The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Kerry: foreign policy half wit or lying opportunist?
Kerry challenges Bush's policy
LOS ANGELES - Sen. John Kerry, giving a wide-ranging critique of the Bush administration's national security policies, accused the President yesterday of leaving Iraq in "disarray" and said U.S. troops there had "no exit in sight."
Kerry challenged what he said was Bush's policy of going it alone in trying to introduce democracy to Iraq, an approach that has suffered repeated setbacks as one group of Iraqis after another has rejected the U.S. vision of how to proceed. The Democratic presidential front-runner endorsed reliance upon the United Nations instead.
"We must offer the U.N. the lead role in assisting Iraq with the development of new political institutions," Kerry said. "And we must stay in Iraq until the job is finished."
While it is reassuring when Kerry says we should not quit Iraq "until the job is finished," I wonder if the man reads the papers.
The UN had a more substantial capacity in Iraq once, but they were chased out by a suicide bombing in August. They have a desire to participate, but they have neither the capacity nor the will to play a "lead role" in the reconstruction of Iraq.
And any person who has picked up a paper in the last nine months knows that there are several countries in the UN who would love to sabotage Iraq, if for no other reason than they once told the US not to invade (France, Germany and Russia). These countries, it is now known, were once getting huge amounts of cash from Saddam.
Several countires that might step forward with substantial help (i.e. Turkey, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia), view a stable, democratic Iraq as the worst possible outcome.
Changing course now means abandoning a course that is getting results. Every despotic government in the region is threatened, and Al Qaeda has cast its lot firmly with the forces of tyranny.
Iraq is now the most America friendly government in a very bad neighborhood. Where else in the region could Americans run the country, hire hundreds of thousands of police and soldiers to work alongside us and still have overwhelming popular support from the locals for staying until the job is done?
Bad governments in Syria, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia now fear their own people more than they hate us.
That is progress.
Iraq's path - though muddled and dangerous -is moving in the right direction:
What's more, that consensus (on the interim constitution) is a remarkably liberal one. We've heard a lot of nonsense over the past two years that Muslims aren't ready for self-government, and that the Bush Administration was imperial in trying to "impose" it. But Iraqis of all stripes didn't need a lot of prodding to draft what is far and away the most liberal constitution in the Arab world, including what a senior coalition official calls "an extraordinary bill of rights."
Those include the rights to free speech and assembly, the free exercise of religion, habeas corpus and a fair and open trial. There will be gender equality and civilian control of the military. The interim government to be elected by next January will be parliamentary in nature, with a weak executive composed of a president and two deputies.
Kerry is going to face some very tough foreign policy questions on the campaign trail. He will need to answer them with something more than "bring it on."
His answers will reveal how stupid (and gullible) he thinks Americans can be.
And they will tell Americans how friendly he thinks our dangerous world is.