October 01, 2004


It's not just that he has exaggerated what has gone wrong in Iraq. His entire speech was premised on the assumption that there were European troops and Muslim troops and United Nations gendarmes who would have gone to war with us against Saddam had Bush only waited another few days, weeks, months in the spring of 2003. That is a lie. And now, he holds out the same false promise. It is true, he admits, that there is a Security Council resolution calling on U.N. members to provide soldiers and trainers and a special brigade to protect the U.N. mission in Iraq. "Three months later," he admits, "not a single country has answered that call." Of course, Bush is to blame. And what should Bush do? He should "convene a summit meeting of the world's major powers" and "insist that they make good on that U.N. resolution."

There is something risible in Kerry's faith in these hopeless transactions brokered by Kofi Annan and in the United Nations itself, which is staging yet another tragic, do-nothing performance on Darfur. He surely knows there is no cavalry of Europeans and Arabs about to ride to Iraq's rescue (especially since he intends to withdraw American troops, hardly a move that will give other nations confidence). He surely knows there are no foreign funders willing to bear the financial burden, either. But, if he admits that, then much of his critique of Bush's Iraq policy collapses, and with it his confidence in the honorable community of nations--the kind of phrase of which liberals are fond. Except that the nations to which it refers are neither honorable nor a community nor, in many cases, even nations. Kerry may want to rely on their goodwill, but I don't.

Ouch. Meanwhile Alex Flowers emails with some questions:

About that global test...

1) Is there an old copy of it floating around we can get our hands on?
2) Is it multiple choice or essay form?
3) Is the test written in French, German or English?
4) Who determines if we can retake the test?
5) Is it pass/fail or is it more like the SAT?

Thanks in advance.

I'm pretty sure that the answer to (3) is "French."

UPDATE: Reader Randy Pickett has found a copy:

Global Test for Pre-emptive Military Action by the U.S.

1. Is the U.S. President a Republican?
2. Could this action possibly stabilize oil production?
3. Are France and Germany supplying the intended target with weapons or advice?
4. Would any small time thugocracy with a seat on the Security Council feel threatened?
5. Are family members of high ranking U.N. bureaucrats benefiting financially from the status quo?
6. Is this action likely to enhance America’s power in the world?
7. Would this action further the goals of free market/free trade advocates?
8. Would this action make the U.N. look weak and inconsistent?
9. Would this action divide the countries of the European Union?
10. Would this action be seen as offensive to a world religion (other than Christianity and Judaism)?

Must've been in the frathouse files.

MORE: Interesting observation from reader Brian Faughnan:

I think that while Kerry might have helped himself a point or two last night - pushing some undecideds into his camp - we should also at least consider the question of whether his promises to (essentially) stay the course in Iraq will push any of his support on the left into the Nader camp. Between his promise to win in Iraq, to expand the military by two divisions and to consider pre-emptive war against Iran and North Korea, it must at the very least beefen-up Nader's stump-speech a little. And as they say, in a close race, it may not take all that many votes to shift a swing state from one camp to another.

Hmm. In that sense, the Nader percentage may be the best indicator of whether Kerry's tougher talk was credible with the electorate.

STILL MORE: Eric Muller thinks the "global test" stuff is being taken out of context. I don't know -- the language about "proving to the world" seems to me to support the less-friendly reading.