March 30, 2004

MELANA ZYLE VICKERS reports that the 9/11 Commission has, in fact, uncovered serious and costly errors in the war on terror:

The hearings presented a Democratic record on terrorism that is marred by fundamental policy fumbles and ultimately fatal misjudgments. Of course, some of the errors in fighting terrorism in the 1990s could have been — and were — made or repeated by the Republican administration of George W. Bush. But a top-five list drawn from the testimony before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States and the reports prepared by commission staff, reveals errors that stemmed from what might be described as the post Cold War, Democratic world-view. They include:

Unwillingness to use force to retaliate against terrorism or pre-empt attacks.

Inaction in the face of legal obstacles

Animus toward the intelligence community

Fear of unpopularity in the court of domestic and foreign public opinion

Failure to improve the effectiveness of bilateral relations with Arab states and Pakistan.

This world-view would be unlikely to change as the party’s foreign-policy mantle changes hands from Clinton-Gore to Kerry. . . .[V]oters who wonder “how would a Kerry administration prosecute the war on terror?” need to look no further than this list for some idea of the answer. Unless, of course, Kerry disassociates himself from the policies of his Democratic predecessors, or criticizes them as forcefully as his fellow Democrat on the 9/11 commission, Bob Kerrey, did last week.

Read the whole thing. I wonder if Sixty Minutes will devote an hour to these findings?

The Kerry strategy team certainly should.