Mr. Magic Hat, Christmas-in-Cambodia says that if he were president, well, things would be different. And better. And stuff.

“If I was president, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John’s bar and grill in Detroit’s Cass Corridor.

The “this” being Hezbollah attacking Israel, kidnapping two soldiers and starting off a rocket barrage against Israeli civilians, after Hamas had touched off a similar war to Israel’s south. Which begs the question, does John Kerry think that he controls Hezbollah and Hamas? Or does he think his dulcet tones are so persuasive that they can soothe the savage jihadi?

Because otherwise, the man just makes no sense at all.

He’s arrogant enough to make the mistake that nearly all Democrats and too many Republicans make these days. That mistake is to assume that the US operates in some kind of vacuum chamber where only its actions and agendas affect outcomes. If we just did this, it would fix that, and if we just did this one thing, it would fix all these other things, because in the end we’re the only ones that can have any effect on the outcome of any given struggle. The fact is, Iran has its own agenda and so do the Syrians and therefore so do their puppets in Hezbollah, and all of these actors are going to act and react based on what we do and their own agendas and schemes independently of anything we do. And sometimes–sometimes–they’re going to make mistakes and over-reach and we or our allies can seize on those mistakes and take advantage. Israel is taking advantage of just such an over-reach right now. And regardless of whether we speed up shipments of bunker busters or not, the Israelis are going to keep pounding Hezbollah strongholds until they’re satisfied that they have degraded the threat to their cities and citizens.

The US is powerful, no doubt, and the US president regardless of the current domestic polls is the world’s most powerful official because we’re the richest country and we swing the biggest military stick–but that doesn’t mean he can just order, persuade, cajole or threaten enemy states like Iran into doing his bidding. They won’t. They have their own agenda, it’s counter to ours most of the time, and it’s arrogant to assume you can just do this or that and fix the problems we have with them. Negotiations are of limited utility with civilized states; with the mullahs, negotiating is often taken for weakness. That’s a lesson the John Kerrys of the world will never learn, so it’s best just to keep them as far away from presidential power as possible.

One other thing: If John Kerry were president, John Bolton wouldn’t represent the US at the UN. Think about that.

Update: Bush sends Kerry to the rescue!

Update: Kerry runs for Jehovah in ’08!