Tuesday, September 21, 2004

John Kerry Turns A Corner on Iraq

"Chief Donkey Calls Bush a Boneheaded Stubborn Ass- Official."

Yep, After months of trying to explain in mature, nuanced terms his votes on Iraq in the Senate, the other JFK from Massachusetts has decided to change the setting on his megaphone from Statesman Kerry to Candidate John and has come out swinging against the conduct of the Iraq war. As the marathon presidential race nears the sprint finish, John Kerry has finally stopped the fudge and is lashing himself to the mast for the duration of the storm.

So far, not a peep out of "Sunni Triangle Veterans for Truth", although I dare say its coming once Karl Rove gets it organized. Kerry should ignore the inevitable attacks on his patriotism, principles, and competence and stick to his guns. The polls show that the United States divided on whether or not invading Iraq was a smart move. The visibly conflicted John McCain (what has the White House got on that guy?) conceded that the situation in Iraq is worse than it was a year ago on Hardball tonight. Kerry has a chance to seize control of the direction of this race and highlight the cronyism and incompetence of the Bush administration in their execution of this misguided, mismanaged war.

Kerry should be shouting about the war. He should be asking where those WMDs are. He should be challenging the conceit that we are safer than we were before the invasion. He should be questioning the political calculations that are handing more and more military duties to private contractors; that are delaying efforts to solve the conundrums of Najaf and Fallujah; and that are still compelling members of the administration to hint at or outright lie about links between Saddam and Al Qadea. He should be incandescent with rage over insinuations about a vote for him equaling a vote for bin Laden.

Any objective reading of the situation in Iraq (and by extension the war on terror) by anyone with half a brain will show that the current situation has made the world more dangerous, America more isolated, and is leading Iraq down the road to being a failed state. And quite what it has to do with the war on terror is anyone's guess.

Still, if you need more than a layman's take, check out the views from the BBC show From Our Own Correspondent and Independent correspondent Robert Fisk

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