John Kerry lit into Howard Dean yesterday in his latest foreign policy speech. Some of his criticisms are quite telling, but also very odd since Kerry is attacking exactly the sort of foreign policy posture he has seemed to be advocating over the last few months – to wit, giving France a de facto veto over whether the U.S. would invade Iraq or not. Last week, Kerry asked, by way of pointing out Dean’s various flip-flops on the war, “Which Howard Dean?” Now, we can ask, “Which John Kerry?” Check out these passages from his speech. It’s exactly the sort of thing conservatives have been saying about Kerry:
“And at other times, Governor Dean said that we should not go into Iraq unless the UN Security council gave us authorization. That is a fundamental misunderstanding of how a President protects the United States. I have said many times I believe that America should have worked to get international backing before going to war. Our diplomacy should have been as good as our soldiers. A true international coalition would have been better for our troops, better for our security, better for Iraq’s future. Perhaps it reflects inexperience, but for Howard Dean to permit a veto over when America can or cannot act not only becomes little more than a pretext for doing nothing – it cedes our security and presidential responsibility to defend America to someone else — a profound danger for both our national security and global stability… To follow the path that Howard Dean seems to prefer is to embrace a ‘Simon Says’ foreign policy where America only moves if others move first.”
For good measure, Kerry is now also saying: “Iraq may not be the war on terror itself, but it is critical to the outcome of the war on terror, and therefore any advance in Iraq is an advance forward in that.” Before this is all over, Kerry may be a certified neo-con.