Saturday, October 30, 2004

Global Test

"But if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do it in a way that passes the, the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people, understand fully why you're doing what you're doing, and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons." John Kerry

The Right has been harping about the "Global Test" ever since John Kerry uttered the words in the first debate. They contend that it is an example of John Kerry’s weakness on Foreign affairs, arguing that he would surrender America’s foreign policy to the UN and other nations. I do not blame them. Kerry gave them an opportunity to hung him and the blame should be on him, he should have found a better way of saying "Global Test." His statement, as seen above, was rather benign, it simply articulated a simple truth, a President needs to articulate foreign policy in terms that will be understood by his people and gain the maximum support in the global community. During the first Gulf War Bush I was able to pass that test, Clinton was able (to a large extent) pass the test in Kosova.

It is quite ironic that the President’s Iraq policy may make it more difficult for him to pass the "test." It will be undoubtedly more difficult for the president to gather a "Coalition of the Willing" to confront the next threat that emerges (especially if it requires preemptive war). The fact that no WMD has been found in Iraq (principal argument for war), has set the bar very high for the next potential war. The next president (and may be the next few) will not be able to give broad assertions and rationales for a war. The American people and the world, will require a higher threshold of proof. Is that a good or bad thing? I do not know. But I do know we are unlikely to accept wholeheartedly, what is told to us by the President.


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