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What Kerry "Should" Do

Aaron LarsonPerson was signed in when posted
10:01 AM ET (US)
George McGovern weighs in:
I am a longtime admirer of Thomas L. Friedman. I disagree, however, with his advice to Senator John Kerry relative to our Army in Iraq, which is summarized in his final line: "We will not run" (column, Feb. 15).

This determination to stand and fight is tempting to political leaders. The trouble with this appeal is that brave young Americans do the bleeding and dying — not the political leaders who committed them to a mistaken war. Terrorists are killing American soldiers in Iraq because our Army is in Iraq. I hope that President Bush, with the help of the United Nations, will find a way to return Iraq to the Iraqis and bring our Army home.

Paradoxically, on the same page as Mr. Friedman's column is a column by Maureen Dowd detailing how Ahmad Chalabi, the convicted criminal Iraqi exile, snowed the neoconservatives in the Bush administration into believing that the American Army could walk into Iraq unopposed and that he would be an ideal replacement for Saddam Hussein.

Replacing Saddam Hussein with Ahmad Chalabi would be comparable to replacing Jack the Ripper with Al Capone. Such a development is not worth risking the death of one additional American.

Thousands of young Americans bled and died in Vietnam to keep a series of political frauds in power in Saigon. Let's not go down that road again, claiming all the while, "We will not run." How about a compromise? Let's walk out of Iraq.
Aaron LarsonPerson was signed in when posted
09:10 AM ET (US)
In Today's Post, E.J. Dionne suggests that the continued primary process, and associated "intramural" policy criticisms, is good for the Democratic party - and that they should not be in a hurry to wrap up the nomination. I agree.

Meanwhile, over at the Times, I'm not sure what David Brooks intends. He superficially argues that the Dems have historically been too dominated in their foreign policy by the Vietnam War, and that they need to move past that war in order to win over the American people. But his actual argument seems to be that we should boldly go where no man has gone before, while refusing to heed the lessons of history. He's rallying the nation for the "war after Iraq", before we even know how either Iraq or Afghanistan turn out. (David - this isn't LOTR, where you could plan three movies up front because you already knew the ending.)
Aaron LarsonPerson was signed in when posted
01:32 PM ET (US)
I wonder if George Will intended this to be a favor? Well no, really I don't - he intends it as an attack on Kerry. But I doubt many who are not gripped with the nomination process will have the patience to read through it, and by identifying the key points upon which he would (and will) attack Kerry, I think on the whole Will does Kerry a favor as Kerry prepares for situations where he will have to address similar questions and as he develops his platform for the upcoming race.

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