On Wednesday, John Kerry (search) said something that bothered me, but I thought I'd let it sit a day to see if it still bothered me. It’s another day and I'm still bothered.
Kerry said that in the ‘91 Gulf War (search) — which he voted against — our allies paid 95 percent of the cost. The allies also dictated terms of the coalition, which included the prohibition of any American action beyond removing Saddam from Kuwait. Kerry says Bush should have made the same arrangements for Iraq, if he wanted to do Iraq.
Now, let's go over what our allies would have wanted at the bare minimum if we were going to really expect they'd pay.
First, they would have wanted Hans Blix (search) to go on a while. This would have left American troops in the Kuwait desert up to six months and pushed the launch of the war into the Democratic primary season. Does anybody think that was likely, even if Kerry, or Clinton were president? Anybody think that is precisely what Jacques Chirac wanted, in his plan to save Saddam?
Second, the allies would have wanted to say what happened in Iraq — from government to military operations — and would have wanted a cut of the rebuilding contracts. Let's just say fine on the rebuilding, but does anybody really think American troops would have been better off commanded by a committee in Brussels than an American general at CENTCOM in Tampa?
Lastly, I must say, even if those obstacles had been overcome, Kerry's plan turns the American military into a rent-a-army.
We would lease out our military to Europeans, who don't have one when they want a military to do something and will therefore grant permission for an American president to act.
I ask you: Do you want your U.S. military working for the Europeans and the Arabs?
Yes, it's expensive. But it's our people, our money and we call the shots. Would it be better if the Euros paid got to dictate the way of the war?
And does anybody think any of these people really would have acted to remove Saddam using anybody's army?
Doesn't it make more sense to see the Euros primarily interested in controlling America, not controlling Saddam?
That's My Word.
What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of your e-mails will be featured on the air or on our site.