I confess I was surprised when I read this transcript of Tom Brokaw’s interview of John Kerry for NBC Nightly News. Granted, there was little follow up from Brokaw, as liberal news guys rarely press their brethren, but some of the questions were tougher than I would have expected.
For example, Brokaw asked:
This week you’ve been very critical of the president because of the missing explosives in Iraq.The fact is, senator, we still don’t know what happened to those explosives. How many for sure that were there. Who might have gotten away with them? Is it unfair to the president, just as you believe he’s been unfair to you, to blame him for that?
Kerry’s answer was gibberish, just like 90% of his answers on anything pertaining to Iraq, about which he hasn’t a clue what should be done or what he would do.
Then Brokaw nudged him a little bit, saying:
The flip side of that is that if you had been president, Saddam Hussein would still be in power. Because you…
Again, Kerry denied it, but unconvincingly, saying he might have gone to war against Iraq, depending on whether Saddam complied with the inspectors. What? Does he mean: depending on whether Saddam complied with inspectors the 18th time? And Kerry added:
But if we did, I’ll tell you this, Tom. We’d have gone to war with allies in a way that the American people weren’t carrying the burden. And the entire world would have understood why we were doing it.
That’s demonstrably false. He cannot possibly guaranty or even reasonably project that we could have gone to war in a way that America wasn’t carrying the burden. Does he mean any of the burden, or as substantial a portion as we are carrying? Either way, there is No indication we could have gotten any more help from allies. If such help had been available President Bush and Secretary Powell would have been able to get it. But the recalcitrant nations, as we know even more today than before, had their own agendas. For Kerry to keep blowing this smoke is increasingly annoying.
But even more insulting is his repeated statement that if we’d gone to war under a Kerry presidency, “the entire world would have understood why we were doing it.” Well, John, the entire world did and does understand why we did it. They all thought he had WMD too. But at any rate, they knew that we believed Saddam to be a menace to his own people and a threat to America and her allies. They knew he had not met his burden of proving that he had disposed of WMD we know he had. They knew he violated endless U.N. resolutions. Most of them voted for resolution 1441, which was perfectly clear and well understood.
The problem, Senator, is your ineluctable urge to defer our national security to other nations. You have this obsession with pleasing the international community that apparently clouds your judgment about what is in the best interests of this country. You have been saddled with this burden at least since the early seventies. It must be born of a basic, guttural distrust of this nation, a perverse sense of shame about America’s superiority to other nations, a feeling that America must handicap itself because it doesn’t deserve the position of power and leadership it has earned.
Nothing else explains your consistent refusal to recognize real threats to America and to freedom, from your apologetic attitude toward the Viet Cong, to your refusal to join our side in the Cold War, to your abetting of the Nicaraguan Communist Sandinistas, to your undermining of our troops today. Blame and doubt America first, and always. AT LEAST warmed over ’60s radical Bill Clinton didn’t hate America when he was its chief executive officer. I’m afraid your disdain could even transcend your elevation to power, which is why I consider you to be far more dangerous to America than Bill Clinton.
Brokaw also hit Clinton on his avoidance of the liberal label. Kerry dissembled there too, saying he was conservative on many things and liberal on a few. Then, after a question about the Mary Cheney incident in the debate, Brokaw asked him whether his IQ was as high as President Bush’s, as someone who had analyzed their military aptitude tests had concluded. That was hilarious. But part of Kerry’s response was the most interesting item in the interview. Kerry said:
That’s great. More power. I don’t know how they’ve done it, because my record is not public. So I don’t know where you’re getting that from.
Aha! Too bad Brokaw wouldn’t follow up on that one with: “Yes, Senator, I realize your military records haven’t been made public. And on that point, why won’t you sign Form 180 to authorize the release of those records so that these factual disputes concerning your Vietnam service and questions about your discharge, etc. can be resolved?”
Obviously, Brokaw wasn’t about to ask that question, but it is interesting to have Kerry affirm for us that he hasn’t made his records public, when elsewhere he’s maintained, falsely, that his records are public. The mainstream media, it should also be noted, have been all over President Bush to make his records public to resolve already answered questions about his National Guard service, when President Bush has authorized the release of those records. But they have refused to press Kerry, who hasn’t released his records, which would be highly relevant to disputed issues and ones that are relevant to his character as a potential president and commander in chief.