IMAGINE if, in the presiden tial election of 1944, the can didate opposing FDR had in sisted that we were losing the Second World War and that, if elected, he would begin to withdraw American troops from Europe and the Pacific.
We would have called it treason. And we would have been right.
In WWII, broadcasts from Tokyo Rose in Japan and from Axis Sally in Germany warned our troops that their lives were being squandered in vain, that they were dying for big business and "the Jew" Roosevelt.
Today, we have a presidential candidate, the conscienceless Sen. John Kerry, doing the work of the enemy propagandists of yesteryear.
Is there nothing Kerry won't say to win the election? Is there no position he won't change? Doesn't he care anything for the sacrifices of our troops in Iraq?
And if he does care about our soldiers and Marines, why is he broadcasting remarks that insist — against all hard evidence — that the terrorists are winning?
Has he seen the situation with his own eyes? I'll gladly tell him how to get there. I'll even be his guide. And he can smell what remains of Saddam's mass graves — with new ones still being discovered. He can taste the joy of freedom among the Kurds. He can see the bustling commerce throughout the country — despite the violence that alone makes headlines.
Above all, he could see the magnificent performance of our troops, their dedication and professionalism. And their humanity, their goodness.
But Kerry doesn't want to see those things. He's reverting to form. Just as he lied about our troops three decades ago, encouraging our enemies of the day and worsening the suffering of our POWs in North Vietnam, today he's pandering to a new enemy.
Imagine the encouragement the terrorists, insurgents and global extremists draw from Kerry's declarations of defeat, from his insistence that our efforts in Iraq and in the War on Terror have failed.
As he always does, Kerry slips in qualifiers. Of course, Iraq's important. And he'll fight terror, too. It's just that the Bush administration doesn't know how to do anything. A Kerry presidency would let us withdraw our troops, collect more allies, succeed where others have "failed" and win the hearts and minds of the whole, wide world.
Earlier this week, Kerry made a much-ballyhooed speech offering four generalizations about how he would fix Iraq. But there was no detail, not a single nut or a lonely bolt. And the current administration is already doing most of what Kerry suggested.
As for involving the French and Germans, the truth is that they'd do more harm than good. These are the corrupt cynics who made billions from the U.N. Oil-for-Food program while the Iraqi people suffered. The French kiss up to every dictator willing to wink in their direction. The German military barely exists — it's just an employment agency for uniformed bureaucrats — and the French military's sole competence lies in slaughtering unarmed black Africans.
As for the United Nations, any day now we'll see a huge banner hanging from its Manhattan headquarters: Dictators For Kerry.
Even if I detested everything about President Bush, I'd vote for him just to rub it in the faces of the Germans, the French and all of the tyrants rooting for the Iraqi people to slip back into despotism. We Americans choose our own presidents, and we don't take orders from Europeans or from any of Kerry's other Swiss boarding-school pals.
I think it's great that Kerry speaks fluent French. I wish he'd go to France where he could speak it all the time.
In an election year, our engagement in Iraq is a legitimate topic for sober debate. But Kerry isn't serious. All he does is to declare defeat. He certainly doesn't want to be al Qaeda's candidate, but he's made himself into their man through his irresponsibility.
If Kerry were insisting, without caveats, that we're going to stay the course and win, while backing up his criticisms with convincing details of how he would improve our efforts, that would be fine. But his mad claims of disaster and his inability to maintain a firm position unquestionably give aid and comfort to the enemy.
The terrorists and their allies already intended to increase the level of violence in Iraq before November. But Kerry's pandering has encouraged them to pull out all the stops. I wish it were otherwise, that our election process had more integrity, but the truth is that every roadside blast and car bomb in Iraq is meant to support John Kerry.
Meanwhile, Kerry has assembled the most despicable cast of has-beens and failed officials in campaign history. He's represented by the likes of Jamie Rubin — a Clintonite who so loved America that he moved to London, returning to our shores only to tell real Americans how we need to vote.
