The Internationalist

“I’m an internationalist,” Kerry told The Crimson in 1970. “I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.”

Kerry said he wanted “to almost eliminate CIA activity. The CIA is fighting its own war in Laos and nobody seems to care.” -Harvard Crimson

Can we really afford to put an ‘internationalist’ in the office of President?

A bold progressive internationalism that focuses not just on the immediate and imminent, but insidious dangers that can mount over the next years and decade... -JohnKerry.com

Even if it is a bold one?

As a candidate for president, Kerry has said he supports the autonomy of the U.S. military and has never called for a scale-back of CIA operations. -Harvard Crimson

Where one might see flip-flops, another might just see 'opportunity'. How else do you explain voting against the 'multilateral' first Gulf War in 1991, where all of our allies were unanimously with us. But in 2002 Kerry voted to give the President authorization to "use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to... defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.", only to vigorously oppose the action as being 'unilateral' a few months later.

But there were mitigating circumstances, you might say. Nuance to be considered. For whatever reason, he deemed it was politically harmful to himself to vote no at the time. Yet after Dean had ridden the democratic primary's anti-war vote to the lead, Kerry proudly came out anti-war once again.

“He struck me as very ambitious,” Goldhaber said yesterday. “He struck me as the sort of person—even back then, newly returned from Vietnam—who was thinking about running for president.” -Harvard Crimson

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Just recently, JFK's running mate, EMK (Edward Kennedy) came out railing against Bush saying that he has a 'credibility gap' not seen since Richard Nixon and that Iraq is Bush's Vietnam...

Day after day, according to the tapes and memos, Nixon aides worried that Kerry was a unique, charismatic leader who could undermine support for the war. Other veteran protesters were easier targets, with their long hair, their use of a Viet Cong flag, and in some cases, their calls for overthrowing the US government. Kerry, by contrast, was a neat, well-spoken, highly decorated veteran who seemed to be a clone of former President John F. Kennedy, right down to the military service on a patrol boat.

The White House feared him like no other protester.

Colson, in a secret memo, revealed he had a mission to target Kerry: "Destroy the young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader." -Boston Globe

Ralph Nader? Being only 5 months old at the time of this quote I am not sure what he could possibly mean by that. Nevertheless, it is all very nostalgic for some I'm sure. Kerry has a long history of opposing things and supporting things, then opposing them again, so how do we know what side of any issue he might land on? One thing that seems to fixate politicians is the polls and elections. Why just in September of 2002 Kennedy said this of the President, "Let me say it plainly: I not only concede, but I am convinced that President Bush believes genuinely in the course he urges upon us."

But now all of that has changed. The mantra now is that Bush has been deceitful, devious, dubious and, "Saying whatever it takes to prevail," since before the (s)election.

Almost forgotten in that famous speech were Kerry's controversial assertions that Vietnam veterans had "personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephone to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country." -Boston Globe

Of course in Kerry's book A Call to Service, some have quoted Kerry as saying, (on page 42, if anyone has a copy, I don't.)

"I could never agree with those in the antiwar movement who dismissed our troops as war criminals or our country as the villain in the drama. That's one reason, in fact, that I eventually parted ways with the VVAW [Vietnam Veterans Against the War] organizations and instead helped found the Vietnam Veterans of America." -Information Clearing House

Internationalism seems to be synonymous with prevarication. Historically it's all about peace and love and being decidedly un-nationalistic. (No UN pun intended.) It is also a heavily invested word in the communist and Marxist dogma of the last century. Far be it from me to throw out any straw men here. But the word is loaded with meaning.

"I must argue, not from the point of view of 'my' country (for that is the argument of a wretched, stupid, petty-bourgeois nationalist who does not realize that he is only a plaything in the hands of the imperialist bourgeoisie), but from the point of view of my share in the preparation, in the propaganda, and in the acceleration of the world proletarian revolution. That is what internationalism means, and that is the duty of the internationalist, of the revolutionary worker, of the genuine Socialist."

V. I. Lenin, "What Is Internationalism?" The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky (Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1965), p. 80.

So what the hell does Kerry mean (this month) by Progressive Internationalism? According to some it's a cynical marketing ploy.

It's a concept concocted by establishment Democrats seeking to convince potential backers in the corporate and political world that, if installed in the White House, they would seek to preserve U.S. power and influence around the world, but in a kinder, gentler fashion than the current administration.

...Come November, who will get your vote? Coke or Pepsi?

Kerry and his comrades in the progressive internationalist movement are as gung-ho about U.S. military action as their counterparts in the White House. The only noteworthy difference between the two groups battling for power in Washington is that the neocons are willing to pursue their imperial ambitions in full view of the international community, while the progressive internationalists prefer to keep their imperial agenda hidden behind the cloak of multilateralism. -Information Clearing House

Is Kerry's Progressive Internationalism an attempt at Bush Doctrine lite? You can decide for yourself.

We recognize, however, that Democrats must do more than criticize this administration's increasingly incompetent handling of our nation's security. That alone will do little to allay the doubts that too many Americans have about our party's willingness or ability to pursue the tough defense and security policies today's world demands. To re-establish our credibility on national security, Democrats must offer a positive vision that spells out how we would do a better job of keeping Americans safe and restoring America's capacity to lead.

We begin by reaffirming the Democratic Party's commitment to progressive internationalism... -ppi

Now that democrats are busy looking for a scapegoat for 9/11 to enhance Kerry's Presidential prospects, it's seems fitting to leave you with this quote of Kerry in a debate on the Dick Cavet show, source is from the Boston Globe.

"I personally didn't see personal atrocities in the sense I saw somebody cut a head off or something like that," Kerry said. "However, I did take part in free-fire zones, I did take part in harassment and interdiction fire, I did take part in search-and-destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground. And all of these acts, I find out later on, are contrary to the Hague and Geneva conventions and to the laws of warfare. So in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the application of the Nuremberg Principles, is in fact guilty. But we are not trying to find war criminals. That is not our purpose. It never has been." -Boston Globe

Accept no substitutes, if you're looking for a war president, go with an original.

Posted by Eric Simonson at April 14, 2004 3:51 AM