Monday, September 27, 2004

Friends Like These

Last week during Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Alawi's visit to Washington, presidential candidate John Kerry's advisor derided the Prime Minister's office, questioning his credibility with Iraqis and the west. Having now declaimed the legitimacy of the first post-Saddam government in Iraq, the Kerry campaign must now propose who they would support. This week's national security debate should be most telling.

Joe Lockhart, Mr. Kerry's campaign advisor, said of the visiting Prime Minister: "The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips." Add to Lockhart's philippic Kerry's Iraq strategy gobbledygook, and it appears that a president Kerry would not support the Prime Minister who has put his life on the line to promote democracy in Iraq. Will Kerry instead propose an Iraqi government staffed with UN-supported bureaucrats?

Imagine relations between Alawi and a president Kerry after his campaign's clear condemnation of the Prime Minister's legitimacy. Alawi must be praying for a Bush victory harder than anyone. Kerry appears to have already started the mental process of a pullout, even before he's elected president. Liberals have made it clear that the man they prefer at the helm in Iraq is Saddam Hussein. Short of reinstalling him, who could they possibly consider as the legitimate leader of New Iraq?

Suggestions of Mr. Kerry's Iraq plan are welcome.