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October 19, 2004
Senator Lightweight Explains His Cluelessness

A number of bloggers commented before the debates on how invisible John Edwards had been on the campaign trail. After his appearance in New Hampshire today, perhaps his supporters would prefer a return to milk carton for the man his hometown newspaper nicknamed "Senator Gone". Edwards tried to chide Bush for turning Iraq into a haven for terrorists, buying into the Michael Moore vision of prewar Iraq as a kite-flying paradise:

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards on Tuesday accused President Bush of failing the United States and the world in Iraq, citing unsecured nuclear weapons abroad and unprotected ports at home as further evidence of the president's "incompetence."

"He's created something that didn't exist before the war in Iraq he's created a haven for terrorists," Edwards said.

I hate to break it to Senator Edwards -- maybe the Senate Intelligence Committee covered it during one of his many absences -- but Saddam's Iraq hosted a number of terrorists, including the one giving us the most trouble now, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He was the last in a list of notables such as Abu Nidal, who Saddam bankrolled and sheltered for years. Saddam also bankrolled other terrorist groups such as the Groupe Islamique Arm in Algeria as well as the suicide bombers of Palestine. Saddam's IIS trained terrorists at Salman Pak, a camp built specifically for that purpose -- and one which used a jet fuselage to train fanatics.

Let us not forget, also, that Saddam's regime presented a perfect example of government by terrorism, a lesson we continue to learn as more information comes to light. For instance, just last week Al-Jazeera reported the discovery of mass graves containing hundreds, if not thousands, of Kurd men, women, and children. They reported that investigators discovered thighbones the size of matchsticks, indicating that infants were slain along with their entire families. Some children still grasped the toys they held as the utopian government of Saddam Hussein coldly murdered them for their ethnicity and pushed them into those anonymous ditches.

The notion that the American invasion created a terrorist haven in Iraq is to believe that terrorism either didn't exist before March 2003 or that terrorism is a rational response to American foreign policy. Either demonstrates a September 10th thinking that should disqualify Edwards as a serious candidate for any national office, let alone the vice-presidency. If any doubt existed about this diagnosis, Edwards confirms it by insisting that the Bush Adminstration exaggerates the danger of terrorism to scare people:

Bush is scaring people about terrorism and the war in Iraq to get people to vote against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, Edwards said.

"While they campaign on fear, we're going to talk about the facts," Edwards told about 500 supporters. "John Kerry and I are going to unite this country so we can win the war against terrorism."

Having the Kerry/Edwards campaign accuse anyone of using the politics of fear should result in jaws dropping across the United States. This comes from the candidate whose campaign has, in just the past month, used these canards on the stump to frighten the voters:

* Claimed that Bush will start a military draft, an idea only floated by their own party

* Accused the administration of having a secret January plan to steal Social Security checks from old ladies

* Gave instructions to its supporters to make accusations of vote suppression even if none existed

* Pushed the urban legend that a million African-American voters had their votes suppressed in 2000

The only ones using fear and loathing as campaign tactics are Kerry and Edwards. And if both Senators showed up for more than 28% of their Senate Intelligence Committee meetings, perhaps they'd know more of the facts of the terrorist threat than they've demonstrated on the campaign trail.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 19, 2004 9:02 PM

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