September 24, 2004

Krugman Channels Kerry

"Realistic goals".

Read: A mammoth abdication of responsibility and the biggest blow to American credibility in the international arena since Vietnam.

Make no mistake--this is what Krugman is advocating. And, I strongly suspect, this is the face of a prospective Kerry Iraq policy too. Once you strip away all the "nuance." Certainly his embarassing performance yesterday would tend to reinforce such a view, no?

MORE:

Joe Lockhart, a top advisor to Kerry's campaign:

“The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips,” said Joe Lockhart, a senior Kerry adviser.

Disgraceful. (Hat tip: Glenn).

Remember, Kerry may need to work with this so-called "puppet" in the future. Regardless, this is astonishingly irresponsible campaign rhetoric from a key member of the challenger's campaign team. To malign the serving PM of Iraq as appearing a "puppet" plays right into the handbook of insurgents operating in Iraq. I'm truly shocked Kerry would ostensibly authorize such an inflammatory statement (ie., not in the Casablanca 'shocked, shocked' kinda way).

STILL MORE: I'm not the only one who is using the "D" word this week.

Meanwhile, W.43rd St. is dutifully playing Kerry campaign defense--reporting this straight-faced without any, er, blushing:

Mr. Kerry's campaign replied that he had not insulted Dr. Allawi but was just questioning his outlook.

Heh. As Sully puts it: I link, you decide. Lockhart's statement wasn't meant as an insult to Allawi? C'mon-- Who are you going to believe, me or your lyin' eyes?

Posted by Gregory at September 24, 2004 01:10 PM
Comments

Possible Kerry slogan - I will reach out to foreign leaders - so that I can denounce them as puppets.

Snide cheap shot - how many weeks until "imperial running dog" and "imperialist lackey" reach the Lockhart lexicon?

Posted by: Tom Maguire at September 24, 2004 03:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Disgraceful."

Cetainly an understatement. Kerry and his campaign-cronies are fortunate that the United States doesn't pursue acts of sedition as enthusiastically as in the past.

Freedom of speech is one thing, spouting the enemies base propoganda from a campaign loudspeaker is quite another.

Posted by: IdaWizard at September 24, 2004 03:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sedition?
Pahleeeze.

I'm curious. What exactly should Kerry or his campaign staff have said that would have pleased you that would't have sounded like Baghdad Bob? Even members of the administration (per Novak) don't buy the "all is well" talk. Kerry has said repeatedly that he would not "cut and run", but insists that its important to tell the truth.

How could Kerry differentiate himself from the policy in Iraq and tell the truth about his perception of the situation there in a way you wouldn't find offensive?

Posted by: TexasToast at September 24, 2004 04:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think that Americans have a high regard for Alawi and take is words very seriously. Furthermore, most would treat him politely even if they were skeptical. He is the closest thing to a representative leader in the Arab States.

Criticizing him directly in this fashion will not be good for Kerry.

Posted by: jj USA at September 24, 2004 04:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I hope Bush nails Kerry on this in the debates.

Kerry says we need a different approach to Iraq, and then he humiliates our guy in Iraq. Kerry says we need to be humble and seek help from other nations, then he calls our steadfast allies bribed and coerced. This guy is a jerkoff that could care less about the impact his words have on the real world, he's convinced that him being president is more important. Arrogant prick.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 24, 2004 04:08 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Toast, you dont think its out of bounds calling the guy that the US _and UN_ has recognized as Iraqs interrim leader a puppet is fundamentally unhelpful to the situation? You dont think this will be used as propaganda by our enemies? What should they say? How about we respect Mr Allawi but disagree?

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 24, 2004 04:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Look, Bush has repeatedly acknowledged that it's a tough fight in Iraq and just last week he said it's going to get worse as the Iraqi elections draw near. Nobody's "sugarcoating" anything. That however does not mean that the insurgents are winning. It also doesn't mean there isn't any good news. That's Bush's point.

Kerry on the other hand, is not just sketching a picture of defeat, he is now OPENLY aping the same rhetoric the terrorists use to justify the beheadings - ie. "wrong war, wrong time, bla bla". This, after he supported the war a few weeks ago! Unbelievable...

Kerry has up until now criticised everyone involved in Iraq for everything, with the notable exception of the insurgents themselves! The mere thought of Kerry in the White House makes me want to throw up.

Given his astonishing insensitivity towards our allies, and his constant defeatist attitude I have to say it - I am now starting to question Kerry's patriotism, and I don't give a shit what the left thinks about it.

Posted by: Trippin at September 24, 2004 04:17 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Man, it is always amateur hour over there at the Kerry camp.

I think these guys are so caught up in congratulating themselves on how smart they are that they never stop to think about the real world effects of what they say. Their understanding of foreign policy is wholly academic in nature.

I don't think they understand that they are actual players in the events in Iraq.

Posted by: Shannon Love at September 24, 2004 04:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I would second Mark's response to TT as to what Kerry might've/should've said and add that, as a sitting Senator who aspires to the position of CIC, Kerry also might've/should've *shown up for Allawi's address* and then, at least, appear to have considered Allawi's remarks prior to issuing any sort of statement, as opposed to knee-jerkingly parroting the current party line from a campaign appearance.

Posted by: mikeski at September 24, 2004 04:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Toast,

My comments were not only targeted at Kerry's stupidity yesterday, but his sister's (attempted) undermining of our Australian allies, and his dissing of the European allies who ARE with us.

We need help in the fight against Islamic Terrorists. His "friendly-fire" at the heads of our allies, should be a wake-up call for anybody who thinks he'd be the alliance-builder he claims.

Pahleeze.

Posted by: IdaWizard at September 24, 2004 04:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Shocked? Kerry is running as a DEFEATIST candidate, Greg.

This article from Ralph Peters nails it.

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/19598.htm

Posted by: john marzan at September 24, 2004 04:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kerry, as a matter of respect for our allies absolutely should have been right there listening to the speech. I don't think the dude has a clue that the internet is as potent as it is.

Pre-internet and bloggers he probably could have got away with that crap.

Posted by: zyzzyx at September 24, 2004 04:54 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I will not question John Kerry's patriotism. It's obvious he has none.

Posted by: Taro at September 24, 2004 05:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Looking at the bright side of this, could we be so lucky to have such an incompetent opponent?

Posted by: William at September 24, 2004 05:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Kerry also might've/should've *shown up for Allawi's address*"

He might've/should've shown up to vote yea or nay on Porter Goss's confirmation. John Edwards, too.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at September 24, 2004 05:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

John F Kerry has decided to run a campaign out of the pages of "The Nation" or "The Progressive." These propaganda rags will give him the leftist end of the spectrum, but the undecided middle is going to feel uncomfortable with the radical, quasi fascist ideas. Kerry won the nomination by making Dean look like an extremist. Now he is out-Deaning Dean. This is pure destructive politics.

