Kalroy Was Here

Eighth man from Adam, an artificer of metals

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Global Test

Cox & Forkum: Global Test good cartoon.

Let's go back to Kerry's global test.

No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.

But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes 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.

We'll ignore the first part since it has nothing to do with a "global" test and is, rather, a domestic premise. Kerry's test is that the world believe you pre-emptively struck for legitimate reasons.

The problem with this statement is that it is utterly subjective. Legitimacy in whose eyes is he talking about? Certainly not Poland, Australia, Great Britain, The Czech Republic, or the rest of the Vilnius Eight. Perhaps he means France and Russia? We'll look at those two countries.

France believed that Saddam had stockpiles of chemical weapons and that those would be found after the invasion. France believed that Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of his own people using those weapons. France believed that Saddam had violated every UNSC resolution that was passed. Despite this France threatened to veto proposed UNSC Resolution 1442 (or so). So despite what we all thought at the time France saw the war as not being legitimate; or rather as not being legitimate enough to override their own interests which involved billions of dollars in oil contracts, weapons contracts and nuclear contracts.

Russia not only thought the same thing, they had added evidence that Saddam intended to use terrorist strikes in the US. Despite this they were unwilling to support the US because of their own interests which included oil and weapons. I think they did see legitimacy in US actions which would explain why they didn't support us, but also didn't actively work against us.

Germany was tied intimately to France's position because the administration was elected on a platform of anti-Americanism, and had solid EU ties and interests with France.

Perhaps the countries that Kerry meant are Iran, North Korea or Saddam's Iraq. These countries would never see any American action as legitimate. The UN is made up of countries. The majority of these countries are not western democracies, and a number of them (in Europe also) see the US as an entity that needs to be taken down. So much so that EU representatives have characterized the EU's position as a counter to American economic and military might. These are not the kinds of countries that would see any action in the best interest of the US as legitimate, since their goal is to "counter" America.

John Kerry claims that he holds America's sovereignty important, but then goes ahead and states that America's actions must be approved by the world, by a "global test," that relies on countries hostile to US interests approving our actions before we do them. I agree with Bush that America's interests are the most important thing here, not whether we win a popularity contest among France, the Sudan and Vanuatu.