Kerry needs to lead on security
By Edward Cone
News & Record
John Kerry needs to lay out a serious plan for exiting
I’d like to see George Bush’s plan too while we’re at it, since his current strategy for winning the peace has sprung a few leaks.
So far the foreign policy aspect of this campaign has been largely about the past. There is plenty to examine in the rear-view mirror -- it’s clear that Bush was itching to take on Iraq long before 9/11, which raises legitimate questions about his rush to invade; that the war on Al Quaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan languished as he pursued this adventure; and that planning for the post-war administration of the country was ideologically driven and dangerously inadequate.
But while it matters very much how and why we invaded
Without a compelling vision for
With a plan, Kerry’s Vietnam-era status as both a hero and a critic of a war Bush avoided stands out as a mark of character. Without a plan, it’s just lines on his resume. With a plan, Kerry can talk about the enormous Bush deficits, the tax breaks for the rich, the deliberate deception about the costs of the corporate-welfare Medicare plan, the retrograde environmental policy, and the divisive, dangerous culture wars. Without a plan, those issues are moot to many voters.
So far Kerry has said good things about regaining international support and increasing troop strength. “We need a President who will not walk away from a dangerous world - and a President who will not walk alone by choice – but a President who will lead a new alliance of free nations…to address the common ills of a new century – terrorism, loose nukes, and drug trafficking, environmental destruction and epidemic disease,” he said in one campaign speech (available at his website, www.JohnKerry.com).
But it’s not enough for Kerry to allude to his support from foreign leaders, and promise to mend the relationships trashed by Bush. It’s not enough to count on mistakes by the terrorists, who may have woken
I want to hear more about his larger worldview, and his broad plan for the post-war era. What does the map look like two years from now, and five years, and ten? What will he do to get us there? Part of the logic of invading
What will he do to end the conflict between
A simply-stated, direct, and credible policy on
Edward Cone writes a column for the News & Record most Sundays.
© News & Record 2004