Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations
Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations
Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations

Public Relations

Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations
Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations
Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations
Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations
Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations
Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations

Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations Benador Associates Public Relations

Benador Associates Public Relations

KERRY'S ANSWER: CUT & RUN
The real Iraq debate begins
by Amir Taheri
New York Post
September 24, 2004

September 24, 2004 -- IT was bound to happen: Sen. John Kerry has decided to adopt Sen. Edward Kenne dy's slogan: Iraq is another Vietnam!

For months, the Democratic presidential nominee, had resisted the temptation of following his senior colleague from Massachusetts: Kerry defended his initial support for a war that destroyed one of modern history's most barbarous regimes.

By last week, however, it had become clear that Kerry could not be both pro-war and anti-war in this campaign. Having made his calculations, he decided to recast himself as a more sober version of Howard Dean, the early champion of the anti-war faction.

Kerry's shift should be welcomed by those who want the presidential campaign to deal with the substance of issues rather than conspiracy theories, real or imagined heroics in the Mekong Delta and real or forged National Guard documents, dating back 30 years.

In the larger scheme of things, Iraq's importance in global politics is as the first major test of U.S. power in reshaping the Middle East in the post-Cold War era.

Bush and Kerry now differ on four issues: the war's genesis, its results so far, future actions and an exit strategy.

First, let us deal with the genesis of the war. President Bush's position is well-known: He claims that Saddam, having started two major wars, violated more than a dozen U.N. resolutions, hosted 23 international terror organizations and adopted a threatening posture toward the United States and its allies, was, in the words of President Bill Clinton in the year 2000, "a time-bomb" that had to be defused.

Bush's view is supported by many, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a majority of the NATO allies and most of the European Union.

Kerry's position is the opposite. He asserts that Saddam, though an unsavory fellow, was no threat, at least not to the United States, and that there was no legal basis for toppling him. This view's many supporters include U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, French President Jacques Chirac and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

The war's results so far? Again, Bush is clear: The toppling of Saddam and his Ba'athist terror machine made Iraq and the world better places. This view is shared by a majority of the Iraqis who fought the Ba'athist tyranny for three decades with no prospects of victory until the U.S.-led coalition arrived. That Iraqis are happy that Saddam is gone is illustrated by the return of virtually all Iraqi refugees from neighboring countries.

As for the Middle East being a better place without Saddam, one need only ask Iraq's neighbors, especially those that had suffered from his wars of aggression.

Kerry's position is the opposite: Not only is Iraq not a better place without Saddam, but the toppling of the despot has also worsened the situation in the Middle East and, by diverting U.S. resources from fighting other terrorists, made America less safe.

Kerry's analysis is shared by many, including the United Nations, the French, some Arab governments, anti-American lobbies across the globe and Bush bashers inside America.

Thirdly, the American voter now has a clear choice of future policies.

Bush's policy is summed up in the phrase "staying the course." Tony Blair agrees; last week he described Iraq as "the crucible in which the future of global terrorism will be determined."

The Bush-Blair analysis is based on the assumption that the last area of the world to breed anti-West terrorists is the Middle East, a region unaffected by the wave of democratization that began with the disintegration of the Soviet Union. And, since democracies do not breed terrorists, the only way to ensure the long-term safety and security of Western democracies, including America and the European Union, is to democratize the Middle East, by force if necessary.

Bush and Blair see Iraq as the first building block of a new democratic Middle East that could emerge as a zone of stability and peace rather than one of war and terror.

Kerry rejects that. He believes that it is none of America's business to meddle in other people's affairs, especially when this involves the use of force. All the United States need do is to strengthen its domestic anti-terror defenses, and be prepared to retaliate if and when attacked. Taking pre-emptive action against potential adversaries, even in the name of self-defense, is (in this view) a form of "neo-Imperialism."

Finally, the exit strategy: Kerry claims that Bush has none.

This is not quite accurate. Bush's exit strategy was clear from the start and has been endorsed by the two latest Security Council resolutions. It envisages the coalition remaining until a freely elected Iraqi government asks it to leave.

This gives the Iraqi people, provided they adopt democracy, a direct say in deciding whether they need foreign troops on their soil. It also makes the withdrawal of coalition forces conditional on the establishment of a democratic system that will not breed terrorism.

Kerry's exit strategy, on the other hand, reflects his belief that Iraq is another Vietnam. He is not proposing a "last chopper from Saigon" strategy; that would not look good on TV. Rather, his strategy could be described as "cut and whistle your way out."

Kerry's plan includes four steps: Repair alliances, train Iraqi security forces, improve reconstruction and ensure elections. Then, "we could begin to withdraw U.S. forces starting next summer."

Yet these four steps were adopted as U.S. policy over a year ago. What is new is that Kerry sets dates for bringing the troops home, regardless of whether or not U.S. strategic goals are achieved. It is in this sense that, if Kerry is elected, Iraq could, indeed, become another Vietnam.

It is important to remember what happened in Vietnam.

America made huge human and material sacrifices to enable the people of South Vietnam to avoid falling under a Communist dictatorship sponsored by the Soveit Union and China. The U.S. effort was successful in military terms and, after the Tet Offensive, there was little doubt that the Communist threat in Vietnam had been contained as it had been in the Korean Peninsula two decades earlier.

Nevertheless, America did then cut and run, abandoning the people of South Vietnam — not because the Vietcong had won the war, but because U.S. public opinion adopted the "cut and run" strategy" that John Kerry, then a young veteran, advocated.

The rest is history. Communist tyranny was imposed over all of Vietnam — which, rather than developing a vibrant industrialized democracy like South Korea or Taiwan, became a poor, captive nation in a system rejected by history.

America's "cut and run" strategy in Indochina emboldened the Soviet Union and gave it a new lease of life. It encouraged the Soviets to expand their empire into Africa and Asia while strengthening their stranglehold over half of Europe.

A new version of "cut and run" in Iraq could embolden the forces of Islamofascism whose strategic aim is the destruction of the West and its current standard-bearer, the United States.

But there is one big difference between Vietnam and Iraq.

The enemy in Vietnam, ultimately the Soviet Union, played the classical game of building an empire and extending its glacis. It could be contained in the context of a balance of thermonuclear terror deterrent. Open to détente, it would not send suicide-bombers to kill thousands of civilians in the heart of the United States.

The Islamofacist foe, however, is not seeking an earthly empire but a heavenly abode. He wants to destroy the infidel, especially "Jews, Cross-worshippers and lapsed Muslims." Were America to cut and run in Iraq, the Islamofascist movement would receive a tremendous boost. And that would be deadly news for Americans, regardless of who sits in the White House. E-mail:

amirtaheri@benadorassociates.com

 

Email Benador Associates: eb@benadorassociates.com

Benador Associates Speakers Bureau
Benador Associates Speakers Bureau