Vice-President Cheney gave a speech today that includes a fisking of Kerry’s various positions on issues relating to national security. One of the things Cheney notes in this speech is something I hadn’t considered before:

Senator Kerry speaks often about the need for international cooperation, and has vowed to usher in a “golden age of American diplomacy.” He is fond of mentioning that some countries did not support America’s actions in Iraq. Yet of the many nations that have joined our coalition – allies and friends of the United States – Senator Kerry speaks with open contempt. Great Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain, Poland, and more than 20 other nations have contributed and sacrificed for the freedom of the Iraqi people. Senator Kerry calls these countries, quote, “window dressing.” They are, in his words, “a coalition of the coerced and the bribed.”

Many questions come to mind, but the first is this: How would Senator Kerry describe Great Britain – coerced, or bribed? Or Italy – which recently lost 19 citizens, killed by terrorists in Najaf – was Italy’s contribution just window dressing? If such dismissive terms are the vernacular of the golden age of diplomacy Senator Kerry promises, we are left to wonder which nations would care to join any future coalition. He speaks as if only those who openly oppose America’s objectives have a chance of earning his respect. Senator Kerry’s characterization of our good allies is ungrateful to nations that have withstood danger, hardship, and insult for standing with America in the cause of freedom.

Kerry has been frequently and vocally critical of the diplomacy of the Bush administration, claiming that it has alienated many countries which should be treated as our allies. Even if we stipulate that Kerry is correct, though, why is he insulting nations that (by his lights) have stuck by the United States even in the face of Bush’s poor diplomatic skills? Aren’t such nations worthy of praise?

The only conclusion I can draw is that Kerry thinks it’s OK to attack, belittle and/or denigrate anyone who supports anything Bush wants to do. That makes me wonder if his own alleged diplomatic skills are anything more than hot air.

Hat tip to Orrin Judd for the link to the speech.

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