The Wall Street Journal has reportedthe new Democratic 527 organization “Win Back Respect” – which recently aired a series of commercials accusing the president of secretly plotting to bring back the draft – is set to air a campaign ad featuring the father-in-law of one of the 9/11 victims criticizing George W. Bush’s foreign policy. (Remember the outrage when George W. Bush featured a few seconds of 9/11 footage in a campaign commercial?) In a commercial entitled “Squandered,” the victim-for-hire tells his audience:
There was a tremendous amount of sympathy for America and for what we suffered. George Bush, frankly, has squandered it. I think our friends and allies would be willing to help us in a war on terror, but we’ve been pushing them away.
The charge is a familiar one. For months, Democrats including John Kerry, John Edwards, Jimmy Carter, and Ted Kennedy have accused President Bush of “wasting” the “unprecedented goodwill” of the post-9/11 world through one “unilateral” action after another, most especially the liberation of Iraq. The Kerry campaign even adopted the slogan, “Stronger at Home, Respected in the World,” to emphasize his desire to cater to the French and Germans.
However, the facts demonstrate that whatever “unprecedented goodwill” existed in the wake of tragedy was, at best, a momentary respite in a continuous history of continental anti-Americanism.
What French Goodwill?
A French editorial supposedly embodied the pinnacle of pro-American sentiment. The day after 9/11, the influential French publication Le Monde ran the headline, “We Are All Americans.” However, the story’s contents belied its headline. It concludes the terrorists responded to American foreign policy, and thus, “America gave birth to this devil.” George Cohan this isn’t.
This concluding sentence is more in keeping with Le Monde editorial policy than its headline. Just weeks before 9/11, one of the periodical’s cartoonists depicted “Uncle Sam with a death’s head, glowering at a globe dripping in blood. In his right hand, the Uncle Sam figure clutches [a] cigar with the dollar sign on it.”
Its writers soon returned to form. One week after 9/11, in the pages of Le Monde, Marie-José Mondzain of the National Center for Scientific Research alleged that the Americans had perpetrated 9/11 against themselves.
This conspiracy theory proved to have legs in the land of Gaul. Thierry Meyssan – who created an anti-American deck of cards featuring the “Most Wanted Americans” in response to the Coalition’s terrorist list – alleged in his bestseller 9/11: The Big Lie that Americans torched the Pentagon and Twin Towers in order to justify our exorbitant Defense budget. Meyssan’s tome, which had been some time in writing, was released on August 1, 2002 – well before President Bush asked the UN Security Council to pass Resolution 1441, authorizing “serious consequences” for Saddam’s non-compliance. Meyssan’s book was an instant, nationwide bestseller.
This shrill anti-Americanism is no more a new phenomenon inspired by Operation Iraqi Freedom than Islamist terrorism is a new development inspired by the stalled Mideast peace talks. During the Cold War, Charles De Gaulle regularly denounced “les deux hegemonies,” and the French saw themselves more as a “counterbalance” to American power than its local steward. Both they and John Kerry opposed Ronald Reagan’s policy of stationing missiles in western Europe – one of the far-sighted moves that led both to the INF Treaty and, indirectly, to the Soviet Union’s ultimate downfall.
What has led to this turn of events, and how would the Left change things?
According to John Kerry, two other “unilateral” Bush actions “squandered” this fertile foreign compassion: the rejection of the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court. But Kyoto’s “rejection” happened before 9/11, and Bill Clinton had refused to ask the Senate to ratify this deeply flawed treaty for the last three years of his presidency. Nonetheless, Kerry raised the issue during the presidential debates, simultaneously criticizing President Bush for not vetoing spending bills he had negotiated both parties on Capitol Hill and blasting him for “walk[ing] away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years.”
Bush’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court has also raised Kerry’s ire. “The Bush administration needlessly alienated our friends and allies by its ham-handed approach to the issue of the International Criminal Court,” the Kerry campaign told the ABA Journal, the publication of the American Bar Association. Bush rightly assumed the ICC would indict American “criminals” before it would punish Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein (who, if Kerry had his way, would still be in power – in Kuwait City). The ICC would have proven to be a kangaroo court, where American soldiers could be judged by the finest legal minds Iran and Libya ever produced.
Nonetheless, Kerry believes reversing course on these two actions and inviting “Old Europe” to share in Iraq’s reconstruction profits would entice foreign troops to fight in Fallujah.
EU Help Isn’t on the Way
The French and Germans tell another story.
A Financial Times article interviewing several foreign leaders contained several telling quotations:
“I cannot imagine that there will be any change in our decision not to send troops, whoever becomes president,” Gert Weisskirchen, member of parliament and foreign policy expert for Germany’s ruling Social Democratic Party, said in an interview…
Michel Barnier, the French foreign minister, said [last month] that France, which has tense relations with interim prime minister Iyad Allawi, had no plans to send troops “either now or later.”
Thus, whoever is president, foreign troops will not be bailing out U.S. GIs. Put another way, John Kerry’s foreign policy consists of groveling with no hope of relief.
Dividing America for Fun and Electoral Votes
John Kerry knows these facts. However, he continues to malign the War on Terror – and to use incendiary rhetoric (both in person and through his surrogates) that divides Americans and harms our credibility overseas. After all, when the next potential commander-in-chief says Iraq was a mistake and a distraction, Iraqi terrorists may well take him at his word.
American leftists do, as well. In the third debate, John Kerry told moderator Bob Schieffer, “I regret to say that the president who called himself a uniter, not a divider, is now presiding over the most divided America in the recent memory of our country.” (He then pledged to pass John McCain’s campaign finance reform bill, which President Bush signed nearly three years ago.)
However, it is the so-called liberals who have done the dividing. Although they accuse their opponents of questioning their patriotism, during the week of the Democratic convention Ted Kennedy labeled Republicans “false patriots”; Howard Dean demeaned the “false patriotism” of “those who disagree with us”; and Teresa Heinz Kerry famously lied to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer about calling Republicans “un-American.” (She had previously called Messrs. Bush and Cheney “unpatriotic.”)
Kerry has also divided Americans from our actual allies, denouncing the dozens of nations working with us in Iraq as the “Coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted.”
Non-U.S. Coalition members have already sacrificed 139 of their own soldiers, not including civilians kidnapped or beheaded around the world, nor the victims of the Madrid train bombing.
Meanwhile, the facts continue to surface that Saddam Hussein granted France, Germany, and Russia large economic interests in Ba’athist success. Saddam diverted UN “Oil-for-Food” funds from starving Iraqi children to French and Russian officials to purchase their UN Security Council veto. Just who is being “bribed, coerced,” “bought,” and “extorted”?
The truth is the “Axis of Weasel” has long despised America. No amount of pre-emptive surrender will cause them to contribute soldiers to fight in Iraq, and the Left’s continuing demagoguery to the contrary has deliberately divided Americans for short-term political gain.
There is a way to win the War on Terror. Praising our diplomatic nemeses while belittling our allies is not the way to achieve that goal. But John Kerry hopes it is the path to victory two weeks from today.
This article originally appeared as the lead story on Thursday, October 14, 2004, on FrontPage Magazine.