Saturday, July 31, 2004

Results matter

TRUST, BUT DON’T VERIFY: the US supports an international treaty banning production of weapons-grade uranium & plutonium, but this week decided to oppose any inspections to enforce such a treaty. Well, they didn’t believe in the inspections in Iraq, either, and that went all right didn’t it? Didn’t it? The Bushies claim that inspectors would be too expensive--too expensive, to prevent stray plutonium being sold to the highest bidder? Didn’t we just spend $200 billion on a war to prevent the smoking gun being a mushroom cloud?

Evidently, in order to participate in a program for federal employees to give to charities through payroll deductions, those charities have to promise not to employ anyone on watch lists of suspected supporters of terrorism. Blacklists of suspected sympathizers, that’s not even slightly reminiscent of McCarthyism, is it? One definition of a police state is where the police have draconian powers; another is where many non-police organizations are expected to enforce the law. Why should charities be punishing terrorist-symps? The NYT says there is controversy within the ACLU, which signed such a promise, but will not look at the lists, and will not therefore knowingly hire such a person.
Update: once it became public, the ACLU pulled out of the program, foregoing $500,000 per year.

Two days ago I said that Kerry’s refusal to say whether the Iraq war was a war of choice or necessity undermined his line about never going to war because we want to. A letter in today’s NYT points out that Kerry said in his acceptance speech, "I defended this country as a young man." That does suggest a rather expansive definition of wars we "have to fight," since Vietnam is surely the most discretionary of all America’s wars. He used to know better.

Similarly, Chimpy is now attacking Kerry with the line "Results matter," although Shrub’s entire resumé and indeed his entire life constitute a definitive refutation of that idea.

Actually in a SJ Mercury interview (registration), Kerry refuses to say the Iraq war was a mistake, and his only goal is to reduce troop levels there to somewhat below where they are now by the end of his first term, 4½ years from now. Asked how he would create the stability in Iraq that he says is required before troop withdrawal, Kerry said, "There are a number of different game plans, none of which I can put in play until I'm president. I can't negotiate this publicly, and I'm not going to." Ah, so he has a secret plan (or actually "a number" of them), just like Richard Nixon.

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