. . . Monday September 20, 2004

A Fine Mess

John Kerry is honing his critique of the Bush record in Iraq and offers his own four point plan:

“Is he really saying to Americans that if we had known there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to al-Qaida, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is resoundingly no because a commander in chief’s first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell. But that was not, in itself, a reason to go to war. The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.”

The message about the Bush record is getting a little bit better (and hopefully, it’s not too late). But coming up with a four point plan is of course more difficult. Kerry’s plan includes:

- More help from other nations.

- Better training for Iraqi security forces.

- Benefits to the Iraqi people.

- Democratic elections can be held next year as promised.

Kerry might be better off focusing his rhetoric on the Bush failures. How does one convince other nations to help at this point? This administration has stubbornly created such a mess that coming up with a four point plan that moves people will not be easy (maybe that was the Bush election strategy; create a series of nearly unfixable problems?).

Kerry’s best move in his latest speech is to tie the failure in Iraq to failures in the war on terrorism. This makes a lot more sense than arguing that the war in Iraq is pulling funds away from domestic programs. This is all about the war on terror. Does Iraq help that effort or hurt it? The answer to that question can and should be a deciding factor in this election.

Here is Kerry’s entire speech.

Concentration is important!