T Nation

NYT Magazine Kerry Piece

Seems to have become somewhat controversial, particularly the analogy Kerry set up between prostitution and gambling on the one hand, and terrorism on the other.

The initial line of defense from the Kerry camp has been “You’re taking that quote out of context.” However, usually when that is your argument, you describe how the context led to the proper interpretation. I think the analogy was intentional, and it shows a clear distinction in addressing terrorism as a war versus addressing it as a law-enforcement activity.

Here’s the link to the whole piece:

Here’s Professor Eugene Volokh’s commentary on this, from this weekend:

[Eugene Volokh, October 10, 2004 at 7:47pm] Possible Trackbacks
Terrorism and prostitution:

From a long and interesting article in today’s New York Times Magazine:

"When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance," Kerry said. "As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life."

I see Kerry’s point: Terrorists, unlike Nazi Germany or the USSR, can’t be entirely defeated, because there’ll always be the possibility that some more springing up. We can end the war on some particular terrorists by killing them all or getting them to stop, but we can’t end the war on terrorism generally that way. The best we can hope for is that there’ll be a lot fewer terrorist attacks. That’s certainly an important point, and it’s worth keeping in mind.

But what remarkable analogies Kerry started with: prostitution and illegal gambling. The way law enforcement has dealt with prostitution and illegal gambling is by occasionally trying to shut down the most visible and obvious instances, tolerating what is likely millions of violations of the law per year, de jure legalizing many sorts of gambling, and de jure legalizing one sort of prostitution in Nevada, and de facto legalizing many sorts of prostitution almost everywhere; as best I can tell, “escort services” are very rarely prosecuted, to the point that they are listed in the Yellow Pages.

These are examples of practical surrender, or at least a cease-fire punctuated by occasional but largely half-hearted and ineffectual sorties. It’s true that illegal gambling and prostitution aren’t “threatening the fabric of [American] life,” but that’s because they never threatened it that much in the first place. One can live in a nation with millions of acts of prostitution or illegal gambling per year or per day. There are good reasons for simply calling off those wars altogether. Surely the strategy for dealing with terrorism must be very different, in nearly every conceivable way, from the strategy for dealing with prostitution or illegal gambling. (Maybe if Kerry had simply compared terrorism to organized crime, the analogy might have been a bit closer. But even there, it would be pretty distant, and in any event “organized crime” seemed in his quote to be a way of characterizing certain kinds of prostitution or illegal gambling offenses ? he didn’t even refer to the more harmful forms of organized crime.)

I realize that quotes in newspaper articles (yes, even in the New York Times) can be taken out of context. Still, this was a pretty long and self-contained quote, which suggests that Kerry was indeed making this analogy, and making it deliberately. And it strikes me as a singularly inapt analogy to make, an analogy that ought to make one question its user’s underlying thinking about the problem.

BB,

I think this is perhaps THE most ridiculous thing the Bush camp has tried to misconstrue. People with brains don’t need explained to them what was really being said by Kerry vs. what Bush would like you to believe he’s said. Further, what Kerry said (and perhaps even the way Bush has tried to misrepresent it) is perfectly reasonable and defensable!

The truth is – to any reasonable mind – that terrorism can never be completely obliterated…how could it since anyone at anytime can commit an act of terrorism? What Kerry was saying is that it is only reasonable to hope to “contain” terrorism, and if acts of terrorism came to the level that they were only “nuisances” – what more can we ask for!!!

Bush himself has said, quite literally, that the war is not winnable (but he reversed that remark the following day…flip/flop!), and it isn’t…so he must have had himself a kool aid free moment!

This campaign is going to get so nasty up until 11/2. I think Rove is starting to sweat a bit and is digging into his vast bag of snake tricks.

It’s high time the formula of ‘dumb=good’ began declining in this country. Getting the perpetuator of idiocy, fear tactics on the people, religious zealotism and senseless flagwaving to cover it all out of office. A president MUST be smart and care for the middle class, vote for the smart guy, damnit! Don’t allow any party throw a dumb monkey as a candidate and expect your unalterable vote. America has totally lost it’s reputation and respect, and rightfully so. The thinking and hardworking good people of the US have been misrepresented by cretins and rich moguls. The latter are the minority in contrast to what Fox News tells you, let that be known!

