This is one point on which Kerry isn't saying much that is different than other Republicans like Hagel and Lugar, as well as Democrats like Biden.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry called the administration's June 30 deadline "arbitrary" in an NPR interview broadcast Wednesday. He also accused President Bush of not providing "Americans with a thorough understanding of exactly who we are turning the authority over to and precisely what the consequences of that will be."
Do you doubt that the deadline is "arbitrary," that it was originally set up with the US election in mind?
Of course, Lugar, Biden and Hagel have all said in recent days that they are alarmed at the fact that there doesn't seem to be a plan in place for a turnover that is less than three months away now. It isn't clear to me why they should be surprised--has there ever been a plan in place for what would happen after Saddam was deposed? My guess is that they were so obsessed with getting rid of him that they just took Chalabi's word that the cheering in the streets would be so great that the crowds would accept anyone Washington foisted on them, as long as the electricity kept going, the oil and consequent revenues were flowing, and the leader could speak Arabic. That was the plan, with no Plan B. Either gratitude or shock and awe would take care of things. They are idiots. Leo Strauss, if he were still alive, would give those of these people who were his former students "F"s for not paying close enough attention to Machiavelli's strictures on invading lands that are not contiguous to your own and have different languages, gods and customs.
These are the people you want to return to office for four more years.
If Bush were saying that he was postponing the date, Kerry would be saying that Bush was breaking his promise. If he were saying that the date needed to be looked at more carefully, Kerry would be calling him wishy-washy.
Surely the Bush people ask for this with their hubris and their own almost never fair attacks on Kerry, taking what he said and did totally out of context and ascribing to it meanings that they never had. However, in this case, although you might be right, it might also be that if Bush postpones the date, Kerry might say something like, the date was never really tenable, it was an example of how politically motivated his original plan was, it was never based on a realistic appraisal of the situation on the ground in Iraq, and it is good that he is finally doing something right, even if he has to change his mind--and, contrary to the apparent beliefs of some people running advertisements against Kerry, changing your mind isn't always wrong (like duhhhh).
But even I have to admit that sometimes Kerry comes off looking more like someone concerned with being on message and trying to avoid saying the wrong thing rather than just speaking his mind. I have seen him do the latter, but he has seemed more like the former recently. I don't like it. My guess is he is still trying to get his rhetorical stance straight, it isn't easy to do in a race as tight as this and a political situation as fluid as this one is, and where he knows that every word he says right now will be analyzed to bits and ripped to pieces if at all possible.
I sure wouldn't want to run for office.