Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Iraq'ed

The phrase for today is strategic defeat. The tireless Paul Krugman, op-ed columnist for the Times, takes a measured, for him at least, jab at the Bush administration:

Mr. Bush's insistence that he is nonetheless "pleased with the progress" in Iraq - when his own National Intelligence Estimate echoes the grim views of independent experts - would be funny if the reality weren't so grim. Unfortunately, this is no joke: to the delight of Al Qaeda, America's overstretched armed forces are gradually getting chewed up in a losing struggle.

From the soft right, David Brooks channels me from yesterday to talk about the new forcefulness of Kerry's message:

Yesterday John Kerry came to New York University and did something amazing. He uttered a series of clear, declarative sentences on the subject of Iraq. Many of these sentences directly contradict his past statements on Iraq, but at least you could figure out what he was trying to say

Although, and naturally so, Mr. Brooks didn't miss a chance to comment on the infeasibility of a Kerry plan:

Rhetorically, this was his best foreign policy speech by far (it helps to pick a side). Politically, it was risky. Kerry's new liberal tilt makes him more forceful on the stump, but opens huge vulnerabilities. Does he really want to imply that 1,000 troops died for nothing?

Though that last question is better directed at Bush, right?

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