Monday, August 02, 2004

The Mary Poppins solution 

Iraq confounds, Kerry contorts Shorter John MacArthur (and lots of other columnists): "John Kerry must present a detailed plan for ending the war in Iraq and creating democracy right away, or else he loses credibility to George Bush (who had no plan for Iraq at all)."
I've seen this kind of article all over -- its a republican talking point, nothing more.
First, its ridiculous to expect that someone who is not the president yet to come up with a detailed "answer to Iraq" when the people presently in power are at a complete loss about what to do there.
Second, they're looking for Mary Poppins magic. They cannot accept the fact that there is no "solution" which will enable America to emerge from Iraq, even with "peace with honour" much less with a successful democracy. They will howl derision, however, if a presidential candidate has the temerity to tell them so.
UPDATE: And columnist Richard Reeves agrees with me:
We are going to have to cut and run without appearing to cut and run. We have to execute the most difficult of military maneuvers, retreating under fire, without admitting it, as Richard Nixon did in Vietnam. Certainly Kerry could not admit that last Thursday night; few of us can. The almost criminal incompetence of the occupation cripples us all. But Kerry has to fudge that. For now, on Iraq, he has to mimic Bush. We all do. The final futility is just Vietnamization all over again, turn the country back to the locals, keeping Americans out of harm's way and getting out of there as fast as we can -- or repairing to bases where bullet-proof-vested soldiers, watching videos and eating ice cream, will occasionally venture forth like Romans on punitive missions. But Kerry would be dead politically if he admitted that. So would Bush.

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