WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When it comes to the war in Iraq, John Kerry has been steadfastly ambivalent. One day he's for it; the next day, he's not. In his own words, he voted for $87 billion to fund the war, before he voted against the same $87 billion. He has vehemently criticized the war in Iraq, but now says that he'd vote for it again. About the only statement on Iraq Kerry has made consistently is that he would "internationalize" the effort.
Whatever "internationalize? means to Kerry, it's an unsettling and increasingly popular term. One need not be a wild-eyed xenophobe to feel a certain sense of anxiety when it is used in sentences concerning our national security.
Kerry insists he can "win the peace" in Iraq by gaining more support from foreign countries. But the war isn't the only American dilemma Kerry believes would benefit from an "international? solution. On Aug.11, while campaigning in Nevada, Kerry announced that instead of storing dangerous nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, as recommended by years of study, planning and research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, we should instead establish an "international" panel to tell us how and where America should store its nuclear waste. Unfortunately, John Kerry isn't the only one in Washington who has found an "international solution? for many American challenges.
Just a few days ago, I returned from my fourth sojourn in Iraq for Fox News. During each trip to the war zone, I have seen U.S. Marines and soldiers employing 240G machine guns -- made by Fabrique Nationale -- a Belgian company. The "Two Forty Golf,? as the troops refer to the weapon, is an excellent medium machine gun. It has now all but replaced the venerable American-made M-60 that was the U.S. weapon of choice from Vietnam to the first Gulf War. On their hips, nearly all American military personnel carry a 9mm pistol -- made by Beretta, an Italian company. Like the 240-G, the Beretta sidearm is lighter and has a higher rate of fire than the weapon it replaced -- the M-1911A1 .45 caliber pistol that saved my life in 1969.
Both the 240G machine gun and the Beretta 9mm pistol have their supporters and detractors, and "old hands? can frequently be heard regaling the "new breed? of soldiers and Marines about the merits of the older, now discarded, U.S.-made weapons. But the problems inherent in buying foreign-made arms are far more complex and important than what one hears in an infantry chow line.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.