A SMALL REACTION TO A BIG SPEECH: The Belgravia Dispatch is deeply unimpressed with Kerry's response to Allawi's speech:
Kerry looks, er, very small today. I mean, was this statement for real? In its discombobulation, utter lack of grace (all but calling Allawi a liar), near absurdities ("Let me tell you, if the 4th Infantry Division and the diplomacy had been done (ed. note: whatever "done" means) with Turkey, you wouldn't have had a Fallujah"), pleading tone ("And ask the military leaders. Go ask the military leaders")--it reads more like a bona fide Deanian (or Goreian?) meltdown than a serious policy statement/press conference.
What I don't get is that Kerry's big claim is that he'll get us allies, but it seems that whenever you turn around he's dissing somebody on our side. Last week it was Australia, and then there were those remarks about a "fraudulent coalition" in Iraq. This seems to me to be no way to win friends, though I suspect that it may influence people.
UPDATE: Roger Simon asks: "[W]hat if Kerry wins using this rhetoric? What will he do when confronted with decisions to make on Iraq?" You know, the more I look at the new, Dean-channeling Kerry, the more I think that he doesn't expect to win. He's given up trying to convince swing voters that he's serious on the war. I think this is about firing up the base to protect down-ticket candidates as much as possible.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Jason Van Steenwyk, recently returned from Iraq, is also unimpressed with Kerry's remarks. "Ok. So you want other nations' leaders to expend political capital and treasure and send their lads to risk their lives . . . . So why don't you act like it? Why aren't you trying to sell the deal?"