Jewish World Review Oct. 11, 2004 / 26 Tishrei, 5765

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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Into Kerry's foreign fantasyland | Sen. John Kerry's four point plan for victory in Iraq consists of a fantasy in which he himself doesn't believe, and three "me toos."

The fantasy is that if he were president, Kerry could persuade nations not now willing to help out in Iraq to send troops there.

I can imagine the conversation: "Hey Jacques, hey Gerhard. Iraq is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. How about you guys send a lot of your troops over there so I can bring our boys home?"

Not even Kerry believes this would be persuasive.

"Does this mean that allies are going to trade their young for our young in body bags? I know they are not. I know that," Kerry said in response to a question at a town hall meeting Oct 5th.

The governments of France and Germany have made it clear that under no circumstances would they send troops to Iraq.

To think they ever would — or that the United Nations Security Council would ever approve military action against Iraq — was preposterous, evidence made public this week makes clear.

"Memos from Iraqi intelligence officials, recovered by American and British inspectors, show the dictator was told as early as May 2002 that France — having been granted oil contracts — would veto any American plans for war," the Scotsman newspaper reported.

Evidence uncovered by the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) showed that Russia and China — two other nations that have vetoes on the Security Council — also had been bribed by Saddam.

The primary motive for French cooperation, former Deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz told interrogators, was the promise of lucrative oil deals once UN sanctions were lifted.

Among Frenchmen receiving bribes were two counselors to President Jacques Chirac, and the spokesman for his re-election campaign.

Money for the bribes to individuals came chiefly from the UN's "oil for food" program. The London Telegraph reported this week that the UN inspector responsible for making sure the "oil for food" program was on the up and up was paid about $100,000 in bribes from Saddam. Other beneficiaries of Iraqi largess were Benon Savan, the UN official in overall charge of the program, and the son of Secretary General Kofi Annan.

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ISG chief Charles Duelfer said in the group's report released this week that Iraq didn't have any ongoing WMD programs at the time the U.S. invaded, but planned to start them up again as soon as UN sanctions were lifted.

The bribes paid by Saddam to Security Council members and to senior UN staffers suggest that a deal had been made to lift the sanctions.

"With the infusion of funding and resources following acceptance of the oil for food program, Iraq effectively shortened the time that would be required to re-establish production capacity," Duelfer told the Senate. "By 2003, Iraq would have been able to produce mustard agent in a period of months, and nerve agent in less than a year or two."

While Kerry vainly pursues "allies" bribed by Saddam, he dumps on the 30 nations which have sent troops to Iraq as a "coalition of the bribed and the coerced." Demeaning the contributions of and the sacrifices made by, among others, Britain, Australia, Italy, Poland, Japan and South Korea is a peculiar way to strengthen America's alliances.

Within an hour of Prime Minister Iwad Allawi's speech to a joint session of Congress thanking America for our help, Kerry held a news conference to demean Allawi as a puppet. In his debate with Vice President Dick Cheney, Kerry's running mate discounted the sacrifices Iraqi policemen and soldiers are making in the fight against the terrorists. These are peculiar ways to bolster a relationship with a key ally.

Last month Kerry's sister, Diana, was in Australia trying to persuade Australians to leave the coalition. This is a most peculiar way to strengthen America's alliances in the war on terror.

The other elements of Kerry's "plan" are to train more Iraqis to defend themselves; to spend more on reconstruction projects in Iraq (while complaining about building firehouses in Baghdad instead of in the United States), and to hold elections. All are steps Bush began to take long ago. Kerry is as bereft of ideas on Iraq as he is of consistency and principle.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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