I listened to the speeches by John McCain and Rudy Giuliani last night. I hadn't intended to stay up for them, but once things started I just kept watching, occasionally switching between MSNBC, Fox, and CNN. The speeches were more powerful than I imagined they would be. I've felt that McCain's support for Bush has been lukewarm at best, but he hit a home run for the President last night. He eloquently and forcefully made the point that the war on terror left no choices.
However just the cause, we should shed a tear for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us.
But there is no avoiding this war. We tried that, and our reluctance cost us dearly. And while this war has many components, we can't make victory on the battlefield harder to achieve so that our diplomacy is easier to conduct.
The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal.
Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war.
It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Not our critics abroad. Not our political opponents.
And certainly not a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls.He also said something I'll think we'll hear more of as the campaign progresses. In a sharp dig at John Kerry and his charges of unilateralism, McCain put the onus where most of us believe it belongs.
They stress that America needs the help of her friends to combat an evil that threatens us all, that our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies.
And, as we've been a good friend to other countries in moments of shared perils, so we have good reason to expect their solidarity with us in this struggle.But his most powerful words came at the end of the speech where he rallied Americans to support their President. It was an emotional moment, as John McCain with tears in his eyes, delivered this.
Our adversaries are weaker than us in arms and men, but weaker still in causes. They fight to express a hatred for all that is good in humanity.
We fight for love of freedom and justice, a love that is invincible. Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong.
Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our President and fight.
We're Americans, and we'll never surrender.
They will.I think its worthwhile to compare this speech to the one given by McCain's fellow Vietnam Veteran, Senator John Kerry. While McCain summoned our patriotism and called on us to stand fast and fight, Kerry wraps himself in patriotism to shield himself from criticism. I will say it once again. I'm convinced that if John Kerry is elected he will stop fighting the war on terror as early as politically feasible.