Roger Simon sounds suprised to hear John Kerry repudiate the idea of preemptive military action.
But more importantly, when I heard Kerry utter the following words, I became genuinely depressed and more than a little angry:
I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.
Any attack? That's it? No preemptive action? Where would Kerry have stood on American intervention in Europe during World War II? The Nazis had not attacked us. Maybe I don't want to know...
But I'll tell you anyway: On foreign policy, attitudes toward preemption represent the central difference between Kerry Democrats and Bush Republicans. To the the Democrats, preemption is a lawless doctrine tantamount to going to war "because we want to." To the Republicans, it's an essential form of defense in the age of al Qaeda.
Kerry, I'm sure, would note that after Pearl Harbor, the Nazis declared war on us--a German attack wasn't required to justify war. They asked for it.