Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Quarta, 22 de setembro, 2004

   WSJ: Kerry e o Iraque

Resumo abaixo esse editorial do WSJ, que achei especialmente bom. Para o artigo completo clique aqui.

"If nothing else, John Kerry's apparent decision to close out the 2004 Presidential campaign as the "antiwar" candidate would seem to be true to himself and to the party he now leads.

The Democratic nominee entered public life, after all, questioning both America's policy and its purposes in Vietnam. He's now staking his bid for the White House as a critic of the boldest and most divisive American foreign policy initiative since. In the process, Mr. Kerry just might offer us all a clarifying debate over the proper scope and scale of the war on terror, and his Democratic base a badly needed sense that its misgivings about Iraq in particular have gotten a fair hearing.

At least that's what we're hoping. Although we'll make no secret of the fact that we disagree with much of what Mr. Kerry had to say is his speech at New York University on Monday, the Senator finally did offer an internally coherent alternative to the Bush foreign policy of the past four years.

When it comes to the war on terror's grand strategy, readers probably won't be surprised to learn we prefer the Bush version. Limiting the definition of the enemy to bin Laden and his associates makes little sense in an age when terrorists cavort with rogue states and multiply like blades of grass in the despotic soil of the Middle East. Without an Iraq-type plan for changing the region, the U.S. would seem condemned to a century of playing terrorist whack-a-mole. If Mr. Kerry has an alternative root-causes strategy, he has yet to articulate it.

When it comes to Iraq specifically, Mr. Kerry's picture of the country is unrealistically bleak and many of his proposals are already in motion. Iraqi security forces are being trained, after all, and Mr. Bush and Prime Minister Allawi remain committed to the January elections. As for getting other countries to share more of the burden, good luck. Sometimes we think we might enjoy a Kerry victory just for the spectacle of watching a Secretary of State Biden or Holbrooke try to convince the Europeans to accept responsibility for their own security, never mind Iraq's.

The line about making Iraq "the world's responsibility" was perhaps the most revealing in Mr. Kerry's speech. Whereas John F. Kennedy's Democrats pledged to "pay any price, bear any burden" in the promotion and defense of liberty, today's Vietnam-scarred party sees little or no special role for American providence in the world. And the world knows it. Such statements risk encouraging our Baathist and jihadist enemies in their belief that we lack staying power. Likewise, they signal to our potential Iraqi allies that it would be wise to avoid choosing sides until November.

As we've noted before, one of the striking trends in recent years has been the complete role reversal of our two major parties in their philosophy of foreign policy, with Republicans pushing idealism and Democrats deriding it as "neocon" folly. This campaign is shaping up to be no exception.

Mr. Kerry is offering a minimalist conception of the war on terror, focused on al Qaeda and a rapid exit from Iraq. Mr. Bush spoke to the United Nations yesterday again pushing his democracy-for-the-Middle-East line. No one will be able to say voters weren't offered a clear foreign policy choice come November."

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