Welcome to my nightmare; Part Sept

Indications are that North Korea seems to be trying to test a nuclear weapon; and a mushroom-type cloud observed over North Korea may be an indication of how far along its nuclear weapons program has run. North Korea has already tested long range ballistic missiles, now believed capable of coming very close to the West Coast of North America (and certainly, Japan).
As many of you know, in recent weeks, South Korea’s secret nuclear program has come to light (we won’t even talk about Iran.) The proliferation genie may have blown its way out of the bottle; we desperately need to limit this, somehow. At all costs. And I don’t know what’s happening, as neither candidate seems to want to talk about this.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled political banter.
I’m now going to commit a gross act of liberal apostasy. I think Senator Kerry should rally behind the President on this North Korea issue, and commend him for trying to lead us through in an ever more dangerous world, and urge him to continue with his policies of aggressively trying to combat terrorists abroad. (The nitpick is that PRIOR to the Iraq war, of course, there were NO TERRORISTS THERE. But I digress.)
I think it’s an (incredible) mistake on the part of Kerry to start nit-picking the President on national security in general. The President’s performance leaves a great deal to be desired in almost every area, including foreign policy (our free trade stance, for example, has largely been a disaster, including and especially the outrageous farm bill he signed and his inability to get Pakistan some tariff relief on textiles.) However, on national security, while we can quibble with execution (I do it just about every day), the policy (which is what campaigns are about) is actually not unsound. Given that Senator Kerry seems incapable of forming or at least articulating his own national security policy (“I’ll do it better” is not a policy, whether accompanied by a salute and veterans’ testimonials or not), the most expeditious move would be to embrace the President’s policies– and commend him on them and promise to continue them– thereby taking this issue off the table.
I realize this is not merely liberal apostasy, but political apostasy, but we are running out of time here. We keep hearing that “foreign policy is the President’s strength.” It is unacceptable to me that a man who spent two decades on the senate foreign relations committee and who is likely an intimate of more world leaders than the sitting President should be on the defensive over this.
You voted for the God damned war, Kerry– you’re stuck with this, babe.
(True, I favored pro-war voting Edwards over war opponent Howard Dean, but Edwards, unlike Kerry, is (1) likeable, (2) southern, (3) self-made, (4) a good and interesting speaker, (5) a man of character, (6) handsome and (7) likeable (did I mention likeable?). Dean kind of failed on (1), (2), (3) and (7), isn’t as handsome as Edwards and somehow pissed off the idiots in Iowa. He will just have to be one of those many regrets we Democratas have– like Bruce Babbitt or Mo Udall or Scoop Jackson or Al Gore or other great Dems who never got to be President. But I digress.)
Don’t get me wrong: five minutes after taking the oath of office, President Kerry will be free to implement whatever policy he believes the situation warrants. But right now, sitting as an outsider here (a… block… from… Ground… Zero…) a strategy and policy of pursuing terrorists aggressively to the ends of the Earth, rather than after they hit us, works for me. Kerry should really step lightly around being critical of this, and “ju-jit-su” this, but embracing the President’s policies.
It’s not the policies that are wrong– the American people, especially in the Upper Midwestern swing states– are looking for a comfort level on this, and John Kerry assuring them that just as he has supported the President’s policies (to the extent he has) he would largely continue our current tack, would go a long way to providing this comfort level to put him over the top. Like the Cold War, this is a long range policy that Presidents of both parties will have to continue over years, if not decades, and Kerry will defend this nation every bit as strongly.
Kerry can combine this with the red-meat-for-Democrats of a more worldly view– sharing responsibility not merely with France and Germany, but with more affluent Americans who MUST be called on to pay for these security efforts, in lieu of ever bigger tax cuts.
Of course, that’s just me.
Update: It didn’t take long for the White House to fire back at Kerry, calling the Democratic policies toward North Korea a failure. This is the problem with knee jerk attacks, and not thinking big (see above). The fact is, the deal Clinton reached (negotiated by Jimmy Carter) was a failure: North Korea cheated, and just used the situation to buy time, and convince itself that the United States simply wasn’t serious enough about stopping its nuclear programs to warrant it… stopping its nuclear programs!
While our running mate, the veep Bruce Moomaw favors a very hard line carrot and stick approach with North Korea (ultimately leading to regime change… Bruce is tough!) one thing for sure is that our policies toward North Korea have simply not been effective at getting it to behave, and North Korea and Pakistan are the two most likely culprits in putting a nuclear weapon in the hands of Islamist extremists– a/k/a the ultimate nightmare.
Maybe Bruce is right on that one. I realize the Kerry campaign doesn’t feel the need to listen to me– but this one is easy. On foreign policy, “we are one America.” The President is “generally” doing “an acceptable job– in this area”. Throw in “North Korea presents a difficult situation; its hard to fault his policies.” the White House is trapped; it can’t say anything nice about Senator Kerry being nice to it, and it can’t criticize him for statements that amount to saying nice things about Bush!
Well, I can dream. Maybe someone important will get this message through: the American people want the assurance of a coherent foreign policy to deal with the war on terror, terrorists and WMD proliferation. Bush’s policy (while arguably insane, and certainly not off to a good start) is at least coherent. Kerry doesn’t have a policy. I’m simply suggesting “Bush Plus”– acknowledging the theoretical soundness of the Bush policies, coupled with the sensible planning of Democrats (such as actually PAYING FOR our own defense, for example, instead of borrowing for it so the super-rich can have a bigger tax holiday).
Its a winner!