Thursday, September 30, 2004

If I were John Kerry (or, perhaps more importantly, his speechwriter), I would have ended the debate tonight as follows:

The President says he's resolute in this war. I believe him. The President says he will continue to be resolute. I believe him. The President says that we must be resolute to win. He is wrong.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was resolute. Richard Nixon was resolute. I know. I was there. I believed them. And because they were resolute, thousands of young Americans are dead. All those names on the wall from 1970 and 1972 and 1973 and so on are there because their presidents were resolute. In Vietnam, we could win battle after battle, and we could drop thousands of bombs, and we could burn away whole forests, and we could keep killing Viet Cong, and we did. But winning battles is not the same as winning a war. We were resolute, and we lost that war. The United States will win any battle it fights. But as president, I will never bring us to battle if we cannot win the war as well.

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