It’s useless

Geez RSU -

Have you and the Kerry gang already started waving the white flag? Are you guys already practicing your French diplomacy?

It’s a good thing we had a principled leader in the 80’s who refused to accept the proposition that we would always have communism as a nuisance when he was winning the cold war.

Quitter’s, apologists, and the French will always find themselves on the wrong side of history.

You’ve misunderstood me, rainjack. The point is that terrorism is something that can’t be adequately defined, much less obliterated. “Wiping out” terrorism is simply not realistic, just like “world peace” is unrealistic. It is still an important goal, however, even knowing that falling short of perfection is inevitable.

BTW, RSU, I’m not only referencing that quote, although it’s become the centerpiece – have you read that whole piece? It completely captures my point.

RSU:

I don’t want a President who thinks that we have to live the rest of our lives in fear of another attack on our shores. John Kerry is not ready (and never will be) to become President!

Wiping out the current source of terrorism is very “realistic.” I’m surprised that you would swallow Kerry’s line so readily.

Hmm. I think some of my posts from early this morning got eaten by the ether. No matter – I’ll put them together and post again.

Firstly this is much less about the “nuisance” idea than about the way Kerry is looking at terrorism. He’s looking at it like a law-enforcement excercise rather than as a war – and that’s what his advisors are doing as well. It’s a different mindset than what I think is required to provide leadership on the War on Terror.

“We’re not in a war on terror, in the literal sense,” says Richard Holbrooke, the Clinton-era diplomat who could well become Kerry’s secretary of state. “The war on terror is like saying ‘the war on poverty.’ It’s just a metaphor. What we’re really talking about is winning the ideological struggle so that people stop turning themselves into suicide bombers.”

The War on Terror is NOT like the War on Poverty, or even like the War on Drugs.

When you’re at war you don’t demand the standard of proof required in a courtroom; when you’re at war you’re much more willing to be wrong about the application of force against the enemy because you understand the size of the stakes in terms of losses to you if you don’t deal with a threat; when you’re at war you’re proactive, and your aim is ferret out and destroy the enemy. While propaganda and psych ops should definitely be utilized. When you’re at war you realize that sometimes you need to sacrifice because the size of failure is too immense to allow it to happen.

Kerry views the War on Terror as a police excerise. Reactive, investigative, and drawn-out. This is not what I want in a leader, post 9/11.

Then of course there is this great take by James Lileks – I love how he turns his phrases:

http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/04/1004/101104.html
[Scroll down to the bottom if you follow the link]

When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. “We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance,” Kerry said. “As a former law-enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.”

Tony Soprano doesn?t take over schools and shoot kids in the back. The doxies of the Bunny Ranch don?t train at flight schools to ram brothels into skyscrapers.

A nuisance?

A nuisance? I don?t want the definition of success of terrorism to be ?it isn?t on the rise.? I want the definition of success to be ?free democratic states in the Middle East and the cessation of support of those governments and fascist states we haven?t gotten around to kicking in the ass yet.? I want the definition of success to mean a free Lebanon and free Iran and a Saudi Arabia that realizes there?s no point in funding the fundies. An Egypt that stops pouring out the Jew-hatred as a form of political novacaine to keep the citizens from turning their ire on their own government. I want the definition of success to mean that Europe takes a stand against the Islamicist radicals in their midst before the Wahabbi poison is the only acceptable strain on the continent. Mosquito bites are a nuisance. Cable outages are a nuisance. Someone shooting up a school in Montana or California or Maine on behalf of the brave martyrs of Fallujah isn’t a nuisance. It’s war.

But that’s not the key phrase. This matters: We have to get back to the place we were.

