August 16, 2004


Bush plan to bring home troops slammed (Al-Jazeera, 16 August 2004)

US Democrats blasted President George Bush's plan to bring home up to 70,000 troops from Europe and Asia, calling it dangerous, ill-conceived and a ploy to boost his bid for re-election.

Bush's announcement quickly drew scathing criticism from former NATO commander Wesley Clark and ex-ambassador Richard Holbrooke, two senior advisers of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, on Monday.

Never mind their absurd geopolitical delusion that Europe still matters and that we need troops there fifteen years after we won the Cold War--do the Democrats really think that it's good politically for them to be seen carrying water for France and Germany?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 16, 2004 6:51 PM

If George Bush were to personally rescue blind orphans from a burning building the Democrats would accuse him of doing it as an election year ploy.

Posted by: MB at August 16, 2004 7:23 PM

Consider the source, though; has any serious Democrat opposed this move?

Kerry will shortly announce that he, too, would have pulled those troops out, but done it in consultation with our allies.

Posted by: mike earl at August 16, 2004 8:01 PM

Mike: This outburst demonstrats that the phrase "serious Democrat" is an oxymoron.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 16, 2004 8:09 PM

It's a little odd that the Democrats don't see any problem with making the following argument in the run-up to an election: [the plan is] dangerous, ill-conceived and a ploy to boost his bid for re-election

Posted by: David Cohen at August 16, 2004 8:16 PM

Further to the point, the only politically viable attack on the plan would be it does not call for enough withdrawls and it does not move the troops home fast enough.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 16, 2004 8:19 PM

CNN quotes Richard Holbrooke: "I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals. The Koreans are going to be equally unhappy." Yeah, comments like that are going to convince a whole lot of people to vote for Kerry who weren't already going to. Say, approximately zero.

Also, the same story says that Kerry is "taking a break from the campaign trail." I know that with the Olympics he would be hard pressed to make headlines, but does this man even want to be President any more?

Posted by: brian at August 16, 2004 8:49 PM

brian - What, you think being President would interfere with his windsurfing?

Posted by: pj at August 16, 2004 8:55 PM

For Clark and especially Holbrooke, statements like this reveal whom they really serve.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 16, 2004 10:03 PM

So I guess all those old "Bring our troops home NOW!" signs Kerry, Holbrooke and the rest has stuffed in their back closets from 30 years ago can finally go into the compost heap.

Posted by: John at August 16, 2004 10:25 PM

We never needed so many troops there in any case. Many more tactical nuclear weapons to halt a potential land advance from the east, yes. Troops, no.

Posted by: kevin whited at August 16, 2004 10:41 PM



Posted by: oj at August 16, 2004 10:48 PM

How bout this for a general rule of thumb for occupations.

When the number of monthly U.S. Tourists to a country rises above the number of U.S. Soldiers stationed in said country, the occupation is over and the troops can come home.

Posted by: AML at August 16, 2004 11:28 PM

The Germans have a lot of nerve complaining about U.S. troops leaving, after anti-Americanism was the key to winning the last German election.

Posted by: CL at August 17, 2004 1:01 AM

"A pullout from Europe, he said, would further strain relations with NATO allies, "be interpreted as the distancing of the US from NATO, and will set back US efforts to encourage greater NATO participation in Iraq"." (Clark)

So why not announce a doubling of troop strength in Europe in order to improve relations with NATO allies?

Posted by: Peter B at August 17, 2004 8:02 AM

did anyone notice that Holbrooke got about 2 1/2 minutes on NPR this AM when the actual story ran probably about a minute ?

jeez, talk about a liberal bias..

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at August 17, 2004 10:47 AM

Well, I wasn't going to suggest Bi'ill.

Just the generic mythical French ally, whom they all love so much.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 17, 2004 3:19 PM

Anyone know of a bloodthirsty French cult deity they can suggest instead?

The only one I can think of offhand is Maximilian Robespierre...

Posted by: Ken at August 17, 2004 4:15 PM