I think he has to keep hammering away at Iraq like this because it’s his best chance at eroding Bush’s advantage on national security. The critique portion of it (almost all of it) had some power. But as Jim Robbins points out today on the homepage, when he gets to his solutions the speech trails off into irrelevance or vague agreement with Bush: the international help he talks about is not going to be forthcoming; training Iraqi forces is crucial, but we’re already trying to do it; spending money faster on construction projects is also something we are trying to do. In my column today I offer some Iraq advice to Kerry that I realize is mostly fanciful. But I believe Bush’s conduct of the war is open to a fairly scathing Jacksonian Zell Miller-style “win this thing or not” critique. If Kerry ever were to stumble onto it–and flip-flop into making it–he might get somewhere on Iraq.