Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry conceded yesterday that he probably will not be able to convince France and Germany to contribute troops to Iraq if he is elected president.
The Massachusetts senator has made broadening the coalition trying to stabilize Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign, but at a town hall meeting yesterday, he said he knows other countries won't trade their soldiers' lives for those of U.S. troops.
"Does that mean allies are going to trade their young for our young in body bags? I know they are not. I know that," he said.
Asked about that statement later, Mr. Kerry said, "When I was referring to that, I was really talking about Germany and France and some of the countries that had been most restrained."
"Other countries are obviously more willing to accept responsibilities," he added, as he took questions from reporters in a school yard in Tipton, Iowa...
Even before Mr. Kerry made his admission, France and Germany had made it clear that their absolute opposition to sending troops to Iraq was not a political calculation involving the U.S. election.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has categorically ruled out sending any soldiers, even to protect U.N. officials overseeing new elections, adding that "that's where it's going to remain." French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said his government will not send troops "either now or later."
Stunning news about Kerry Part Two: Kerry took the day off today to prepare for his debate.
We're in the final month, and he's not even making one appearance on the trail today? Not one fundraising dinner? Not taping a commercial? No interview with Imus?