DATE: 3/17/2004 08:43:00 AM
Leadership - The lead editorial in today's Opinion Journal questions John Kerry's leadership and ability to handle the war on terror, which is doubtless the most pressing issue Americans face. Kerry has said virtually nothing about losing an ally in the war. His statements on the war mainly consist of promises to deal with it better than the Bush administration. Kerry gives no details, but talks of returning the US to the good graces of other nations, more firefighters and more law enforcement action.
In other words, Kerry wants us to return to an approach that didn't work. His gaffe about foreign leaders and his constant promises to return America to the family of nations show a willingness to subordinate U.S. national security policy to an ideal he considers much more important - the popularity of John Kerry. This is not leadership.
Leadership means doing what's needed to move an organization forward, regardless of what others may think. When Bush declared war on the terrorists in September of 2001, it marked a change in the way the United States dealt with terrorist regimes. This change did not please those who were willing to live with the status quo - feeding the tiger once in awhile and hoping the beast didn't want too much. Countries like France and Germany were so concerned with changing the status quo that they neglected to note where the old approach to terror would take them.
What John Kerry doesn't realize is that nattering nabobs like Jaques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder don't care about the end result of their policies - they just want to be comfortable right now. To them, change is the enemy, not Islamic terrorists. They don't like President Bush because he made them think about the end result of the former approach to terrorism and showed that it would take work to accomplish. He shattered their complacency and pointed out the eventual result of continually appeasing terror. Bush acted as a leader should. He set a course for the nation, pointed us in that direction and has begun the journey.
What would Kerry do? It's time he answered the most important question of this election season.