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Chameleon Kerry and the Real World By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, March 02, 2004


WHERE SHOULD WE DEPLOY THE 40,000 NEW TROOPS that, after months of making anti-war statements, Democratic frontrunner Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts last Friday suddenly said he would send overseas if elected President?

This is only the latest of several recent jerky lurches to the right – that is, towards the center – by this veteran politician whose voting record, the National Journal found, is the most liberal, the farthest Left of all 100 U.S. Senators.

During Sunday’s Democratic debate, Senator Kerry seemed almost frantic as he scrambled to avoid answering a New York Times reporter’s question: “Are you a liberal?” (And this came only weeks after Kerry vowed that he would not make his Massachusetts twin soulmate Gov. Michael Dukakis’ “mistake” as 1988 Democratic candidate of running away from the proud label “liberal.”)

On the North American Free Trade Agreement supported by Democratic President Bill Clinton, Kerry voted for it. But now he says he wants to review and consider ending or unilaterally renegotiating all U.S. trade agreements. He opposes sending U.S. jobs to foreign countries. (Bill Clinton has no such reluctance. He just ordered cabinets and bookshelves for his Presidential library from craftsmen in Scotland, not the United States.)

On same-sex marriage, Kerry said that he opposes it – but also that he favors “same-sex unions” like those in Vermont – but he voted against President Bill Clinton’s “Defense of Marriage Act” which gives states the option not to accept same-sex marriages from other states. Senator Kerry, in other words, had opposed gay marriage but also opposed a law that could impede the universal acceptance of gay marriage.

Kerry until late last week had also ridiculed lawmakers proposing any constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages. But suddenly, with a wetted finger in the wind and an eye on the latest polls, Senator Kerry suddenly reversed himself on this issue too. He came out in support of a Massachusetts state Constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

Senator Kerry’s idea of spin control is to turn himself into a spinning top or whirling dervish. Perhaps he believes that if he can keep changing positions fast enough, he can magically appear to be all things to all voters. 

To his credit, Kerry apparently recognizes that few Americans will vote for anybody as far out on the loony Left as he has been during most of his extremist political career. So, to mix our metaphor, like an adept Chameleon Kerry is trying to disguise himself with colors that change as fast as the public opinion polls.  (This is hard to do after two decades of disguising himself as a gray empty suit, a mere rubber-stamp second vote for whatever his senior Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy wants.)

But his latest frantic turnabouts and rapid color changes – from pro-war voter to Iraq war critic, and now from world government advocate for the United Nations to imperial advocate for scattering overseas an additional 40,000 regular American troops – suggest that Kerry has become dizzy and disoriented from his own overblown speeches.

Before you switch positions again, Senator Kerry, allow me to recommend where and how you could use this equivalent of four Roman Legions of American troops to make the world a better place.

President George W. Bush identified an “Axis of Evil” that threatened world peace – the nations of Iraq, Iran, and communist North Korea.  You, Senator Kerry, have a golden opportunity to see President Bush’s wager and raise the stakes. You could name an additional “Axis of Red Evil” that threatens the world and ought to be eliminated. By contrasting your own chameleon political color from these reds, you can show American voters that you are no longer an extreme Leftist.

The first domino of these evil powers has just fallen. It was the dictatorship of the corrupt and unquestionably evil Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti, only 600 miles from American shores. Aristide reigned by a toxic mix of voodoo, terrorism and Marxist rhetoric. He once called Cuba’s Marxist dictator Fidel Castro his “greatest personal hero.”

Aristide had been ousted by the people of Haiti before, but he was restored to power in 1994 by President Bill Clinton and 20,000 U.S. troops.  He in 2000 had himself re-elected to power in what observers called an utterly fraudulent, rigged election.

Now that Aristide has faced another popular uprising and escaped to Africa, you should use a few of your new 40,000 troops to ensure that his place is taken by a pro-American government, as was the one Clinton deposed. The people of Haiti deserve the peace of mind of knowing that Aristide and his goons will never return. In keeping with the Monroe Doctrine, Americans deserve assurance that the token French and Canadian troops now in Haiti will not infect its new ruling counsel with their envious anti-American ideas.

The second domino of this red axis of evil is Fidel Castro himself. This murderous Marxist thug is now 77 years old and reportedly in worsening health.

The colonial French two centuries ago had only half a million slaves in Haiti. Castro has more than 11 million slaves in Cuba, and from their extorted labor he has according to the latest Forbes Magazine estimate accumulated a personal fortune for himself of at least $195 million. (This column also explored other means by which Fidel has also personally enriched himself.)

The people of Cuba since Castro came to power in 1959 have been denied the rights of free speech, assembly and religion. They have been denied democracy and free elections. And their labor has been expropriated, with millions forced to labor in the blazing tropical sun cutting sugarcane or tobacco for a worthless 10 Cuban pesos per month. Cuba has become a slave island only 90 miles from the United States.

The last JFK persuaded Cuban freedom fighters to attack Castro at the Bay of Pigs and then, with their forces already on the beach, withdrew the promised air support so that Castro could easily kill or capture these most patriotic Cuban refugees.

If you become the new JFK, Senator Kerry, you ought to cleanse this bloody stain of dishonor from the Democratic Party. If you are unprepared to overthrow Castro’s totalitarian slave regime outright, then at least redouble U.S. efforts to topple this criminal dictator by every other means. 

If President Bush could go halfway around the world to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein, surely you can agree to liberate Cuba from an even more vicious monster on America’s doorstep.  You grew up in Europe speaking and thinking in French, Senator Kerry. Let us say together what that great French freedom fighter of the human mind Voltaire so often said and would say today about Castro: "écrasez l'infâme!"

