Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Debate Pointers....

The Opinion Journal has some pointers that Mr. Kerry (and all the other Iraq War mythmakers) ought to be paying attention to.

1)Forget getting France and Germany involved.

Mr. Bush could cite Monday's article in the Financial Times: "French and German government officials say they will not significantly increase military assistance in Iraq even if John Kerry, the Democratic presidential challenger, is elected."

2) The US has born 90 % of the casualties and is providing 90% of the troops.

On Deaths
On the first point, the U.S. has suffered 800 killed in action since the Iraq war began, 1,053 including non-combat deaths. Our uniformed Iraqi allies, however, have already suffered at least 750 combat deaths. And that doesn't include the recruits who've been killed by car bombs as they've waited to enlist in the police or new Iraq army. Even using, er, liberal math, this would put U.S. killed-in-action at about 50% of the total.

On Troop Numbers
100,000 Iraqi police and soldiers have been trained and equipped, in addition to the 74,000 Iraqis who are guarding oil pipelines and the like as part of the country's new facilities protection service. With some 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and another 25,000 foreign coalition troops, that puts the U.S. share at closer to 50%

Not counting the Iraqis who are working and dying for their own country is a ridiculous, stab-in-the-back ploy to dishonor people who are doing something dangerous. What if we only counted French and British troops during the American Revolution?

3) The Gulf War was a true alliance of allies while we are too unilaterial this time.

In the first Gulf War he now says he likes, the alliance totaled 34 countries. In the current Iraq conflict, the alliance includes . . . 30 countries.

This complaint is mostly because of French and German disdain, I think. BTW, Mr. Kerry voted AGAINST the Gulf war and FOR the Iraqi war.

4) The Iraq War has cost $200 billion, 90% of the bill in Iraq.

It's true that $200 billion is the amount Congress has approved in supplemental war spending bills, but only $120 billion is for war-fighting in Iraq. The rest is for Afghanistan--a war Mr. Kerry claims to like and wants to spend more on--and economic or reconstruction aid.

Other nations in the Iraq coalition have pledged something like $13 billion. And that doesn't count the contribution that the world has made in promising to forgive upward of $80 billion in Iraqi debt. Even before the Kerry victory it covets, France has said it will write off some 50% of its Iraq debt. Add up all of those numbers (the U.S. has minimal Iraqi debt) and the U.S. share of overall Iraqi costs also looks a lot less "unilateral.

There's a lot of rhetoric, myth and outright lies out there...and they don't deserve to be in a debate. And when they come up, we need to let people know the truth.

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