I have a few more questions about John Kerry's foreign policy and national security "vision," as laid out (or not) in his convention speech and elsewhere.
You say, Mr. Kerry, that President Bush burned bridges with our allies in going to war against Iraq precipitously. How exactly did he burn those bridges? It surely wasn't that he failed to consult -- tirelessly -- with those nations, because he did.
He asked France, Germany and Russia to join the coalition. They refused. He asked them again and again, and they refused. At that point, what should Mr. Bush, as commander in chief, have done?
Should he have shared all of our intelligence with them to try to persuade them of Saddam's WMD programs? I'm sure he did, but it wouldn't have mattered, because they already believed it anyway. As you know, Mr. Kerry, these nations were all quite convinced, independent of what we told them, that Saddam was actively engaged in acquiring WMD. But they were unmoved.
What else, then, should we have done to try to convince them to join us? You've said, quite cryptically, that as president you would have multiple bargaining chips at your disposal to use in negotiations with foreign countries. Are we to assume that you would use these chips as leverage to pressure recalcitrant nations into joining our coalition against their will? How would you fulfill your promise to enhance our relations with these nations while bullying them into war? Is that what you mean by your commitment to conduct a more "sensitive" war on terror?
Or, in order to stay on the good side of "Old Europe," would you yield, alter your course and decline to strike Iraq? If so, would you then be breaking your pledge not to confer a veto power on other nations over our national security interests?
You've also said that you have a great deal of experience -- some 20 years -- dealing and negotiating with foreign countries and foreign leaders. Since the Constitution vests the executive power in the president, can you tell us which leaders you negotiated with and pursuant to what authority?
What possible bargaining chips could you have played as a lone congressman in dealing with any foreign leader? Surely you weren't conspiring with them against a sitting president. So please tell us specifically you're talking about.
Do you stand by your party's equivocal platform plank that reasonable people may disagree on whether we should have gone to war against Iraq? Is that based on what we know now or what we thought we knew prior to going to war?
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