported amendments to halt production of the B-2 stealth bomber.
In 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite. Kerry also sponsored amendments to ban tests of anti-satellite weapons.
He voted against the Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile in 1994 and 1995. And he voted repeatedly to cut funds for the Strategic Defense Initiative (ballistic missile defense) in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, and 1996. He also voted for across-the-board cuts in the military budget in 1991 and 1992.
In 1993 (Bill Clinton's first year as President) Kerry specifically proposed cutting the size of the military, including reductions in numbers of submarines, jet fighters and soldiers.
(All of this is available at government and Kerry websites.)
4. “The United States has not gained jobs under George Bush”
That’s just not true – since March, 2004 the economy has gained 850,000 new jobs. If this nation ever gears up to really fight WWIII, the economy will grow faster. Check out the government websites on the economy, jobs and the deficit.
5. “Special bonus points for the novel charge by Cheney wants to ‘show al-Qaida our softer side.’”
That’s a logical progression from the shock of Sen. Kerry’s statement quoted in point #1. “Sensitive” is synonymous with “soft.”
But the statement you made that I really take issue with is, “I thought the saddest theme was about how Sept. 11 had united us – and then. . .half the country and most of the rest of the world just sort of drifted away.”
The most divisive issue in this country is the election of 2000. Sore losers blame the Supreme Court for refusing to let the Democrats change the rules in mid-election and insisting on abiding by the US Constitution. They have carped and griped and complained for four years, saying President Bush isn’t THEIR president and more.
9/11 was so shocking that even they shut up for a while, but not long. If you think Sen. Miller was at his “worst,” you should watch and listen to Sen. Gore. And he’s been at it longer, more incorrectly and more viciously.
France, Germany and Russia, none of whom have ever unequivocally supported the United States are the “allies” you and Sen. Kerry complain about. You forget that we got into Viet Nam because the French couldn’t handle it, Germany has seldom been an ally of ours and Russia never has been. Thirty nations went to war in Iraq and only two have pulled out – and those because of terrorist attacks.
You ask what we have created in Iraq – so far just a distraction that has helped to keep the terrorists busy and off of our shores. That, and a nation grateful for the chance at freedom if they, with our help, can fight off the terrorists.
You and so many others say President Bush lied. I challenge you, Molly Ivins, to list each and every lie you find.
. . . and more.