Friday, October 29, 2004

Kerry and Edwards

Garton Ash's core point is that Kerry would be preferred by the Europeans and indeed this is his main appeal. On Iraq, I'm not too impressed by the criticicism, from Greg Djerejian for example, of Kerry's schedule for withdrawal : I can't see the Iraqis consenting to the presence of US troops in 4 years time.

Overall, I'm inclined to the view that it won't make that much difference. One of the disappointments of the Democrats' campaign has been the attitude of Kerry and especially Edwards towards Israel and Palestine. As Juan Cole has argued, surely it could have been possible to proclaim a policy that would have appealed to Arab-Americans without alienating the Jewish vote.

Perhaps it will change after a  President Kerry has spoken to Tony Blair and 'Europe'.  Some former Clinton advisers, such as Dennis Ross, have taken the 'Arafat is the obstacle' approach, while Robert Malley, a more junior Clinton adviser, has continued to argue the importance of a final status settlement, the disagreement reflecting the argument as to whether the Palestinians were to blame for the failure of the Camp David 2000 / Taba 2001 process.

On Iran, as I have said before and as Garton Ash argues, Kerry's policy is marginally preferable.

So, my purely hypothetical vote would be for Kerry / Edwards. Just.


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