Blog of Mass Distraction

Friday, October 01, 2004

Kerry won, I guess...

Ok, so the debates went off pretty much as expected. The first rich guy questioned the actions of the second rich guy. The second rich guy said the first rich guy can't make decisions.
But seriously, the main topics of discussion were Iraq, nuclear weapons, North Korea, Iran, and national security; though virtually everything that was said was disingenuous. There were a couple of topics where they were being at least somewhat frank about their actions. But when there's that much dishonesty, some truth may happen to slip out.
Both candidates made plain their support for the right to first strike of the US. Both of them support the right of the United States to unilaterally make preemptive attacks on any country. Kerry said "No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America." Of course the word 'protect' can be used as loosely as desired. They can, and have, made preemptive strikes to protect US interests, or the interests of specific people. But that's all part of their first strike doctrine.
Bush also made clear his opposition to the International Criminal Court. He was against the idea of "a body based in The Hague where unaccountable judges and prosecutors can pull our troops or diplomats up for trial." Bush didn't bother mentioning why the ICC would ever want to put those people on trial, but I'm surprised he mentioned this in the way he did. Sure he said they're unaccountable judges, but saying that US troops and diplomats would be on trial in the International Criminal Court (which only tries war crimes and crimes against humanity) seems like he's entering taboo subject area. Perhaps he fumbled his statements and meant to say (what the US has been parroting as their standard dismissal of the ICC) that US enemies would use the ICC for political attack against America.
One thing that sort of shocked me, and really surprised me when no one picked up on it, was a statement that Kerry made about Iran. While criticizing the Bush administration policy on Iran, he mentioned that he would have offered Iran nuclear material. Maybe it was because he mentioned it so breifly that no one noticed, but really... offering nuclear material to what is considered an enemy state? It seems down right crazy; and to say it during the debate! I thought for a little while there that I might have been mistaken, but it's right there in the transcript. "I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes." Oh hell, they sold weapons to the moo-lahs before; maybe selling nukular material to Iran wouldn't be such a drastic policy shift after all.


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