Thursday, March 11, 2004

A blogger on the official John Kerry campaign Web site has offered a telling insight into the Kerry campaign in her account (since removed) of a December campaign party.

“We had 200 guests eating, drinking, and watching the MoveOn documentary ‘Uncovered,’ featuring Joseph Wilson and Rand Beers from the Kerry campaign,” wrote blogger Pamela Leavey, describing a Kerry event that did not include Mr. Kerry himself. “When Theresa Heinz-Kerry arrived, she handed me a pin that read in the center: ‘Asses of Evil’ with ‘Bush,’ ‘Cheney,’ ‘Rumsfeld,’ and ‘Ashcroft’ surrounding it.”

Get it? And how fitting that 60-year-old Mr. Kerry, who finds a charge in likening America’s 54th presidential election to “regime change” and in turning George W. Bush’s words for America’s enemies (“Bring ‘em on”) into a derisive campaign slogan, would have a wife who mocks both the axis of evil and the presidentofthe United States with equal parts malevolence and vulgarity.

Butthebutton shows voters more thanjust amagnified glimpse of a potential first lady. It symbolizes the fundamental flaw of the Kerry doctrine: That the greatest threat the United States faces is not Islamic terrorism, Islamic totalitarianism and rogue nations, but rather … George W. Bush. What Mr. Kerry likes to call “Benedict Arnold companies that ship American jobs overseas” rank a nasty second, but not enough to rate a pin. (Can’t wait to hear Candidate Kerry denounce HJ Heinz, his and his wife’s own Benedict Arnold company. As columnist James Glassman has written to inexcusably scant notice, “Of the 79 factories that the food-processor owns, 57 (felicitous number!) are overseas.” That ships plenty of “American jobs” to Botswana, Thailand, China, India and elsewhere.)

Supposing Mr. Kerry were to vanquish Mr. Bush at the ballot box, eliminating what he (and the missus) deem Public Enemy No. 1. Would a President Kerry simply vault the old axis of evil and land in a vat of world peace?

Take Iraq. According to Time magazine this month, Mr. Kerry says that as president he “might have gone to war” or he “might have avoided war.” When asked whether removing Saddam Hussein was worth the cost, Mr. Kerry replied: “If there are not weapons of mass destruction — and we may yet find some — then this is a war that was fought under false pretenses.” “So,” said Time, “if we don’t find WMD, the war wasn’t worth the costs? That’s a yes?” “No,” said Mr. Kerry. “I think you can still — wait, no. You can’t — that’s not a fair question, and I’ll tell you why. You can wind up successful in transforming Iraq and changing the dynamics, and that may make it worth it, but that doesn’t mean [transforming Iraq] was the cause [that provided the] legitimacy to go.”

Right. Moving on to Iran, where Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and even al Qaeda have found support and safe haven, Mr. Kerry’s position is a bit clearer. In fact, on Feb. 8, the Tehran Times published in full an e-mail sent by the Kerry campaign to a government news agency promising that a President Kerry would try to restore relations “at risk” due to “the actions and attitudes” of the Bush administration. “Disappointment with the current U.S. leadership is widespread,” the e-mail said, “extending not just to the corridors of power and politics, but to the man and woman on the street as well.”

If that’s not giving aid and comfort to an enemy, it’s certainly meddling with U.S. diplomacy in a time of war. The Kerry communique drew a response from Iran’s brave Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy: “Senator, by sending such a message directly to the organs and megaphones of the dictatorial Islamic regime, you have given them credibility, comfort and embraced this odious theocracy. You have encouraged and emboldened a tyrannical regime to use this as propaganda and declare ‘open season’ on the freedom fighters in Iran.” Did the Kerry campaign outreach on Feb. 8 affect Tehran’s decision to close reformist newspapers and bar some 2,500 reformist candidates from elections on Feb. 20? Such a question is hard to dismiss.

Nothing so dramatic has happened in North Korea (yet), although Mr. Kerry, who has promised bilateral talks with Pyongyang, has nonetheless become the darling of the ultra-repressive dictatorship. According to the Financial Times, Mr. Kerry’s campaign speeches are being blared over Radio Pyongyang “and reported in glowing terms by … the official mouthpiece of the [Kim Jong-il’s] communist regime.”

All of which is something to remember about which foreign leaders would like to see John Kerry in power.

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