Tuesday, September 28, 2004

John 'Both Ways' Kerry
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

Has anyone noticed that many of Kerry's key issues here at home are completely disregarded as progress in Iraq? It seems that he wishes to have it both ways, yet again.

On Kerry's website (warning, enter at your own risk) National Security, Economy & Jobs, Health Care, Energy Independence, Homeland Security, Education, and Environment are the key issues on the sidebar leading to main pages highlighting his 'vision for America'. Well, I must say, when you look at these things point by point, if the issues are to be considered measures of success in a country, Iraq is being quite successful. Yet, his current position on the situation in Iraq seem to put blinders up for all of these issues.

National Security: For decades, Iraq had been on the receiving end of National Security Measures. After years of invasions and sanctions, Iraq can now become a part of the international community and work with allies to better protect both the Iraqi people and the world as a whole. Iraq's weapons programs are no longer a threat to other countries, which will do nothing but improve relations with peaceful neighbors and world military powers. Relations with the members of the world community have never been better... (unless you were one of the countries that was selling proscribed weapons to Saddam and Co.)

Economy and Jobs: This is a no brainer. Iraq is now a free market country. No longer does a person have to bribe government officials to get a business license. New businesses are popping up left and right, and people are finding jobs at an alarming rate. Government employees are getting paid regularly and sufficiently. The new currency is much more stable than Saddam's currency. And, now, the nation's oil revenues are going back to projects to help the citizens of Iraq rather than to fund new palaces and retreats for a dictator. Things are looking good in this area. Really good.

Health Care: This is a no brainer. Before the fall of Saddam, the spending per capita on health care in Iraq was less than one dollar. Now, more hospitals are open, proper medical equipment and training are available to the people, and doctors are actually getting paid. Visit Iraq the Model to see Iraq through the eyes of an Iraqi doctor, who has worked for both Saddam and now the new government. It is not debatable that Iraq's healthcare serves the citizens of Iraq much better than it has ever done under Saddam.

Energy Independence: Iraq is sitting above one of the largest energy stores on earth. So, being independent on energy is not really that big of an issue... Unless you can't get that energy to meet the needs of your people. The electrical output of Iraq is now well above the pre-war level, and it continues to grow. Sabotage has been a setback at many points in the recent past, yet the power output still grows. Even more important, perhaps, is the modernization of the electricity production and transmission systems. New generators are being installed, older generators are being updated and are getting maintenance that has been needed for years. Iraq's energy independence is well on track.

Homeland Security: Iraq has homeland security problems. That is obvious. But, in the first time in several decades, the government isn't the terrorist, the military's duty is to protect a free people rather than crush any opposing views, and very soon the military will be lead by publicly elected officials. As far as Iraq's homeland security goes, they are making steps toward being a self sufficient, terrorist free country like they have never done before. They have a way to go yet, but they are making great progress.

Education: Iraq now has a school system that is geared toward progress rather than the glorification of the dictator. Iraqi schools have been updated and rebuilt at a rate that Iraq has never seen. New textbooks are being used that offer a non-Saddam-filtered view of the world. University professors no longer must worry about teaching 'the wrong thing' and getting punished by a peeved dictator. Iraqi Students can now participate in international youth exchange programs and university students can now study abroad if they wish. Education is becoming accessible to all of the Iraqi youth. Teachers are getting paid regularly and sufficiently. Education in Iraq is not comparable to the abysmal state that existed under Saddam. This is a HUGE accomplishment.

Environment: Iraq has suffered decades of neglect and maltreatment on the environmental front. From the draining of one of the oldest civilized wetland areas in the world to the use of burning oil wells and oil pits as a national defense strategy, Iraq desperately needed some environmental help. Now, the wetlands are being restored and a people dependent on this wetland are returning to their normal lifestyle. Sewer systems are being updated from a general state of disrepair. Proper refuse collection sites are being created instead of using sports fields to fit that bill. New electrical appliances are being sold in Iraq which will run more efficiently than the old outdated appliances that currently exist. And, most importantly, there is no longer the environmental risk of a dictator striving to develop nuclear and chemical weapons. We no longer need to worry about the damage and clean-up required because of an Iraqi WMD attack.

So, I have shown that under each of Kerry's main points for success in the United States, Iraq is becoming quite successful. Yet, he claims that it is a pure quagmire with no hope of success. I want to know how someone can say that an issue has extreme importance in the United States, yet has absolutely no merit in another country that is emerging as a new democracy. We would not expect most people to make such claims, but we are beginning to expect it from Senator Kerry. He likes to have things both ways.

Give it up, Sen. Kerry. Why don't you quit emboldening the terrorists with the hope that you will be elected and immediately withdraw the troops. Why don't you tell your sister to stop preaching the same thing in Australia. Why don't you promote democracy instead of doubt its usefulness in the War on Terror. Why don't you strive for a higher standard of living all around the world, rather than just strive for a higher standard of living at home. Don't you realize that they are one in the same?


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