Posted by: Texas Roast at September 24, 2004 05:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kerry is a disgrace, Joe Lockhart is a disgrace, Dan Rather is a disgrace. The democrat party needs Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller. They need more Sam Nunns and fewer Ted Kennedys. Until they recognize this they are destined to be the minority party and that is a shame. I'm a republican, but I understand how valuable a meaningful opposition can be to the political process.

Bush has plenty for us to be unhappy about. John Kerry might easily have earned my vote had he come out with uequivical support for the president, troops in Iraq, the WOT and then proceeded to ask the questions about the other issues which need to be discussed.

I'd love Bush to come out and say "I never missed a TANG physical, but I did sleep in once". That's how important this DNC insistence on Vietnam is.

Posted by: EddieP at September 24, 2004 05:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Seems the cynic would claim that Kerry can't wait until he he's president so that HE can be the puppetmaster to the American puppets. Otherwise why ever claim that Allawi is a puppet? Once Bush is gone, what does that make our Iraqi allies, if not Kerry's puppets? If Kerry thinks that they are Bush puppets, but once Bush is gone the Iraqi allies will suddenly become self thinking, why go and insult them right now?

Clearly, Kerry alienating the exact people we most need to stabilize Iraq. We need Allawi (et al) far more than we need France. Kerry thinking otherwise proves his unseriousness as a candidate.

Kerry has made a far worse mistake with this insult at Allawi, than what the critics can say the Bush administration has ever allegedly done with regard to the UN or Old Europe.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Eric Anondson at September 24, 2004 05:45 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yeah, for a guys who is supposed to be both smarter than Bush and have this unworldly appreciation for "nuance," he's pretty f*cking world-class stupid and has all the nuance of a sledgehammer in the hands of a six-year old girl. It's hard to believe he's the best the Democrats could come up with this year... What a twit.

Posted by: Tim at September 24, 2004 06:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What Kerry could have said:
///Kerry On//
While I admire the Interim Prime Minister and wish nothing but the best for the Iraqi people, I fear that the road will be longer and harder without significant international support.

My point has always been that the Bush administration is misleading itself, the American people, and the Iraqi people by not expanding the size and scope of international participation. The allies in Iraq now are but the start of what should be a grander coalition; we’re at the stage we should have been a year ago. Had I been engaged a year ago, the number of countries would be double that today, the number of military personnel and civilian workers would be quadruple today’s numbers, and Iraqi police and defense forces would be triple the size they are today.

Bush’s slow start has hobbled development and let the forces of darkness establish a stronghold. Hope for the future is dimmer that it would otherwise be. That’s why we need a change. That’s why I am seeking the office of the presidency: hope for Iraqis and hope for America.
///Kerry Off//

But he’s a putz, so he can’t say things like this.

Posted by: The Kid at September 24, 2004 06:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mark (and others)

Allawi goes on the Newshour and says that "... if Saddam were still there, terrorist will be hitting there again at Washington and New York, as they did in the murderous attacks in September ..."

Sounds just like the R talking points - Saddam = AQ. This has been debunked soooooo many times, but it seems to resurface again and again and again. If Allawi is going to be a Republican campaign operative, its really not out of bounds to call him a "puppet". IIRC, he sure acted like one on the amnesty question.

Seems to me that charging Kerry (and myself, as a supporter of Senator Kerry) with what amounts to treason by giving "aid and comfort to the enemy" is what strains the boundaries of acceptable political discourse. I really resent the implication that strong opposition equals treason.

Posted by: TexasToast at September 24, 2004 06:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kerry is worse than a mere appeaser. He openly attacks our friends in a way that can only further embolden our enemies. It doesn't matter that he's not going to get elected. By spewing this crap, he is prolonging the war and costing American lives. (So is GWB by putting the lives of Iraqi civilians above those of our troops. But that's a different story...)

Posted by: Dana H. at September 24, 2004 06:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"If Allawi is going to be a Republican campaign operative, its really not out of bounds to call him a "puppet". IIRC, he sure acted like one on the amnesty question. "
You might be right in a general sense, but pragmatically how does this help the interests of the United States? Is Kerry going to kick Allawi to the curb if elected (and how does that work?) How is Kerry going to work with this man? Basically, was what Kerry said worth the cost that the statement will certainly run the United States interests, that goes straight to the heart of Kerry's judgement.

Couldnt Kerry and his minions have found a diplomatic way to say these things? Why in god's name should we believe Kerry will be this great diplomat he claims he will when he's managed to insult so many allies who just happen to support Bush?

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 24, 2004 06:30 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Texas Toast -

Even if Allawi were totally, 100% Bush's "puppet" (which I hardly think is the case, but just supposing) it is ultimately beside the point. Kerry tries to portray himself as the nuanced diplomat to contrast himself to Bush's "cowboy" style. Tell me, what is diplomatic about insulting a man with whom he may well have to work very closely if he were elected? Relatedly, what is diplomatic about calling the allies who have stuck by us "coerced and bribed" as his sister did in Australia? He's burning bridges with the very people who have actually stuck by America before he even gets in office, and that is neither diplomatic, nor wise, nor presidential.

Posted by: Nicole Griffin at September 24, 2004 06:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Lockhart" pretty much sums up everything that I think is wrong with the Democratic Party. They have degenerated into nothing but a group of irresponsible bomb-throwers. Don't they realize that their words have consequences? It is NOT helpful to anyone (including themselves) to have them repeatedly tearing at the fabric of our nation and our alliances.

Posted by: godfodder at September 24, 2004 06:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

WHY are you all acting surprised?

Isn't this the same John Kerry who was a leader in the Vietnam Vets against the War in 1971?

This is no surprise, he's doing exactly what one would predict from his past behaviors.

Posted by: Marty at September 24, 2004 06:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

WHY are you all acting surprised?

Isn't this the same John Kerry who was a leader in the Vietnam Vets against the War in 1971?

This is no surprise, he's doing exactly what one would predict from his past behaviors.

Posted by: Marty at September 24, 2004 06:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Looking at the bright side of this, could we be so lucky to have such an incompetent opponent?"

It's interesting to note that lefty bloggers are attempting to instantiate a "Kerry has really been consistent on Iraq" meme when it seems to me that what he's been trying to do is to position himself to the left and right of Bush simultaneously - signalling his True Appeasement Feelings to soothe his base, while telling the swing voters how Bush can be improved on. It's a tough thing to do, but maybe he needs to do it to win. So is he incompetent or crafty?

(Note: Dick Morris, on one of the cable channels explained this dilemma of Kerry's....)

Posted by: Joe Mealyus at September 24, 2004 06:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

WHY are you all acting surprised?

Isn't this the same John Kerry who was a leader in the Vietnam Vets against the War in 1971?

This is no surprise, he's doing exactly what one would predict from his past behaviors.

Posted by: Marty at September 24, 2004 06:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

sorry about the repetition, I kept getting responses my post was not accepted.

