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John Kerry, probably the better choice

Something that makes Kerry stand out in my mind is his no nonsense approach to America's issues. 

Dick Cheney said that if Kerry is elected, this country will be attacked.  Cheney didn’t say how he came by this information, offers no validation, and is a rather unusual allegation to make with such certainty. If Cheney is privy to some confidential information, he’d be better served sharing that with us.  Unless of course Cheney gets his stuff from those TV tarot card readers, or a close association with the now debunked, officially self appointed, voodoo priestess, Ms. Cleo.

The Swift Boat guys jumped up and down claiming Kerry lied about his service.  One interesting flag bearer of this negative and slanderous assertion was a guy who admits he was not there, had no first hand knowledge of what transpired, and did not know anyone who was there when Kerry and his flotilla came under hostile fire.  Too many phone calls to psychic hotlines apparently made up this guy's mind.

The Swift Boat guys who splatter Kerry seem to have a symbiotic relationship with the Bush meister – something to the tune of a check close to $100,000.00.  Not to mention Bush’s personal attorney was legal counsel for the swift boat mud slinger, and not to mention Bush's senior adviser on Veteran Affairs was also working with the gift boat group. 

This is starting to turn into something Journalists love to get their hands on.  Real issues and not last week's bake sale.  I started looking into this whole Kerry thing – is there something to the allegations of the neo-con jokesters on Capitol Hill?

Keep in mind, I know a thing or two about the military – something about a 12 year association qualifies me to make some logical observations here.

One guy wrote into Pravda.ru and declared, with all sincerity, that Kerry was a weasel.  Nothing more, just that Kerry was a weasel.  Kerry looks humanoid to me.  So I don’t get the connection as I am not one of these intellectually challenged people who make mystical sense out of such abstractions.

Something that makes Kerry stand out in my mind is his no nonsense approach to America’s issues.  I am not seeing pie in the sky promises or claims – just down to earth views and opinions.  To be an effective president, you have to have partnerships with your own citizens and with the world.  The age of isolation is gone for ever and it was America that started globalization – with this in mind, America can no longer stand alone or 'go it' alone. 

The present administration flat out told the UN that if they did not permit a sanctioned invasion of Iraq, the US was going to do it regardless.  This is a rather belligerent attitude for any country to display and scares the world – considering we have our finger on the atomic trigger.  This breeds mistrust and contempt – the US position in the world is propped up only by the threat of war, but our popularity is no longer existent.  Too many leaders and countries have taken a dim view of America’s ‘uber alles’ actions and mindsets.

Here are Kerry's opinions and views for a better US, and our position in the world:

Launch And Lead A New Era Of Alliances
The threat of terrorism demands alliances on a global scale - to utilize every available resource to get the terrorists before they can strike at us. As president, John Kerry will lead a coalition of the able - because no force on earth is more able than the United States and its allies.

Create Good-Paying Jobs
As president, John Kerry will cut taxes for businesses that create jobs here in America instead of moving them overseas. John Kerry and John Edwards will also stand up for workers by enforcing our trade agreements.

Cut Middle-Class Taxes To Raise Middle-Class Incomes
When John Kerry is president, middle-class taxes will go down. Ninety-eight percent of all Americans and 99 percent of American businesses will get a tax cut under the Kerry-Edwards plan.

Make Washington Live Within A Budget
John Kerry will cut the deficit in half during his first four years in office. He will end corporate welfare as we know it, roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and impose a real cap to keep spending in check. And when John Kerry puts forward a new idea, he'll tell you how he's going to pay for it.

Cut Your Premiums
John Kerry and John Edwards will cut family premiums by up to $1,000. That's $1,000 in real savings people can use to buy groceries, pay the bills, and save for their children's future. And that will mean more jobs and more competitive American businesses.


