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Robert M. Liu

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A Shamelessly Sophistic Debating Technique
10/11/2004 11:36:13 PM
If I were a moron incapable of checking facts and figures, I would swallow all of John Kerry's arguments like a newborn swallows baby formula. The man is capable of promising you the moon with a poker face.
A Shamelessly Sophistic Debating Technique

-- by Robert M. Liu

(1) If I were a moron...

If I were a moron incapable of checking facts and figures, I would swallow all of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's arguments like a newborn swallows baby formula. The man is capable of promising you the moon with a poker face. Only those in possession of relevant facts, data and logical minds can decide whether they should take Kerry seriously or not.

For instance, he says if elected he would build a "strong alliance" in the global war on terror, while at the same time calling America's military action to depose Saddam Hussein "a wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place" as if Saddam Hussein's Iraq were not a state sponsor of terror with both the intention and the programs to produce weapons of mass destruction in material violation of U.N. Resolution 1441.

Although he voted to authorize President Bush to take military action against Saddam Hussein and admits that Saddam Hussein's regime was a threat, John Kerry now says the invasion of Iraq was "a mistake" -- as if the 2002 Congressional war authorization and U.N. Resolution 1441 were not for real.

What Kerry actually suggests is that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein to U.S. and allied interests should have been left unresolved and that Saddam Hussein's multiple violations of U.N. resolutions including U.N. Resolutions 1441 should have been ignored -- until such time as a "global test" could be passed.

Is Senator Kerry a moron incapable of figuring out what a Congressional war authorization is all about? Definitely not. Contrary to his "global test" nonsense, the Congressional war authority categorically excluded U.N. approval as a precondition for war against Saddam.

Kerry certainly expected that President Bush would proceed with war preparations and then eliminate the Saddam Hussein threat, once the Congressional war authorization was adopted. He voted for it. Some believe he did so because it was popular at the time. But as the violence in Iraq turned the war into an unpopular business, Kerry turned around to capitalize on the public's anxiety.

(2) "The Kerry Doctrine":

Judging from Kerry's statements about international relations, his "global test" would have to include U.N. approval, French approval, German approval, etc. Since there never was a chance for the Bush administration's Iraq War plan to pass such a "global test", Saddam Hussein would most likely have welcomed "the Kerry Doctrine".

To use the Senator's own words, Saddam Hussein was a threat, but there was a right way to deal with it and a wrong way to deal with it. He says that Bush dealt with the Saddam Hussein threat in the wrong way. So, only he, John Kerry, knows how to deal with international security problems like Saddam Hussein in "the right way".

Yet, in all probability, Kerry's "right way" would have left Saddam Hussein in power with mass graves, torture chambers, WMD programs, and vast financial resources to bribe his way out of U.N. sanctions, resume WMD production, and sponsor international terrorism.

Kerry's so-called "right way" is nothing but a euphemism for appeasement and inaction, which, in my opinion, has become a trademark of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, and of which, the Senator has a track record.

Kerry's so-called "right way" would have allowed the U.N. weapons inspectors more time to search for weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein more time to play hide-and-seek. This could have gone on for months, if not years, with more than one hundred thousand U.S. troops plus thousands of British troops massing on Iraqi borders. Then, at the end of the search, the U.N. weapons inspectors would have come up with a report on their failure to find stockpiles of WMD.

Kerry's so-called "right way" would have led to a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraqi borders without implementing U.N. Resolution 1441, which demanded that Saddam Hussein account for the weapons of mass destruction documented by the United Nations or face serious consequences (i.e. war in geopolitical terms).

Shouldn't we wonder how so many tons of U.N.-documented WMD in Iraq could disappear without a trace? Assuming the U.N.-documented weapons of mass destruction were destroyed on Saddam Hussein's orders in the 1990s when he was under pressure from the international community, why didn't he have the destruction process documented, so that his regime could at least explain where the destruction had taken place?

Kerry's so-called "right way" would have let Saddam Hussein off the hook -- without accounting for the U.N.-documented WMD and without having to face serious consequences provided for by U.N. Resolution 1441, thereby exposing the United States as a mere paper tiger incapable of taking tough action, which in turn would have sent a dangerously wrong signal of weakness to would-be state sponsors of terror with unforeseeable consequences.