Posted by: Marty at September 24, 2004 06:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As kind of an odd corollary to my previous post, one reason why I will find a Kerry presidency interesting is that I'm simply curious to see what he *does* do - he's left his options as about as open as could be. (Ron Rosenbaum's very interesting take on Kerry has contributed to my curiosity greatly).

Posted by: Joe Mealyus at September 24, 2004 06:54 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Toast -- this is a War on Terror. It is not limited to revenge against AQ for 9/11.

Which is better to do first ... capture Osama. or make sure terrorists (AQ or not) do not have access to Iraq's resources and protection?

Saddam & Sons were terrorists in their own nation, and supported other terrorists inside and outside their borders. Not only did that make them legit targets in this War -- the resources they commanded, their history of opportunistic gambling, and a lack of any credible local deterrent to Iraqi power projection made them a UNIQUE threat to the peace.

Y'all might say that North Korea and Iran are greater threats because of possible nuclear capabilities -- but keep in mind that the certainty of retaliation, given the relatively-tracable efforts needed to build and deploy nukes, is a very effective deterrent to their use.

OTOH, the deployment of chemical weapons, by terrorist surrogates (not necessarily AQ) against the West by Saddam & Sons could be achieved with a reasonable hope of plausible deniability ... especially given the way Saddam appeared to play the UN like a Stradivarius. He could have his cake and eat it too.

We KNOW they still had the chem-weapons progams in place, so how long would it have taken them to get them running again after the diplomats declared success and pulled out the (undermanned and underauthorized) inspection teams?

Also, Kim Jong Il is crazy -- but he has China right next door to pull his chain. He is not suicidal, like the useful idiots that would come to Saddam for nukes ... and he is not the meglomainiac that Saddam (who has always sought to be the Big Man in the Middle East) is.

As for Iran, the head Ayatollah does not have absolute power over his nation ... there are other, cooler heads that will check and balance him, and vice-versa. Contrast that with the TOTAL control Saddam had over Iraq ... in Iraq, there were no internal checks-and-balances working against Saddam.

Taking Saddam & Sons out is the exact equivalent to bombing munitions plants in WWII -- instead of just concentrating on capturing Hitler. Because of it, the next terrorist attacks (AQ and otherwise) will be far more likely to be fought with boxcutters, AK's, and car bombs -- than be leveraged with the power of such force multipliers as VX.

From one Texan to another ...

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at September 24, 2004 06:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

TexasToast,

Regarding "R talking points - Saddam=AQ" Do you know what a straw man argument is? Because that's all you've got.

I agree that strong opposition is not treason. So what do you have to say about Teresa HK and John Edwards calling their opponents "un-American?" What do you think about James Carville advocating intimidation of the press? Michael Moore called Bush a “traitor”, and that gets him a seat next to Jimmy Carter at the Democratic convention. It seems to me that the Democrats are turning into the national socialist (no caps) party.

These are not rhetorical questions; I really want to know what you think. If you want me to vote for Kerry, convince me that the Democratic Party hasn’t lost its mind.

BTW, criticism of the Republicans is not a defense of Kerry.

Posted by: WTF? at September 24, 2004 06:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As this campaign has gone on and issues have been discussed and the various people associated with the campaigns have spoken, I've grown to like John Edwards more and more and more.

So as such, I'm really disappointed that he has to be associated with the rest of this campaign. He appears to be smart and he's charming. He's consistently (unlike Kerry) been on the right side of the debate over National Security.

But he's now forever associated with these clueless asshats running things at the top of the ticket. Even Kerry's wife deserves better than these jokers.

Posted by: Mr Vee at September 24, 2004 07:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Resistance will bring down the Republican machine, no matter how loudly you blood-soaked neocons cry! Thank God for men like Joe Lockhart, who see injustice, choose not to bend their knee to the oppressors, and instead stand with the downtrodden!

Thank God for John Kerry, and long live the Resistance!

Posted by: William Joyce at September 24, 2004 07:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

All this talk about denegrating allies is silly coming from the folks who spent the better part of three years denegrating our traditional allies in Europe.
Mr. Alawi is in a caretaker role that, according to the White House is supposed to end in January in next year when Iraq holds elections. The odds of Mr. Alawi winning that election would be no more that 20-1. He is seen in Iraq and throughout the world for what he is, an Iraqi face on american power. If we are really going to have elections, shouldn't we let them take place first before declaring Mr. Alawi the winner? Before this white house goes around pinning for more diplomatic rhetoric, shouldn't they practice what they preach?
Do you need to be reminded again that hope is not a strategy? Pointing out the utter fantasy of Mr. Bush and Mr. Alawi's view of the situation is not unpatriotic or undiplomatic. The first step in solving any problem is admitting there is one. Maybe you all think that if we stay in Iraq long enough and if we bomb enough safehouses the problem will go away. History will tell you the exact opposite is true. We have the tiger by the tail in Iraq. We cannot tame it and we cannot let it go. There are no good options available. That's the reality we face. Guess who's fault that is? This president has made a mess that will likely result in the eventual partition of Iraq with consequences that are dangerous for the west and for the world. We will have strengthened the Iranian Mullahs who will do to the Iraqi Shites what Syria did to Lebanon. The Kurds will seek autonomy, destabilizing our allies in Turkey. The rest of Iraq will become a failed state dominated by their Syrian neighbors or worse. If Mr. Alawi so confident of his country's ability to solve the security mess in Iraq, he should get out of the Green Zone, abandon his US security and surround himself with Iraqi bodyguards. Until that happens, his words here this week are nothing more than empty rhetoric designed to help get Mr. Bush re-elected.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 07:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I really resent the implication that strong opposition equals treason.
Posted by: TexasToast at September 24, 2004 06:10 PM

Dear TT,

Regardless of the legal definition, it is clear that post Fonda and Kerry words alone will not constitute actionable treason, however if I were a soldier in Iraq I would resent a presidential candidate who is too stupid to realize, or too unprincipled to care, that his words have consequences.

Posted by: Terry Gain at September 24, 2004 07:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Terry Gain writes:

"however if I were a soldier in Iraq I would resent a presidential candidate who is too stupid to realize, or too unprincipled to care, that his words have consequences. "

Well, actions have consequences too. If I were a soldier in Iraq I would be asking what exactly is the plan. I keep hearing about elections but how will elections effect the insurgents if the United States continues to occupy Iraq? Until there is a credible Iraqi alternative to US power, there will be an insurgent problem. Mr. Alawi and Mr. Bush cannot create an Iraqi alternative to US power and control that power at the same time. We've tried that with the Falluja Brigade and half of those guys joined the opposition, giving our enemies the benefit of our hardware and training. This idea that we must treat Mr. Alawi as some sort of Iraqi version of Lech Walesa is preposterous. The Neocons in the white house choose him, not the Iraqi people. Let's quit pretending otherwise.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 07:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

are there no more decent and patroitic democrats in their party other than Zell and Joe Lieberman?

