Max Cleland: A leader to make us safer
Everyone who has ever worked in government knows, of course that Max Cleland did not write this column. He makes appearances, waves his bloody stumps and tells everyone to leave the their problems in Democratic hands. Hand? This column was probably written by some staffer. But let us pretend that it actually is Cleland’s column.
He makes the point that his Republican opponent in the Senate race was not playing fair when he made an advertisement that Cleland was willing to play politics with the Homeland Security Bill. He wasn’t satisfied with a huge new bureaucracy to take the security burden off the airlines and put it on the taxpayer, he also wanted those new employees to be in a Union. So they couldn’t be disciplined or fired when they screwed up and allowed bombs or weapons on board airplanes. In fact, he admits that the ad simply pointed out his record and he resents that fact.
You might remember the story: My Republican opponent, who is now a U.S. senator, aired a political attack ad that showed my face alongside Bin Laden and Saddam simply because I voted against President Bush’s version of a homeland security bill. His point was that I was weak on national security and not much of a patriot, even though I had been one of the authors of the original bill, had a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and lost both my legs and an arm in Vietnam.
His point, I guess, is that he is a wounded Vietnam Veteran and therefore is not responsible for his actions.
No dice, Max. Nice try though.
He even further complains that even former war protesters are looking at John Kerry’s Vietnam service and his subsequent protests when he returned from his abbreviated tour and finding them wanting.
Even Friday, on the pages of this very paper, contributor David Pence took issue with my friend John Kerry for his service in the war and subsequent protest upon his return.
I guess they think that Vietnam service somehow absolves you of taking responsibility for anything that occurred since.
Max sings the praises of Kerry, extolling him for his brilliant Senate record.
It doesn’t have to be this way. From my vantage point, the one person who can reclaim politics and patriotism for all Americans while making the United States safer is Sen. Kerry.
Quite simply, Kerry has a better understanding of foreign relations and national security than any presidential candidate I have seen in my lifetime. In 18 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has been a leader in the battle to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to modernize our military, promote human rights abroad and improve our nation’s security.
Well, he’s right about some things. John Kerry has a better understanding of Foreign relations. Unfortunately, it’s his French relations that he understands. He did try to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but luckily his votes against every major weapons system that the military now uses lost. He know about human rights, due to his tireless work, Robert Mugabe now sees the error of his ways, Fidel Castro has instituted democracy in Cuba and Kim Jong Il is now merely the proprietor of a roast dog emporium in Seoul.
Get a grip, Max. All Kerry wants to do is talk about human rights. To the best of my knowledge, human rights have never been advanced by yakking the abuser’s ear off. It either stops when force is used, when they run out of victims or the tyrant dies. Kerry and Cleland prefer options two or three. Never option one.
Before Sept. 11, 2001, Al-Qaida averaged one attack every two years. Since then there has been an attack every three months.
But none of those attacks have been in the U.S., have they Max? Maybe it’s now too hard to attack Americans. There haven’t been a whole hell of a lot of attacks on Americans overseas either. Why’s that? Maybe they think attacking Australians, Filipinos, and Europeans is a whole lot safer.
John has outlined a plan for a new internationalism, shaped by basic American values and backed by a strong military. It doesn’t mean giving the U.N veto power over our security. It means believing once more that diplomacy is a tool of the strong, and war a last refuge of the just.
A new internationalism? You mean begging the dictator’s club at the UN for permission before we do anything? Fuck that!
Kerry’s strong on the military? Could have fooled me. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see his voting record in the Senate for supporting a strong military. Maybe his vote on the $87 billion for the troops in Iraq was just a fluke. Maybe he can explain his complaints about lack of proper equipment for the troops while justifying his votes against military spending. I’m easy, just show me.
He’s strong on diplomacy, huh. I’m sure he is. But diplomacy is a means, not a goal. Bush tried diplomacy, at the UN, with the Turks, with all the nations that joined us. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. What’s Kerry gonna do? Show them his picture with JFK? Remind them that his hair greatly resembles Kennedy’s? Let them know that he served in Vietnam? Maybe show them home movies of his excellent adventure on the Mekong?
Sorry Max, nice try, but no cigar.