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June 13, 2006
Kerry's 'So Is Your Mama' Mature Response

Regardless of whether a voter trends liberal or conservative, one expects their leaders to display a certain level of maturity in their public pronouncements. John Kerry's office has demonstrated their own level of maturity by calling Karl Rove fat in response to his criticism of their stamina in the Iraq War, and Raw Story has the specifics:

The move comes one day after Rove called plans to exit Iraq proposed by Senator Kerry and Representative John Murtha (D-PA) "profoundly wrong" "cut and run" strategies. "They may be with you for the first few bullets," Rove said, "but they won't be there for the last tough battles."

Both Kerry and Murtha are decorated service veterans.

"The closest Karl Rove ever came to combat," said Kerry spokesman David Wade, "was these last months spent worrying his cellmates might rough him up in prison. This porcine political operative can't cut and run from the truth any longer."

In their defense, Kerry's staffers did run through Roget's Thesaurus to find a cool-sounding alternative to fat. Rove's weight has no bearing on his political positions, nor did Rove make the debate personal in his remarks. The remarks by Rove came in response to a new amendment Kerry introduced yesterday that would require all American troops to be withdrawn by 12/31/06. This amendment, SA 4203 attached to the DoD authorization bill S2766, leaves in some weasel words about mission-critical troops being left in place while all the rest get the John Murtha "over-the-horizon troop presence" effective retreat from Iraq.

Perhaps Senator Kerry still has not learned that on those rare occasions where he actually offers legislation, others have the right to disagree with it and speak out against the effort. In essence, SA 4203 gives us the same Murtha proposal that Republicans offered for debate last year in the House, and which went down to utter defeat, only gaining three votes -- none of them Murtha's.

The amendment itself has even more surprises hidden within it. Since it has no permanent URL at Thomas, I will reproduce it here:

SA 4203. Mr. KERRY submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 2766, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe personnel strengths for such fiscal year for the Armed Forces, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

On page 437, between lines 2 and 3, insert the following:


(a) Withdrawal of Troops From Iraq.--

(1) SCHEDULE FOR WITHDRAWAL.--The President shall reach an agreement as soon as possible with the Government of Iraq on a schedule for the withdrawal of United States combat troops from Iraq by December 31, 2006, leaving only forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces.

(2) CONSULTATION WITH CONGRESS REQUIRED.--The President shall consult with Congress regarding such schedule and shall present such withdrawal agreement to Congress immediately upon the completion of the agreement.

(3) MAINTENANCE OF OVER-THE-HORIZON TROOP PRESENCE.--The President should maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.

(b) Iraq Summit.--The President should convene a summit as soon as possible that includes the leaders of the Government of Iraq, leaders of the governments of each country bordering Iraq, representatives of the Arab League, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, representatives of the European Union, and leaders of the governments of each permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, for the purpose of reaching a comprehensive political agreement for Iraq that addresses fundamental issues including federalism, oil revenues, the militias, security guarantees, reconstruction, economic assistance, and border security.

First of all, the retreat from Iraq to OTH position assumes that we have an ally in the region that would like to house 135,000 American troops -- one other than Iraq itself, which has repeatedly stated that it does not want the US to leave Iraq yet. It also assumes that having all of our troops somewhere else will have some tactical advantage over having them on the spot when trouble arises. As long as it would take to get troops out, it would take almost the same amount of time to bring them back -- which would probably be far too long to give assistance in any meaningful way. In the meantime, we would lose a significant part of the intelligence we would need to correct any security threat once called.

The final paragraph is nothing more than John Kerry's global test writ specific. He wants to force the President to call a summit that includes two terror-supporting nations, Iran and Syria, to determine the future of Iraq, including oil revenues. Someone may have forgotten that Iraq has sovereignty over much of the issues specified by Kerry in this amendment. Iran and Syria do not need to offer their opinions on how Iraq should manage its own oil revenues, and strictly speaking, Iraq doesn't need our advice either. Only Kerry would write this amendment to require the President to listen to the Iranian mullahcracy and the Syrian dictatorship on how best to implement a democratic government. It's asinine on its face, and yet Kerry apparently offered this with a straight face.

As usual, when a child on the playground starts throwing around personal insults, it's because he knows he's been embarrassed. Kerry and his staff can deploy all of the personal insults over the horizon they desire, but the truth is that Kerry's amendment is nothing less than a retreat from terrorism, and a demonstration of how feckless our foreign policy would have been under a Kerry administration.

UPDATE: Senator Bill Frist blogs about SA4203 on his VolPAC site:

[Kerry]’s working to ensure American failure in Iraq by requiring immediate troop withdrawals. And he’s working to impose his infamous “global test” on our prosecution of the War of Terror by requiring the President to consult with the tyrants who rule Syria and Iran, with the leaders of the Arab League, with the European Union and with the United Nations amongst others.

Kerry’s policy would result in retreat, the disintegration of Iraq, and the strengthening of the Middle East’s sworn enemies of America.

Frist says that SA4203 will come up for debate this week. We will keep a close eye on the rhetoric and the final vote.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 13, 2006 5:50 PM

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