In the first presidential debate of this election season, senator John Kerry showed the world once again how much he distrusts America, its military strength, and its moral leadership. This is the same John Kerry who more than 33 years ago stood before Congress and slandered America as a destroyer of civilizations, besmirched the American military forces with unsubstantiated claims of atrocities, and called the defense of millions of Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians a "mistake."
During the September 30th debate, in response to one of Jim Lehrer's questions, Kerry said the following:
Apparently John Kerry is still very much confused about who the good guys are. Just like the "peace at all costs" activists from the 1980s who opposed Ronald Reagan's policy of peace through strength, Kerry shows a remarkable mistrust of America's nuclear power. He also demonstrates, yet again, a wholesale disregard for the safety of our troops, an amazing ignorance of history, and a pathetic understanding of how best to deal with nuclear proliferation around the globe. If Kerry becomes president, this kind of ignorance will not only cost more American lives, but will make the world a much more dangerous and unstable place.
"Right now the president is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to research bunker-busting nuclear weapons.
The United States is pursuing a new set of nuclear weapons. It doesn't make sense. You talk about mixed messages.
We're telling other people, You can't have nuclear weapons, but we're pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might
even contemplate using. Not this president. I'm going to shut that program down, and we're going to make it
clear to the world we're serious about containing nuclear proliferation."
Someone should remind Kerry that those "bunker-busting nuclear weapons" would reduce American troop casualties, assist our military in annihilating hardened terrorist positions - and could have killed Osama bin Laden as he hid in the caverns of Tora Bora, with zero loss of American military forces.
Kerry should be the first one seeking to reap the weapon's benefits. After all, he claimed that getting rid of bin Laden and reducing U.S. casualties would be his top priorities. Instead, Kerry reserved some of his most passionate vitriol of the debate for these weapons, boldly proclaiming he will "shut down" such a program. This must be music to the ears of thousands of terrorists around the world! Such obsession and disdain for military systems development seems remarkably similar to Kerry's consistent record of voting against some of America's most important defense programs while serving in Congress; including his infamous comment labeling America's Strategic Defense Initiative a "cancer on our nation's defense."
Experience has shown that terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan have a propensity to hide in caves and bunkers buried deep inside mountains. Extracting them with conventional weapons and combat techniques would inflict high casualties on our troops. Under such treacherous conditions a bunker-busting nuclear bomb would solve the problem quickly and efficiently, while strictly limiting American casualties. Apparently, Kerry would rather sacrifice our troops, than change his politically correct view of nuclear weapons.
The tremendous capacity of America's nuclear arsenal to act as a deterrent and maintain the peace also seems lost on Mr. Kerry. Somehow he has already forgotten that it was President Ronald Reagan's buildup of nuclear weapons that eventually brought the Soviet Union to its knees and helped bring freedom to hundreds of millions of people across Europe. Without President Reagan's dogged determination to increase America's nuclear and military capability the world would have remained a much more perilous and threatening place.
Ultimately, it was America's powerful nuclear arsenal that helped save countless lives during the Cold War by making global war a loosing proposition for the communists. The unmatched strength of a free people and their military power were the most critical deterrents to communist expansion and world war for many decades. That same type of overwhelming strength and nuclear capability is needed now to contain nuclear proliferation of dangerous regimes.
When rogue states like Iran and North Korea build up their nuclear arsenals they will most likely be stored deep underground inside fortified bunkers, unreachable and indestructible by any conventional means. Those "bunker-buster" nukes may be the only thing that allows America to neutralize such threats without a massive loss of life. This is not the time to stop our nuclear development programs or reduce our nuclear power and capabilities!
John Kerry's innate opposition to America's ownership of nuclear weapons is a holdover from his Cold War stance, holding that the U.S. and the USSR were moral equivalents. He berates America for daring to develop new nuclear weapons while asking other countries to stop developing them. Kerry implies that the US is acting hypocritically by owning nuclear bombs, while denying countries like Iran, North Korea, and Libya the ability to develop their own nuclear weapons. It is somehow lost on Mr. Kerry, that the countries we are trying to stop from developing nuclear arsenals are not democracies, but rather communist totalitarian or radical Islamic regimes that are known sponsors of terror and have repeatedly threatened the US. He apparently cannot tell the difference between totalitarian and radical regimes, and democratic governments.
Madmen, terrorists, and dictators care little about treaties, U.N. resolutions, agreements, and summits. An overwhelming fear of death and of American nuclear power are the only deterrents such psychopaths will understand and respect. This simple and obvious reality seems completely lost on Senator Kerry. He shows such disdain for America's nuclear power, that one cannot but wonder whether the demise of "bunker-busting" weapons - despite the overwhelming benefits of such weapons in the global war on terrorism - would be just a first small step in Kerry's policy of eliminating most of America's nuclear arsenal. In fact, Teresa Heinz Kerry awarded General George Lee Butler with a Heinz Award in 2001; Butler is a proponent of the complete abolition of all U.S. nuclear weapons.
This is exactly how Kerry saw the world more than three decades ago, when he could not tell the difference between the American forces who were fighting to protect civilians, defend freedom, and promote democracy, and the communists who fought to simply gain power, steal property, enforce terror, and promote tyranny. In his arguments about the Vietnam War included in his 1971 testimony before Congress he stated: "we found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them." Such moral confusion seems to be a consistent trait of his character. At least on such issues he doesn't flip-flop very much.
Very little seems to have changed in how much John Kerry distrusts America, despises our military strength, and abhors our fight for the defenseless. More than thirty years ago Kerry's shameful smears of America's military and his vociferous antiwar protests contributed to America's premature withdrawal from Southeast Asia. This ultimately allowed the communist slaughter of two and a half million innocent civilians in that region. Back then Kerry also called America's defense of freedom and innocence a "mistake." Now this same man is calling the Iraqi war against terror, fought to restore freedom and liberate 23 million people from the tyranny of a murderous madman and reduce the threat of catastrophic terrorist attacks on our country, another "mistake."
If indeed this is the type of "help that is on the way" from a Kerry administration, our military will be much better off without it.
Chris Banescu is an attorney, entrepreneur, and university professor. His business, ethics, and management articles and podcasts can be found on ChrisBanescu.com. He is a regular contributor to
OrthodoxyToday.org, manages the conservative site
OrthodoxNet.com, writes articles, and has given talks
and conducted seminars on a variety of business and management topics. He has also written book reviews for Townhall.com and articles for Acton.org. Other articles available in his archive.