But when we were there we were blind. When we were there we losing. When we were there we died. We have to get back to the place we were. We have to get back to 9/10? We have to get back to the place we were. So we can go through it all again? We have to get back to the place we were. And forget all we?ve learned and done? We have to get back to the place we were. No. I don?t want to go back there. Planes into towers. That changed the terms. I am remarkably disinterested in returning to a place where such things are unimaginable. Where our nighmares are their dreams.

We have to get back to the place we were.

No. We have to go the place where they are.

Also, here’s Eugene Volokh on the Kerry analogy:

[Eugene Volokh, October 10, 2004 at 11:12pm] Possible Trackbacks
An analogy about analogies:

Here’s a thought experiment related to the Kerry quote below. Let’s say that in response to a sharp increase in the number of rapes, or of racist anti-black violence, or anti-Semitic violence, a President John Kerry had declared War on Rape / War on Racism / War on Anti-Semitism (a somewhat more metaphorical war than the War on Terrorism, but still close enough).

Let’s also say that Governor George W. Bush, who was challenging President Kerry in the presidential election wanted to argue that this is a different sort of war, one in which we can’t expect total victory. He certainly wasn’t arguing that nothing should be done about racism, anti-black violence, or anti-Semitic violence. He had his own proposals, though ones that Kerry’s supporters thought weren’t tough enough, and were otherwise misguided. But he wanted to point out that we should be realistic about this: We shouldn’t talk the rhetoric of total victory, where we had to realize that some background level of rape, anti-black violence, or anti-Semitic violence was inevitable. And let’s say that this is how he made this point:

"We have to get back to the place we were, where [rapists / Klansmen / anti-Semitic attackers] are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life."

The letter of this argument is quite correct: Indeed, even the best strategy could at best just reduce the incidence of rape, anti-black violence, and anti-Semitic violence to a level that, while regrettable, is in some sense tolerable.

But would we be happy with Governor Bush’s use of the analogy to prostitution or illegal gambling (for more details, see below)? Or would we think that, though the letter is accurate, the use of such an analogy seems inconsistent with the spirit that we’re looking for in someone who can effectively fight the very serious evils that need to be fought?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
“What we’re really talking about is winning the ideological struggle so that people stop turning themselves into suicide bombers.”[/quote]

I really don’t understand how you can argue this point or why you find it so flawed. We’re never going to wipe out terrorism with bombs and prison camps. Repressed people, whether they suffer real or imaginged repression, will resort to violence by whatever means are at their disposal. The “terrorists” in Gaza throw rocks at armed soldiers if that is the only tool available to them.

This “war or terror” is an ideological struggle, and waging it with firepower alone dooms us to eventual defeat. Bush is never going to “get” that, and our children will grow up knowing nothing but war and violence. A more openly violent us-against-them version of the cold war.

Time to change that mentality at the top, and move towards removing the cause instead of treating the symptoms.

[quote]tme wrote:
BostonBarrister wrote:
“What we’re really talking about is winning the ideological struggle so that people stop turning themselves into suicide bombers.”

I really don’t understand how you can argue this point or why you find it so flawed. We’re never going to wipe out terrorism with bombs and prison camps. Repressed people, whether they suffer real or imaginged repression, will resort to violence by whatever means are at their disposal. The “terrorists” in Gaza throw rocks at armed soldiers if that is the only tool available to them.

This “war or terror” is an ideological struggle, and waging it with firepower alone dooms us to eventual defeat. Bush is never going to “get” that, and our children will grow up knowing nothing but war and violence. A more openly violent us-against-them version of the cold war.

Time to change that mentality at the top, and move towards removing the cause instead of treating the symptoms.
[/quote]

My point isn’t that it should be fought with firepower alone. My point is that it should be fought as a real, military war, not a police action. The real, military war can have as part of its strategy converting the hearts and minds (propaganda, psych-ops), as well as stomping out all those Wahhibi schools that create the bombers.

I read this on Boortz’s site yesterday. To me, he nails the issue right on the head, but I am sure the ones on the left will disagree with his comments.

A NUISANCE?

The election is still 22 days away, but John Kerry may have just put another nail in his own coffin. The Poodle gave an interview to the New York Times Magazine, and in it he was asked “what it would take for Americans to feel safe again.” sKerry’s astonishing reply? ''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance."

