July 30, 2004


The Rush to Reorganize (David Ignatius, July 30, 2004, Washington Post)

here's something dispiriting about the knee-jerk endorsement of the commission's proposals. The ink was barely dry on the 567-page report when Kerry gave it his blanket endorsement. Hoping to bind himself even more tightly to the commission's image of national unity, Kerry then proposed extending its life by 18 months.

Kerry's support for government by commission is hardly reassuring. The country needs a president who will take control of anti-terrorism policy, sift good proposals from bad and steer a steady course away from the maelstrom in which the United States finds itself.

Sadly, Kerry's me-too approach to the Sept. 11 commission is of a piece with his bland flag-waving on foreign policy in general. America is a nation at war. Yet we have no sense, even after Kerry has been nominated, of just what policies he would pursue in Iraq and the Middle East. There's a three-alarm blaze outside and he's telling us he supports the fire department.

The Bush administration's effort to wrap itself in the bipartisan flag of the commission is even more outrageous. Do the administration's spin controllers think the country has forgotten that the president refused to allow his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to testify before the panel until forced to do so by public outcry? Do they think people won't actually read the report and see its devastating account of the administration's failure to mobilize for the al Qaeda threat?

What kind of deluded soul would imagine that anyone, including the members of the Commission, will read the report?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2004 1:43 PM

When Mr. Ignatius writes "of the administration's failure to mobilize for the al Qaeda threat", is he speaking of the Clinton administration ?

Or, does he hold President Bush in such high esteem that he feels betrayed that Bush was no better at foretelling the future than any other President ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 30, 2004 6:45 PM

Kerry gets to chose which pole he wants to sit on. If he tasks Bush for being to slow on Al-Qaeda, he has no case on Iraq and the WMD. If he goes for the 9/11 he surrenders the Iraq issue and opens up an attack on the Clinton administration, from which most of his advisors are drawn.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 30, 2004 9:56 PM