Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Good ol' Senator Botox is finding out that, as usual, his political past is coming back to haunt him. Usually, he uses what John Ellis calls the "Vietnam Heat Shield" to repel the negative effects of these discoveries. I personally witnessed this in 1996. I lived in Boston at the time and Kerry was up against Bill Weld for the US Senate. Weld kept it close, and then Kerry used the "I was in Vietnam!" phrase to deflect any criticism in the last couple of weeks and squeak by into re-election.
Unfortunately for Senator Botox, the evidence of past mis-steps is in the realm of national defense, where he has already trotted out the "I was in Vietnam!" line to show his readiness in that area. The controversy surrounds a statement Kerry made in response to a GOP attack that he was weak on defense. Kerry stated that while he challenged Reagan on 'Star Wars', anti-satellite weaponry and the MX missile, that "I think I've tried to do things that made sense for the long-term defense of our country."
Apparently, this includes voting against the following weapons systems:
- AH-64 Apache attack helicopter
- AV-8B Harrier jumpjet
- F-14 A and D Tomcat
- F-15 Eagle
- B-1 and B-2 bombers
- Patriot missile defense system
- Aegis ship-based missile defense system
- Trident ballistic missile
He also sought to reduce the purchases of these weapons systems:
- M-1 Abrams tank
- Bradley Fighting Vehicle
- Tomahawk cruise missile
- F-16 Fighting Falcon
Many of these systems are the backbone of our armed forces and help make it the most lethal military in the world. The F-14 and F-15 have been the mainstay of the Navy and Air Force for over two decades. The Harrier is the Marines main aircraft. The Apache is the best attack helicopter in the world today. The Abrams is the most feared tank on the battlefield. The Falcon is a superior air combat aircraft. The Aegis keeps our Navy ships safe in dangerous waters. And the Tomahawk has been a vital part of our war-making effort for over 10 years. In short, most of the programs that John Kerry voted against have gone on to be the key components in strengthening our national defense.
Vietnam or no Vietnam, his votes would have drastically reduced our national safety had they been in the majority. If this is the Democrats idea of a "pro-military" candidate, then they are in trouble. How can you entrust national security to a man who voted to deny the military some of its most effective weaponry?
I would also point out that Reagan's deployment of the MX missile, along with pursuit of anti-satellite and anti-missile technology, help to contain and eventually collapse the Soviet Union. I wouldn't be claiming any laurels for that in the general election. As always, the Democrats pander to their far left wing and surrender the middle to the GOP, who then say the right things to the middle but help only their wealthy and corporate benefactors. But don't blame them for taking advantage. The Democrats have surrendered their claim on the middle ground, and the Kerry candidacy is a primary symptom of that.