A nuisance? Get back to where we were? This is a stunning admission. Just when was terrorism merely a nuisance to Americans? Before 9/11? Evidently that’s Kerry’s perception. Kerry has publicly stated that he wants to return to the pre-911 Clinton policies whereby Islamic terrorism was treated like a law enforcement problem. He wants to go back to the time where America was repeatedly attacked over a 20-year period, yet we did virtually nothing to retaliate. After all, we treated the terrorists like they were a nuisance.

Will Kerry tell the families of the American sailors killed on the USS Cole that the Islamic murderers who killed them were just a mere nuisance? How about the families of the Marines killed in the Khobar towers in 1996? Kerry was in the Senate on that terrible day … and we heard no call for firm action from him.

How about the Israeli families who lost children when Palestinian terrorists attacked Israeli schools? What a nuisance that was! Do you know how long it takes to clean up all that blood and stuff?

Well, as we found out on September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists are not a nuisance. They are a threat to freedom and an evil menace that has to be crushed. But it’s Bush who wants to destroy them, not Kerry. Once the Islamic terrorists have been reduced to a mere nuisance level, Kerry will be able to turn his attention to other matters, like raising taxes on the evil rich (apparently another nuisance) and expanding the reach of the Imperial Federal Government with trillions more in federal spending.

Wait! There’s more! Listen to what else Kerry had to say:

"As a former law enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.’’

Oh really? We’re going to compare Islamic jihadists flying airplanes into buildings and slaughtering 3,000 innocent people with prostitutes or someone taking a bet on a football game? Unbelievable. He is comparing terrorism to a victimless crime that society tolerates. In other words, he’s saying that we should just learn to live with the terrorism, as long as there’s just not too much of it. Maybe we ought to establish terror districts in major cities. If we can just limit the killings to certain neighborhoods everything will be hunky dory.

The Bush camp is jumping on this big-time, and they should. The ads will start rolling soon on this one. The United States is engaged in a struggle against terrorism and the Democratic nominee for president of the United States is calling it a nuisance.

Like the TV ads are going to say…how can Kerry fight the war on terror when he doesn’t even understand the threat?

[quote]tme wrote:

This “war or terror” is an ideological struggle, and waging it with firepower alone dooms us to eventual defeat. Bush is never going to “get” that, and our children will grow up knowing nothing but war and violence. A more openly violent us-against-them version of the cold war.

Time to change that mentality at the top, and move towards removing the cause instead of treating the symptoms.
[/quote]

Afghanistan just held open and free elections for the first time ever. Iraq is slated to do the same thing in less than 4 months.

To say that Bush is only treating ‘symptoms’ of terrorism is just not true. What better way to win the war on terror than by having the people decide for themselves that they no longer want to be a party to the death and destruction islamo-terrist regimes support?

In the meantime, it is a military action. We kill them before they kill us. Kerry wants to admit defeat before the war is completed.

rainjack –

I totally agree with your analogy of Iraq and Afghanistan – remember when Afghanistan was the “unwinnable quagmire”?

I find it hard to argue with Rudy Giuliani’s take on Kerry’s analogy and attitude toward the War on Terror:

Monday, October 11, 2004
Remarks by Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in Conference Call Today

ARLINGTON, VA - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivered the following remarks in a Bush-Cheney '04 conference call today:

"For some time, and including when I spoke at the Republican Convention, I?ve wondered exactly what John Kerry?s approach would be to terrorism and I?ve wondered whether he had the conviction, the determination, and the focus, and the correct worldview to conduct a successful war against terrorism. And his quotations in the New York Times yesterday make it clear that he lacks that kind of committed view of the world. In fact, his comments are kind of extraordinary, particularly since he thinks we used to before September 11 live in a relatively safe world. He says we have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they?re a nuisance.