After Saddam Hussein's army occupied Kuwait in summer of 1990, there was a vote to authorize former president George H. W. Bush to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait by military force. Senator Kerry voted against the war authorization. For reasons best known to himself, he wanted Saddam Hussein to continue to occupy Kuwait. What about U.S. and allied interests in the Gulf region? Senator Kerry didn't give a damn.

Given the Senator's pathetic track record of inaction and appeasement, one would wonder about the consequences of a Kerry presidency. Wouldn't it lead America and the Free World at large to an abyss of endless "global tests" resulting in multilateral indecision? If unfortunately that turned out to be the case, terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terror would be emboldened to launch repeated challenges to U.S. national security interests. The consequences to large numbers of American lives could be disastrous.

(3) The danger of a possible Kerry presidency:

The danger of a possible Kerry presidency lies in the fact that even today, three years after the September 11 tragedy, Senator Kerry either doesn't understand or pretends not to know that the key to fighting global terrorism is to fight state-sponsored terrorism and to eliminate would-be state sponsors of terror one at a time whenever we can -- before it is too late.

Yet, Kerry is unwilling to take on state sponsors of terror. Instead, he attacks Bush's efforts to eliminate State Sponsor of Terror Saddam Hussein.

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan was a state sponsor of terror which harbored Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network. The toppling of the Taliban regime was the first step toward winning the global war on terror. The Saddam Hussein regime was another state sponsor of terror, and the removal of Saddam Hussein was the second step toward winning the global war on terror.

As things stand now, although there is a lot of work to be done in Iraq before the situation there can be pacified, the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime serves as a deterrent to state- sponsored terror. It signals unambiguously to potential state sponsors of terror that should they dare to provide material support to international terror networks and enable them to attack America, they would be destroyed.

At least theoretically, this message of a deterrent from the Bush administration's preemptive military action against Saddam Hussein has made America safer. It would be unfair not to give George W. Bush some credit for doing the right thing.

John Kerry says he is also for preemption. Fine, but Bush's war to oust the Saddam Hussein regime is exactly what preemption is all about. If the Senator is really for preemption, it is time that he took some humble lessons from the Bush administration on the definition of preemption, rather than keep whining about the negative aspects of preemption.

(4) Is it true that Bush has got everything wrong?

According to Kerry, George W. Bush's middle initial "W" stands for "wrong", so whatever George W. Bush does has to be wrong: Bush's national security policy is wrong; Bush's homeland security policy is wrong; Bush's anti-terrorism policy is wrong; Bush's Iraq policy is wrong; Bush's economic policy is wrong; Bush's whatever policy -- you name it -- is wrong.

Then, he says, "I have a plan." What a shamelessly sophistic debating technique! For the statement "I have a plan" begs the question: How can we know whether Kerry's plan would play out well or not? Like they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We would know only if Kerry's plan came to be implemented. Some say Kerry doesn't have a clear plan. Others say his plan on training more Iraqi soldiers is nothing new -- many Iraqi soldiers have already been trained.

So here is a credibility issue: Kerry says Bush's Iraq policy is "wrong" and should be replaced by "his plan", but "his plan" doesn't sound any better than Bush's plan. What's more, it is untested. Why should American voters accept "the Kerry plan" then?

While Bush's plan for Iraqi peace may not be foolproof and has apparently bumped into some difficulties, at least we know what those difficulties are, and the Bush administration must have already made adjustments to its plan -- so as to control damage and overwhelm the insurgency with more decisive military offensives and more effective intelligence gathering operations.

In fact, there has been some progress in Iraq. For example, radical cleric Sadr's militiamen have agreed to lay down their arms and join Iraq's new democratic political process. They have already turned in large quantities of weapons in Baghdad -- an indication that they now realize that it is not in their interest to continue to fight the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqi government.

In addition, Iraqi government troops recently re-captured Samarra, a city in the Sunni triangle, with the help of the U.S. troops. In Fallujah, an effective surveillance operation has enabled the U.S. military to take out terrorist hideouts at any time of the coalition's choosing. While terrorist beheadings in Iraq are barbaric acts, these are not signs of strength.