I wish Joe Lieberman would come out and speak out against his own party and candidate's irresponsible and defeatist statements. Oh Joe, where are you when your party needs a conscience? You need to speak up and SAVE your party from irrelevance.

As for the Republicans, this isn't just about beating Kerry anymore. I hope they take advantage of this temporary insanity that is afflicting the entire Democratic party and make them pay.

I hope Bush wins so that the democrats can never get away with this defeatist nonsense ever again.

I also noticed that Hillary Clinton is very quiet lately. If Hillary wants to be a serious candidate in 2008, she better start denouncing Kerry now...

Posted by: john marzan at September 24, 2004 07:45 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Nick, the election is in January. Dont you think that that period and the transition to the new government will be a touchy time? Wont whoever is president need a good working relationship with Allawi as well as whoever replaces him?

Whatever happened to politics ending at the waters edge? Kerry's statements have just been wreckless and unserious (couldnt he have shown up for the speach? Did he even speak with Allawi while he was here to hear what the man has to say face to face?). Lockhart goes way beyond that. Calling Allawi a puppet could cost American soldiers their lives. The man is a scumbag and unpatriotic.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 24, 2004 07:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Resistance? How can the Left, that has/had been in power in the U.S. for well over half a century--that still controls all facets of major media and entertainment, who still have the upper hand in the culture wars---proclaim to be the "Resistance"? Resisting what? The conservative opposition's right to be a part of the dialogue? Resisting over half of the population's right to free speech?

It was all well and good before the Reagan Revolution...a true Resistance...for the Left to denigrate, deride, delay, derail, denounce, and defy anyone who dared have an opinion that strayed from the norm found in the media and entertainment.

Sauce for the goose is bitter. But the Left isn't "resisting" so much as it is pitifully "insisting".

Posted by: Joan of ARgghh! at September 24, 2004 07:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A few responses.

Nick: Yeah, a lot of us are pretty pissed at France, Germany, et al and are very vocal about it (still are). And yes, it's been ad hominem at times. But there's a sharp line between administration-supporting hacks like us and the administration itself. I don't recall Mr. Bush or any member of his administration calling Mr. Chirac a puppet of Saddam. As for the situation in Iraq, I simply don't share your pessimism.

And I don't think anyone is pretending that Allawi is a savior or can credibly be called the choice of the Iraqi people. But what should we have done instead? There has to be some transition between occupation and true sovereignty. Poorly planned and executed? In many ways yes, we could have done better (and should keep trying). But I'm not sure what other alternatives had a more realisitc chance of success.

TheKid: I agree; if Kerry were presidential, he would have said something much more like that. He's too used to Massachussetts politics, where throwing rhetorical Molotov cocktails and pulling outrageous PR stunts (the medal toss, the Winter Soldier Report, visiting with the Sandanistas, etc.) got him airtime and energized his base, consequences elsewhere be damned. He had little to fear as his Senate seat was always relatively secure. This guy was not ready for the national stage. Where the hell are the adults in the Democratic party?

TexasToast: I agree that Allawi stepped in it with that statement on Newshour. But that does not make him a puppet. Allawi has placed himself and those he cares about at mortal risk daily to lead Iraq forward. Puppets tend not to stick their necks out that far. He has to run a gauntlet of IEDs, RPGs, and the like every day, and I doubt he would do that unless he was damn sure it was the right thing for his country. He's a politician and has some chutzpah to be sure, but I don't have reason to doubt (right now, anyway), his sincerity in wanting to bring democracy to Iraq. Here's hoping he doesn't go all Chalabi on us...

Posted by: Owen at September 24, 2004 08:08 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The question of whether or not Alawi is an American "puppet" is entirely beside the point! The point is that we all (and I include John Kerry and Joe Lockhart in that "we") have a vested interest in seeing that he succeeds in shepherding his broken nation through this period of near anarchy. What is the benefit of cutting his legs out from under him and denouncing him as a puppet? And this from a fat narcissist like Joe L. who never put his life on the line for anything (except once, when he accidentally stood Bill and the Krispy Kremes).

How might it look if Bush followed Kerry's lead? I'm sure the world would applaud his candor when he suggested that our coalition allies were simply weak and corrupt (excuse me "coerced and bribed"). I'm sure we all would see the wisdom of Bush joking publically about how he was making Alawi "dance like a puppet on a string." Hee, hee... all in good fun, ya know?

If such statements by Bush would be counter-productive, stupid, inflammatory, and destructive, then why aren't they when Kerry says them?

Posted by: godfodder at September 24, 2004 09:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Owen,

This adminstration denigrated our allies over their sincere disagreement with our policies prior to the war in Iraq. Do you remember "freedom fries" and "Old Europe"? You're investing all kinds of democratic ideals into Mr. Alawi but there is nothing in his history that supports them. He is a former Bathist. That indicates he joined the Bath Party rather than resist it. He was a CIA asset. That means he was on the payroll of the CIA as some kind of informant. There are rumors, true or not, that he personally shot a few prisoners on a visit to Abu Gharib shortly after taking office. These things indicate a love of power rather than a commitment to democracy. Mr. Alawi is the Iraqi face behind our military power. In otherwords, a US Puppet. You may not like the words but they are accurate. He also isn't sticking his neck out much farther than the protective bubble of the so called Green Zone in Baghdad. If he leaves the security of the Green Zone, it's never without the support of several armored personnel carriers, a few apache helicopters and several dozen United States Marines. We need to face the reality of what we are doing in Iraq rather cling to the fantasy that all is well. If you don't think Mr. Alawi is going to be called a Puppet, exactly what kind of election do you anticipate for Iraq? I know if I was running in opposition to him for the Presidency of Iraq, that's what I would call him. An American Puppet. Or do you think our will should supersede the will of the Iraqi people? If so, let's be honest and stop calling these elections democratic.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 09:17 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Or do you think our will should supersede the will of the Iraqi people? If so, let's be honest and stop calling these elections democratic. "

Fine, but dont you think maybe we should wait for the election before judgeing? Whats the point of calling the guy a puppet now except to undercut the whole attempt? That is stupid. Fine, if this election is corrupt it wont be a secret, the whole friggin world will be wathcing. Scream all you like at that point, but why now? Do you folks ever intend to give the Iraqis the slightest glimmer of a chance if you can help it? Self fufilling prophecies.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 24, 2004 09:28 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Godfodder,

No, WE do not have any interest in whether or not Mr. Alawi succeeds. We only have an interest in seeing Iraq succeed. Mr. Alawi cannot bring democracy to Iraq. He is too close to the US occupation forces. His prospects are irrelavent. He can only accend to power as a strongman, not as a democratically elected head of state. That's why this administration has made another in a very long line of mistakes by trying to puff up his stature around the world. In the best case, he will be a memory come February of next year. In the worst case, he may use our armed forces to solidify his own power and try and become the strongman so many in the middle east think is needed in Iraq. One would hope we haven't spent $200b, lost over a thousand US soldiers and god knows how many more wounded just to swap one strongman with another.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 09:33 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You know if I were Kerry, I'd rather have no supporters at all, than to have guys like Foresta mangling my message. Gee, with friends like Foresta, Kerry needs no enemies.