Putting Rubin on the talk-show circuit demonstrates how badly the Democratic elite is out of touch with the country it claims to represent. With his permanent sneer and his condescending snicker, Rubin represents nearly all that working Americans — and our troops — despise about today's Dems.
In 1944, the Democrats had FDR. In 2004, they've got the stretch-limo version of Mike Dukakis.
There was a wartime election in 1864, too. The Democratic Party's candidate, former Gen. George McClellan, ran on a platform that declared President Abraham Lincoln's policy a failure. The price of McClellan's rhetoric was a prolonged war and tens of thousands of dead Americans.
In 1864, the citizens of the North were steadfast. They rejected the Democratic Party's warnings of defeat and saved the Union. In 2004, the American people, North and South, East and West, need to reject the cynical lies of John F. Kerry and vote to support our troops and save Iraq.
Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of "Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace."
STUNG by criticism that his campaign lacks di rection and focus, Sen. John Kerry has chosen to base his candidacy on an all-out assault on President Bush's record in Iraq — indeed, opted to move to the left decisively and attack the war head-on.
Liberals will cheer Kerry's new-found decisiveness, but it opens the way for Bush to deal him a counterstroke that can all but end this election and finish off Kerry for good.
Kerry's right flank is now gapingly vulnerable to a Bush attack. According to Scott Rasmussen's tracking polls, 30 to 40 percent of Kerry's voters disagree with his new leftward tilt on Iraq.
That is, even as the Democrat condemned the war in Iraq as a "diversion" from the central mission of the war on terror, a large minority of his own voters disagrees and sees it as "integral" to the battle to respond to 9/11.
Kerry has moved to the left, leaving about one-third of his vote behind. Bush can now move in and peel off Kerry's moderate supporters.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has opened the door for this new Bush offensive by declaring the invasion of Iraq "illegal" and equating the deadly terror raids by Iraqi guerillas with the embarrassing but hardly lethal sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by the U.S. military. With those incendiary claims put into play, it is now legitimate for Bush to attack the secretary-general and ask his opponent to take a stand for or against Annan's remarks.
In his current incarnation as a dove, Kerry dares not dissent too sharply from the views of the U.N. leader. Bush can develop a key campaign issue over whether it is legal for the United States to act in its own self-defense without obtaining Security Council approval. Ratification by an assemblage of nations bribed through the Oil-for-Food program should not be a prerequisite for American action.
The backdrop of this new emphasis on Iraq is Bush's largely successful effort to appeal to women in his battle against terror. After misdirecting his rhetoric for months, echoing a macho tough guy approach, the president found his stride at the GOP Convention and, with the able assistance of his wife, portrayed the war in Iraq and the global battle against terror as an effort to keep American families safe at home.
This linkage of combat in Baghdad with safety on Main Street has reduced the gender gap in the polls to historic lows as women have resonated with Bush's new emphasis.
Now that Kerry has moved too far left in a misguided effort to enthuse his political base, Bush can close in for the kill and defend our action in Iraq and our global combativeness against terrorism as fundamental to the protection of our families at home.
Part of Kerry's vulnerability on the Iraq issue is because he is really not proposing anything new to deal with the war. His four-part "plan" — which centers on urging our allies and the U.N. to do more and calls for strong efforts to provide jobs to Iraqis (the John Edwards message, sent abroad) and to train Iraqi police and troops — just mirrors what Bush is already doing.
That is, it is only in retrospect — in criticizing past actions — that Kerry really differs from Bush. He is proposing no real alternative for action in the future.
Since elections are about the future and history books about the past, Bush can fairly ask Kerry what he would do differently. When the Democrat ticks off his agenda, Bush can reply with his statistics saying (in effect), Been there, done that.
John Kerry has zigged when he should have zagged. He has chosen to fight over terror and Iraq when he should have stayed on domestic issues. He has tacked left when he should have stayed in the center on foreign issues and attacked on matters closer to home.
Kerry has defined himself as a liberal — and will pay for it with his defeat.
by Dick Morris