Monday, February 09, 2004

War is Hell: Democrats are criticizing President Bush for basing his campaign on 9/11. He's "politicizing" it, they say. Then the Democratic party is set to nominate a guy who is running almost solely on his Vietnam record -- both his heroic war record and his record of being an avid protestor.

Bush is looking back to 9/11. Kerry is looking back to Vietnam.

John Kerry has a right to be proud of his record, but I don't see how Vietnam is relevant to this campaign. Bush has no combat experience, but he has proven himself to be an effective wartime leader, already winning two wars in his first term.

If you believe that battlefield experience is a prerequisite to becoming Commander in Chief, then that would eliminate many of our former presidents: Clinton, Reagan, etc.

Truth is, we like to have a civilian in charge of our military. A taste of the battlefield surely gives a president empathy for the troops he's about to put into harm's way. But the president doesn't dictate the battle plans. His job is to decide when it's in America's best interest to use force, then the military guys plan and carry out the battles.

Bush was right on Meet the Press when he talked about the challenge for the next four years is to use American power effectively:

Russert: Biggest issues in the upcoming campaign?

President Bush: Who can properly use American power in a way to make the world a better place, and who understands that the true strength of this country is the hearts and souls of the American citizens, who understands times are changing and how best to have policy reflect those times.
Bush wants to use American power to defeat deadly terrorists and, in the process, bring democracy and prosperity to the Middle East. Sen. Kerry wants to fight terrorists mostly by using law enforcement and the CIA (intelligence lapses be damned). One choice uses American power for good, the other choice castrates American power by ceding authority to the United Nations.


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