Friday, October 08, 2004


Questioning the Assumptions of Lebanon

Politicians are masters at promoting assumptions as facts. A classic example of this is the broadly-held belief that universal, government sponsored healthcare is a resonable goal for every civilized society. Where did this belief come from? From the original, falty assumption that there is plenty of money to fund universal healthcare services, if only we could more correctly set priorities and manage revenues. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is not enough wealth generated in America to fund grandiose government-sponsored health care for all citizens. Yet year after year, politicians argue about the DETAILS of our growing federal health care system without ever questioning the original assumption that we ultimately can pay for every health benefit we legislate in Washington. So it is with Kerry's recent march into Lebanon. His remarks are based on falty assumptions that he does not care to discuss. He wants to wave that form of discourse in favor of the emotional response images of war-torn Lebanon might evoke in the electorate. So, purely as a public service, here are the assumptions that Kerry is making in equating Iraq with Lebanon:

(1) That he is a "player" in the ongoing drama of conflict in the Middle East. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a back-bench democrat that has little or no influence on past or present US policy in Lebanon or anywhere elese in the Mid East. He tried this coat on for size in the first debate when he stated that he had warned President Bush well in advance that he was making dire mistakes in rushing to war in Iraq. It's as if he wants us to believe he was warming a seat at the cabinet table, instead of on the back-bench in the Senate.

(2) That he is a recognized expert on military matters. Again, a canard. With the exception of his outreach efforts on behalf of POWs/MIAs in post-war Vietnam, he has no recognized track-record or credentials in resolving armed conflicts. His Navy service does not qualify. He was not in a strategic command position.

(3) That the serious but nevertheless limited-in-scope insurgency in Iraq is equal in magnitude to the complete breakdown of civilization that occured in Lebanon. In equating the two conflicts, Kerry promotes the assumption that "degrees of magnitute" do not exist in foreign wars. They are all equally bad: Vietnam, Kosovo, Lebanon, Iraq, whats the difference?

(4) That a slight-of-hand shift from Vietnam as the working analogy for all-things-bad-and- Bush-inspired will go unnoticed. I suspect the Kerry focus groups grew weary of Vietnam references and responded emotionally to the Lebanon reference, hence the shift.

(5) That the shop-worn sales technique known as a "presumptive close" that works so well for used car salesman will work for him in his race for president. Please! "I don't know what I am going to find on January 20th, the way the president is going," He states, "If the president just does more of the same every day, and it continues to deteriorate, I may be handed Lebanon, figuratively speaking". This is classic attempt to assume the mantle of leadership in advance of the vote. He simply assumes we all agree the "mess" as he defines it will be his to solve in short order.

Mr. Mxlkpix

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