Monday, October 11, 2004

The two little words John Kerry would recall if he could are “global test.” If he could erase three more, he would be smart to recall “International Criminal Court.”

Nothing raises the hair on the back of American necks like attempts to steal the nation’s sovereignty, especially by easy riders and freeloaders. And if you threw a rock into a session of the United Nations General Assembly, you couldn’t avoid hitting dozens of easy riders and scores of freeloaders.

The freeloaders and easy riders are just the people that Monsieur Kerry wants to invite to pass judgment on how America defends itself in a world growing ever more hostile and ever more vulnerable to the pig people of the Islamic world who worship Allah by beheading innocents and blowing up children.

Monsieur Kerry twisted himself into a low-carb pretzel answering questions in the second debate about his scheme to outsource presidential responsibility. He couldn’t bring himself to say the words “global test” even as he defended, sort of, the idea that the president of the United States should humble himself to get the nation back in the good graces of the envious, the hateful and the ungrateful.

A typical sample of rhetorical sludge gleaned from the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly gives a flavor of what a president who takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States could expect from those who would administer a “global test” of American resolve.

Here’s Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, perhaps the foulest of the African thugs, on the role of the U.N.: “The United Nations Charter remains the only sacred document and proponent of the relations of our nations. …”

Kamal Kharrazi, the foreign minister of Iran, the pivot of the axis of evil, relieved himself of this: “Israel [remains] the single greatest threat to regional and global peace and security.”

Michel Barnier, the foreign minister of France, the leading purveyor of anti-American venom, relieved himself of this: “The United Nations remains the one irreplaceable, legitimate framework for harnessing … mobilization and translating it into collective action…. The United Nations, through its legitimacy and ever-increasing effectiveness, must be the instrument of the universal conscience of which it remains the crucible.”

Lots of “remains” remain in that crucible, as a careful observer can see, and you don’t have to be a weatherman to see which way the wind blows over those remains. Monsieur Kerry does not have to lift a finger to test that wind. But he would need a lot of wind to persuade any members of the coalition of freeloaders and easy riders to join him in “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

If the French foreign minister actually believes the efficiency and legitimacy of the U.N. reflects “ever-increasing effectiveness,” he is delusional as well as spiteful, and Robert Mugabe would be more successful selling Nigerian bank scams than the notion that the U.N. Charter is a “sacred” document. Any American on the street could come up with an array of documents (beginning with a fortune cookie) more “sacred” than the charter of an organization that has become a retirement home for spongers and layabouts.

John Kerry derides George W. Bush for “outsourcing” American jobs, but he wants to “outsource” presidential responsibility for protecting the security of the nation, followed by “outsourcing” control and command of American troops to the International Criminal Court in Switzerland. He insists that American interests would be “safeguarded.” But when French and Chinese judges call American troops to the dock to answer accusations like those that John Kerry himself made against American soldiers he left behind in Vietnam four decades ago, whatever “safeguards” there might be would first have to pass the “global test.”

Monsieur Kerry knows better than to peddle such stuff, and if he doesn’t, the current crop of wise men back at campaign headquarters surely do. But since the moving finger writes, and not even those wise men can recall a single line — or even two words — the candidate is stuck with them. A dangerous instrument of expression, the finger.

Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Times.

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