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Sunday, July 18, 2004

Any War You Can Start, I Can Start Better...

Kerry on, my wayward nation. Johnny get your gun! Ketchup boy has declared pre-emptive war against anyone who thinks his foreign policy will be any saner than Bush's.

From Rahul Mahajan's Empire Notes blog:
Kerry's at it again. He's not satisfied with calling for an increase of 40,000 in the number of U.S. troops (presumably some of the extras to be sent to Iraq). Now he wants to double the number of spooks we send abroad as well.

Although he does a bit of caviling about reconstruction contracts, entertaining the bizarre illusion that opening up bidding to the French and Germans will induce them to send their soldiers to die in Iraq, almost the entirety of Kerry's criticism of what's going on in Iraq is of the "I'm tougher than Bush" variety.

Rumsfeld authorizes an increase of 30,000 troops -- Kerry wants 40,000. The CIA says they need a 30 to 35% increase in the number of operatives abroad, and Kerry wants it to be over 100%.

It's hard to judge Kerry's political intelligence. If he thinks this kind of dick-waving is going to make people think he's tougher, more manly, and more warlike than Bush, he's a fool. If he's just trying to cover his ass while events in Iraq continue to torpedo Bush's popularity and while Bush seems unable to come up with a decent campaign ad, he's a political coward, but the results aren't in on whether it's foolish or not.

Personally, I think if Bush has a strategy left, it's crucifying Kerry in their foreign policy debate. In the second debate last time, Gore, so worried about not appearing too cerebral, managed the remarkable feat of appearing dumber than Bush. This time, Kerry, terrified of saying anything meaningful about foreign policy, could well manage the feat of appearing less substantive than Bush.

As far as policy, rather than politics, I wouldn't read too much into these statements. I don't think Kerry is actually more of a warmonger than Bush, nor that he's more gung-ho about the occupation. It's just that there's virtually nothing to choose between the two.
How can you ask someone to be the last person to die for a totally corrupt political system?