I heard John Kerry on NPR a couple of days ago. It was a completely sad experience. Kerry was asked what he would do, if he was president, about Iraq. His answer was that he would go to the U.N.

Now, Kerry is a smart man. He is an experienced man. His committee investigations of B.C.C.I in the 90s, and of the Central American conflicts in the 80s, were smart and well done, although limited. But to answer with the favored gesture of the Dembots � to promote process as an answer in itself � is just the kind of thing that will reelect Bush. The only thing you get, when the answer is process, is processed cheese.

How should he have answered? This is what I would have said:

I�m not president right now, and right now is a crucial time in Iraq. So let�s talk about what President Bush should do to remove Iraq as an issue next year. Three things come to mind immediately

1. End the p.r. aspect of the war. In Vietnam, the army would take a hill simply to have it reported on the news that they took a hill. That soon demoralized troops, and eventually corrupted the whole military effort in that war. In this war, we are hearing all about troops building schools. Meanwhile, on the side, we are also hearing that the guerillas are supplying themselves from huge dumps of conventional weapons, including surface to air missiles, because we don�t have enough military personnel on the ground to destroy these things. This is, to put it bluntly, lunatic. If you don�t prioritize military missions for the army in a hostile situation, you shouldn�t have any responsibility for the army. Be a man, pull the school builders, cut off the enemy�s ability to acquire weapons. Period.

2. Dispel the air of sleaze about this war. The war wasn�t fought for the top ten contributors to the Republican party. The President needs to make an example of Halliburton, which has been caught price gouging to the tune of almost 400 million dollars in its reselling and mark up of oil in Iraq. Busting Halliburton would send a message that this war is not about exploitation. If you want to give free propaganda to the enemy, continue awarding juicy contracts to the likes of Worldcom, and continue letting politics, rather than the marketplace, determine the bidding process.

3. Stop the constitutional madness. Constitutions are paper. If we think that leaving a constitution behind is going to guarantee our interests, we are na�ve to a dangerous degree. The administration should immediately start an election project, and plan to hold nationwide elections for an assembly in the next three months. The Iraqis want this � polls show it. If Iraqis don�t have something to defend, they won�t defend it. If they don�t have something to support, they won�t support it. The general rule of thumb, in history, is that occupying powers become more, not less, unpopular as time goes on. Shaky analogies to the exceptions, in Germany and Japan, aren�t going to change this. The dynamic in Iraq has to change now, it has to change in such a way that the Iraqis are left with the impression that Americans are allies, not bosses, and it has to change at the top.

Easy. Instead, we get Dem candidates who�ve been advised by their managers and their entourages to remain as mealy mouthed as possible. We don�t think Kerry is going to get elected. But he does really have things to say � he is alive, he is experienced, he is a better person than the wanker on NPR. He should try to remember this.