Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Is this some sort of elaborate October surprise?

No wonder sensitive parts of Iraq looked cleaner than a licked pussycat.

This Washington Times piece popped up as the Drudge lead today. If half of it is true, then it nullifies Kerry’s core arguments…I mean complaints…against Bush’s strategy and tactics. First, it destroys Kerry’s credibility when it comes to getting “allies” on board when you consider that while we were diplomizin’ with them, they were plotting with Hussein, aiding him to cover their own interests. That we wrangled 1441 out of them is proof of some good steadfast diplomacy on the part of Bush and Powell. That Russia never threatened a veto is remarkable. But expecting them to join in on the liberation was folly. Lesson for Kerry: countries have national interests. That is why his global test nonplussed so many folks. All politics is local.

I also think this incident shows Bush as a deft, cautious and able diplomat. In three years of war, he has done a good job maintaining the public face of diplomacy – he’s been bold, defiant and even demanding, but he’s also shown respect to every leader within the community of nations. When Chirac was mouthing off and telling other leaders and nations that they missed an opportunity to shut up, etc. – Bush consistently showed respect – acknowledging differences in a vague sense, but keeping the atmosphere positive. Some things need greasing. But in the same way that you can’t get blood from a stone, you can’t get the French government to support liberty. That we cooperate with main four antagonistic powers at all is a testament to Bush’s efforts. He’s been professional, courteous and aggressive, – I would dare say like a cowboy. And even when he knows that the antagonist powers are corrupt and double dealing, he likewise knows when to keep his mouth shut. No simple task for a gaffe prone simpleton, right? Meanwhile, Kerry has fallen into Chiracs trap. Kerry can’t make his point about allies until he insults our allies. He can be overheard calling the president a liar and a cheat & he lashes out at veterans that contest his Vietnam record. And he’s supposed to be the smart one! That’s just bad public diplomacy. His private diplomay? I haven’t the slightest clue. He apparently thinks we are so dumb he needn’t bother explaining them to us.

As for the October surprise bit…consider: The NYTimes breaks the missing weapons story ahead of CBS, who wanted to sit on it until right before the election; the story directly says that the explosives were taken since the occupation; Kerry seizes on the story and blasts angrily at Bush for not doing more to safeguard these sites; somewhere in between, NBC says that they were embedded with the 101st when they got to the facility and there was nothing there then, which is at odds with the NYTimes version; Bush does not counter-attack for a whole campaigning day. Rope-a-dope? How did the NYTimes or CBS get the story? Why was this suddenly a story? Kerry continues the attack the next day; Bush retaliates, telling Kerry he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and that is under investigation; now this story. If it has legs and can make it way to the kitchen table in homes everywhere, it could be devastating for Kerry. The play books might call it judo surprise. I’m not really a Rove conspiracy theorist – but the above thought crossed my mind.

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