John Kerry on Iraq
October 20, 2004 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Straight up: Has John Kerry said what he's going to do about Iraq if he's elected? I'm probably voting for him anyway, but I don't remember what he's said specifically about an end strategy.
posted by alumshubby to Law & Government (10 answers total)
 
Here's the issue piece from his campaign website.

Short version:
* Internationalize, because others must share the burden;
* Train Iraqis, because they must be responsible for their own security;
* Move forward with reconstruction because that's an important way to stop the spread of terror; and
* Help Iraqis achieve a viable government, because it is up to them to run their own country.
posted by Zonker at 6:03 PM on October 20, 2004


Thanx...I looked for this on the web site and couldn't find it! (hangs head in shame)
posted by alumshubby at 6:55 PM on October 20, 2004


Here's a Slate article on Kerry's position regarding Iraq, from about a month ago.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:01 PM on October 20, 2004


Internationalize, because others must share the burden

I'm also voting for Kerry, but still find this part of the plan dubious. Haven't most of our 'traditional allies' already said that they will not be committing troops to the region, full stop? And Poland, lest I forget, already has plans to draw down their already small contingent.

Does one need to have drunk the blue Kool-aid to believe this, or are there really reasons to be optimistic that Kerry can do it?

(On preview, sorry if this is trollish or a derail, but it's been bugging me.)
posted by Hlewagast at 7:25 PM on October 20, 2004


I'm not sure that other nations would be as loath to commit troops in Iraq as they are now--if there was a clearly defined plan with an end in sight.

I am no blue-Kool-Aid-drinker for Kerry or anyone else, but remember that Kerry isn't necessarily going to inherit all the bad blood that Bush has accumulated with France, Germany, and other nations (OTOH, he's also not necessarily going to inherit any of the goodwill Bush has accumulated with whoever he's accumulated it with).

There's really no such thing as a "full stop" from France, Germany, or Russia. Especially when there's oil involved. It's going to be a cold winter and oil stocks are low...you do the math.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:36 PM on October 20, 2004


Hlewagast (and others), Germany just recently said they'd reconsider commiting to at least training Iraqi forces and maybe more--if our leadership changes. That's one (and one that would help bring others in, i believe)
posted by amberglow at 7:44 PM on October 20, 2004


Kerry represents a change from "you're obsolete, you're old Europe...hey, can you help us out?"

Also, bribing letting other countries in on reconstruction contracts will help them fell good about committing troops.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:33 PM on October 20, 2004


I get the impression many more countries would be happy to commit troops if it were part of a truly international coalition, perhaps utilising more UN involvement... rather than the current situation which seems to be that the US orders other nations (especially the UK) about, while at the same time criticising Europe.
posted by skylar at 12:01 AM on October 21, 2004


Also note Bush's statement of his plan for Iraq:

There are five steps in our plan to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom. We will hand over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government, help establish security, continue rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, encourage more international support, and move toward a national election that will bring forward new leaders empowered by the Iraqi people.

If you like, you can map one candidate's plan to the other: "Internationalize"-> "encourage more international support"; "Train Iraqis" -> "help establish security"; "Move forward with reconstruction" -> "continue rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure"; and "Help Iraqis achieve a viable government" -> "move toward a national election." Which isn't to say that there are no differences in the stated plans; just very subtle differences.
posted by profwhat at 8:19 AM on October 21, 2004


Which isn't to say that there are no differences in the stated plans; just very subtle differences.

Yeah, the plans themselves are pretty similar, which isn't surprising. Only the most loony have very different ideas, like "leave immediately" or "convert them to Christianity".

I think the key is the difference in effectiveness. Even if Kerry turned out to be just as hawkish and insulting to Europe as this administration has been, (not likely) the idea of a fresh start will be tempting to other countries.
posted by jragon at 9:22 AM on October 21, 2004


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