April 21, 2004


Mr. Kerry Revises (Washington Post, April 21, 2004)

Mr. Kerry contends that he has not shifted his public position. But there are major differences between what he said in December -- right after Saddam Hussein's capture, when Mr. Kerry was seeking to discredit dovish Democratic challenger Howard Dean -- and his remarks last week, which followed several weeks of bad news from Iraq and growing public disenchantment with the course of the war. Where once he named democracy as a task to be completed, and the alternative to "cutting and running" or a "false success," Mr. Kerry now says democracy is optional. Where once he warned against setting the conditions for an early but irresponsible withdrawal of U.S. forces, now he does so himself by defining the exit standard as "stability," a term that could describe Saudi Arabia or Iran -- or the Iraq of Saddam Hussein.

In December Mr. Kerry's Iraq policy differed with that of President Bush not in its goals but in its tactics. Mr. Kerry rightly insisted, and still does, that the United States cannot succeed without greater international collaboration and reliance on the United Nations. Now he differs with Mr. Bush on the crucial issue of what the United States must achieve in Iraq before it can safely end its mission. "Iraq," Mr. Bush said at his news conference last week, "will either be a peaceful democratic country or it will again be a source of violence, a haven for terrorists, and a threat to America and to the world."

Mr. Kerry now argues that there is a third option. But what would that be? "I can't tell you what it's going to be," he said to reporters covering his campaign. [...]

We believe a successful political outcome is still possible; others disagree. But Mr. Kerry's shift on such a basic question after just a few months is troubling and mistaken.

...like his nomination.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2004 9:34 AM

He has a secret plan for ending the war?

Posted by: mike earl at April 21, 2004 10:11 AM

It's called surrender.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 21, 2004 12:17 PM

"... like his nomination"

Right between the eyes... Three words, one kill. That's sniper-grade marksmanship.

Posted by: MarkD at April 21, 2004 9:09 PM

"In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 22, 2004 12:41 AM