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May 29, 2004
Kerry: Democracy Not Important

In words that echo his 1971 Senate testimony on the Vietnam war, John Kerry told the Washington Post that establishing democracy would not be a priority of a Kerry administration, preferring to work on more pressing issues other than liberty and freedom:

Sen. John F. Kerry indicated that as president he would play down the promotion of democracy as a leading goal in dealing with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China and Russia, instead focusing on other objectives that he said are more central to the United States' security. ...

In many ways, Kerry laid out a foreign-policy agenda that appeared less idealistic about U.S. aims than President Bush or even fellow Democrat former president Bill Clinton. While Kerry said it was important to sell democracy and "market it" around the world, he demurred when questioned about a number of important countries that suppress human rights and freedoms. He said securing all nuclear materials in Russia, integrating China in the world economy, achieving greater controls over Pakistan's nuclear weapons or winning greater cooperation on terrorist financing in Saudi Arabia trumped human rights concerns in those nations.

Unfortunately, John Kerry demonstrates almost every day that he just doesn't understand the critical issue of Islamofascist terrorism. Fanatics grow in the dark, as we continue to learn, as the various thugocracies, kleptocracies, and mullahcracies in the area oppress their citizens and feed them a steady diet of anti-American and anti-Semitic rationalizations. Not only will America make no progress on human-rights abuses until the regimes change, but the region will continue to produce terrorists until representative governments replace the dictatorships, so that free discourse and self-determination provide safety valves for anger and voting can replace the gun and the vest-bomb.

Kerry engages in moral relativism, a long-standing habit that has cropped up in his public life again and again. Kerry said much the same thing last month, as the Post's editorial noted in a scolding editorial:

"WE NEED A reasonable plan and a specific timetable for self-government" in Iraq, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said in December. "That means completing the tasks of security and democracy in the country -- not cutting and running in order to claim a false success." On another occasion, he said: "It would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops."

Contrast that with what Mr. Kerry told reporters last week: "With respect to getting our troops out, the measure is the stability of Iraq. [Democracy] shouldn't be the measure of when you leave. I have always said from day one that the goal here . . . is a stable Iraq, not whether or not that's a full democracy."

Trading liberty for stability is the philosophy that brought us the modern Middle East. It's a short-sighted strategy that the British and French employed after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, when they propped up strongmen like the House of Saud in order to play power politics in the region. Only in Turkey, which fought for its independence under the legendary Kemal Ataturk, actually realized a self-determinative and free government, and that mostly at the opposition of the West.

John Kerry often expresses a disdain for democracy in the name of expediency and moral relativism. During his 1971 Senate testimony, Kerry made the following declaration:

Senator, I will say this. I think that politically, historically, the one thing that people try to do, that society is structured on as a whole, is an attempt to satisfy their felt needs, and you can satisfy those needs with almost any kind of political structure, giving it one name or the other. In this name it is democratic; in others it is communism; in others it is benevolent dictatorship. As long as those needs are satisfied, that structure will exist.

Continuing his campaign of snide remarks, Kerry also said this about the 2000 election:

"The last time I looked, except for Florida, an election is an election," Kerry said.

So did we, Senator, until Al Gore unleashed his lawyers on Florida to overturn it.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 29, 2004 6:59 PM

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