CNN reports that John Kerry waited all of about 15 nanoseconds to use the new Osama bin Laden videotape to boost his political fortunes, even after he claimed that all Americans were united in their determination to defeat terrorism:
Reacting to a new videotape of Osama bin Laden tossed into the closing days of a hard-fought presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry renewed his claim that President Bush allowed the terrorist mastermind to escape in fall 2001.
In a satellite interview with Milwaukee TV station WISN, Kerry said, “I regret that when George Bush had the opportunity in Afghanistan at Tora Bora, he didn’t choose to use American forces to hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden.”
“He outsourced the job to Afghan warlords. I would never have done that. I think it was an enormous mistake, and we’re paying the price for that today,” he said.
This came after he tried to strike the right note in the same interview, a tone of national unity in the face of a fresh threat from a foreign power:
Kerry also gave a message of national unity during his interview with WISN.
“All of us in the country are completely united — Democrat, Republican, there’s no such thing. There’s just Americans,” he said.
I’m not suggesting that John Kerry shelve his campaign in the face of the OBL videotape. Doing so only gives the Islamofascist mass murderer a political victory. However, Kerry should have stuck to the facts instead of promoting what is, at best, mere speculation about bin Laden’s whereabouts in December 2001. He also should quit promoting that intellectually lazy “outsourcing” line that has been proven false and misleading. The statement is also wildly hypocritical considering that his major policy stance in Iraq is to attempt to “outsource” the democratization of the newly liberated Iraqis to the UN, guided by the famous democracies of Syria and China, and the paragons of virtue that are France and Russia.
In engaging in rank demagoguery and using OBL’s threats as an explicit inspiration, he makes bin Laden a legitimate voice in the election — exactly what OBL intended. His empty assertions that he would have poured men and materials into Tora Bora based on hazy intelligence on one man’s whereabouts, and into an area in which the US military had lukewarm expertise, instead of our partners whose intimate knowledge of the terrain and quite frankly were expendable while we kept our options open, shows the shallowness of his understanding of military strategy — as well as the falsity of his oft-stated emphasis on building alliances.
Georbe Bush called him to task for his outburst tonight:
Speaking at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, hours later, Bush blasted Kerry’s comments.
“Unfortunately, my opponent tonight continued to say things he knows are not true, accusing our military of passing up a chance to get Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora,” Bush said. “It is the worst kind of Monday morning quarterbacking. It is especially shameful in the light of a new tape from America’s enemy.”
Earlier this week, Bush accused Kerry of making a “wild claim” that amounted to “unjustified criticism of our military commanders in the field.”
Bush needs to keep up the pressure on Kerry for his reliance on the appearance of America’s enemies to make his case for the presidency. We knew where Hitler was in 1944, too, and Hirohito as well. Did Wendell Wilkie hold press conferences blaming Roosevelt for their continued existence in order to convince voters of his qualifications as commander in chief? No. Wilkie had what Kerry does not — a love of country that outstripped his personal ambitions, and the class to understand that Hitler and Hirohito were the enemy, while Roosevelt was merely Wilkie’s opponent. It’s a lesson that the Left in this country still hasn’t learned, and hopefully American voters will teach them that lesson on Tuesday.
UPDATE: Read this post by Jeff Jarvis, a thinking liberal and a patriot even though we often disagree. He catches the Left in full meltdown:
BILL MAHER UPDATE: Maher tonight says the tape won’t affect the election. “Americans know: Osama bin Laden does not pick our President. The Supreme Court does.”
Maher says some of the stuff in the bin Laden tape “I swear to God could have come out of the Democratic National Committee or a Kerry speech.” Maher starts to read; Gen Wes Clark interrupts — sensibly — and doesn’t want to seem by silence to be agreeing with that. Maher reads some of bin Laden’s statements and the audience — amazingly — applauds! Maher: “Sometimes you can agree with an evil person. I mean, Hitler was a vegetarian.” What the F has become of us? A studio audience is applauding a mass murderer?
It gets worse. Gen. Wes says: “If George Bush had done his job before 9/11 we never would have had the strikes of 9/11.” Man, I’m glad I never supported him. It ain’t that simple, General.
Maher: “I don’t know why the Republicans get a mulligan on 9/11. The Democrats wouldn’t have.” Oh, crap.
I stopped watching Bill Maher when he called American military pilots cowards for bombing Yugoslavia and said that the 9/11 terrorists were courageous by comparison. It’s good to know that my choice is as valid now as it is then. As for General Clark, keep in mind that the mastermind of that same Yugoslavian campaign has been stumping hard for Kerry and likely would have a significant appointment in a Kerry administration. Is this the kind of man we want as a Secretary of Defense?