Cover All Americans With Quality Care
The Kerry-Edwards plan will give every American access to the range of high-quality, affordable plans available to members of Congress and extend coverage to 95 percent of Americans, including every American child. Their plan will also fight to erase the health disparities that persist along racial and economic lines, ensure that people with HIV and AIDS have the care they need, end discrimination against Americans with disabilities and mental illnesses, and ensure equal treatment for mental illness in our health system.

Cut the Cost of Prescription Drugs
The Kerry-Edwards plan will reduce prescription drug prices by allowing the re-importation of safe prescription drugs from Canada, overhauling the Medicare drug plan, ensuring low-cost drugs, and ending artificial barriers to generic drug competition.

Cut Waste And Inefficiency
Today, approximately 25 percent of health care costs are wasted on paperwork and administrative processing. The Kerry-Edwards plan harnesses American ingenuity to cut waste, save billions, and take new steps to ensure patient privacy.

Track And Stop Terrorists
Many of the intelligence problems that allowed terrorists to slip into our country before 9/11 have not been addressed. John Kerry and John Edwards will improve our ability to gather, analyze, and share information so we can track down and stop terrorists before they cause harm.

Enact A Conservation Covenant With America
John Kerry and John Edwards believe that Americans are united in our respect for the land. They will enact a Conservation Covenant with America to ensure balanced protection for our public lands and adequate resources to enhance our national parks.

Protect Our Health By Reducing Dangerous Air Emissions
As president, John Kerry will reverse the Bush-Cheney rollbacks to our Clean Air Act, plug loopholes in the law, take aggressive action to stop acid rain, and use innovative, job-creating programs to reduce mercury emissions and other emissions that contribute to global warming.

Restore America's Waters
Today, approximately 45 percent of our nation's waterways do not meet the "drinkable, swimmable and fishable" standard set out by the Clean Water Act 30 years ago. As president, John Kerry will implement a "Restore America's Waters" campaign, an integrated approach to protecting our precious, limited water resources. He will work with states on the toughest water quality challenges, restore damaged watersheds, protect wetlands, invest in our waterfronts and coastal communities, and protect our oceans.

End The Cop Crunch
Today, too many of America's police officers find themselves with more responsibilities but fewer resources, as the Bush administration has worked to slash funding for the Federal COPS program by 90 percent. John Kerry and John Edwards believe that today more than ever, we need cops on the beat. As a senator, John Kerry fought to create the COPS program that would put 100,000 police officers on the street. As president, he will restore funding to COPS so that we can fight crime and terrorism.

Keep Drugs Out Of Our Communities
John Kerry and John Edwards will aggressively target drug traffickers and dealers and provide funding for coordinated regional efforts aimed at cracking down on drug trafficking. They will also adequately fund drug prevention and treatment, including innovative approaches to requiring treatment for offenders like drug courts.

Stop Gun Violence
keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists: enforcing the gun laws on the books, closing the gun show loophole, and standing with law enforcement officers to extend the assault weapons ban.

Quote: “Today, our leadership has walked away from more than a century of American leadership in the world to embrace a new - and dangerously ineffective - American disregard for the world. They bully instead of persuade. They act alone when they could assemble a team. They confuse leadership with going it alone. They fail to understand that real leadership means standing by your principles and rallying others to join you”.

The above information was taken straight from Kerry's web site, and I like the tone – especially when Kerry recognizes our past administration has not worked to better our position in the world, and the current administration has created a ‘rogue’ country out of America.

For the Russian reader, think back to Khrushchev and the Cuban missile crisis – were you sure you wanted to die for the decisions of one man and that you had no say in the matter?  The US current administration is not asking us if we want more war, but there are countries with nuclear weapons that are looking for a reason to bring the war to us, and we are not being offered a choice in the matter.  If this current Administration is allowed to continue, on its present course, I foresee that war coming. Without partnerships in the world, the US will be abandoned by those we need.