Posted by: Fabulous Noise at September 24, 2004 09:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The answer is simple, and this is from a former Democrat.

The left has become hostage to a party of loons. Period. Until the lunacy ends, they will never hold power again.

Braun Tacon

Posted by: Braun Tacon at September 24, 2004 09:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mark Buehner,

I'm not prejudging the elections in Iraq. What I'm saying is right now, today, yesterday when Mr. Alawi spoke to Congress, he is a puppet of the United States. He lives in the green zone, he is protected by our military forces and he is the Iraqi face of the occupation. Those things are not said to be hurtful to anyone. They are simply facts.

I cannot give the Iraqi people anything. This, for me, is an academic discussion. I have no power to affect events in Iraq. Whatever happens going forward in Iraq is not going to be my fault or the fault of those who think as I do. If Iraq fails and decends into civil war, there is only one place we should look for blame.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 09:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Nick,

1. Yes, I remember "Freedom Fries" and "Old Europe". Sorry if I don't recall the administration pushing "Freedom Fries" as a matter of policy in response to Mr. Chirac. And praising "New Europe" and contrasting it to "Old Europe" is a far cry from "puppet" and "fantasy world". I concede that Rumsfeld's "bad cop" to Powell's "good cop" has worn thin, to Rummy's detriment.

2. Read my post, please: "And I don't think anyone is pretending that Allawi is a savior or can credibly be called the choice of the Iraqi people." As I said, I don't doubt his sincerity at the moment, but I'm hardly invested in him as a reformer.

3. IIRC, Allawi spent about 30 years in exile, yes? And the last time I checked, the CIA was on OUR SIDE. Wouldn't working for our side be considered a good thing? Or is everything associated with the CIA always and everywhere wrong? Lots of people would have lots of 'splainin' to do.

Would you have rather he worked for the KGB?

4. Shot prisoners? Maybe. Never substantiated. No doubt, the rumor should at least make us wary. Again, see #2. Nobody ever said we could do this without having to hold hands with some SOBs along the way (though it's also obvious at this point how overly optimistic the administration was). Insist on the morally pure, and you get paralysis. If he turns out to be a thug, I'll be first in line demanding we drop him.

5. I'm sure the bodyguard is reassuring. But nobody - including our military - is perfect, and the insurgents have scored some major kills already. I know I wouldn't sleep well at night if I were in Allawi's place.

6. Of course he's going to be called a puppet by some in Iraq and elsewhere. The point is: why should someone who wants to be President allow his advisors to call him one? Again: it's not presidential. Kerry will have to deal with Allawi if he wins in November, even if it's just long enough to dump him for someone else. Wouldn't that make the new guy another puppet?

What I think you're saying, Nick, and do correct my impession if necessary, is you want Iraq to have a completely sovereign, legitimate (ie chosen by, and accountable to, the people) government in Iraq, and that isn't happening because Allawi is in power with the support of the US governement. For the record, I would also like Iraq to have a sovereign, legitimate government, independent of US power. Just how do you propose we get there? Hold an election tomorrow and leave on Sunday? Do you think that will lead to a legitimate government? Should we just dump Allawi now? Do you think an Iraqi government with no chief executive until the January elections will be effective or confidence inspiring?

Allawi - or anyone else who might have been installed - is a stepping stone. We have to transition from occupation to sovereignty. If not with Allawi and an interim regime propped up by American power, then how?

And why am I asking you when Kerry should have presented his alternative months ago?

Posted by: Owen at September 24, 2004 09:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

In keeping with my statement that I do not share any blame for terrorists in Iraq feeling emboldened by the Kerry campaign's recent lunacy, I won't be voting in the upcoming election. I also won't support my candidate sending signals of support to the enemy in any public discussion.

After all, I wouldn't want people to think that I supported a political movement that is feeding off terrorist attacks and celebrating American losses...

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 09:56 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, then I guess the National Intelligence Assessment is also loony. So too the British Intelligence community. They have both predicted an eventual partition, civil war or both. Again, hope is not a strategy. There are forces inside and outside Iraq that are pulling it apart. Failure to recognize those forces and deal with them is what got us here to begin with. We should have sealed the border with Iran and Syria. We should have had more troops on the ground during the initial invasion which would have made it more difficult for the former regime elements to melt back into the population. We should have done a lot of things and failing to do them has left us with few good options. That's how we got to where we are now. The left isn't responsible for that. This was an idea hatched in the Neocon thinktanks and executed by the Bush Administration. Calling me loony may make you feel better but it won't change the facts on the ground. Mr. Bush has made a series are errors in judgement and in execution that have brought us to this point and you guys cannot bring yourselves to face the facts.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 09:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I will say this for Junior and his "disciples". They sure have some cojones. After all they have said and done to Kerry over the last few months, they have the gall to call him "unpatriotic" on his crticism of ALLAWI's "misguided optimism". I have a cousin in IRAQ at this moment who agrees with Kerry's view. I guess he is "unpatriotic" too.

And since when did the Right become sensitive about what was said about "our allies" ?

Posted by: BULLA at September 24, 2004 09:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The comment posted at 9:56 is not from me. Just for the record.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 10:02 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I, for one, welcome our new terrorist overlords!

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 10:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"I'm not prejudging the elections in Iraq. What I'm saying is right now, today, yesterday when Mr. Alawi spoke to Congress, he is a puppet of the United States. "

There are two retorts to this. First, the US is just as much a puppet to Allawi as Allawi is to the US. Allawi cant survive without US protection? True, but were Allawi to be killed US policy would suffer a devastating blow, so realistically the protection is not a bargaining chip. The US cant simply replace Allawi if he kicks up a fuss about something, the international community would have a fit and we would risk losing the UK and Poland which is untenable. So realistically if Allawi came out and demanded the US, say desist in attacking Najaf, the US would have little choice but to comply. In fact this has already happened.

Second, there are many things in this world that are true that needn't be pointed out by a major political figure. NATO is a false military alliance where exactly 2 members have even the slightest capability to exert credible force outside of Northern Europe itself. Should Bush or Kerry go on the news and mention that? Or would it be counterproductive and hence stupid? Even if Allawi is a puppet (which he isnt) how can it possibly do the United States any good to go trumpeting the fact, especially when it is a short term situation? Everything to lose and nothing to gain... oh except political points.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 24, 2004 10:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Owen,

Yes, I am in agreement with most of what you said. The problem is that Bush cannot bring himself to say much of any of it. He drags Alawi here to help his own re-election. Alawi is being used by this adminstration as a political prop. The administration must know exactly what we know. That anyone who is seen as too close to the occupation is going to have a tough time winning any democratic election in Iraq.

