Wednesday, April 12, 2006

# Posted 8:58 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

KERRY CONTINUED: (Part 1 here.) And now back to the transcript:
SEN. KERRY: ...and if they can’t put a government together under the threat that the United States is going to withdraw, they’re not going to do it. Then they want the civil war, then they have to fight their civil war.
The United States has asked -- demanded -- that Iraqi politicians form a government of national unity, in spite of the bitter oppression Shi'ites and Kurds once suffered at the hands of the Sunni minority. In no way does a five-month delay in forming an unprecedented government of unity -- in the midst of terrorist attacks -- indicate a desire for civil war.

Moreover, Kerry's cavalier acceptance of the idea that civil war may be necessary suggests that he just doesn't understand what a civil war entails. Mass slaughter. We already know how the Sunnis would wage their war, and their provocations have been increasingly effective at forcing the Shi'ites to descend to their level. Think another Bosnia or, worst comes to worst, another Rwanda.

In a different day and age, a Massachusetts liberal would have paled at thought of issuing an ultimatum that had the serious potential to provoke that kind of civil war.
SEN. KERRY: ...the fact is that I have recommended, as Jack Murtha has, and others, that you have an over-the-horizon capacity. You don’t withdraw completely from the region, you don’t leave it exposed to the Iranians and others.
The over-the-horizon idea was nonsense when Murtha proposed it and that hasn't changed. What would it take for a president who pulled out of Iraq after a forty-day ultimatum to send the troops back in? After what happened to this president's approval ratings, would another president ever think about sacrificing his own reputation to send our soldiers back into Iraq?

It's not impossible. If Iraqi-based terrorists launched a 9-11 style attack on Israel, Europe or the United States, even a Democratic president would have to go back in. But the chances of that happening are much greater if we let Iraqis have the civil war Kerry thinks they want.
MR. RUSSERT: [In 2004], this is what you said. “Kerry says, he is committed to finishing the mission. ‘My exit strategy is success,’ he says, ‘a viable, stable Iraq that can contribute to the stability and peace in the Middle East.’” And then a month later, you offered this.

(Videotape, April 14, 2004): SEN. KERRY: I think the vast majority of the American people understand that it is important not just to cut and run. And I don’t believe in, in a cut-and-run philosophy. I think that would be very damaging to the war on terror, it would be very damaging to the Middle East, it would be very damaging to the longer term interests of the United States. (End videotape)
A man is entitled to change his mind, no matter how often he does it. But what possible evidence has emerged in the past two years to indicate that a "cut-and-run philosophy" would be less damaging to the United States now then it was then?

In theory, Kerry could admit that he was simply wrong in '04, that pulling out then wouldn't have damaged the war on terror. Instead, he came up with this theory:
SEN. KERRY: ...what I said back then was based on the fact that the presumption of everybody, Tim, was that we were fighting al-Qaeda principally and that we were looking at the, at the, at the war on terror. The fact is that 98 percent of the insurgency has now been transformed into Iraqis, into indigenous population of Iraq. There are probably less than 1,000 foreign jihadists there. And in my most recent trip to Iraq, it became very, very clear to me, as it has to others, that the Iraqis themselves will not tolerate the jihadists staying on their land.

So the key here is you now have a civil war. This is the third war in Iraq. The first war was the war against Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. The second war was the war against the jihadists with the president’s statement, “It’s better to fight them over there than here.” We accepted that.
I don't remember Kerry accepting that, or any other Democrats for that matter. I remember a concerted effort to distinguish the war against Al Qaeda from the war in Iraq.

Anyhow, is it even minimally plausible to suggest that the insurgency had an initial Al Qaeda-dominated phase but then made the transition to an Iraqi-dominated one? I don't think so. If anything, former Ba'athists were more influential in the beginning, when they had money and weapons left over from Saddam and the jihadists had not yet arrived.

There have been tensions between the Ba'athists and the Iraqi insurgents, but have those impaired the insurgency much? Moreover, one point that neither Murtha nor Kerry seems to comprehend is that an American withdrawal would probably help bring the Sunni and jihadist insurgents together.

As they say, victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan. If the insurgents accomplished the almost unthinkable objective of defeating a superpower, it would enhance the prestige of both the Sunnis and the jihadists tremendously. And they would still have a civil war on their hands, with the threat of the Shi'ite majority to bring them together.
MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to Iran. Headlines in The Washington Post today:
“U.S. is studying military strike options on Iran.” And in this article it says the United States is contemplating the use of tactical nuclear devices against Iran. Would you support that?

SEN. KERRY: No...Once again, the administration is not engaged in the real kind of diplomacy—now, when President Clinton had to deal with Bosnia, sat down with Yeltsin, persuaded him that it was in the interest of Russia even to be involved there, I think that—you know, you—we, we’ve got to have leadership that stops proceeding so unilaterally, and in, in such a, a, you know, sort of overtly militaristic way, and start putting people together to resolve this.
Unilaterally? By patiently supporting the joint British-French-German negotiations with Iran? By patiently allowing the machinery of the UN Security Council to inch forward even though Iran has a proven record of deception? As the President's critics are so fond of saying, every one is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

The Kerry interview goes on for a while longer, but I think I've made my point. Kerry's proposal for a forty-day ultimatum rests on a foundation of surreal delusions about the situation in Iraq as well as a troubling disregard for what might happen to the people of Iraq if we left.

I don't think Kerry is being insincere, but I am amazed at how he can persuade himself to believe such outlandish things while ignoring their moral consequences.
(4) opinions -- Add your opinion

Kerry's proposal may not be the best thing since sliced bread -- but as you point out, there's merit in actually applying serious leverage on the Iraqis by issuing an ultimatum on withdrawal. And what's your plan, anyway, indefinate occupation?
Holy claptrap! Does Kerry even have a lick of sense? It's no wonder his grades at Yale were lower than GWB!

For him to evoke Bosnia (which took almost unilateral US action to resolve), a location in which troops are STILL DEPLOYED, is unbelievable.

The actiona against Iran, if it comes, will be designed to cripple their operation and destroy their military capability.

Short sweet and unlikely to be nuclear.
David, you are patiently rebutting Kerry's points as if he is a serious person worthy of debate. Kerry is not a serious person, and he is not very bright.

Since he is not going to be a presidential candidate again, don't waste your time.
"I am amazed at how he can persuade himself to believe such outlandish things while ignoring their moral consequences."
Our belief in outlandish things is a mechanism to rationalize ignoring the moral consequences of our actions
Post a Comment