September 26, 2004

Preemptive Diplomacy


In the The Weekly Standard, William Kristol writes: Disgraceful: The disgraceful behavior of John Kerry and his team is sufficient grounds for concern about his fitness to be president. (Via InstaPundit)

... Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi spoke to a joint meeting of Congress. Sen. Kerry could not be troubled to attend, as a gesture of solidarity and respect. Instead, Kerry said in Ohio that Allawi was here simply to put the "best face on the policy." So much for an impressive speech by perhaps America's single most important ally in the war on terror, the courageous and internationally recognized leader of a nation struggling to achieve democracy against terrorist opposition.

But Kerry's rudeness paled beside the comment of his senior adviser, Joe Lockhart, to the Los Angeles Times: "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."

Is Kerry proud that his senior adviser's derisive comment about the leader of free Iraq will now be quoted by terrorists and by enemies of the United States, in Iraq and throughout the Middle East? Is the concept of a loyalty to American interests that transcends partisan politics now beyond the imagination of the Kerry campaign?

John Kerry has decided to pursue a scorched-earth strategy in this campaign. He is prepared to insult allies, hearten enemies, and denigrate efforts to succeed in Iraq. His behavior is deeply irresponsible -- and not even in his own best interest.

There is some chance, after all, that John Kerry will be president in four months. If so, what kind of situation will he have created for himself? France will smile on him, but provide no troops. Those allies that have provided troops, from Britain and Poland and Australia and Japan and elsewhere, will likely recall how Kerry sneered at them, calling them "the coerced and the bribed." The leader of the government in Iraq, upon whom the success of John Kerry's Iraq policy will depend, will have been weakened before his enemies and ours -- and will also remember the insult. Is this really how Kerry wants to go down in history: Willing to say anything to try to get elected, no matter what the damage to the people of Iraq, to American interests, and even to himself?

Here's how Al-Jazeera reported Kerry's comments to the Middle East: Allawi's Congress speech draws flak. First they quote a "regional analyst."

"Iraq is not free nor is it stable. There is nationwide chaos. Its infrastructure has been destroyed and its wealth pillaged and plundered by the US occupation," [Mustafa Bakri, editor of the weekly Egyptian news magazine al-Osboa] told

Then they introduce Kerry's comments:

The most severe criticism, however, came from Kerry, who claimed Allawi's speech was an attempt to put the "best face" on an Iraq campaign that is out of control.

You think al-Sadr and al-Zarqawi smiled when they read that? I do.

UPDATE -- September 28: This cartoon appears in today's (Tuesday's) The Detroit News.

Posted by Forkum at September 26, 2004 08:53 PM