The larger point about a needed transition is surely accurate. But we should have done things before we got to this point that would have made a successful transition more likely. We didn't and now we are where we are. I want Mr. Bush to finally trust the American people with the truth. The nitty gritty details of troop projects and cost projections and best and worst case scenarios. He has never done any of that. We only hear that they hate our freedom and that he appreciates the sacrifices and we're winning. those are Rove ideas that have been tested in focus groups to illict a positive response from voters. It may well work if the goal is re-election but they will not solve the very real problem of what becomes of Iraq.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 10:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Allawi is a capitalist, CIA lackey! He is a pustule upon the face of humanity!

I have vast knowledge of military history, methods, tactics, strateregy. I know for a FACT that we need more soldiers in Iraq! I am NOT simply repeating something I read on MoveOn.org! I know that we should have "sealed" the borders with Iran and Syria!! All 10,000 miles of it! A child could see this to be true! All that is wrong with Iraq was created by the evil-doer Bush! Bush is a capitalist, CIA lackey! He is a running sore on the face of the Labor!!!

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 10:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Nick -

You like to make this point: "hope is not a strategy." You're right, hope isn't a strategy. Neither is hopelessness.However, hope is fairly essential for any strategy to work. If you have a strategy and are sure it will fail, it most likely wil. All I see coming from Kerry is hopelessness and no strategy at all. Sometimes strategies have to be figured out on an as you go basis though, and so maybe if Kerry gets into the White House he'll come up with one. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt at least. But unless he loses the hopelessness, whatever his strategy is, no matter how brilliant, is doomed to fail. That in a nutshell is what really worries me about him.

Posted by: Nicole Griffin at September 24, 2004 10:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mark,

Can you really believe this statement?

"...but were Allawi to be killed US policy would suffer a devastating blow, so realistically the protection is not a bargaining chip."

Think of it this way. If Alawi wanted to replace us, he would need to find an army that is the envy of every fighting force on earth. For us to replace him, all we need is someone with a pulse. Not too long ago, Mr. Chalabi was slated to be in Mr. Alawi's shoes. Didn't take too long to find a replace for old Ahmed did it? Mr. Alawi can do whatever he likes but he will have to face the consequences of his actions. He is restrained from going too far outside of US policy. Don't be so naive as to think otherwise.

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 10:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Thanks for the lively discussion and have a good weekend to all....

Posted by: nick foresta at September 24, 2004 10:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Think of it this way. If Alawi wanted to replace us, he would need to find an army that is the envy of every fighting force on earth. For us to replace him, all we need is someone with a pulse."
That is absurd. As I said, the international community would have a shit fit if we tried any such thing, and we'd lose the support we currently have. Allawi was a popular choice with Iraqis, was installed as per the Iraqi interim constitution, and has United Nations approval. To think we could replace him at our whim is ridiculous tin-foil hat stuff. Remember how well our tinkering with South Vietnams leadership went? Believe me there are people in the NSC that do, vivedly. If Allawi were to be assassinated, particularly after how much stock Bush has put in him, _particularly_ if his US guards somehow disapeared, it would all be over instantly. UK, Poland and everybody else heads for the exits, Bush loses, Kerry amazingly cant get Frances help and brings the troops home. Not a mystery.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 24, 2004 10:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"This adminstration denigrated our allies over their sincere disagreement with our policies prior to the war in Iraq."

Sincere -- are you so sure about that, Nick? France, Germany, and Russia all had very significant financial interests in the Iraq of Saddam & Sons.

And even if they are ... where is THEIR responsibility for the maintenance of good relations with us? In particular, where is THEIR responsibility for recognizing, in a TIMELY manner, the need to bring Saddam & Sons down -- and acting upon that need?

"They have both predicted an eventual partition, civil war or both. Again, hope is not a strategy."

And predictions are not inevitibilities, either -- for the situation can be changed, and is being changed.

BTW, everyone, keep in mind that Allawi was the SECOND person proposed by the Coalition Authority to be the interim leader of Iraq ... the first one didn't meet the approval of the prominent Iraqis involved in the selection procees, if I recall correctly.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at September 24, 2004 11:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Nick,

Seal 10k miles of border? Amusing. We can't seal our own border. Is the US a quagmire?

TexasToast,

The Democratic party is running on a platform of treason and nominated the treason candidate John Forbes Kerry. If I actually thought that Kerry believed what he has been saying for 30 years I would propose indictment, trial and summary execution. But Kerry has no beliefs, just a need to be President.
Kerry doesn't care about collateral damage in his bid to be President. Dead Iraqis, dead American soldiers, insulted allies, even the truth have all been deemed battlefield allotments by a craven Kerry campaign.
I don't trust desperate men. And Kerry is absolutley desperate to be President.

Posted by: lugh lampfhota at September 24, 2004 11:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I doubt that foreign leaders are going to take Lockhart’s statement in the heat of a political campaign very seriously – including Mr. Allawi. I also doubt that Islamic terrorist give a rats behind what Mr. Lockhart thinks about Mr. Allawi. So lets not get all puffed up about the “damage” that has been done. Allawi is here for the purpose of helping GWB get reelected – and in that context, he is “fair game” for criticism.


“My comments were not only targeted at Kerry's stupidity yesterday, but his sister's (attempted) undermining of our Australian allies, and his dissing of the European allies who ARE with us. “


As for “dissing” and “undermining” our allies, no administration in the past 50 years has done more to “dis” our allies. On Sept 12, 2001, we had the broadest political support from the world community we have EVER had for a war on terror. There are NATO troops in Afghanistan as I write this, as our allies have kept their commitments. We threw that support away with our misadventure in Iraq. We have lost the support and respect of our old allies as well as potential new ones with our “preemption” strategy in Iraq which, no matter how one spins it, was not a necessary part of the WOT. (Before you say it, I don’t think killing OBL in particular is either, but concerted efforts to deny havens to AQ and like organizations, a new emphasis on homeland, port, and border security, and BROAD international cooperation in the fight against non-state actors ARE.) Specifically, the argument has been advanced that Saddam was a “…UNIQUE threat to peace…” as supporters or terrorism both inside and outside their borders because there was “ … no credible local deterrent to Iraqi power projection.” The state department didn’t think if Iraq as a terror supporter as late as November 2001 as it did not include Iraq in its AQ hit parade. Most of the support and recruits for terror (before our invasion created so many new recruits in Iraq in particular and throughout the Arab world in general) was from rich Saudi Arabia. Were they (and are they not still) a unique threat as well? As to power projection and their WMD, their army was not capable of sustained force projection after gulf War 1 and the heads of thir "programs" systematically lied to Saddam to maintain funding. The "threat" was anything but "imminent."

The Australian canard assumes that everyone in Australia supported our policies. They did not. Neither did the majority of Britons or Spaniards. Are you suggesting that we didn’t put enormous pressure on these governments to support our policies? Do you really think that, without the enormous pressure from us, the British, Spanish, and Australian governments would have gone against the will of their own people to support us? One of these governments has already been voted out of office (although primarily for lying to its own people about the culprits in the Madrid train bombings). I have enormous admiration for Tony Blair, but I suspect that most of the members of Blair’s labor party hope we elect a new president in November.

