Wow. Strong speech. Advantage Allawi (and Bush).
Kerry looks, er, very small today. I mean, was this statement for real? In its discombobulation, utter lack of grace (all but calling Allawi a liar--a man almost axed to death by Saddam's henchmen in the U.K. and under constant threat of assassination today), near absurdities ("Let me tell you, if the 4th Infantry Division and the diplomacy had been done (ed. note: whatever "done" means) with Turkey, you wouldn't have had a Fallujah"), pleading tone ("And ask the military leaders. Go ask the military leaders")--it reads more like a bona fide Deanian (or Goreian?) meltdown than a serious policy statement/press conference.
And am I the only one concerned that Kerry opened his remarks by proclaiming: "I want victory. I want to win." Er, shouldn't that go without saying? Why does a candidate for the U.S. Presidency even need to say that? How very odd. Of course, if he is serious about us winning--he should instead act like a statesman, head to Washington, and assure the new Iraq PM that there is a bipartisan consensus to support Iraq during its perilous path towards democracy whoever wins in November.
But no. Instead, a sour, rambling statement from the sidelines. As I said, small. Very small. I'm tempted to say he needs new advisors--but he's already gone through quite a few batches. At some point, the buck stops with the principal, no?
More on the Allawi speech and Kerry's remarks hopefully later tonight London time.
UPDATE: Heh. Matt Yglesias has a slightly different take (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). Needless to say, I guess, I think Matt's being a tad generous to Mr. Kerry. Or maybe, as one of B.D.'s smartest commenters (who runs an erudite left-of-center blog) contends--I'm being unfair to the Senator.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I just got off a special dial-in teleconference to hear Iyad Allawi speaking at the CFR (I trust it's on the record as the Council's main webpage mentions it is to be broadcast live on C-SPAN). Someone in the audience pointedly asked Allawi about Kerry's comments that I blog above--ie, that Allawi was in heavy-spin mode to give Bush political cover. Allawi responded: "I'm a tool of nobody." And then something about not getting involved in the internal politics of the U.S., that it's "none of our business."
He's better at all of this than Kerry, isn't he? And, apparently, more gracious too.Posted by Gregory Djerejian at September 23, 2004 09:09 PM