Al Gore has gotten lots

Al Gore has gotten lots of publicity by by criticizing President Bush on Iraq. I haven’t seen the whole speech yet; maybe it makes more sense if you read it in its entirety. But based on what has been reported, it is very difficult to see what Gore’s point is. CNN reports that he “[backed] Bush’s overall goal of ousting Saddam and eliminating Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction,” but “questioned the timing of a military strike.” Since the timing of any strike is not known, it is unclear what Mr. Gore was questioning. Gore appears to be making the same argument that Bill Clinton made a week or two ago–that we should do nothing about Saddam Hussein until every last al Qaeda operative has been hunted down. In his usual inflammatory style, Gore said that “Great nations persevere and then prevail. They do not jump from one unfinished task to another.” This is just stupid. It will surely be impossible to kill every member of al Qaeda, and even if possible, it would take many years. It is ridiculous to suggest that if Saddam Hussein threatens our security–as Gore admits he does–we should nevertheless be paralyzed until some arbitrary threshold of success in destroying al Qaeda has been met. (This, of course, is quite apart from the fact that Saddam’s terrorist activities have often merged with those of al Qaeda and other Islamofascists.) The heart of Gore’s criticism seems to be directed against Bush’s policy of pre-emptively destroying terrorists before they can destroy us. But what is the alternative? Does Gore seriously argue that we cannot move against Saddam’s nuclear program until after Saddam has destroyed one or more of our cities? Apparently so, except that Gore never seriously argues anything. He is the most purely political animal of our time, as this speech demonstrates once more. Gore’s performance illustrates why no one takes the Democrats seriously on issues of national security.

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