Cahill: Send the French!

Just caught Kerry campaign manager (one of ’em, anyway) Mary Beth Cahill to NPR’s Steve Inskeep on the way in to the day-job this morning.
Inskeep asked a good question:
Inskeep: “One of the things that Senator Kerry has said repeatedly is that he would speed up the training of Iraqi forces, that’s one of the ways he’s says that he would get some American forces and eventually all American forces out of the country. The White House has also said that it would attempt to speed up the training of Iraqi forces, and the major criticism of the Administration’s plan is that it takes a certain amount of time to build an army from scratch. It’s hard to speed up that process. What makes you think the change in the White House could change what is actually possible for military trainers to do on the ground?”
Cahill: “Well actually I think that some of the people who have done the most with this around the world are the Irish and the French, and that if we could draw them into this, helping us train Iraqi nationals, that would be a huge step in the right direction. But they won’t do it so long as we have the leadership that we have right now.”
Inskeep, wisely, had no response to this.
With all due respect to the Irish and French militaries — and unlike Senator Kerry, I do suggest we treat our allies with respect — I just don’t see the significant problems of, as Inskeep quite rightly put it, “building an army from scratch”, melting away at the first sign of French and Irish boots on the ground. (Not to mention my considerable skepticism that either nation would actually suddenly decide their national interests have changed and alter their policies simply because Mr. Kerry had taken residence at 1600 Pennsylvania.)
Unless, of course, the main problem in training the Iraqi military is a lack of good beer and fine food, in which case, my objection is withdrawn.
But that’s Kerry’s plan. It’s the best he’s got to offer, and it summarizes in a nutshell his approach to Iraq: he doesn’t have a plan. He’s just got a plan to ask other countries to come up with a plan.