David Brooks sure is working hard to make Kerry’s Iraq speech pin him as the ‘anti-war candidate’:
Rhetorically, this was his best foreign policy speech by far (it helps to pick a side). Politically, it was risky. Kerry’s new liberal tilt makes him more forceful on the stump, but opens huge vulnerabilities. Does he really want to imply that 1,000 troops died for nothing?
I didn’t realize it was ‘liberal’ to say that Bush has majorly screwed up on the war. And why should an implication that more than 1,000 troops have died for nothing (or worse than nothing) place the blame on Kerry, and not on the man responsible for their deployment? Perhaps the new definition of ‘liberal’ is ‘telling the truth’…or maybe that’s not such a new definition.
As for Brooks’ claim that Kerry’s primary goal is quick withdrawal from Iraq: if that’s the case, Kerry could have stated it more clearly than this:
In Iraq, we have a mess on our hands. But we cannot throw up our hands. We cannot afford to see Iraq become a permanent source of terror that will endanger America’s security for years to come.
Our troops have served with extraordinary courage and commitment. For their sake, and America’s sake, we must get this right. We must do everything in our power to complete the mission and make America stronger at home and respected again in the world.