[Marxism] The lesser evil--Help [for U.S. imperialism] Is on the Way

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Fri Jul 30 08:32:25 MDT 2004

[Forty thousand more troops; double the number of special forces; he 
fought for "Old Glory"; and he will continue to occupy Iraq "because we 
have to" (and to build permanent military bases)]

Now I know that there are those who criticize me for seeing 
complexities, and I do, because some issues just aren't all that 
simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't 
make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so. 
And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so.

As president, I will ask the hard questions and demand hard evidence. I 
will immediately reform the intelligence system so policy is guided by 
facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as president, I 
will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: The United States 
of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war 
because we have to. That is the standard of our nation.

I know what kids go through when they are carrying an M-16 in a 
dangerous place and they can't tell friend from foe. I know what they 
go through when they're out on patrol at night and they don't know 
what's coming around the next bend. I know what it's like to write 
letters home telling your family that everything's all right when 
you're just not sure that that's true.

As president, I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war. 
Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the 
eye and truthfully say: "I tried everything possible to avoid sending 
your son or daughter into harm's way. But we had no choice. We had to 
protect the American people, fundamental American values against a 
threat that was real and imminent." So lesson number one, this is the 
only justification for going to war.

And on my first day in office, I will send a message to every man and 
woman in our armed forces: You will never be asked to fight a war 
without a plan to win the peace.

I know what we have to do in Iraq. I know what we have to do in Iraq. 
We need a president who has the credibility to bring our allies to our 
side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, 
reduce the risk to American soldiers. That's the right way to get the 
job done and bring our troops home.

Here is the reality: That won't happen until we have a president who 
restores America's respect and leadership so we don't have to go it 
alone in the world.

And we need to rebuild our alliances, so we can get the terrorists 
before they get us.

I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as 
president. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force 
when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and a certain 
response. I will never give any nation or any institution a veto over 
our national security. And I will build a stronger military. We will 
add 40,000 active duty troops - not in Iraq, but to strengthen American 
forces that are now overstretched, overextended and under pressure. We 
will double our special forces to conduct terrorist [antiterrorist] 
operations. And we will provide our troops with the newest weapons and 
technology to save their lives and win the battle. And we will end the 
backdoor draft of the National Guard and reservists.

To all who serve in our armed forces today I say help is on the way.

As president I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror. We 
will deploy every tool in our arsenal - our economic as well as our 
military might; our principles as well as our firepower.

We need to make America once again a beacon in the world. We need to be 
looked up to, not just feared.

We need to lead a global effort against nuclear proliferation, to keep 
the most dangerous weapons in the world out of the most dangerous hands 
in the world.

We need a strong military. And we need to lead strong alliances. And 
then, with confidence and determination, we will be able to tell the 
terrorists: You will lose and we will win. The future doesn't belong to 
fear; it belongs to freedom.

You see that flag up there. We call her Old Glory. The Stars and 
Stripes forever. I fought under that flag, as did so many of those 
people who are here tonight and all across the country. That flag flew 
from the gun turret right behind my head. And it was shot through and 
through and tattered, but it never ceased to wave in the wind. It 
draped the caskets of men that I served with and friends I grew up 
with. For us that flag is the most powerful symbol of who we are and 
what we believe in. Our strength. Our diversity. Our love of country. 
All that makes America both great and good.

I learned a lot about these values on that gunboat patrolling the 
Mekong Delta with Americans, you saw them, who come from places as 
different as Iowa and Oregon, Arkansas, Florida, California. No one 
cared where we went to school. No one cared about our race or our 
backgrounds. We were literally all in the same boat. We looked out, one 
for the other. And we still do.

extracts from John Kerry's Democratic Party Acceptance Speech, 7/29/04

from Brian Shannon

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