Mid-morning today in Seattle, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) laid out a four-point strategy designed to create a “secure” America. This is the first in a series of policy speeches planned from now until D-Day, June 6.
The speech comes on the eve of the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC, an event which will provide incumbent President Bush with an opportunity to wrap his administration policies in the flag.
Former Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO) set the context in his introduction when he asserted that this election will demonstrate if America wishes to be a “republic or empire.”
In brief, the four points follow:
- Launch and lead a new era of alliance
- Modernize our military
- Deploy forms of power other than military might, such as diplomacy, economic might and “values”
- Free America of dependence on Mid-East oil within 10 years
The speech was light on specifics, and Kerry noted that he would be providing more detail in days to come.
Regarding current efforts to fight terrorism, Kerry reminded the audience — which included veterans and their families — of the Battle for Tora Bora, where Osama bin Laden escaped capture, in large part due to our failure to commit ground troops.
He said that he would launch a “Name and Shame” campaign to force countries to address money laundering that benefits terrorist groups around the world. Otherwise, they would be “shut out of the US financial system.”
Veiled jabs at the current military action in Iraq included an assertion that America must not wait until its “only option is war” and, in reference to deploying troops into harm’s way, “I will never let ideology trump the truth.” He called for a “Coalition of the Able” rather than reliance on the “Coalition of the Few.”
His only allusion to Abu Ghraib was a commitment not to send troops into situations for which they had not been sufficiently trained.