“I agree that strong opposition is not treason. So what do you have to say about Teresa HK and John Edwards calling their opponents "un-American?" What do you think about James Carville advocating intimidation of the press? Michael Moore called Bush a “traitor”, and that gets him a seat next to Jimmy Carter at the Democratic convention.
These are not rhetorical questions; I really want to know what you think. If you want me to vote for Kerry, convince me that the Democratic Party hasn’t lost its mind.”

I would call it overheated political rhetoric and nothing really very new or particularly troublesome. Heck, Cheney has popped more than a few of these over the top “rhetorical flourishs” himself. And what’s this about banning the Bible?

So Why Kerry? Hears why. I think Kerry can go places GWB cannot.

Many have said that Kerry will “cut and run” in Iraq and will put consensus in front of our national interest. I don’t agree. I think the lesson of the Bush presidency is that we have the power to go it alone, but we have very little wiggle room unless we do things exactly right. We not only have not done things exactly right – we haven’t gotten anything in Iraq right after our “catastrophically” successful military invasion. If you insist on doing all the driving, you have no one but yourself to blame if you end up in the muddy ditch. We need allies to help us get out of the ditch. We need to make them see that it is in their interest to help us get out of the ditch.

There are no permanent allies, only permanent interests. We are going to have to recognize that others’ interests must be acknowledged if we are going to expect to receive any cooperation and/or support from them. My impression is that Kerry understands this and Bush does not. With Bush, its his way or no way. Kerry has a better chance to get a deal done that will (1) spread the cost around a little, (2) lessen our exposure due to the over commitment of our forces and (3) give everyone political cover in the Arab street. It’s not Kerry’s competency that gives me pause - its his passionless nature. He probably is not the best man to “lead a charge” (he is certainly no Clinton) – but he probably will be the better man to repair the damage, and there is a whole heck of a lot of damage.

Posted by: TexasToast at September 24, 2004 11:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I love it when these guys like Nick or Andrew Sullivan get all detailed on what is wrong with our military strategy in Iraq. Guys who haven't spent one milisecond in the military are suddenly fountians of wisdom on a topic about which they know nothing. Always the same glib talking points, though. More troops! More Armor! More Special Forces! Seal the Border! Retreat! Run for your lives! Bla, Bla... Like what we need is 50,000 soldiers out in the middle of nowhere looking at the imaginary line that separates Iran from Iraq. That will help immensely... Gets them out of the cities! Fewer casualties! Smart!

Posted by: lugnuts at September 24, 2004 11:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"So Why Kerry? Hears why. I think Kerry can go places GWB cannot."

Like Cambodia at Christmas? Or flying with VC the wonderdog? Kerry's gone places that only exist in his mind. You're right, GWB can't go there.

The man has no business in ANY public office, let alone the Presidency.

Posted by: IdaWizard at September 25, 2004 12:11 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I can only assume that it is a matter of time before Kerry denounces Allawi as a "Bush Lickspittle," and a "CIA stooge."

Posted by: LaLaLand at September 25, 2004 12:54 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

On Sept 12, 2001, we had the broadest political support from the world community we have EVER had for a war on terror. There are NATO troops in Afghanistan as I write this, as our allies have kept their commitments. We threw that support away with our misadventure in IraqPosted by: TexasToast at September 24, 2004 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Texas,
This is pure Democratic Party spin. Your allies were there until you needed them. Talk is cheap. How many French, German and Canadian troops are there in Afghanistan?

Posted by: Terry Gain at September 25, 2004 03:17 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The comments by Kerry and his campaign continue to show that he is not a statesman; he's a politican, an opportunist looking for a rhetorical edge. Although not an amateur, his character doesn't play well outside of state-wide politics, and he's looking more and more like a very small actor on a very large stage. Where are the diplomatic credentials he should have built up in his Senate career? Does his contact with the Sandinistas headline his resume? His "Group of Senators pretend to be relevent" photo-op junkets? His knowledge of French? I used to have nothing personal against the guy, but that was before I knew anything about him. His recent statements about PM Allawi are insulting coming from a Senator, let alone a presidential candidate.

Pres Bush has never insulted the French or the German leaders, despite how much they deserve it or how much they have personally insulted him. France and Germany are not "traditional" allies any more than China or Turkey are; they are conditional allies, who use us and are used by us as mutual needs of the moment dictate. This, by the way, is the strategy that George Washington advised in his farewell address.

Posted by: Waffle King at September 25, 2004 03:23 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

nick foresta: "History will tell you the exact opposite is true. We have the tiger by the tail in Iraq. We cannot tame it and we cannot let it go. There are no good options available. That's the reality we face."

It seems to me that where nick f. goes wrong (the small stone which begets the avalanche) is the use of the word "reality" in place of the correct word, which is "perception." (Alternatively, the word "we" could be changed to "those who see the world as I do believe we").

Posted by: Joe Mealyus at September 25, 2004 05:23 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

> How many French, German and Canadian troops are there in Afghanistan?

I'm no big fan of the French and Germans, but Canada? Get your facts straight. Canada deployed troops to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Army task force and still has troops there today, although in reduced numbers. Canadian soldiers fought and died for Afghan freedom. (But the reduced numbers are OK, because the situation there is so much improved now... right?) Unfortunately, most of the Canadian deaths were caused when the U.S. used them unintentionally for target practice.

Posted by: Keev at September 25, 2004 05:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Keev,
I have my facts straight. I am Canadian. Our contribution as a nation is minimal. I am not referring to the contributions of individual soldiers, but to the numbers deployed.

Posted by: Terry Gain at September 25, 2004 05:50 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

i beg the dems to please use the "torricelli option".

please give us a more sensible candidate like hillary or clark or joe lieberman instead of inflicting kerry on us.

i know what kerry is trying to do. if he can't win the election, he'll drag the whole nation and our WOT efforts down with him.

god save us from john kerry

Posted by: john marzan at September 25, 2004 06:34 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

John mccain, Kerry's good friend, may not be saying much at the moment, but judging from the way the McCain people like bill kristol and ralph peters are trashing John Kerry at this point, you have to assume that Mccain himself is deeply disappointed with the way Kerry's has been running his campaign lately...

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/672upfks.asp?pg=1

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/19598.htm

Posted by: john marzan at September 25, 2004 07:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Terry Gain,

The U.S. sent roughly 12,000 troops to Afghanistan, which was about 2% of their active forces (roughly 500K, not including reserves). The Canadian army sent a proportion that was more than twice as large: about 1,000 troops, or 5% of their active forces (19K). Also, the Canadian navy sent 5 ships to the Persian Gulf for support operations. Yes, everyone makes jokes about the Canadian Navy, but I think it represented about 30% of the entire active fleet.