Sixty years ago, when the end of the Nazi regime was near, Adolf Hitler and S.S. chief Heinrich Himmler knew that the Allies were going to win the war. But rather than surrender, they kept fighting and killing innocent Jewish people in their concentration camps. If history is a guide, senseless killings of innocent people or innocent hostages may be an indication that the end is near.

If George W. Bush is as wrong on national security as Kerry claims, why is it that America hasn't experienced another terrorist attack since September 11, 2001? Remember the first World Trade Center terrorist bombing took place in 1993? Two years later in 1995, Timothy McVeign perpetrated the Oklahoma terrorist bombing. Some evidence indicates McVeign may have been aided by international terrorists.

If George W. Bush is as wrong on the economy as Kerry claims, why is it that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is around 10,000 rather than around 7,000 and America's jobless rate is only 5.4% rather than 9.8% as in France or 10.6% as in Germany?

If George W. Bush is as wrong on how to fight the al Qaeda terror network as Kerry claims, why is it that Afghanistan held presidential elections recently in peace without any violence from Taliban bandits or al Qaeda terrorists?

(5) Focus on bin Laden in Afghanistan?

John Kerry says he would focus on Osama bin Laden, who, according to the Senator, is in Afghanistan. But is bin Laden still there? Is he still alive? By all appearances, the al Qaeda terror network has been weakened drastically by the Bush administration. There is no reason to believe a Kerry administration could do a better job.

75% of al Qaeda's experienced senior leaders, known to the world, have been either killed or captured. Though the terror network can recruit new members, without its original Afghan training camps, it can no longer train recruits as effectively as before. The fact that Osama bin Laden has failed to provide Arabic-language TV networks with any video-tapes to mobilize his followers indicates he is either dead or in poor health.

If Kerry wants to focus on bin Laden, no problem. But the importance of bin Laden's role in the al Qaeda terror network may have diminished. It is time to focus on the Iraqi insurgency. But John Kerry says, "Osama bin Laden attacked us. Saddam Hussein didn't."

Well, it is disingenuous of the Senator to pretend that there were no ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and al Qaeda and that Saddam Hussein had no WMD programs. According to the CIA, there were ties. According to the U.S. weapons search team's report, Saddam Hussein did maintain WMD programs in material violation of U.N. Resolution 1441.

Is John Kerry suggesting that U.N. Resolution 1441 should not have been implemented? Does he mean that Saddam Hussein should have been allowed to continue to maintain his WMD programs? I guess he does, given the fact that in the early 1990s the Senator apparently wanted Saddam Hussein to continue to occupy Kuwait.

Saddam Hussein did harbor al Qaeda terrorists including Abdul Rahman Yasin, one of the al Qaeda terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi who was working at the Kuala Lumpur Airport after obtaining the job with an Iraqi intelligence officer's assistance, who participated in a January 2000 al Qaeda "summit" on the 9/11 plot in Kuala Lumpur, and who eventually returned to Iraq after 9/11, as well as al-Zarqawi's terror network in Fallujah.

(6) John Kerry's "strong alliance":

On Saturday, October 9, 2004, Australian prime minister John Howard was elected for a fourth time. Australia is a member of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. Had the opposition left-wing Labor Party won the majority in the parliament, America would have lost a reliable ally on the Iraq issue.

Before the October 9 election, Diane Kerry, John Kerry's sister and a member of the Kerry campaign went to Australia and told the Australian public that terrorists target Australia because it "has kept faith with the United States." Sounds as if the Kerry campaign was hoping that Australian voters would vote for the Labor Party.

John Kerry is talking about building a "strong alliance". But an alliance between a Kerry administration, a Socialist France, a Socialist Germany, and a Socialist Spain would be an unseemly left-wing, anti-war forum united in the belief that America's military action to oust Saddam Hussein was "a wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place". In short, Kerry's left- wing, anti-war "strong alliance" would offer a bunch of words but nothing helpful in winning the remaining battles in Iraq.

