Life in the Alternate Universe
Awww….. it’s so cute when politicians play the “history would have been different!” card.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.
“If I was president, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John’s bar and grill in Detroit’s Cass Corridor.
Bush has been so concentrated on the war in Iraq that other Middle East tension arose as a result, he said.
This is one of those things that perpetuate the idea of an all-powerful presidency. It would be perfect appropriate for John Kerry to say that things would have been different if he’d won, so long as those thing were actually in his control. (“If I were President, I would not have vetoed federal funding for stem cell research”, for example.) But last time I checked, the President does not actually control the Knesset or Hezbollah, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s entirely possible that this conflict would have happened anyway. Now it may not have happened, but there is virtually zero evidence either way.
That said, this little bit later in the article irked me.
Hezbollah guerillas should have been targeted with other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban, which operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kerry said. However, Bush, has focused military strength on Iraq.
“This is about American security and Bush has failed. He has made it so much worse because of his lack of reality in going into Iraq….We have to destroy Hezbollah,” he said.
Good policy or no, I fail to see how the United States military actively engaging Hezbollah would have decreased Middle East tensions, given that it would have almost certainly entailed unilateral action on the part of the United States, and would have involved U.S. troops being stationed in even more Middle Eastern states.
I suppose it’s too much to expect critical thinking from U.S. Senators in this day and age, but still…
UPDATE (James Joyner): In the “great minds think alike” department, see Steve Verdon‘s post on this from this afternoon.