September 21, 2004
STANDS WITH WOLVES:
Finally, Kerry Takes a Stand (DAVID BROOKS, 9/21/04, NY Times)
First, Kerry argued that Iraq was never a serious threat to the United States, that the war was never justified and that Bush's focus on Iraq was a "profound diversion" from the real enemy, Osama bin Laden.
Second, Kerry argued that we are losing the war in Iraq. Casualties are mounting, the insurgency is spreading, and daily life is more miserable.
Third, Kerry argued that in times like this, brave leaders should tell the truth to the American people. Kerry reminded his audience that during Vietnam, he returned home "to offer my own personal voice of dissent," and he's decided to do the same thing now. The parallel is clear: Iraq is the new Vietnam.
Finally, Kerry declared that it is time to get out, beginning next summer. The message is that if Kerry is elected, the entire momentum of U.S. policy will be toward getting American troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible and shifting responsibility for Iraq onto other countries.
The crucial passage in the speech was this one: "The principles that should guide American policy in Iraq now and in the future are clear: we must make Iraq the world's responsibility, because the world has a stake in the outcome and others should share the burden." From a U.S. responsibility, Iraq will become the world's responsibility.
That's not actually the crucial one, because under the Kerry doctrine there could never be an international responsibility for Iraq: "Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell. But that was not, in itself, a reason to go to war." By Mr. Kerry's standard, what goes on in Iraq is none of our concern.
We prefer his prior, more American, standard: "Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein...don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president."Posted by Orrin Judd at September 21, 2004 9:40 AM