America's should partner with other countries fighting terrorism and act as a team member – not the sole agenda.  I believe that Kerry also understands past US mistakes and he realizes it is going to take moderation in US rhetoric and actions to rebuild a world wide commitment to ending terrorism together.

Something else that should appeal to the thinking person is that Kerry has served in combat – he knows the ugly, unforgiving side of war.  He testified to that fact.  Because he has been there, I believe Kerry is going to be less likely to engage in war without a full study of all the alternatives first.  That includes prevention in the first place – not through secret laws, but looking for our weak spots and shoring them up.

Bush has never served in what can be called traditional.  He really didn’t even fulfill his obligations to the National Guard one week-end a month commitment.  He knows nothing about the irreparable damage and savagery of war – Bush sits in an ivory tower.  And for a war president, who has no first hand knowledge, this is a bad scenario.  

Bush's leadership has led to a break down in command, and the prisoner abuse scandals are only symptomatic of a lack of leadership.  A war chief must look at every aspect and when the rules of engagement are written, a war chief must know every clause, every sentence and the implications.  We don’t have that right now; we have a man who is hell bent on war and more war.  Bush has even come out and admitted he has blown it as a war chief and yet he wants to continue to prosecute a war that is costing America its partnerships and friendships.  Not to mention the human cost.

Bush is scaring his own country with the Anti-Terrorist Act and the Patriot Act.  These two acts make the American public part of the enemy and suspect.  The Anti-Terrorist Act reads very close to an act Hitler put into place suspending the freedoms of the German citizens.  America has enough to worry about without having to look over ones shoulder to see who is watching them, or talking in hushed tones fearful of reprisals. 

The Kyoto agreement was abandoned and snubbed by the US current administration – this agreement was to cut sulpher emissions and green house gases. It was an agreement to stop the pollution of the water ways and the oceans.  The reversal of the US agreement says to the world that the US does not care about your water, your world, or you.  I, as an American citizen, do not want some man telling the world that I don’t give a damn – this is what the current administration has literally done.

I see Kerry as someone who wants to get back on board with the program and start working to achieve the goals of the agreement.

Personally, I don't want some Texan telling the world that I, as an American citizen, has a right to bomb countries without due cause, bringing war to places where it is not needed, to go against world opinions and then threaten anyone who does not agree to our way of thinking. 

I, as an American citizen, do not want a government that funds rebels to overthrow a government, then turns around and now wants to bring war to kill off the rebels and the government – Sudan.  I don't want a government that jumps into a fray huffing and puffing about being a peace keeper and then limping out as we did in Somalia. 

I don't want a government that puts its nose into the business of other countries.  Bush asked Putin if he wanted US help investigating the Beslan tragedy.  Putin declined, but Bush is going to get in there by any means possible even if it means doing our own investigation over there where we are not wanted.  Beslan is a Russian matter, to be handled by the Russian government, not the American government.  I do not want a president who brute forces America into places we are not wanted or welcomed.  What recommendations and findings can we present when we can’t even control the mess we started in Iraq.

I see Kerry saying roughly the same things as I am. 

We made specific promises to the citizens of Iraq, promises we have not kept and show no signs of keeping.  The Iraq citizenry is now fighting against the US and the death toll is mounting.  Now, we are being told we might be there another 10 years.  I can’t abide by promises made and then broken.  That is what we have now under the current administration, and the mounting death toll is not being shouldered by those who are responsible – namely, this administration.

As for Bush's guard duty – he has not exactly denied he used his father’s influence to get in, and then did not fulfill his requirements of one week-end a month for a 6 year commitment.  He has not denied disobeying a direct order to take a flight physical or missing a critical training mission. 

And, he cannot support his statement that he attended guard duties while he was in Alabama.  That worries me – if a man cannot meet such simple obligations, how can he be trusted with the commitments of being a president, or a war chief? 

Kerry is probably a better choice as US president.  A better choice for the world, and a better choice for the US.
 
Michael Berglin

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