What Could Have Been
Opponents of the Bush administration and particularly the War In Iraq love to indulge in the parlor game of imagining what might have happened had Ohio gone the other way, or if Florida hadn’t been such a nailbiter. One thing’s for sure – much like the stand-up comics with the Monica Lewinsky story, I would have had an easier job coming up with funny posts.
Case in point is this article in the Boston Globe that is clearly pro-Kerry, yet reveals the man’s incoherence masquerading as sophistication:
Kerry’s proposal calls for a Dayton Accords-like conference, to include the various Iraqi factions, the League of Arab States, Iran, Syria, and the rest of Iraq’s neighbors (among others), to try to forge a consensus on Iraq’s future; a redeployment of US troops to support roles; and then a withdrawal of US combat troops by year’s end.
The senator, who used the weekend announcement of Iraq’s new government to highlight his plan again yesterday, says he’s trying to offer the country an alternative — one he will soon present as a Senate amendment to the defense budget.
“It is not going to pass, and I understand that,” Kerry said in a Friday interview. “The purpose of it is to point out to the country that there really is a different way to approach Iraq and to protect American troops and our interests.”
The Bush administration, of course, is highly unlikely to adopt his blueprint. If not, “they will be morally bankrupt for creating a Vietnam II decent-interval withdrawal situation or a stay-the-course policy,” Kerry said. “Either way, it is a loss for the United States of America. It is unacceptable both morally and practically.”
US forces in Iraq are not fighting traditional battles with enemy forces, Kerry notes. “The two biggest killers in Iraq are IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and suicide bombers,” he said. “Are you telling me, three-and-a-half years into this, that you can’t have Iraqis driving down the street instead of American soldiers . . . or going out on some of those patrols?”
Kerry acknowledges that if US troops did withdraw, there’s a risk that Iraq, which he judges already in a low-grade civil war, would descend into chaos. But that ultimately depends on the Iraqis themselves, he says.
Asked about the political implications, Kerry, who acknowledges he’s “looking hard” at running for president again in 2008 (and whose confidants fully expect a second campaign), says he’ll leave that discussion to others.
“I am where my conscience tells me and my mind tells me the best solution to this is,” he says. “If you do this pressure, and you have this summit, you have a chance of getting some kind of a stake hold that resolves this. If you don’t, you are going to find yourself in the quagmire and failure mode anyway.”
Again, I repeat that the above was written by a Kerry supporter…but what can it possibly mean? The hope for Iraq lies in a summit and precipitious withdrawal – withdrawal that is telegraphed? “If you do this pressure, and you have this summit, you have a chance of getting some kind of a stake hold that resolves this. If you don’t, you are going to find yourself in the quagmire and failure mode anyway”? Whaaa…?
Quagmire and failure mode? Well, we wouldn’t want that. How about this: “they will be morally bankrupt for creating a Vietnam II decent-interval withdrawal situation or a stay-the-course policy”? A Vietnam II decent-interval withdrawal situation? Huh? Has Kerry been introduced to the English language?
It’s true George Bush is not the smoothest of speakers – but his meaning is seldom unclear. The gift of gab does not make an intelligent man, and Kerry is proof positive of that. Oh, I don’t mean he’s stupid – he’s reasonably intelligent, but there is a lack of clarity in his pronouncements that seems to attempt to cover the lack of ideas with a sheen of high-toned gibberish.
He truly has become a ‘progressive’, however – note how eagerly he proposed legislation that he himself knows won’t pass. Nothing like the quixotic gesture – that’ll teach those blasted terrorists!
The punchline is yet to come, however:
…[N]othing in public life is ever really divorced from political considerations, and certainly nothing as charged as Iraq. Although some have written Kerry off as a delusional Democratic dinosaur who doesn’t realize his time as a serious presidential candidate has come and gone, that actually gives him short shrift.
Kerry wouldn’t begin a 2008 campaign as the front-runner, certainly, but neither would he be a laughingstock.
My friends, I don’t know much for sure in this crazy life – but I tell you this with absolute certainty – if John Kerry runs in 2008, he will most definitely be a laughingstock…at least if I have anything to do with it.