Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, October 01, 2004
This was a debate shorn of gimmicks, canned one-liners, gotcha moments or even many light-hearted asides. It was as serious as the times in which this campaign is being waged. Bush and Kerry gave as good as they got and laid out for the country a choice between Bush's determination to stay on the course he has been following in Iraq or what Kerry said would be a genuine change in direction in policy there.

..."I have a difference with this president," he said. "I believe . . . we're strongest when we reach out and lead the world and build strong alliances. I have a plan for Iraq. I believe we can be successful. I'm not talking about leaving. I'm talking about winning. And we need a fresh start, a new credibility, a president who can bring allies to our side."
The trouble with that change of direction is that Kerry himself doesn't seem to believe in the allies the US has already got.
He has called nations involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the ensuing reconstruction effort a "coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted". The members of this putatively disgraceful coalition include such important countries as Great Britain, Poland and Australia.

... his sister Diana -- stirred the pot of demagoguery by stating, according to The Australian, that the government of John Howard in Australia has made Australians targets for terrorism by helping the Bush Administration's efforts in Iraq
And, after Kerry had accused Iraqi PM Allawi of pandering to Bush's political interests,
Kerry's chief spokesman Joe Lockhart then, exacerbated the Kerry campaign's error, saying in the LA Times:

"The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips."
Kerry seems to be waiting for endorsement from Chirac and Putin.

That'll cost a lot more US corpses than a thousand.