Kerry's Phony Foreign Forces
Would President Kerry be able to get France to help share the burden in Iraq? Chirac says, "Non!"
2:00 PM, Sep 22, 2004 • By GARY SCHMITT
ON MONDAY, in Brussels, Republican strategist Charles Black debated Kerry campaign adviser and fundraiser R. Scott Pastrick on the implications for Europe of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. As reported from Europe, Pastrick stated that a Kerry administration would be "culturally sensitive" to European concerns and that the candidate himself had a "natural tendency to march with Europe." Of that point, we have no doubt.
But "march with Europe" in which direction? John Kerry has accused President Bush of living in a "fantasy world" on Iraq. But Kerry claimed in his recent, much-touted "plan" for Iraq that, if elected, he would reduce American troop levels in Iraq by replacing them with troops from France and Germany. Who lives in a "fantasy world"? If Kerry indeed knows anything about Europe, he knows there isn't the smallest chance that these countries will provide troops, not even to their friend John Kerry. Anyone familiar with the state of German forces knows that Germany cannot and will not send troops to Iraq. The Germans are already hard pressed to keep a few thousand troops in Afghanistan. They are not going to deploy significant new numbers to Iraq even if they wanted to--which they emphatically don't.
As for Paris, well, French president Jacques Chirac made it quite clear on Monday, while in New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, that Kerry's possible victory in November would have no impact on France's decision to stay out of Iraq: "French policy with regard to Iraq has not changed and will not change." ("La politique francaise a l'egard de l'Irak n'a pas change et ne changera pas.")
So, yes, it is true that Kerry will have a "tendency to march with Europe." He will march right out of Iraq, leaving behind chaos and a new terrorist base in the Middle East. In the meantime, he is deceiving the American people by promising French and German help which he knows will never come.
Gary Schmitt is executive director of The Project for the New American Century.