Ted Kennedy's contemptible foreign policy speech deliberately timed just prior to the Iraqi election was bad enough. But Kennedy didn't just come within one state's electors of becoming president. John Kerry did, and his regrettable remarks on "Meet the Press" demonstrate how scary that is.
Kerry made so many objectionable statements it's hard to know where to begin. He couldn't complete a paragraph perfunctorily praising our troops before he began issuing disclaimers. "No one in the United States should try to overhype this election."
First, no one in the Bush Administration is saying our work in Iraq is complete. They acknowledge the election was just the beginning. Several pivotal steps remain before the adoption of the Iraqi Constitution and we're still feverishly training Iraqi security forces.
Having said that, I do think we should be touting this election as the monumentally historic event that it was. Indeed how can we overstate the significance of this incredible day and the remarkable courage of the Iraqi people?
We should rejoice at their unequivocal affirmation of the universal human longing for freedom. Their enthusiastic embracement of the democratic process stands as a disciplinary repudiation of those glibly contending that certain cultures, such as Islamic ones, are inherently unreceptive to self-rule.
If 72 percent of the registered Iraqi voters had cast their ballots in a completely risk-free climate, we would be shouting to the rooftops with glee. But every single voter went to the polls knowing he or she could be killed. Does this not put the lie to the endless refrain that the Iraqi people reject us as "occupiers" instead of welcoming us as "liberators"? You can't tell me the Iraqi people aren't supportive of America's action in deposing Saddam Hussein when three fourths of them chose to participate in the democratic process.
This election was about the sovereignty of the Iraqi people, the rejection of terrorist brutality, and God willing, the potential transformation of the Mideast. But it was not about France, Germany, or any other nations that stubbornly, and wrongly, refused to join the right side of history in the War in Iraq. But you'd never know that from listening to John Kerry, who, sadly, is still imprisoned in the pathetic quagmire of his "multilateralist" mindset.
Even on the heels of this profoundly gratifying election en route to liberating the long-oppressed and beleaguered Iraqi people, John Kerry couldn't resist the perverse temptation to resurrect his manufactured criticism of President Bush's "unilateral" approach to the war. It was a phony, desperate after-the-fact charge then, and it is even more so now. If you didn't understand before that Kerry was always just blowing smoke about President Bush's supposed alienation of the global community, you should see it clearly now.
Kerry said, "This election is a sort of demarcation point, and what really counts now is the effort to have a legitimate political reconciliation, and it's going to take a massive diplomatic effort and a much more significant outreach to the international community than this administration has been willing to engage in. Absent that, we will not be successful in Iraq."
This nonsense was bad enough during the election, but we can't let Kerry get away with this kind of inane, destructive rhetoric now. What in the world does he mean by a legitimate political reconciliation, a massive diplomatic effort, a significant outreach to the international community?
What does diplomacy between the United States and Old Europe, or Russia, have to do with the ultimate success of Iraqi democracy? Why should we be reaching out to those recalcitrant nations that shamefully refused to do the right thing? If there's any mea culpas owed or sucking up to be done they should come from Old Europe and Russia.
Kerry's gratuitous invocation of "multilateralism" yet again is only noteworthy because it is a classic example of the utter inability of this exemplar of nuance to cut through to the heart of an issue. It might be the most egregious non sequitur uttered by a public official in recent memory.
The only thing useful about Kerry's analysis is that it can serve as a sobering reminder of how fortunate the United States, the Iraqi people and all freedom-loving peoples of the world are that Kerry lost Ohio.
If Kerry is entertaining fantasies of running again in 2008, his handlers ought to at least suggest a new mantra -- one with a fighting chance of signaling that he has a clue about what is important. Until then, he'll be nothing more than a washed-up wind-up doll spouting "unilateralism," no matter the question, no matter the reality, and history will march on without him.