Kerry Has Not Heeded The Lesson Of 9/11

To the editors:

This is in response to the column on Oct. 26 (“A Pre-9/11 Mentality”). 9/11 changed this nation forever—it changed the way we secure our country and conduct intelligence. The President has managed to deal with these changes in creating the Department of Homeland Security and in adopting an offensive—not defensive—stance against terrorists under uncertain and quickly changing times. The fact that Bush and members of his administration planned to invade Iraq before 9/11 was foresight that the Clinton administration did not have—that Saddam was an irresponsible dictator who violated U.N. resolutions and was a threat to the United States (a fact that even Senator Kerry agreed about several times prior to our invasion of Iraq). And, luckily, Bush is heading an overhaul of our national intelligence system. 9/11 has woken him up.

The same can’t be said for Senator Kerry. In the New York Times article about him published this month, Kerry compared the war on terror to a “war on organized crime” and called terrorists a “nuisance.” Since when have the Mafia flown planes into buildings, or declared war on Christian infidels? And would it have been the sign of a wise leader to call Hitler a “nuisance” in 1939?

What’s more important than Kerry’s statements on the campaign, of course, is his record. He voted against significant anti-Cold War efforts, and spoke against our “paranoia about the Russians” in a 1971 speech before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1970, he told the Harvard Crimson that U.S. troops should only be spread around by world at the order of the U.N. And recently Senator Kerry said that he “went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted.” He said that he spoke with them and “came away convinced that, if we worked at it, if we were ready to work and let Hans Blix do this job and thoroughly go through the inspections, that if push came to shove, they’d be there with us.” Now the Washington Times reports that four of the five ambassadors on the Security Council who could be reached for comment had never met the senator and that “no one who worked for their countries’ U.N. missions had met with Mr. Kerry either.”

Someone needs to send Senator Kerry that wake-up call, or at least not let him run the country under false pretenses of the kind of enemy we’re up against.

Katie M. Gray ’08

October 26, 2004