Despite the inordinate amount of time that has been spent debating foreign affairs during this election season, particularly the situation in Iraq, there is a crucial issue that hasn’t yet received the attention that it deserves. The ignored point in question is how John Kerry’s over-the-top campaign rhetoric would make it almost impossible for him to successfully deal with Iraq.
While Kerry’s position on Iraq has wildly shifted to and fro over the last couple of years, his most recent comments have been particularly outlandish and irresponsible.
Kerry has called Iraq “a profound diversion from (the war on terrorism)”, opined that the US shouldn’t have invaded in the first place, and has called it “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
Also, we must keep in mind that Kerry has said he is “proud” to have voted against funding the war and has made it clear that he’s not committed to Democracy in Iraq by saying,
“With respect to getting our troops out, the measure is the stability of Iraq. [Democracy] shouldn’t be the measure of when you leave. I have always said from day one that the goal here…is a stable Iraq, not whether or not that’s a full democracy.”
So in John Kerry, we would have a vacillating Commander-In-Chief who believes the invasion was a mistake, didn’t want to fund the war afterwards, and has made it plain that he’s willing to settle for less than Democracy in Iraq.
In other words, unlike George Bush, John Kerry has no stake in Iraq and he might decide to cut and run at any time. He even has a ready made excuse; he can blame it all on George Bush! You can almost hear the speech John Kerry would make as he orders our troops out,
“Pulling out of Iraq and letting it collapse into Civil War was the toughest decision I ever made in my life. However, after thinking back to my time in Vietnam, I knew what I had to do. After all, how could I look one of our soldiers in the eye and ask him to be the last man to die for George Bush’s mistake?”
Now, how do you think having someone with that attitude in the White House would affect the morale of the troops? Do you think they’d really want to risk their lives for a cause their own Commander-in-Chief doesn’t believe in and might give up on at any time?
Would the Iraqi people trust a man like John Kerry who is now in effect saying that if he had his way, Saddam would still be in power? As if that weren’t bad enough, when Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi came to the US to give a speech to a Joint Session of Congress, John Kerry in essence called him a liar, made it clear that he doesn’t think elections will go forward in January of next year, and sent his senior adviser Joe Lockhart out to gratuitously insult Allawi by calling him a “puppet of the United States”. Were John Kerry to become President, the Iraqi people could very well become panicky and lose all confidence that the United States still intends to help them become a Democracy.
And what about the “insurgents” and their terrorist allies in Iraq? What do you think is going to give them more inspiration to keep fighting — four more years of George Bush, who has been the greatest foe of terrorism the world has ever seen — or John Kerry, a skittish candidate who might pull the troops out at any time?
Then there are our allies in the Coalition, nations like Britain, Poland, Australia, Italy, South Korea, and Japan. Many of these countries sent troops to Iraq despite tough political opposition at home and have hung in there with us through tough times, even though they’ve lost soldiers and civilians in Iraq. Are they going to be willing to stay in Iraq and fight what the new President of the United States thinks is, “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time”? How many nations that are with us in Iraq today would continue to stick in there if a man who has mockingly referred to them as part of a, “trumped-up, so-called coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted” becomes President? John Kerry claims he can bring new allies into the Coalition, but it’s entirely possible that he would instead cost us many of the allies we already have in this crucial endeavor.
As John Kerry said during one of his pro-war phases, Iraq is, “critical to the outcome of the war on terror“. Getting rid of Saddam was a blow against terrorism and helping Iraq become a Democracy is vitally important to improving our image in the Middle-East, helping freedom spread across the region, & winning the war on terrorism.
That’s why it’s so encouraging to see that we are making a lot of progress in Iraq.As Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi said, “2500 schools…have been renovated”, they are working on “150 new health care centers”, National elections are scheduled for January, and the Iraqis are rapidly moving towards a day when they can handle their own security without American soldiers having to be put at risk,
“The Iraqi government now commands almost 50,000 armed and combat – ready Iraqis. By January it will be some 145,000. And by the end of next year, some 250,000 Iraqis.”
In Iraq, certainly there have been mistakes made, unexpected difficulties, and tough times, but we are going in the right direction and if we give George Bush another term, he has shown that he has what it takes to get the job done. The same can’t be said of John Kerry. To the contrary, a vote for John Kerry is likely to be a vote for failure in Iraq, which would be a huge setback in the war on terrorism, a betrayal of the soldiers who gave their lives fighting there, and the breaking of America’s pledge to help the Iraqis become a free people.
So make a wise choice in November because whether we succeed or fail in Iraq will likely depend on the outcome of the election.