Sunday, July 04, 2004

Senator Kerry: Ignorant and Incompetent.

From Senator Kerry's Washington Post op-ed:

Like most Americans, I want to believe that this past week's events -- the transfer of sovereignty and the appearance of Saddam Hussein before an Iraqi court -- will place us on the road to success. But there is still no sign of a strategy that will get us there.

The achievement of a goal, declared a year before, ahead of schedule, is not a sign of a strategy?

...We still have an opportunity to prevent Iraq from becoming a failed state and a haven for global terrorists and Islamic extremists. We can still succeed in promoting stability, democracy, protection of minority and women's rights, and peace in the region, even at this late hour, if we construct and follow a realistic path.

The only deadlines in play are those set by the Bush Administration, which has achieved its previous goals on schedule or within days of schedule.

...But if we are to reduce the overwhelming military and financial burden America is bearing and maximize the chances of success, we will need help from others. Getting that help will require not only convincing our friends and allies that we share an interest in preventing failure but also giving them a meaningful voice and role in Iraqi affairs. That is the only way to forge real cooperation, and it is long past time for this to be done.

...We have to move our allies beyond the resentment they feel about the Bush administration's failed diplomacy so they can focus on their interest in fighting terrorism and promoting peace. The best way to do that is to vest friends and allies in Iraq's future.

On the economic front, that means giving them fair access to the multibillion-dollar reconstruction contracts. It also means letting them be a part of putting Iraq's profitable oil industry back together. In return, they must forgive Hussein's multibillion-dollar debts to their countries and pay their fair share of the reconstruction bill.

Incredible on three counts. Senator Kerry ignores the reality that on June 28th, Iraq took over control of contracting the reconstruction. Apart from that, he proposes we return to the days of Bismarck, when diplomats purchased alliances with overseas concessions. And finally, UN Security Council Resolution 687 affirmed debts incurred by Hussein were legitimate. You don't become a European Finance Minister by sending good money after bad in the hope of a sound return. President Bush hasn't had much luck here and neither would a President Kerry, not for all the "meaningful roles" in Iraq.

We should also give them a leadership role in pursuing our wider strategic goals in the region.

Doesn't this confirm everything President Bush and Vice-President Cheney have been saying about Senator Kerry? Senator Clinton defined herself in one sentence last week, and here's Senator Kerry in a nutshell.

As partners, we should convene a regional conference with Iraq's neighbors. Such a conference would have two goals. First, it should secure a pledge from Iraq's neighbors to respect Iraq's borders and not to interfere in its internal affairs. And second, it should commit Iraq's leaders to provide clear protection for minorities, thus removing a major justification for possible outside intervention. Together, we should jump-start large-scale involvement with an international high commissioner to coordinate economic assistance and organize and implement these diplomatic initiatives.

When Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier and Chamberlain met in Munich in 1938, it was to secure an agreement from Nazi Germany to respect Czech sovereignity in return for concessions to ethnic German citizens of Czechoslovakia. The result was not the removal of a justification for intervention, but an agreement that Czech sovereignity was conditional, not absolute. This gave Hitler the pretext for the conquest of Czechoslovakia, correctly confident that the UK and France would escape by blaming the irresponsible Czechs for not satisfying Hitler.

Senator Kerry proposes the United States undertake the same role as Chamberlain in a conference with Iran. Iran will guarantee not to invade Iraq, and Iraq will promise Iran to treat Shiites well. This is how Senator Kerry proposes we renew relations with Iran, with a craven show of appeasement at the expense of all our efforts to erect an independent, democratic Iraq.

Senator Kerry praised the enduring legacy of President Truman. Truman didn't call for our allies to make concessions to Stalin in return for peace. Truman told the Communists to respect the borders, or else. And then he made the deal permanent with a formal treaty of alliance with countries threatened by Communism.

That's the proper role of a President, not a slimy, hand-wringing peddler of foriegn oil contracts urging pre-emptive surrender treaties. What a way to ruin my Fourth.

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