Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Kerry Doctrine 

John Kerry has just delivered his "lengthy, detailed address" on Iraq. This is how the "USA Today" summarizes the Kerry Doctrine on Iraq:
"Kerry said the United States should:

- Get more help from other nations.

- Provide better training for Iraqi security forces.

- Provide benefits to the Iraqi people.

- Ensure that democratic elections can be held next year as promised."
All nice and worthy sentiments, but:

1) It's hard to get more help from other nations when
your own sister is telling allies like Australia that their participation in the war in Iraq has made them more of a terrorist target, with an unspoken conclusion being that the Australians should therefore get out. If the Kerry camp thinks that some other nations would make better helpers in Iraq than the current Coalition members, they should name them. In a somewhat related news, France has announced that it won't be sending troops to Iraq even if John Kerry is elected president. So much for John Kerry's Fraudulent Coalition of the Unwilling.

In the speech, Kerry also
"Last spring, after too many months of resistance and delay, the president finally went back to the UN which passed Resolution 1546... That resolution calls on UN members to help in Iraq by providing troops, trainers for Iraq's security forces, a special brigade to protect the UN mission, more financial assistance and real debt relief. Three months later, not a single country has answered that call... The president should convene a summit meeting of the world's major powers and Iraq's neighbours, this week, in New York, where many leaders will attend the UN General Assembly. He should insist that they make good on that UN resolution."
From sublime to utterly ridiculous. John Kerry admits there is an UN resolution in place, which is being ignored by everyone concerned, and he's calling on the President to force other countries to comply. This is exactly what the US was trying to do with another UN resolution in the run up to war and it didn't work then either. Talk about persistently pursuing a losing Iraq strategy. Kerry might call it multilateralism, others will call it a diplomatic quagmire.

2) The Coalition is already training considerable numbers of Iraqi police and security forces - see the last few editions of my "Good news from Iraq" (you can start with
number 10). See also this article from the Strategy Page (scroll down): despite terrorist attacks, the police recruitment and activity are up throughout Iraq.

3) No one disagrees that reconstruction should be progressing faster; alas Kerry offers little by way of specifics on how to achieve that, except for the call to cut the red tape; always an amusing proposition coming from the Party of Regulation.

4) Maybe the news escaped John Kerry, but both the Bush Administration and the interim Iraqi government are trying their darnest to make sure that the election proceeds as planned in January - may I note, against the chorus of John Kerry's own cheerleaders in the media and the international community who are already arguing that the election won't be legit and therefore shouldn't be held if the security situation throughout Iraq remains precarious. And Kerry's Axis of Absenteeism has now said there's
no chance they will be sending any troops to Iraq before the January election, which of course is precisely the time when they would be of most use.

In another highlight of his speech, John Kerry had this to say about George Bush:
"By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war... If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded."
This is pretty rich coming from a guy who offered 23 different positions on the war. Meanwhile, according the latest CBS/New York Times poll:
"Sixty percent of respondents said they did not have confidence in Mr. Kerry to deal wisely with an international crisis; that is a jump from 52 percent in June. By contrast, 48 percent said they were uneasy with Mr. Bush's ability to manage a foreign crisis... The percentage of Americans who said Mr. Kerry had exhibited strong leadership qualities dropped eight points since summer to 50 percent; by contrast, 63 percent said Mr. Bush had exhibited strong qualities of leadership."
So who's confused and misled?

Update: The Republican National Committee has counted 14 flip-flops in John Kerry's Iraq speech. The only consistent thing about Kerry seems to be his inconsistency.


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