Sunday, August 01, 2004
Kerry's conundrum: Sen. John Kerry appeared on various Sunday morning shows promising that his election as president would usher in a renewed relationship with our "allies" -- understood to be at least Germany and France (and occasionally Russia) -- that would result in those countries sending troops to Iraq to help alleviate the burden on the American military.
Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said he plans to use private negotiations to persuade other heads of state to assist in reconstructing Iraq, but he does not envision sending more U.S. troops there. Kerry said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that a new president can make a "fresh start" with world leaders who opposed the war.
"If we demonstrate an America that has a foreign policy that is smarter, more engaged ... and more respectful of the world, we're going to bring people to our side," Kerry said. "We're not only not going to put additional troops there, that's the way to bring our troops home."
With Edwards sitting by his side, Kerry said on CBS that he is convinced that a Kerry administration could get NATO involved in Iraq. The interview was taped earlier in Greensburg, Pa.
"We can make sure that other countries in the region and this is critical Iran, Syria, are not interfering with trying to establish a democratic Iraq and bring other countries like France and Germany and Russia to the reconstruction effort so that the Iraq economy can get off the ground and we can get some debt forgiveness," Edwards said.
Well, it hasn't been getting much notice, but the Germans are maintaining that they won't get involved in Iraq no matter who is in the White House.
Karsten Voigt, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's U.S. policy coordinator, yesterday said Berlin's policy of staying out of Iraq would remain in place even if Democrat John Kerry beat George W. Bush in the U.S. presidential election in November. "The German government has made it clear that the German military will not be deployed in Iraq – and that remains valid regardless of the outcome of the U.S. election," Voigt told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.
Kerry needs to work a little more on that magic wand of his if he's going to change the German government's mind. Otherwise, it would be nice if he'd admit the truth: It's not about President Bush or his foreign policy -- it's about the Germans, the French and the Russians. They don't want to help in Iraq because they don't want to help in Iraq -- not because they hate President Bush.