Australia has sent troops to Iraq because it has a Conservative government. Italy has sent troops to Iraq because it has a Conservative government. Great Britain has sent troops to Iraq because Tony Blair is actually a closet Thatcherite. Poland has sent troops to Iraq because it has an anti- Communist government. Spain has withdrawn its troops from Iraq because the left-wing Socialist Party won the election in spring of 2004.

The Kerry campaign was hoping for a victory by its left-wing ally in Australia, the Labor Party, which had made clear that a Labor government would immediately withdraw Australian troops from Iraq.

Kerry's leftward political leanings are undeniable. For instance, in March, on the Haitian situation, he said to The New York Time, "I would have been prepared to send troops immediately, period" -- to keep Haiti's left-wing dictator Jean Bertrand Aristide in power. Since then, Aristide's followers have beheaded three Haitian policemen.

Would John Kerry's "strong alliance" expand to include Cuba's Castro, Venezuela's Hugo Chaves, Zimbabwe's Mugabe, and North Korea's Kim Jong-il? That would be very interesting. But would American voters accept a Comrade John Kerry in the White House?

Dear Reader, John Kerry's left-wing "strong alliance" could cause the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq to disintegrate with serious geopolitical consequences and national security implications for the long term, opening up a window of opportunity for international terror networks, thereby increasing America's national security risks.

You need to ask yourself who you are. If you are a left-wing nut, ignore whatever I have to say. If not, you'd better check Kerry's words against his deeds.

[October 11, 2004]

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More Blogs by Robert M. Liu
• A Man Is Known by the Company He Keeps - Thursday, October 09, 2008
• A Simple Quick Fix for the Crisis - Thursday, October 09, 2008
• A Commentary on Issues of Current Interest - Sunday, December 02, 2007
• A Bit of History to Illustrate the Consequences of Treaty Breaches - Sunday, November 05, 2006
• A Couple of Historical Parallels and Other Issues - Thursday, November 02, 2006
• A Debate Plus a Dilemma - Saturday, December 10, 2005
• A Tale of Two Sides - Thursday, November 10, 2005
• A Bit of History to Illustrate the Role of China's Military - Sunday, October 09, 2005
• An Anachronistic System - Thursday, September 08, 2005
• Is President Hu Jintao in Control? - Tuesday, August 09, 2005
• If I Were a Unocal Shareholder... - Thursday, July 07, 2005
• China and North Korea - Tuesday, June 07, 2005
• A Culture of Obstructionism - Tuesday, April 05, 2005
• American Capitalism - Monday, March 07, 2005
• Another Turn for the Better - Tuesday, February 08, 2005
• A Set of Interesting Historical Parallels - Saturday, November 13, 2004
•  A Shamelessly Sophistic Debating Technique - Monday, October 11, 2004  
• A Campaign in Disarray? Probably -- Plus Campaign Issues - Monday, September 13, 2004
• A Campaign of Tortured Arguments - Tuesday, August 10, 2004
• Does It Add Up? - Monday, July 12, 2004
• A Turn for the Better - Saturday, June 12, 2004
• Amazing Poll Results - Monday, May 10, 2004
• Voodoo Politics - Tuesday, April 06, 2004
• Ambivalent Mind Set - Thursday, March 11, 2004
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Friday, February 27, 2004
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Friday, February 27, 2004
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Friday, February 27, 2004
• Al Gore's Judgement and Luck - Sunday, February 08, 2004
• Strategies and Schemes - Wednesday, December 31, 2003
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Tuesday, December 09, 2003
• Communist China and Free China - Saturday, December 06, 2003
• The Role of the United Nations - Friday, November 28, 2003
• American Dominance - Sunday, November 16, 2003
• Snippets - Sunday, October 05, 2003
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• Snippets - Sunday, September 14, 2003
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• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Thursday, August 28, 2003
• A Message to Claywoman - Wednesday, August 27, 2003
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Monday, August 25, 2003
• Snippets - Sunday, August 24, 2003
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Wednesday, August 20, 2003
• Snippets - Wednesday, August 20, 2003
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Wednesday, July 30, 2003
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Sunday, July 27, 2003
• A Message to Claywoman - Friday, July 25, 2003
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Thursday, July 24, 2003
• Snippets - Monday, July 21, 2003
• A Message to Lawrance G. Lux - Wednesday, July 16, 2003
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