The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, August 02, 2004

Kerry's loose words on Iraq deployment

Given the vital importance of national security to the Kerry campaign, I'm struck by a quote on future US troop levels in Iraq from his This Week performance (no transcript online?) from WaPo today:
I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops.

Now, as a lawyer and a legislator, he surely realises that there is a - well, an enormous - difference between significant and enormous in their ordinary usage and in the context of his quote.

A reduction of 10%, certainly one of 20%, would count as significant; but surely one would need to reach 50% at least for a reduction to be enormous?

The rest of the piece makes clear that he is intent on saying nothing on the subject [1] - and one follows his reasoning. (Though it's still essentially a Blair-style appeal to trust me. Aka pie in the sky.)

But the choice of words is so clumsy - in a way reminiscent of the foreign leaders farrago (March 18) - as to cast doubt on his abilities.

On the substantive point, Kerry is talking about achieving this reduction by the end of his term - in January 2009! Whereas the British troops can look forward to a pull-out in 2005 - according to the Sunday Times [2].

And Kerry's plans depend on securing that unlikely volte-face from allies on deploying troops to pull Uncle Sam's chestnuts out of the fire.

  1. In the sense of the Irish political maxim, Whatever you say, say nothing.

  2. Anonymice speaking. The URL is hanging - is this Doubleclick DOS?

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