Fixing Iraq in Five Short Paragraphs

Thomas Friedman explains how John Kerry would bring democracy to Iraq–if John Kerry were elected president and was inhabited by the Ghost of Thomas Friedman and talking to Tim Russert. Apparently, it involves a lot of platitudes:

“[I]f I were president, I would insist that we have a real policy of energy conservation to enlist every American in this war, by asking each of us to choke off some of the funds going to the Islamist totalitarians.

So, we’re going to change the entire nature of our economy overnight?

I would immediately invite the leaders of the U.N., Germany, France and NATO to Camp David to rebuild the alliance that won the cold war, so we have the staying power to win this war of ideas in the Muslim world.

We won the Cold War almost entirely on the strength of the American economy, the American military, and the American taxpayer. While rebuilding Germany and France, bankrolling the U.N., and defending against several of the countries now part of NATO.

And I would have my secretary of state out in the Middle East regularly, arguing our case, bolstering our allies and trying to bring about a secure peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

As opposed to the policies of the past 30-odd years?

“Oh yes, Tim, my means would be very different. Unlike the Bush team, I understand that just because you have a hammer, not every problem is a nail. It takes more than force to win a war of ideas.

Not even Kerry is so much of a pompous ass that he thinks force is the only part of our foreign policy.

But on ends, Tim, let no one have any illusions: a Kerry presidency will pay any price and bear any burden to try to build a decent Iraqi regime in the heart of the Arab world.

Unless it’s convenient to bash the war in order to please the nominating electorate.

My making that commitment now is the best way to prove to the terrorists that their actions are futile, and in that way save American and Iraqi lives. Failure to make that commitment would have horrific consequences for U.S. foreign policy.

So, the policies Kerry has been advocating against for the past ten months or so–including refusing to fund the rebuilding efforts–would be a major part of his Administration? And his word on the matter would be taken seriously?

“Tim, I am no dreamer. I’ve seen a quagmire close up.

Now that sounds like Kerry!

We can’t want a unified, decent Iraq more than the Iraqis themselves. Ultimately, they will have to step up and come together around a plan and a leader. But the terrorists should have no illusions, and the Iraqi people should have no fears: America under John Kerry will give them every chance to succeed. We will not run.”

Granting, of course, that if Kerry had been in charge a year ago, Saddam Hussein would still be in power. But, what the hell, let’s let bygones be bygones, shall we?

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    “paid for by the John F. Kerry for President 2004 campaign.”