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Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

The Politics of Syria

September 4th, 2013

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Congressional Democrats are in a bind. If they vote to authorize a military strike on Syria, they could be putting the country on a slippery slope to war. But if they vote no, they will deliver a crushing defeat to their president.

What President Barack Obama did was call their bluff. Last week, more than 50 House Democratssigned a letter urging the president to “seek an affirmative decision of Congress” before committing to any military engagement. That was the Democrats’ way of going on record to express reservations about what Obama sounded like he was going to do anyway. Then, lo and behold, the president decided to do exactly what they asked. Now it’s their decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama Pilots Drone Policy Through Political Headwinds

May 28th, 2013

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During the 2004 campaign, Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, made this statement to the New York Times Magazine:

“We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives but they’re a nuisance. As a former law enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it … to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day. It’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.”

Republicans instantly denounced Kerry’s statement as “a pre-9/11 view of the world.” President George W. Bush said at a campaign rally, “Senator Kerry talked of reducing terrorism to a, quote, ‘nuisance,’ and compared it to prostitution and illegal gambling. I couldn’t disagree more. Our goal is not to reduce terrorism to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terrorism by staying on the offensive.”

The Bush-Cheney campaign ran a television ad attacking Kerry for saying that defeating terrorism was “more about law enforcement than a strong military.” The ad concluded, “How can Kerry protect us when he doesn’t understand the threat?”

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How to Talk About Israel’s Recent Strikes in Syria

May 6th, 2013

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Israel carried out several limited strikes in Syria over the weekend, raising the possibility of an expanded Syrian civil war. Here’s how to talk about it:

1. Israel was responding to a real, imminent danger to its security.

U.S. and Israeli sources indicated the Israelis late last week struck a shipment of sophisticated, Iranian-built Fateh-110 missiles bound for the Lebanese terror group Hizbollah. The Syrians also claimed Israel hit the Jamraya military complex outside of Damascus this weekend, which U.S. officials say is Syria’s chemical weapons development center.

If Hizbollah obtained the Fateh-110 missile, the terror group would then be able to accurately deliver a half-ton warhead with a range of 185 miles, which could strike almost all of Israel’s major cities and military bases. Israelis living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other population centers would find themselves in Hizbollah’s crosshairs. These missiles could travel father and hit a target much more accurately than anything currently in Hizbollah’s arsenal. This was a real, imminent danger to Israel, and its leaders acted to mitigate the threat.

Given the serious threat these weapons pose to Israel’s civilian population, we should stand with Israel in its efforts to blunt the threat from Hizbollah.

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