Within two hours of the president’s Annapolis war speech last November, Vichy John Kerry was on the tube backtracking from everything he, Murtha and the rest of the Cut and Run Dems were saying about Iraq. In his reply to the president’s speech, Kerry managed to retreat in two directions (away from the idea of scheduled withdrawal and away from suggesting any alternative to what the president was doing.) Now, in today’s NYT, Kerry takes another step back, nearly to his glory days of Dewey Canyon III:
Here’s the money quote:
Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave.
If Iraq's leaders succeed in putting together a government, then we must agree on another deadline: a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by year's end. Doing so will empower the new Iraqi leadership, put Iraqis in the position of running their own country and undermine support for the insurgency, which is fueled in large measure by the majority of Iraqis who want us to leave their country. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces should remain.
For this transition to work, we must finally begin to engage in genuine diplomacy. We must immediately bring the leaders of the Iraqi factions together at a Dayton Accords-like summit meeting. In a neutral setting, Iraqis, working with our allies, the Arab League and the United Nations, would be compelled to reach a political agreement that includes security guarantees, the dismantling of the militias and shared goals for reconstruction.
Cut and run, turn the whole thing over to Kofi and the Turtle Bay crime family. Not a word about winning, about the wider war, or defeating terrorism. Kerry’s defeatism is deeply-rooted in Vietnam. Neither he nor his party have recovered from it. Nor will they, while this war is going on. Which disqualifies them from national leadership.