Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The Iraqi interim constitution. This is what it's all about, folks; this is why we didn't bomb the place flat or install a friendly dictator.

I owe the above link to Steven Den Beste, who also has a great fisking of what Kerry said on Iraq in his interview with Time Magazine. The interview only confirms my fears: if Kerry actually believes what he says, then as President he would be crippled by foreign criticism, for he doesn't claim to differ from Bush fundamentally on foreign policy (as best as I can tell, his prose is very slippery), just on execution; he thinks he could do much better than Bush by being more diplomatic.

As Den Beste's thoroughly points out, what matters in Iraq is primarily what Iraqis think, not what our allies (or our "allies") think. I would add that even were "world opinion" the decisive factor, we can't make everybody love us with just kind words. As president, Kerry would learn that we have real friends, real enemies, and ambivalent acquaintances. Changing who falls in which category requires real concessions and/or real threats from us. I don't want to find out how many concessions Kerry would make before he figured this out. Given how close the election will be, I honestly hope that Kerry is being completely dishonest, and is only saying what he says because he thinks it is hurting Bush politically. At least I have reasons to be hopeful.

Update: This does not calm my fears:
Without naming anybody, Kerry said he had received words of encouragement from leaders abroad who were eager to see him defeat Bush on Nov. 2.

"I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that," he said.

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