Jonah Goldberg pens an on target column looking at the Kerry fetish for allies. I particularly liked this part,
How many times have we been told that George W. Bush "squandered" the good will of the world "community" after 9/11? The assumption behind all of this seemed to be that anything which cost America the support of allies like France or Germany was, in effect, too costly. In other words, the means - "strong alliances" - are more important than the ends - winning the war on terror, toppling Saddam, and so forth. Listening to these folks, one gets the sense that America's greatest foreign-policy triumph was to get sucker-punched on 9/11 because it resulted in sympathetic newspaper headlines in Paris and Berlin.
In fact, I heard Kerry speaking on the news last night and when asked if he would have gone to war with Iraq, he did not say yes or no. He said it would depend. He suggested he would have exhausted all means, ensured that Saddam did or did not have weapons, etc. In other words, he would have dithered around with UN inspectors for possibly another 12 years. Point is, had Kerry been in office, Saddam would still be in power and we would still have no idea what weapons he had and who he might be interested in sharing them with. All for the sake of not spoiling good will, one presumes.
I simply don't get this fascination with having France and/or Germany on our side. The UK has stood strongly by us, as has Poland, Italy and Spain for most of it. And these countries are only a small sample of those that have contributed something to assist our fight against terrorism both in Afghanistan (where Germany actually does have troops) and in Iraq.
I agree with Jonah that it would have been nice to have more, but just because the operation does not say U.N. on the side of the box, or NATO on the helmet does not mean that it was not supported by a good many countries in the international community. It comes down to this - those that were serious in fighting the war on terror did so, and those that were not attempted to stall the entire way. Now the question is - why? Methinks the old adage "follow the money" might be appropriate, but I digress.
Edit on 8/14/04 - I have added this post to my featured posts because of the great discussion that it prompted. And allow me to thank those that contributed. Very good points made and certainly worthy of including for possible future readers (if there are any.)
That is all.