"I?m wondering exactly when Senator Kerry thought they were just a nuisance. Maybe when they attacked the USS Cole? Or when they attacked the World Trade Center in 1993? Or when they slaughtered the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972? Or killed Leon Klinghoffer by throwing him overboard? Or the innumerable number of terrorist acts that they committed in the 70s, the 80s and the 90s, leading up to September 11?

"This is so different from the President?s view and my own, which is in those days, when we were fooling ourselves about the danger of terrorism, we were actually in the greatest danger. When you don?t confront correctly and view realistically the danger that you face, that?s when you?re at the greatest risk. When you at least realize the danger and you begin to confront it, then you begin to become safer. And for him to say that in the good old days ? I?m assuming he means the 90s and the 80s and the 70s – they were just a nuisance, this really begins to explain a lot of his inconsistent positions on how to deal with it because he?s not defining it correctly.

"As a former law enforcement person, he says ?I know we?re never going to end prostitution. We?re never going to end illegal gambling. But we?re going to reduce it.? This is not illegal gambling; this isn?t prostitution. Having been a former law enforcement person for a lot longer than John Kerry ever was, I don?t understand his confusion. Even when he says ?organized crime to a level where it isn?t not on the rise,? it was not the goal of the Justice Department to just reduce organized crime. It was the goal of the Justice Department to eliminate organized crime. Was there some acceptable level of organized crime: two families, instead of five, or they can control one union but not the other?

The idea that you can have an acceptable level of terrorism is frightening. How do you explain that to the people who are beheaded or the innocent people that are killed, that we?re going to tolerate a certain acceptable [level] of terrorism, and that acceptable level will exist and then we?ll stop thinking about it? This is an extraordinary statement. I think it is not a statement that in any way is ancillary. I think this is the core of John Kerry?s thinking. This does create some consistency in his thinking.

"It is consistent with his views on Vietnam: that we should have left and abandoned Vietnam. It is consistent with his view of Nicaragua and the Sandinistas. It is consistent with his view of opposing Ronald Reagan at every step of the way in the arms buildup that was necessary to destroy communism. It is consistent with his view of not supporting the Persian Gulf War, which was another extraordinary step. Whatever John Kerry?s global test is, the Persian Gulf War certainly would pass anyone?s global test. If it were up to John Kerry, Saddam Hussein would not only still be in power, but he?d still be controlling Kuwait.

"Finally, what he did after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, where I guess at that point terrorism was still just a nuisance. He must have thought that because that?s why he proposed seriously reducing our intelligence budget, when you would think someone who was really sensitive to the problem of terrorism would have done just the opposite. I think that rather than being some aberrational comment, it is the core of the John Kerry philosophy: that terrorism is no different than domestic law enforcement problems, and that the best we?re ever going to be able to do is reduce it, so why not follow the more European approach of compromising with it the way Europeans did in the 70s and the 80s and the 90s?

"This is so totally different than what I think was the major advance that President Bush made ? significant advance that he made in the Bush Doctrine on September 20, 2001, when he said we?re going to face up to terrorism and we?re going to do everything we can to defeat it, completely. There?s no reason why we have to tolerate global terrorism, just like there?s no reason to tolerate organized crime.

“So I think this is a seminal issue, this is one that explains or ties together a lot of things that we?ve talked about. Even this notion that the Kerry campaign was so upset that the Vice President and others were saying that he doesn?t understand the threat of terrorism; that he thinks it?s just a law enforcement action. It turns out the Vice President was right. He does and maybe this is a difference, maybe this is an honest difference that we really should debate straight out. He thinks that the threat is not as great as at least the President does, and I do, and the Vice President does.”

[quote]ZEB wrote:
RSU:

I don’t want a President who thinks that we have to live the rest of our lives in fear of another attack on our shores. [/quote]

This is exactly what we experience now and will continue to experience under Bush…he’s constantly throwing the threat in our faces and threatening increased odds of attack unless he’s the commander…how’s that for instilling fear?

I disagree. If by “the current source” you mean al Qaeda, then possibly in some sense we can remove them. But, can we reform the feeling behind the hate? Can we change the radical thinking that is bred into many of them since birth? I don’t think so.

