"A Nation of Courage"

After McCain’s speech, the mood was carefully set for Giuliani’s speech. Three survivors of 9/11 victims told their stories of the loss of loved ones. It reminded me, and I’m sure everyone watching, of how we felt that day. I won’t ever forget that feeling, but when it is invoked like that it is so powerful. Then Daniel Rodriguez sang Amazing Grace. There weren’t many dry eyes in my house.

Giuliani started by invoking President Bush's words from the rubble of the World Trade Center:

Well, I can hear you. The whole world can hear you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will hear all of us soon.

Giuliani told us that President Bush kept his word:

Well, they heard from us.

They heard from us in Afghanistan and we removed the Taliban.

They heard from us in Iraq, and we ended Saddam Hussein's reign of terror.

And we put him where he belongs, in jail.

They heard from us in Libya, and without firing a shot Gadhafi abandoned his weapons of mass destruction.

They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists or terrorism.

So long as George Bush is our president, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism?

There is no doubt in my mind. Giuliani offered this crowd pleaser:

You know, we're just not going to let the terrorists determine where we have political conventions, where we go, how we travel. We're Americans, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Giuliani reminded us of the failures in the way terrorism was dealt with over the previous thirty years:

The horror, the shock and the devastation of those attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and over the skies of Pennsylvania lifted a cloud from our eyes.

We stood face to face with those people and forces who hijacked not just airplanes, but a great religion and turned it into a creed of terrorism dedicated to killing us and eradicating us and our way of life.

Giuliani recalled that the terrorists who survived their slaughter of the Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich were set free. How Leon Klinghoffer's murderers were likewise set free. And that Yasser Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "while he was supporting a plague of terrorism in the Middle East and undermining any chance of peace:"

Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of our world, much like observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate the Soviet Union through the use of mutually assured destruction.

President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism, we must also be on offense.

On September 20, 2001, President Bush stood before a joint session of Congress, a still grieving and shocked nation and a confused world, and he changed the direction of our ship of state.

He dedicated America, under his leadership, to destroying global terrorism.

The president announced the Bush Doctrine, when he said, "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

Giuliani then contrasted President Bush's determined relentless pursuit of the war against terror to Kerry's inconsistency on Iraq. Using Kerry's own words against him Giuliani highlighted just how irresolute Kerry has been on Iraq and what will be the two most played sound bite from this speech:

He even, at one point, declared himself as an antiwar candidate. And now he says he's pro-war candidate. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position four or five more times.

My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words, not mine. I quote John Kerry, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

Maybe this explains John Edwards' need for two Americas.

One is where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against exactly the same thing.

Giuliani also nailed Kerry for Kerry's claims of foreign support:

Remember, just a few months ago, John Kerry kind of leaked out that claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him.

Well, to me, that raises the risk that he might well accommodate his position to their viewpoint.

It would not be the first time that John Kerry changed his mind about matters of war and peace.

Finally Giuliani endorsed President Bush's long-term strategy for winning the war against terrorism:

President Bush has also focused us on the correct long-term answer for the violence and hatred emerging from the Middle East. The hatred and anger in the Middle East arises from the lack of accountable governments.

Rather than trying to grant more freedom, or create more income, or improve education and basic health care, these governments deflect their own failures by pointing to America and to Israel and to other external scapegoats.

But blaming these scapegoats does not improve the life of a single person in the Arab world.

It does not relieve the plight of even one woman in Iran.

It does not give a decent living to a single soul in Syria.

It doesn't stop the slaughter of African Christians in the Sudan.

The president understands that the changes necessary in the Middle East involve encouraging accountable, lawful, decent governments that can be role models and solve the problems of their own people

This has been a very important part of the Bush doctrine and the president's vision for the future.

Have faith in the power of freedom. People who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in oppression.

It was a very good speech. I'm sure the mainstream media will try to spin Guliani's speech as a negative attack on Kerry. It wasn't. Giuliani effectively highlighted Kerry's inconsistency, using Kerry's own nuances against him. It wasn't a negative attack, nor meanspirited. Sometimes the truth hurts.

"A Nation of Courage." What a great first night for the RNC. Three more nights, how are they going to top that? Governor Schwarzenegger and Mrs. Bush have a very tough act to follow.

Posted by Dan Spencer at August 31, 2004 8:24 AM