Unilateralism

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Let’s return now to the topic of unilateralism.

According to a speech John Kerry gave in Des Moines, Iowa on December 16, 2003,

this [past] Fall, the President addressed the UN General Assembly. Other nations stood ready to stand with us – to provide troops and funds to stabilize Iraq. But instead of asking for their help, the President repeated the old formulas of his unilateralism, raising the risk for American soldiers and the bill to the American treasury.

Kerry continued,

the price of unilateralism in Iraq is too high, and Americans are paying it – in resources that could be used for health care, education, and our security here at home. We are paying that price in respect lost around the world – respect we need to win the war not just in one country, but the global war on terror. . . .We must change a course of unilateralism and pre-emptive war that is radically wrong for America. Saddam’s capture offers even this Administration the chance to make change. And if we as Democrats are to change America, we cannot seek to replace the Bush unilateralism with confusion and retreat. Let’s bring in our allies, take the target off our troops, and let’s finally win the peace in Iraq.

The full text of Kerry’s speech is available here.
An Al-Qaeda linked group is taking responsibility for the bombing in Madrid. Some and positing that the attack may be coordinated between ETA and Al-Qaeda just as Al-Qaeda and the IRA have begun training together in South America.

Assuming the attack was related to or connected with Al-Qaeda, will John Kerry finally speak the truth — the United States did not act alone in Iraq. It has and continues to act with a “coalition of the willing” that includes allies like Spain, which suffered casualties in its capital city because it is willing to not yield to terrorists?

John Kerry can’t have it both ways. He is either ignorant of our foreign policy, which wouldn’t surprise me judging by his attendence record in the Senate last year, or he is willfully ignoring the contributions of our allies.

I am also here to say that the price of unilateralism in Iraq is too high, and Americans are paying it – in resources that could be used for health care, education, and our security here at home. We are paying that price in respect lost around the world – respect we need to win the war not just in one country, but the global war on terror. And most important, the price is paid in the lives of young Americans forced to shoulder the burden of this mission alone.

We cannot wrap our foreign policy around some warm and fuzzy notion combined with cutting our defense abroad to spend on health care and education at home. We either fight them there or we fight them here. The price of the multilateral strategy we are proceeding with that John Kerry ignores would be greater if we didn’t have allies like Spain.

When John Kerry says things like, “the price is paid in the lives of young Americans forced to shoulder the burden of this mission alone,” he does a disservice to the men and women who defend this country by making cheap, inaccurate political statements (Kerry doing a disservice to our military — you don’t say!) and he does a disservice to the men and women who had their blood spilled on the streets of Madrid yesterday.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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