Thomas Sowell
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 If someone applied to you for a job but didn't want to talk about what he has been doing in the last 20 years, wouldn't you be suspicious? Might you not think he was insulting your intelligence by expecting you to hire him on the basis of what he did decades ago?
 
Yet for the most important job in this country -- indeed, the most important job in the world -- Senator John Kerry has applied by talking about what he did in a wholly different job back in the 1960s.

 Never mind that people who were actually there with him in the 1960s dispute what a great job he did then. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that he did all the things he said he did and none of the things that eyewitnesses in Vietnam said he did. How does that qualify anyone to be President of the United States?

 The Kerry campaign and the liberal media want to make this election a referendum on President Bush, especially as regards Iraq. That too is an insult to our intelligence.

 If the same job applicant who won't discuss his own qualifications just keeps complaining about the performance of someone whose job he wants to take, would you think that was enough reason to hire him?

 Anybody can complain. Anybody can make great promises. And anybody can insult your intelligence by expecting you to vote for him on that basis.

 Has the war in Iraq gone according to plan? No! But name any war that did.

 Even World War II -- the "good war" of "the greatest generation" -- didn't go according to plan. The invasion of Normandy was a historic feat but lots of things went wrong.

 Our paratroops who were dropped behind enemy lines were dropped in the wrong places. Intelligence reports about the big gun emplacements our troops were supposed to knock out turned out to be wrong.

 Our own bombers accidentally dropped bombs on American troops, killing over a hundred men. We got caught completely by surprise by the German counter-attack that led to the Battle of the Bulge. But we won the war -- and that's the bottom line.

 Any Civil War buff can spend hours telling you all the mistakes that were made on both sides. Robert E. Lee, whom many regard as the greatest general in that war, was so mortified by one of his disasters that he offered his resignation.

 Mistakes in war are not new. What is new is a widespread lack of realism about war, especially among people who have never been in the military, who are like the proverbial little kid on a trip who keeps asking: "Are we there yet?"

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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