BAGHDAD, Iraq -- To listen to John Kerry explain his position(s) on Iraq is to submit oneself to mental torture. In the first debate between the presidential candidates, Kerry explained that President Bush embarked upon a grand diversion from the War on Terror -- a grand diversion that Kerry said he would continue.
Bush, Kerry says, made a "colossal error of judgment" on Iraq -- a "colossal error of judgment" that Kerry voted to support. Kerry accused the president of alienating our allies -- i.e., the French and Germans -- only to then trash our staunchest allies in the War on Terror.
Kerry accused Bush of having a "go-it-alone" attitude that he employed to arrogantly attack Saddam Hussein instead of allowing the United Nations to direct America's national security. His running mate, John Edwards, joined the attack during his debate with Vice President Dick Cheney, alleging that Operation Iraqi Freedom is a catastrophic failure and a military operation totally unrelated to the War on Terror.
These guys could use two front row seats at a good motivational seminar. They clearly don't understand the tenets of leadership when they change their positions as often as they do. They don't understand the effect their carping criticisms have on the troops on the ground and their families back home when they charge that Americans are dying for a mistake.
They don't understand the nature of warfare or the nature of this enemy when they suggest that the War on Terror can be neatly wrapped up in a matter of months. The United States will be engaged in a prolonged offensive against terrorists at home and abroad for many years. That offensive is, and will continue to be, fought with military, diplomatic, legal, financial, law enforcement and homeland security efforts.
Our commander in chief understands that and has conveyed that message not only to our troops on the ground but also to the citizens of this country. Bush understands that victory is made more difficult when carping critics like Kerry and Edwards rally the masses to the cause of appeasement.
In spite of what the naysayers preach, there are positive signs to be embraced. After the attacks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration moved the war front from New York, Washington and Pennsylvania to Afghanistan and then Iraq. Would Kerry rather fight the terrorists here in our own country? The administration also rounded up thousands of Al Qaeda members who would have carried out attacks in the United States, and neutralized the danger they posed to American citizens.
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.