We used to assume that Castro, latter-day Napoleon caudillo that he is, plans to leave his feudal slave state to his brother Raoul, chief of Cuba’s secret police. But Castro has another potential successor, at least for his role as leading Marxist revolutionary in Latin America.

This third domino in the axis of red evil is Hugo Chavez Frias, the Marxist dictator of Venezuela. Like Aristide, he was once elected in a burst of idealistic hope. Chavez since then, like Aristide, has unleashed gangs of thug supporters in the streets who have killed and intimidated his opponents. He has threatened to take over any television or radio station that fails to toe the line by broadcasting his Marxist propaganda.

Chavez has also given vast quantities of Venezuelan oil to his comrade Fidel Castro, and he has imported from Cuba more than 11,500 political agents to persuade and intimidate the population to bend their knees to his Politically Correct Marxist views. The obvious job of these agents is to put the chains of a Communist police state onto the wrists and ankles of Venezuelans.

Venezuela has been a democracy. One provision in its Constitution has allowed for the recall of its President. In California, a Democratic Governor was recently recalled only after the Democratic Lt. Governor was prevented from blocking the election to select Gov. Gray Davis’ replacement. This act, in violation of California’s Constitution, would have elevated Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante to the Governor’s chair.

In Venezuela, Chavez is doing what under American democracy Bustamante could not. Chavez concocted a hand-picked panel of bureaucratic thugs who again this week arbitrarily threw out approximately two million petition signatures by the people demanding a recall election for Chavez. By this method – similar to how Al Gore strove to steal the 2000 Presidential election in Florida by having military ballots invalidated on technicalities – Chavez has stolen the democracy of Venezuela.

This Marxist dictator, who warned that his police state government will take notice of everyone who signs a recall petition against him, has said he will not allow himself to be removed by such a vote of the people.

This is another anti-democratic tyrant and murderer who deserves to be removed from power, Senator Kerry. But the rationale for ousting Hugo Chavez extends far, far beyond Venezuela.

This Marxist thug has reportedly given at least $1 million to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist group al-Qaeda, the organization that killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. Chavez has also, accordingly to United Press International, been accused by credible sources of providing false identity papers to members of al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups to assist them in hiding or travel. Chavez is a clear and present danger to the United States.

In doing the devil’s work, Chavez reportedly has traveled to Axis of Evil nations Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, as well as to terrorist-friendly Syria, Communist China and (prior to its recent conversion owing to President Bush’s pressure) Libya.

And Chavez continues to give aid and assistance to evil throughout the world. In February he donated a million dollars to try to prop up the terrorist dictatorship of his Marxist comrade Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti.

“You are and always will be a true warrior of freedom,” Chavez said last Friday at a Caracas ceremony honoring visiting fellow Marxist, the dictator of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe, you will recall, runs one of the world’s most repressive and racist regimes. His African country confiscated virtually every farm owned by white citizens and then gave the choice land to Mugabe cronies. The best were given to Mugabe’s wife Grace. But most of the farmlands have gone to ruin. The land grab failed disastrously, as even a Mugabe aide admits.

This onetime breadbasket of Africa has in the last year, according to the Leftist British Observer-Guardian, seen at least 10,000 people starve to death in a Mugabe-induced famine. Annual inflation is running at 600%, and the unemployment rate is 70%.

White women who remain in Zimbabwe are now reportedly targeted by roving gangs of rapists that appear to act without government interference. Roughly one-third of Zimbabwe’s sexually-active population is infected with the AIDS virus, and by one estimate 3,000 Zimbabweans die each week from AIDS complications in this nation of 11.6 million.

Gangs of rapists also rove South Africa, where the government likewise now openly talks about whether it will follow Mugabe’s example and confiscate white-owned properties. According to the BBC, rape in South Africa is now being used as a weapon of terror and intimidation. Approximately 40 percent of women of childbearing age are infected with the AIDS virus.

Rumors in South Africa reportedly hint that some groups plan genocide against the nation’s white citizens immediately after the death of Marxist former President Nelson Mandela, now 85. This is not a political climate that fosters foreign investment or aid.

In Zimbabwe, meanwhile, South Africa’s News24 London’s Independent newspaper reported on February 29 that Mugabe has set up at least six secret camps for training thousands of youths in techniques of torture and killing. The youths being trained are of Mugabe’s own ruling Zanu-PF party.  The BBC show Panorama has reportedly interviewed one camp commander who said some of his trainees had already been “sent out to kill suspected supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change,” political rivals of Mugabe.

What this portends is rule by torture and potential mass slaughter, as happened years ago in Rwanda where 500,000 people were hacked to death with machetes without Democratic President Bill Clinton lifting a finger to stop the bloodshed. 

Senator Kerry, your wife could be America’s first “African-American” first lady, having been born across the border from Zimbabwe in Mozambique, so this issue ought to touch your family consciousness.

Zimbabwe and South Africa could also be Axis of Red Evil nations where many lives could be saved by your decisive intervention, Senator Kerry. It is easy to play Monday morning quarterback and to criticize the sitting President, the man who as former President Teddy Roosevelt said is “in the arena” making real world decisions in real time to save lives and our national security.

Senator Kerry, on occasion you have made bold decisions based on principle rather than expediency.  Once upon a time, for example, you criticized the teacher unions that supply roughly 25 percent of the elected delegates at Democratic National Conventions.

So for a moment set aside the partisan politics, cheap point-scoring and demagoguery. Above are five specific instances that may or may not warrant strong intervention – diplomatic, economic or perhaps even with your new 40,000 U.S. troops. Tell us, Senator, what specific actions you would take in each of these five nations. And do not say you would defer our national security decisions to the United Nations or other multinational organizations, because we know in advance that these organizations will do nothing in any of these cases. What would you, and what should the United States, do?


Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.


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