By Jon Christian Ryter
October 3, 2004
I hate politicians who refuse to answer straight questions with straight, forward answers. The media crowd may think Kerry was smart when he skirted the thrust of the questions put to him by Jim Lehrer in the first debate, but I don't. That only confirms to me that Sen. John F. Kerry has something more than simple incompetence to hide. But, what fries me even more is waking up the morning after the first presidential debate and learning that the liberal media pundits anointed him the winner of the debate.
What debate? Sen. John F. Kerry went to Coral Gables, Florida with a prepared set of answers that he simply applied as best he could to the questions put to him by PBS moderator Jim Lehrer—after beginning most responses with "I have a plan for that..." Sometimes the scripted answers fit—or almost fit—and sometimes they didn't. (Was I the only person in America who noticed that? The media didn't.)
Of course, we never did learn what any of Kerry's "plans" were. He simply drifted off on his scripted fingerpointing charade that usually had little to do with the specific question asked—unless Lehrer asked him what he didn't like about George Bush. Then he had no trouble adlibbing an answer. (I mean, when did Lehrer ask either man about stem cell research or global warming?)
Lehrer fired the first question at Kerry. "Do you believe you could do a better job than President Bush in preventing another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States?" He should have asked Kerry what he would have done differently than President Bush since Kerry has been insisting, on the campaign trail, that everything Bush is doing is wrong and he had a better plan. But, that would have been too hard a question for Kerry to field since, in the answers he gave, he apparently would have done everything Bush did—except fund the war.
After running out the clock thanking everyone for the debate, Kerry responded—with less than a minute of his orginal two minutes left: "Yes...I...believe America is safest and strongest when we are leading the world...I'll never give a veto to any country over our security. But I also know how to lead those alliances...I have a better plan for homeland security. I have a better plan...to fight the war on terror by strengthening our military, strengthening our intelligence, by going after the financing more authoritatively, by doing what we need to do to rebuild the alliances, by reaching out to the Muslim world...I know I can do a better job in Iraq. I have a plan to have a summit with all of the allies, something this president has not yet achieved...and I know that we can do a better job of preparing [Iraq[ for elections. All of these, and especially homeland security, which we'll talk about a little bit later." And, of course, like the true politician he is, he never did. Kerry's better plan, quite clearly, is contingent upon surrendering our defense decisions to our "allies" in Europe—who can't stand America or Americans until they are attacked by one of their own European neighbors, and want us to come to Europe and shed our blood for them.
If the debate was scored on political cleverness, Kerry won it hands down. In that respect Bush—who is not the brightest bulb in the lamp in the debate arena—helped Kerry immensely.
Kerry was clever enough to throw out the names of a few generals to suggest that the military didn't view him as a traitor when, in point of fact, it does. One of those Kerry mentioned was Clinton's former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. John Shalikashvili, who was at the helm of the Pentagon when the American forces in Serbia helped the Albanian al Qaeda rebels steal mineral rich Kosovo from the Orthodox Christian Serbs. Shalikashvili, a hard core liberal like Reagan's CJC, Admiral William Crowe (whom Kerry also mentioned) was quickly—and wisely—retired by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
When America puts its men and women in harm's way, we need to make sure we're fighting on the right side. Kerry argued that Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place. What was Serbia? Kerry, who voted to authorize it, believed was the right war at the right time for the right reason.
Serbia was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. The Serb "civil war" was, first of all, an internal strife. Second, it was a war in which Muslim extremists in Albania were trying to break the province of Kosovo away from Serbia because 70% of all that nation's natural wealth was found there. Third, Serbia was a war in which the European Union was flexing its muscle by declaring it possessed the sovereign right to invade any nation in Europe if the EU felt that government was violating the civil rights of it people. Fourth, the United States had no stake in that war. Serbia did not attack us, nor it it attack any of our faithful allies in Europe. Nor, for that matter, did they so threaten. What made Serbia the right war and Iraq the wrong one? One thing. The Serb War was initiated by a Democrat. The War on Terrorism was launched by a Republican. Interestingly, once the commander-in-chief (Bill Clinton) committed American troops (who are still there) into the Balkans, the Republicans in Congress stood united behind the President. Oh...one other question concerning Clinton's war: where were the Hollywood elite antiwar protesters? (I mean, when they weren't renting the Lincoln Bedroom?) Where were the Veterans For Peace? Where was George Soros? And, most of all, why didn't Sean Penn go to Belgrade to get Milosev Slobadan's views on America's threatened aggression?
