A companion to the official Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign website.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The politics of fear and the audacity of hope

In their speeches tonight, Giuliani and McCain focused primarily on scaring the bejeebus out of the American people. If goal number one was to keep us scared, goal number two was to keep us confused. Confused on how Bush ran to war, confused on who attacked us on 9/11 and where they are now, confused on how the economy has buckled under Bush. Here are the two keynote speeches so you can read them and decide for yourself if there was any legitimacy in claiming Bush has responded appropriately to the terrorist attacks.

Senator McCain

Former Mayor Giuliani

Sickened? If you are, this may help settle you. It is John Edwards delivering a very comprehensible, very sensible, and very un-Bush outline of foreign policy.


John Edwards:

"In Iraq, we face a situation complicated by this administration’s failure to plan. The Secretary of Defense’s own commission to investigate the horrific abuses at Abu Ghraib prison could not have made it more clear: there was “a failure to plan for a major insurgency.”

"It also made clear that responsibility for the prison abuses rest at the top of the administration. The climate for these terrible abuses was set because this administration sent our troops into battle without a plan to win the peace. The President called it a “miscalculation.”

"You can call it anything you want. But the truth is, it was a failure of leadership. Because of this administration’s failures, Iraq is a mess today. And it probably will be the day we take office. It didn’t have to be this way. But it is. And we need new leadership to fix it. So let me tell you what John Kerry and I will do in Iraq.

"First, with a new president, we will earn the respect of our allies. We will ask more from them to ease the burdens on our troops so they can come home. For more than a year, John Kerry and I have called for NATO to be involved with Iraq. We will ask NATO to accelerate the training of Iraq’s security forces -- and bring in 4,000 NATO troops to ensure that Iraq’s elections run smoothly. We will also ask that they play a much greater role in the training of Iraqi security forces.

"Second, we also will work with Iraq’s neighbors so they know in clear and unmistakable terms, we are going to do everything we can to make this succeed. Iraq’s neighbors must respect its borders and not interfere in Iraq’s democratic transition. We must ensure that countries like Syria stop harboring former criminals from Saddam Hussein’s regime. And we must ensure that Iran does not support uprisings in places like Najaf. John and I will not let these or other countries stand in the way of a stable and democratic Iraq.

"And third, we will ask our allies to do more. We can ask them to do more to help Iraq’s economy. We can ask them to forgive Iraq’s enormous debt and participate in the reconstruction. I think it’s time that our allies and not just Halliburton rebuild Iraq.

"This is what we will do. This is what they can’t do and that is a difference. "

delivered in Wilmington, NC

Also today, William Saletan has a very snappy retort to the speeches by both McCain and Giuliani. An excellent read for knocking back the lies about Kerry and his record.