Kerry’s analogy to gambling and prostitution is dead on in a very clear sense – that no matter the efforts taken to prevent/stop it, it will always continue. It is a poor analogy in that the stakes aren’t necessarily immediately high with gambling and prostitution, as they are with terrorism (this, however, was not what Kerry was emphasizing).

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

My point isn’t that it should be fought with firepower alone. My point is that it should be fought as a real, military war, not a police action. The real, military war can have as part of its strategy converting the hearts and minds (propaganda, psych-ops), as well as stomping out all those Wahhibi schools that create the bombers.
[/quote]

I’d have to agree with TME’s take.

BB – how can you wage “war” against a scattered enemy who doesn’t necessarily claim land and who has ties here, there and elsewhere. Proposing to invade the entire world certainly can’t be an option for you, is it?

I think it is a pipe dream to wish for the day terrorism is obliterated.

Won’t someone, perhaps BB, define terrorism before this discussion goes further? What are we even talking about here?

Also, BB, 15/19 hijackers…when do we move in?

[quote]Right Side Up wrote:
BostonBarrister wrote:

My point isn’t that it should be fought with firepower alone. My point is that it should be fought as a real, military war, not a police action. The real, military war can have as part of its strategy converting the hearts and minds (propaganda, psych-ops), as well as stomping out all those Wahhibi schools that create the bombers.

I’d have to agree with TME’s take.

BB – how can you wage “war” against a scattered enemy who doesn’t necessarily claim land and who has ties here, there and elsewhere. Proposing to invade the entire world certainly can’t be an option for you, is it?

I think it is a pipe dream to wish for the day terrorism is obliterated.

Won’t someone, perhaps BB, define terrorism before this discussion goes further? What are we even talking about here?

Also, BB, 15/19 hijackers…when do we move in?[/quote]

RSU:

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a traditional war of invasion and whatnot. I was thinking along the lines of The Cold War, which was not a traditional war but was much more than a metaphor – “metaphor” adequately describes the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs, but not the War on Terror.

We don’t need to invade the world. What we need to do is recognize the stakes, and not treat the War on Terror like a law-enforcement excerise. While there will indubitably be an element of involvement for law enforcement activities, the main thrust of the conflict is killing the terrorists, not bringing them to trial or worrying whether the evidence against them is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

As for a definition of terrorism, that’s something the academics have been fighting about for years. However, we don’t need to get bogged down in their minutia. For the purposes of the War on Terror, I would define a terrorist as anyone who financially sponsors attacks on U.S. or allied military personel, civilians, or anyone else based on cooperation with the U.S. or its allies, plans an attack on any of the above, executes a terrorist attack, or even someone with enough ties to people who qualify under any of the first three above. This especially applies to people trying to hide in civilian populations – this would qualify them as “spies” under the Geneva Convention.

As for Saudi Arabia, we will be in a much stronger position to deal with them - almost certainly diplomatically - once Iraq has been solidified. However, I have a question for you: Would you actually support military action against Saudi Arabia? Leave aside the fact any U.S. military incursion into Saudi Arabia would cause heart attacks in other world leaders due to how much of the world’s oil supply would be effectively under U.S. control.

[edited for clarification]

[quote]ZEB wrote:
RSU:

I don’t want a President who thinks that we have to live the rest of our lives in fear of another attack on our shores. John Kerry is not ready (and never will be) to become President!

Wiping out the current source of terrorism is very “realistic.” I’m surprised that you would swallow Kerry’s line so readily.

[/quote]

Apparently Bush isn’t ready to be president either.

When asked ?Can we win?? the war on terror, Bush said, ?I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the ? those who use terror as a tool are ? less acceptable in parts of the world.?

Some of us are old enough to remember Vietnam and this war is begining to smell a lot like Vietnam.

…people are worried that the statement means Kerry will NOT be on the “offensive” as Bush has repeatedly said he is, and rather will just give minor discouragement to terrorists. It really says something about what he really thinks about the terrorist threat. maybe he is correct, but you can’t say that republicans are spinning his statement, it is a very important insight into his mentality