Wednesday, September 01, 2004

No More War: It seems we probably won't have to worry about conducting a major military attack against any country during the next four years. Unless situations dramatically change -- and, of course, they always do -- the president who is inaugurated in 2005 won't be invading any other nations in a pre-emptive strike to fight the War on Terrorism.

Bush has said that he wants to pursue diplomatic methods to get Iran to abandon nuclear ambitions. Although the country is a Middle Eastern hotspot, a member of the Axis of Evil, a sponsor of terrorism, and is actively attempting to acquire nuclear weapons and other WMD, Bush doesn't plan to threaten conflict. He noted that his decision to invade Iraq came after 12 years of failed diplomacy. We're apparently just beginning with Iran.

Kerry wants to bargain with Iran. He has offered to let the country continue developing its nuclear power plant capabilities if it swears off acquiring nuclear fuel that could be used for bombs. In addition, Kerry wants to explore "areas of mutual interest" with Iran, whatever that means.

Of course, Iran isn't the only country of concern. Syria has also been found to have chemical and biological weapons, possibly recently acquiring them from Iraq as Saddam Hussein tried to destroy evidence of his WMD programs in the run up to the war. Syria is also sponsoring terrorism, both grooming men for attacks here and against Israel. But Syria is a minor player, compared to Iran. And if Iran won't be threatened, I don't expect anything against Syria.

North Korea is another mess into itself. While that Axis of Evil member probably already has nuclear weapons, its ties to Islamic Terrorism are weak. Plus, North Korea has a somewhat formidable military. We'd also be inviting trouble from China, similar to the last Korean War. I consider North Korea to be a separate issue that should be attended to sternly, but with the goal of avoiding war.

So now that we see that both candidates plan to take a less militaristic approach to the War on Terrorism, what's the real difference between the two of them? Should we give Kerry a chance to change the tone of the war by becoming a kinder, gentler commander in chief? Should we keep the world on its toes by keeping a loose cannon in the Oval Office? Or should we rethink our stereotypes, considering the striking similarities between the two candidates' policy proposals?

However, one thing this campaign has shown is that this is less a choice for the future than a referendum on the past. Right now the public debate is on Vietnam. If we're lucky, we'll be able to start talking about the recent invasion of Iraq before Election Day.


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