Vice President Cheney gave an absolutely brilliant speech at the Reagan Presidential Library yesterday in which he touched on the necessity of continuing the war on terrorism, the need to rebuild Iraq and build a democratic Middle East, and the coming election. He managed to hit Kerry with a devastating rhetorical broadside:
Senator Kerry speaks often about the need for international cooperation, and has vowed to usher in a “golden age of American diplomacy.” He is fond of mentioning that some countries did not support America’s actions in Iraq. Yet of the many nations that have joined our coalition – allies and friends of the United States – Senator Kerry speaks with open contempt. Great Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain, Poland, and more than 20 other nations have contributed and sacrificed for the freedom of the Iraqi people. Senator Kerry calls these countries, quote, “window dressing.” They are, in his words, “a coalition of the coerced and the bribed.”
Many questions come to mind, but the first is this: How would Senator Kerry describe Great Britain – coerced, or bribed? Or Italy – which recently lost 19 citizens, killed by terrorists in Najaf – was Italy’s contribution just window dressing? If such dismissive terms are the vernacular of the golden age of diplomacy Senator Kerry promises, we are left to wonder which nations would care to join any future coalition. He speaks as if only those who openly oppose America’s objectives have a chance of earning his respect. Senator Kerry’s characterization of our good allies is ungrateful to nations that have withstood danger, hardship, and insult for standing with America in the cause of freedom.
I’ve been waiting for someone in the White House to say this for a long time. Cheney’s right – Kerry’s snide and arrogant dismissal of our coaltion in Iraq was a sickening statement and completely unbefitting of a major political figure. It’s about time someone nailed him on that, and Cheney did it with a vicious flair.
Cheney is Bush’s secret weapon, and I can’t wait for him to start ripping into the Democrats over the next few months – and if this speech is any indication, I won’t be disappointed.