Monday, October 18, 2004

Bush in New Jersey

Bush had a solid speech in New Jersey today. He's all over Kerry's world view:

THE PRESIDENT: This kind of September the 10th attitude is no way to protect our country. (Applause.) The war on terror is a real war, with deadly enemies, not simply a police operation. In an era of weapons of mass destruction, waiting for threats to arrive at our doorsteps is to invite disaster. Tyrants and terrorists will not give us polite notice before they attack our country. As long as I'm the Commander-in-Chief, I will confront dangers abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.

The case of one terrorist shows what is at stake. The terrorist leader we face in Iraq today, the one responsible for beheading American hostages, the one responsible for many of the car bombings and attacks against Iraq is a man named Zarqawi. Before September the 11th, Zarqawi ran a camp in Afghanistan that trained terrorists in the use of explosives and poisons, until coalition forces destroyed that camp. (Applause.) He fled to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, where he received medical care and set up operations with some two dozen terrorist associates. He operated in Baghdad and worked with associates in northern Iraq, who ran camps to train terrorists, and conducted chemical and biological experiments, until coalition forces arrived and ended those operations. (Applause.) With nowhere to operate openly, Zarqawi has gone underground and is making a stand in Iraq.

Here, the difference between my opponent and me is very clear. Senator Kerry believes that fighting Zarqawi and other terrorists in Iraq is a "diversion" from the war on terror. I believe that fighting and defeating these killers in Iraq is a central commitment in the war on terror. (Applause.)

If Zarqawi and his associates were not busy fighting American forces in Iraq, does Senator Kerry think they would be leading productive and peaceful lives? (Laughter.) Clearly, these killers would be plotting and acting to murder innocent civilians in free nations, including our own. By facing these terrorists far away, our military is making the United States of America more secure.

I liked this endorsement from Captain Ed, which crystallized my thoughts. The NYTimes second Kerry endorsement could not tempt me to stray. Finally, since the Austrailian re-election of John Howard failed to find headline space, here's Mark Stein on the subject.

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