Saturday, July 03, 2004

The Internationalize Iraq Canard: Democrats Walk the Plank

Finding differences on national security is difficult in this year's presidential campaign. Senator Kerry attempts to draw a separation on the basis of bringing unwilling countries (i.e., Germany and France) into the Iraq War while admonishing the Bush administration for not bringing these countries along from the onset.

This weekend's well-timed "leaks" of the Democratic Party's platform draft underscore the Kerry/DNC position:

Washington Post - July 4, 2004

"The platform says Bush's doctrine of preemption has cost the United States the support of traditional allies and accuses the administration of repeatedly missing opportunities to attract international support for the mission in Iraq. The document calls for a new effort to rebuild alliances, saying the path to victory in the war on terrorism "will be found in the company of others, not walking alone."

New York Times - July 3, 2004

Treading carefully, the Democratic document does not rule out the use of pre-emptive military action. But it describes it as an act of last resort, not a tenet of American foreign policy.

"We will never wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake," it reads, "but we must enlist the support of those we need for ultimate victory."

Yet it's difficult to take the Kerry/DNC position on Iraq very seriously:

1. The recalcitrance in the French and German position has considerably less to do with how "nicely" Chirac and Schroeder are or have been courted to help and more to do with the pervasive anti-Americanism that has existed for decades. To wit, the only time the "unwilling" French and Germans took pause at this anti-Americanism was a day or two coinciding with 9/11. There main reasons for anti-Americanism is that the US will not buckle under the dictates of the World Court and Kyoto Protocol, dating back to 1997.

2. Chirac and Schroeder are each under political pressure at home with great risk of losing their positions. The probability of them going against the popular anti-war, anti-Americanism that exists in their countries in order to invest blood and treasure in Iraq is near zero

3. The economies of German and France are languishing under considerable governmental cost-reduction pressure. Even if they weren't staunchly anti-American and anti-war, the feasibility of their countries investing in Iraq is highly remote.

The commitment made at the recent NATO conference by Germany and France to help train Iraqi security forces is about as good as it gets. But that still does not preclude Senator Kerry from suggesting that he could do more. I challenge anyone to provide Senator Kerry's specific plan of action in compelling France and Germany to invest more into Iraq.


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