Kerry dead wrong on defense

By Nick Arhos

In the 1970s, Sen. John Kerry believed that American troops should be deployed only with U.N. approval.

In 1984, he called for the elimination of many major U.S. weapons systems that are important to our modern defense.

In 1991, he voted against Desert Storm.

In 2003, he voted against ammunition, body armor and spare parts – $87 billion funding – for our troops. At the time of the vote, the anti-war liberal Howard Dean’s message was very popular; so Kerry embraced it. Some would say he chose political benefit over supporting our troops.

Moreover, Kerry says the U.S. needs to pass a “global test” before it takes military action. Friends, the good old ‘70s must be back.

Now, I am politically moderate and honor both candidates; I would never personally attack either one of them. It is not my place. But Kerry has been wrong on defense issues for more than 25 years and is still wrong.

He belittles the contributions of our allies around the world by saying, as he did in the second presidential debate, that the president failed to “build a ‘true’ global coalition,” calling them the “coalition of the coerced and bribed.” As Bush would say, “That just ain’t smart.”

These are the allies that have accounted for 50 percent of the casualties in Iraq, forgiven Iraq of $80 billion in debts and provided $15 billion in aid to Iraq. There is a total of 30 countries – almost the same as the Gulf War.

And if Kerry’s demeaning of our friends in public isn’t enough, he’s described the Iraq war – which he voted for – and that our allies continue to contribute to, as the “wrong war, wrong place, wrong time.”

No one can refute the reality that Saddam Hussein was a danger to the United States and the world (even Kerry, before he changed his position on that, too), even if the reasons given for going to war were a little ambiguous.

Unlike Iran and North Korea, Iraq was on the list of State Terror sponsors and had connections with the second Bin Laden, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and the terrorist behind most of the car bombings and beheadings in Iraq today. Iraq also established relations with the terrorist Abu Nidal, who had worked from Baghdad.

Hussein paid $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers.

The director of the CIA even said before the Committee on Foreign Relations that there was a 10-year relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaida.

And Iraq violated more than 17 U.N. Security Council resolutions. War was necessary.

Now, John Kerry is an honorable man. But his judgments on defense in the past and present are frightening too many.

The U.N. is important, but not more important than our sovereignty.

We need strong allies. Yet the world must have a certain fear of the United States.

Kerry is seen by many as a liberal who’s unfit to embrace these patriotic American ideals. I tend to agree.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.