It all seems a little unreal, to have George Will giving John Kerry credit twice in a couple of days. It’s a triumph indeed, for those of us who have known all along that “John Kerry was Right” on so many levels.
Cooperation between Pakistani and British law enforcement (the British draw upon useful experience combating IRA terrorism) has validated John Kerry’s belief (as paraphrased by the New York Times Magazine of Oct. 10, 2004) that “many of the interdiction tactics that cripple drug lords, including governments working jointly to share intelligence, patrol borders and force banks to identify suspicious customers, can also be some of the most useful tools in the war on terror.” In a candidates’ debate in South Carolina (Jan. 29, 2004), Kerry said that although the war on terror will be “occasionally military,” it is “primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world.”
Will’s criticism of the Bush administration flies in the face of their claims that Democrats are weak on Terror and don’t understand the dynamics. Clearly, one Democrat, John Kerry was on the money, light years ahead of the cabal in charge and George Will had no problem slapping down the “senior administration official,” who insisted on “anonymity for his or her splenetic words,” when denying “the obvious, that Kerry had a point.”
The official told The Weekly Standard:
“The idea that the jihadists would all be peaceful, warm, lovable, God-fearing people if it weren’t for U.S. policies strikes me as not a valid idea. [Democrats] do not have the understanding or the commitment to take on these forces. It’s like John Kerry. The law enforcement approach doesn’t work.”
George Will knocks down the “senior administration official’s” claims with a wallop, arguing as the Carpetbagger Report puts it, that “the Bush administration’s approach to combating terrorism is entirely backwards, and its explanation for failure is incoherent”…
This farrago of caricature and non sequitur makes the administration seem eager to repel all but the delusional. But perhaps such rhetoric reflects the intellectual contortions required to sustain the illusion that the war in Iraq is central to the war on terrorism, and that the war, unlike “the law enforcement approach,” does “work.”
The official is correct that it is wrong “to think that somehow we are responsible — that the actions of the jihadists are justified by U.S. policies.” But few outside the fog of paranoia that is the blogosphere think like that. It is more dismaying that someone at the center of government considers it clever to talk like that. It is the language of foreign policy — and domestic politics — unrealism.
Foreign policy “realists” considered Middle East stability the goal. The realists’ critics, who regard realism as reprehensibly unambitious, considered stability the problem. That problem has been solved.
RELATED SOUND CLIP OF THE DAY: Ed Schultz tells John Kerry, “a lot of things that you said running up to ’04, it’s a huge I told you so right now.”