WASHINGTON -- The centerpiece of John Kerry's foreign policy is to rebuild our alliances so the world will come to our help, especially in Iraq. He repeats this endlessly because it is the only foreign policy idea he has to offer. The problem for Kerry is that he cannot explain just how he proposes to do this.
The mere appearance of a Europhilic fresh face is unlikely to so thrill the allies that French troops will start marching down the streets of Baghdad. Therefore, you can believe that Kerry is just being cynical in pledging to bring in the allies, knowing that he has no way of doing it. Or you can believe, as I do, that he means it.
He really does want to end America's isolation. And he has an idea how to do it. For understandable reasons, however, he will not explain how on the eve of an election.
Think about it: What do the Europeans and the Arab states endlessly rail about in the Middle East? What (outside Iraq) is the area of most friction with U.S. policy? What single issue most isolates America from the overwhelming majority of countries at the United Nations?
The answer is obvious: Israel.
In what currency, therefore, would we pay the rest of the world in exchange for their support in places like Iraq? The answer is obvious: giving in to them on Israel.
No Democrat will say that openly. But anyone familiar with the code words of Middle East diplomacy can read between the lines. Read what former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger said in ``Foreign Policy for a Democratic President,'' a manifesto written while he was a senior foreign policy adviser to Kerry.
``As part of a new bargain with our allies, the United States must re-engage in ... ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... As we re-engage in the peace process and rebuild frayed ties with our allies, what should a Democratic president ask of our allies in return? First and foremost, we should ask for a real commitment of troops and money to Afghanistan and Iraq.''
So in a ``new bargain with our allies'' America ``re-engages'' in the ``peace process'' in return for troops and money in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Charles Krauthammer is a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner, 1984 National Magazine Award winner, and a columnist for The Washington Post since 1985.
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