Tags: Kerry's | False | Security

Kerry's False Security

Thursday, 14 October 2004 12:00 AM

It is hard to imagine a more dangerous trait in the commander in chief than a proclivity for creating a false sense of security. But perhaps an equally dangerous practice is to engender alarm when there is no reason for alarm. Kerry's public statements, it turns out, show a history of acting out both extremes.

Compare, for example, Kerry's reassuring letter home with his anti-war antics soon thereafter. Given his own account of the "everything's okay" letter, one imagines his family left with the impression that Kerry faced no danger on the battlefield, that his tour of duty was but a nuisance, a few biting flies in the rice bogs.

But later, under the limelight of congressional hearings, gnats grew into monstrous atrocities, scenes of raping, pillaging, cutting off heads, etc. More recently, Kerry admitted that his testimony was a bit "exaggerated."

Kerry's letter home, followed by his congressional testimony, followed again by his recanting of the congressional testimony, may appear, at first glance, to be a flip-flop-flip. Yet, in a sense, the three episodes are consistent.

The letter understated the danger because it was important to Kerry that his family feel unduly secure about his well-being. The exaggerations before Congress, on the other hand, served to spark the outrage necessary to ignite Kerry's political career. Finally, the watering down of the "atrocity" claims was necessary to win the nomination for this year's election.

All three events, therefore, show Kerry consistently willing to distort truth in order to achieve the desired end.

Those wishing to dismiss Vietnam-related events as ancient and, therefore, irrelevant must confront the claims of Kerry himself. Indeed, John-Reporting-For-Duty has repeatedly affirmed that "as president, I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war." He explains as follows:

"Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: 'I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm's way. But we had no choice. We had to protect ... fundamental American values from a threat that was real and imminent.'"

Unfortunately, if such parents were to remember the misleading wartime letter Kerry wrote to his own family, his false accounts of "atrocities" or his general practice of adjusting facts to justify his cause, they could be left with considerable doubts over whether he is telling them the truth.

Suppose, on the other hand, a President Kerry were to say, "Everything's OK, no need for troops." Americans would then have grounds to wonder whether a real threat was being disguised as "a nuisance" to make us feel safe when in fact we are not.

There is, of course, another sort of letter, quite different from the one described by Kerry, which, for as long as there have been wars, soldiers have written from battlefields to their families at home.

Such letters reflect the writer's honest assessment of the peril confronting him on every side. The purpose is not to make the family feel better with assurances that "everything's OK." They are written, rather, in case the soldier should lose his life, to prepare loved ones for the worst.

Preparing for the worst, rather than resting in an unwarranted sense of safety, is the message President Bush has consistently delivered to America about the present conflict. An important decision in this year's election is what sort of missive America desires from the front lines. Do we want assurances of peace to facilitate good feelings? Or do we prefer a candid appraisal of the threat?

Given his history, a vote for Kerry may be a vote for the policy of self-destruction, which says "'peace, peace,' when there is no peace." The word from the Bush administration, on the other hand, is unlikely to induce feelings of inviolability anytime soon. But voting to re-elect the president is imperative for anyone who believes an unflinching, lucid assessment of the evil confronting us is an important part of ensuring that liberty shall not perish.


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It is hard to imagine a more dangerous trait in the commander in chief than a proclivity for creating a false sense of security.But perhaps an equally dangerous practice is to engender alarm when there is no reason for alarm.Kerry's public statements, it turns out, show a...
Thursday, 14 October 2004 12:00 AM
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