You can denigrate the contributions of the smaller allies all you want, but given the limited resources Canada has to start with, it carried a fair share of the load, not a "minimal" contribution.

Posted by: Keev at September 25, 2004 07:44 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

We've seen so many bloggers and others dismiss the Vietnam controversy as a diversion. This shows why it's not a diversion. It highlights a fundamental aspect of the nature of Kerry and people like him. During the years when our main ideological opponent was Communism, we saw the same pattern repeated over and over. As every Communist insurgency unfolded, in Greece, in China, in Malaya, in Vietnam, or wherever, the dupes and fellow travelers would always whine that we were supporting a corrupt and undemocratic puppet. The tactic was always effective in demoralizing and undermining the resistance to a far greater evil. In Vietnam, Kerry was one of the Communist's "useful idiots." Is it really so "shocking" that his behavior is the same with a new ideological foe, Islamofascism? There is nothing so certain than the fact that, if Kerry becomes President, he will cut and run in Iraq. He showed us the rationale he will use to justify his betrayal of Iraq and our allies during the Vietnam era. That is why his behavior then is important. It will be easy for him to abandon the "corrupt, Bush puppet" Allawi if he ever comes to power. Meanwhile, as we have seen, his surrogates are already undermining our real allies in Australia and elsewhere, demonstrating in the process the absurdity of Kerry's rhetoric about "internationalizing" the war. As President, Kerry's instinct will always be to negotiate, accommodate, and appease. It is a recipe for defeat.

Posted by: Helian at September 25, 2004 01:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

By the way, ironically, "Who you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?" was actually Mr. Holbrooke's insulting statement about Prime Minister Allawi on Face the Nation last Sunday.

Posted by: Arjun at September 25, 2004 02:18 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Traditional allies."

There is no such thing as "traditional allies," only common interests.

Germany was lost to any future coalition the second that Gerhard Schroeder realized he was losing his election, and resorted to anti-Americanism to fire up his base. No, not just anti-Iraq War rhetoric (although that was included, and eliminated his future options), but flat out anti-Americanism.

France, most especially its Gaulist representation (i.e. Chirac) is determined to present itself as the core for a EU that can be the counterweight for the US, which they see as not worthy or grandeur enough to lead the free world.

Chirac used this opporunity to try and build that opposition on European anti-Americanism.

It was not Bush that created this chasm, Chirac and Schroeder can take responsibility for their own actions. They decided that financial interests (Chirac), their country's prestige (Chirac again), and their personal electoral chances (both) were more important than preserving the transAtlantic alliance.

Then, let's mention -reality- that Germany, France, and Belgium don't have the trained military forces to help us very much even if they wanted to.

In the long run, the European mainland is going to pay much more than us for their infantile long-term anti-Americanism, and the withdrawal of the US security blanket that it will result in.

Posted by: Cutler at September 25, 2004 06:02 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Keev, that's all nice and good, but I think the Canadian government can take responsibility for the fact that they've let their defense expenditures drop to the lowest in NATO for some time now (and that's quite an accomplishment). It is only because they've allowed their military deteriorate so badly that such a minor deployment is so complete an effort. It is evidence of their committment to Afghanistan, sure, but it is also evidence of just how happy they've been to freeload under the American security blanket.

1000 men, the logistical support provided by the Americans, and even that deployment is breaking the Canadian Army.

http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/04autumn/nunez.htm

It is noble (although is an addiction to social welfare really that noble?), but otherwise pathetic that in general the armies of the West have been reduced to this state.

Posted by: Cutler at September 25, 2004 06:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

TexasToast,

Right, just overheated rhetoric.

Just like Kerry's "overheated rhetoric" in 1972.

Or his overheated rhetoric about healthcare, the economy and Iraq.

If you take away the overheated rhetoric there's not much left is there? The whole campaign is based on trying to create hysteria. There are no ideas, just raw emotion. That's why he has to be so negative; if people ever calmed down and took a detached look at how things really stand his whole campaign would fall apart. His "base" is composed of Michael Moore fans.

Posted by: WTF? at September 25, 2004 11:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Cutler,

Thanks for the excellent Nunez article link.

I take your point about Canada's neglect of its military. Afghanistan should not have been a stretch. Geez, I'm actually fairly left-leaning on some issues, but my guess-timate is that Canada's current defense spending would need to tripled to be even minimally adequate in today's world. The reality is that there are still many frightening dangers out there and it will take co-operation, including military co-operation, to deter them, or in the worst case, deal with them by force. But in any case, we must be prepared.

Posted by: Keev at September 26, 2004 03:23 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Suppose that the EU started building up a strong military force and planned a large navy of submarines and missile cruisers.

Would you be pleased?

Posted by: J Thomas at September 26, 2004 04:22 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Given the history of TRUE imperialism in its member states, their adoption of moral relativism in both rhetoric and action, and the lack of the structural checks-and-balances that protect my inalienable rights as an American, I have good reason to be nervous about any significant militarization of the EU.

America is a different story, altogether ... and reasonable people see this.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at September 28, 2004 02:11 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Rich, notice that americans are complaining because the EU hasn't militarised enough. The assumption is that they're supposed to be our allies who will help us.

But I agree with you, if they did militarise....

I tend to feel the same about japan. We insisted that they pay for a military, and now they have a navy that's probably roughly as strong as the US Seventh Fleet, and if they ever wind up using it I'm not absolutely sure when that time comes that they'll be on our side.

Posted by: J Thomas at September 28, 2004 04:37 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

J Thomas ... good points. The downside of a EU with the military muscle required to be our "full" partner has been in the back of my mind for some time. Not that I would advocate preempting them from doing that ... but if I were in the Oval Office, such a move would make me reassess our own force structure.

Of course, a lot of the people who call for more international involvement don't see the downside ... for they fear a strong America more.

And a muscular EU makes me more nervous than even a muscular Japan ... for Japan does not exhibit the arrogance of the Old Europe elements that appear to dominate the EU.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at September 28, 2004 02:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

But then, do they need to militarise to beat us?

Every time we devalue the dollar the price of oil will rise.

So the faster our trade imbalance goes downhill, the faster it will go downhill.

What would gas at $5/gallon do to our economy? Could we run a big overseas military on an economy like that?

Posted by: J Thomas at September 29, 2004 07:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"but administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister was coached and aided by the U.S. government, its allies and friends of the administration. Among them was Dan Senor, former spokesman for the CPA who has more recently represented the Bush campaign in media appearances"

Guess kerry was right all along about allawi being a puppet.

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AUTHOR: William Joyce
EMAIL: hawhaw@lord.com
IP: 63.241.202.6
URL:
DATE: 09/24/2004 07:30:20 PM
You're right, Nick. Let the Zionists' puppet, Alawi, step outside his office without Americans to protect him. Then, he can prove that the Zionists are not leading the Americans to their doom. Until then, he is just a lapdog, and thank God that someone is willing to point out that America is powerless to stop the Resistance.

Long live the Resistance!

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