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'Anyone But Bush' - A Look At Anyone

'Anyone But Bush' - A Look At Anyone

By Michael St. Jacques
The Voice Exchange

"When John is president, we will listen to the wisdom of the September 11th Commission. We will build and lead strong alliances and safeguard and secure weapons of mass destruction. We will strengthen our homeland security and protect our ports, safeguard our chemical plants, and support our firefighters, police officers and EMT's. We will always use our military might to keep the American people safe."

John Edwards, the Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee spoke these words with conviction on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 at the Democratic Convention in Boston, Massachusetts nearly a full week after the release of the final report by the 9/11 Commission.

There is a particular piece of wisdom that John Edwards and John Kerry should pay close attention to. In his article, What Price Unanimity?, Ray McGovern, a career analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency for 27 years, cleary displays that particular piece.

"If you read page 147 of the commission report carefully, you will not miss a key sentence throwing light on the motive of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whom the report labels the "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks:"

"KSM's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."

A footnote points out that his statements regarding the "why" of attacking the United States echo those of Ramzi Yousef, his nephew, when he was sentenced in New York to a prison term of 240 years in January 1998. Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, accused the United States of supporting Israeli terrorism against Palestinians, adding that he was proud to fight any country that supports Israel."

A further quote directly from the report states, "America's policy choices have consequences. Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world." Or as McGovern so aptly explains; "It's the policy, stupid!"

In the run up to the election in November, journalists, critics, analysts, and a host of "experts" have been relentlessly voicing the necessity for the Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry, to distance himself from President George Bush as much as possible. They have cited numerous areas as points of attack. Possibly the most mentioned area is that of foreign policy.

However, a recent article in the Telegraph speaks to the contrary thinking from Kerry's camp. The article entitled, Kerry 'will not change foreign policy', by David Rennie, is disturbingly telling. The War in Iraq (yes, it is still a war) is an issue where George Bush has received harsh criticism and has him falling in the polls at an alarming rate (well alarming for him and his fellow Republicans).

John Kerry's main objective concerning Iraq is to rebuild powerful alliances in order to strengthen and expand the multi-national force. There is an abundance of talk from Kerry regarding the pure fact that he will improve the standing of the US in the world's opinion, however, there remains little talk about how he will achieve this. Surely, the democrats know that the rest of the world will not be won over simply because Kerry served in Vietnam. Logical thinking leads us to believe that Kerry will attempt to secure additional international troops in exchange for rebuilding contracts in Iraq.

John Kerry, if elected president of the United States of America, will undoubtedly inherit a colossal mess. In all fairness, it will be impossible for him to completely reverse the destructive actions of George Bush. His plan to work with other countries to forgive Iraq's debt is commendable but he falls short. George Bush made some significant gains in repairing relations with some of Europe's harshest war critics lately and even passed a UN resolution on Iraq. However, objections from France and Germany rose once again, when Bush began to push for NATO's involvement. John Kerry also seeks NATO's involvement.

We must remember that John Kerry did vote for the war and he has also hinted that he will keep American troops in Iraq for several years. Some say this is inevitable and maybe it is, but Kerry is certainly not distancing himself from Bush Jr. At the beginning of this article, John Edwards was quoted as vowing to listen to 'the wisdom of the September 11th Commission'. The wisdom of that commission listed the pro-Israel American policy as an answer to the why question. Are the Johns listening?

In October 2003, Kerry called the barrier that Israel has been constructing between Isreal and Palestinian territories, a "barrier to peace". However, a new policy paper written a few months ago, refers to the same barrier as ''a security fence" and, ''a legitimate right of self-defense", which should not be taken up by the International Court of Justice. Kerry also refers to Yasser Arafat as a ''failed leader" that he will work to see replaced.

This paper written a few months ago, obviously didn't have the wisdom of the Commission report when it was written, but Kerry has continued to make assurances to Israel and Ariel Sharon personally, in the last couple weeks. Could the report change the strongly pro-Israel stance that Kerry has now assumed? Don't count on it. The change in Kerry's rhetoric regarding Israel is a plea for the Jewish vote as the election continues and will not be swayed by the Commission report, no matter how much wisdom it actually contains. This move has ultimately cost Sen. Kerry the Arab American voting bloc. Surprisingly enough, the Arab vote may go to George Bush if not to Independents.

''Israel's cause must be America's cause", is another quote from Kerry's policy paper, and considering the majority of Arabs world-wide say that the Palestinian cause is the most important above all else, it's no wonder that their vote will be lost. The 'anyone but Bush' sentiment being heard worldwide is understandable but the 'anyone' still needs to be examined closely.

I find myself yearning for the days of Howard Dean's war cry.


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