Monday, September 20, 2004


Kerry's Plan V. Bush's Lies

Today at New York University, John Kerry delivered a speech that can only be summed up as a Democrat's wet dream. For months, hardcore Democrats have been begging for Kerry to take off the gloves and go for the throat. Today he did just that.

Kerry went on to outline a detailed four-point plan for success in Iraq.

It was a blistering speech by Kerry's standards and relentless in its attacks on the President. He even articulated his own vote to authorize the use of force:

Clearly, John Kerry has decided to take the fight to the President on the matter of Iraq and the facts are in Kerry's favor. Recently we learned that in July the president was presented with a National Intelligence Estimate that stated the best-case scenario for Iraq over the next eighteen months is "tenuous stability." In other words, the best we can hope for is that it doesn't get any worse than it already is. Not exactly what I would call a ringing endorsement for the president's strategy.

In addition to John Kerry, the president is now under attack from members of his own party. On the Sunday morning talk shows, no less than four Republican senators were critical of the war in Iraq and George Bush's handling of it. Senator Lugar (R-IND) called the administration incompetent while Senator Hagel (R-NEB) said "No, I don't think we're winning. We're in trouble, we're in deep trouble in Iraq."

So with everything seemingly going against him, one might think the president would defend himself. However, in a speech in New Hampshire today, the president was only able to offer the same empty rhetoric and accusations that we've heard for months.

John Kerry said nothing of the sort. This is the president's game, though; twist what was said into what the Conservatives are hoping he'll say.

Once again, George Bush is playing with syntax. When John Kerry says "allies" he's referring to countries that will send more than twenty-five troops (Kazakhstan), not international partners that provide political and moral support (Philipines). When John Kerry talks about training Iraqi troops, he's referring to the fact that none of the 35,000 Iraqi police now in uniform have completed a field-training program. At this point, only 5,000 Iraqi troops of any kind are fully trained. Just because we have put them in a uniform and given them an assignment doesn't mean they are qualified. And when John Kerry talks about reconstruction, he's talking about actually spending the $18 billion that congress approved over a year ago. As of this date, only $1 billion has actually been spent and the Bush administration is asking that $3.5 billion more be reallocated to be used for security.

John Kerry has a plan for Iraq. It is clear and detailed. As of now, forty-some days before the election, we have yet to hear an actual plan from our president. All we get is the same old empty rhetoric and accusations. John Kerry is clearly more prepared to deal with the growing problem in Iraq than the current administration. Let's hope he gets the chance to do just that.

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