I’ve been thinking more about Kerry, Michael Moore, and the political dialogue in America. I think that one effect of Fahrenheit 9/11 is that it will definitely shift the political dialogue to highlight the wrongdoings of the BuShites. This is, in part, a good thing; public awareness of the blatant, reckless, and overagressive actions of the BuShites should be higher in public awareness.
The problem is that I fear this shift in dialogue will reinforce the “anyone but Bush” meme. Moore’s polemic against the BuShites creates the illusion that everything was hunky-dory until they stole power. This is simply not the case.
As an example of what I mean, look at the recent speeches by Kerry, according to CNN:
He accused Bush of misleading America over Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and al Qaeda connections, and said the president had broken his promises to build “a true international coalition,” honor the U.N. weapons inspection process and go to war only as a last resort.
But while Kerry says this, he and Edwards also defended their decision to vote for the war in Iraq:
“Based on the information we had the time that we had it, it was the right vote,” Kerry said. “The problem is the president did not honor what he said he would do in the exercise of the authority that he was given.”
Edwards, eating a lunch of salad and pasta beside Kerry at a conference table in the Boeing 757’s front cabin, added: “Not only that, he abused the authority.”
So again, they’re correct about the actions of the BuShites. But they seriously gloss over their own part of the responsibility for the Iraq invasion. When the BuShites were making their claims about Iraq, Saddam, and WMDs, nearly everyone knew or suspected that they were lying. Kerry and Edwards themselves claimed, above, that the BuShites should have respected the UN inspections process. Yet they still voted for the invasion.
Why? There is cognitive dissonance here.
It is interesting to look at some of Bill Clinton’s comments about Iraq. Remember, sanctions continued under the Clinton administration, sanctions that had grave and devastating consequences for the Iraqi people. In an interview on CNN, Clinton defends his decision to continue the sanctions:
I basically believe that the policy that I inherited, which was basically to keep Saddam Hussein in a box and under sanctions, unless and until he fully complied with the U.N. resolutions, was the right policy. It wasn’t so great for the Iraqis, but he didn’t present a substantial threat to anyone else.
This policy is questionable, even for someone like me who isn’t privy to all the details of the Iraqi situation. The sanctions obviously had little effect on Saddam, but devasted the Iraqi people, a reality that Clinton himself admits.
It is policies like this one that lead to such international hatred of America, and ultimatley to things like 9/11. Everyone who dies as a result of American foreign policy reinforces this hatred.
I’m just not convinced that Kerry and Edwards will reverse this trend, though I do concede that they probably would not operate as recklessly or as openly as the BuShites.