I was ragging a bit on John Edwards’ national security record yesterday, but there’s no question that what he’s been saying lately has been very congenial. Here, thanks to Jonathan Singer is Edwards speaking in Portland on the subject of the “war on terror” rhetorical construct:
And I don’t know how many of you even noticed this or how many of you watched the Democratic presidential debate from South Carolina, but I suspect some of you did. But a question was asked whether you agree with the language – the Bush language, which is what it is – “Global War on Terror.” And I did not. And I said, I took that position at the debate…
This is a political frame and political rhetoric. They use it to justify everything they do. They use that language to justify the war in Iraq. They use it to justify Guantanamo. They use it to justify torture. They use it to justify illegal spying on the American people.
It is time for us to quit kowtowing to these people. We have to say what we really believe. Now, are there really dangerous people in the world? Of course there are. We need to be smart and aggressive and intelligent, use intelligence – did I say dangerous people? – we have to use intelligence to fight them and stop them. Everybody recognizes that. But the one thing that’s been proven beyond any doubt as a result of what’s happened in the last six years is raw power alone will never make you a leader. You actually have to have the moral authority.
Quite right and good for him. What I’m really waiting for, though, is a clearer explanation of how and why it is Edwards came to revise his views over the years.
UPDATE: Petey assures me the answers I’m looking for are in Mike Allen’s Time article, but I need to leave now and can’t read it. No worries — more blog later!