The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
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  - 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 .
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.
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