George W. Bush helped Kerry win the first debate by passing up the opportunity to critically injure the Massascusetts liberal early in the debate. When Lehrer asked Kerry what Bush had done wrong, Kerry replied: "...You don't send troops to war without the body armor that they need. I've met kids in Ohio, parents in Wisconsin [and] Iowa, where they're going out on the Internet to get the state-of-the-art body gear to send to their kids. Some of them got them for a birthday present. I think that's wrong. Humvees—10,000 out of 12,000 Humvees that are over there aren't armored. And you go visit some of those kids in the hospitals today who were maimed because they don't have the armament."
Bush could have administered the coup de grâce right here, but didn't. I would have. Bush should have said: "If Senator Kerry had not voted against providing Kevlar™ vests for our soldiers and additional armour for Humvees, perhaps many of those kids in the hospitals he's talking about wouldn't have been there. Before Senator Kerry qualifies for the office of president, he needs to understand that when you commit American troops to a theatre of war where you place them in harm's way, you are morally obligated, politics aside, to protect them as best you can and provide them with all of the armaments they need to win the conflict as quickly as possible. Sending Americans into a war zone and then denying the funds needed to win is precisely how we lost the war in Vietnam. That, and leaders who sent 'mixed signals' to our enemies. Mixed signals that tell our enemies 'if you persist you will prevail because whether we stay and fight or tuck our tails in flight depends on popular opinion in America'. If the Senator wants to be president, he needs to learn that we don't fight wars because they are popular, or because some leader in Europe wants to prove that the European Union is super-sovereign. America goes to war only when America is attacked or the lifestyle of the American people is threatened. On September 11, 2001, America was attacked, and the lifestyle of the American people was, and still is, threatened."
When Bush was given 30 seconds to respond to Kerry's accusations on how he screwed up in Iraq, the president said: "First of all, what my opponent wants you to forget is that he voted to authorize the use of force and now says it's the wrong war at the wrong time at the wrong place...What message does that send our troops? What message does that send to our allies? What message does that send the Iraqis? No, the way to win this is to be steadfast and resolved and to follow through on the plan that I've just outlined."
What Bush should have said was: "What message does that send our troops? What message does that send to our allies? But most important, what message does that send to our enemies—the Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists who are kidnapping innocent civilians are killing them in the most grotesque way? It says America is not united against a common enemy. It says that America is torn, and does not have the mettle to win. It says if they behead one more—a dozen more—innocent civilians, America will buckle just as it did during the Vietnam War when antiwar protestors and a complicit media destroyed this nation's will to win, and America surrendered Southeast Asia to the communists not because we lacked the resources to win, but simply because we lacked the resolve."
The biggest problem I have with Republicans is that they have no idea how to get into the trenches and fight. Democrats, on the other hand, do. They fight like terrorists. Since they have no agenda other than to tax the middle class to death, their only weapon (if they can't buy your vote with the promise of restoring welfare) is to scare you into voting for them by to terrorizing the voters into thinking that the Republican Congress and the White House will [a] destroy Social Security, [b] destroy the environment, [c] overturn Roe v. Wade, [d] put a skycam in every home, and [e] reinstate the draft so the White House can simultaneously attack Iran, Syria and North Korea. And, to prove that Bush and Rumsfeld intend to reinstate the draft, the Democrats are even circulating the House and Senate bill numbers of the Universal National Service Act of 2003. Only, what the Kerry camp did not tell you is that the proposed legislation, introduced by liberal Democrats in both Houses, is a sham bill that can't get out of committee because it was pronounced dead-on-arrival by House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Tom Frist. In the House, HR.163, the Universal National Service Act of 2003 was introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel [D-NY]. Rangel secured 14 co-sponsors to his bill. All of them are Democrats. It's companion Senate bill, S.89 was sponsored by Sen Ernest "Fritz" Hollings [D-SC]. Hollings couldn't find a single co-sponsor. Rangel told the media that the reason he proffered the bill was to remind people how bad war is. And, he said: "For those who think the poor fight better, I say, give the rich a chance." In reality, the Democrats enrolled the bill because it is easier to accuse Bush of trying to reinstate the draft if there is actually such a measure in Congress. Responding to Rangel and Hollings, Congressman Ron Paul [D-TX] enrolled HR.487, a bill that would eliminate the Selective Service System.
If Bush wants to win the remaining two debates, he needs to get aggressive like Ron Paul and act like a commander-in-chief and not a polite politician playing parlor games. He needs to take the high ground and hold it. He earned that right over the past four years. He needs to call it like it is. A traitor is still a traitor—even after 33 years.
© 2004 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website. E-Mail: BAFFauthor@aol.com
Of course, we never did learn what any of Kerry's "plans" were. He simply drifted off on his scripted fingerpointing charade that usually had little to do with the specific question asked