I wanted to write about Greasy Joe Biden’s election promise this morning that a vote for him is a vote for invading Darfur, but Bryan already dealt with that at length last month. Do let me quote this bit, though:

Biden, a presidential candidate and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Monday that in his personal opinion nations had at “some point to cede their sovereignty” if they engaged in genocide.

So if the Iraqi civil war — which we must not interfere in — devolves as expected into ethnic cleansing, then … what? U.S. troops go back in? NATO? The UN? Or do we leave that one alone because Bush ultimately is responsible and thus a really massive death toll would provide an even more chastening “teachable moment” about the perils of adventurism abroad (Darfur excluded, of course)?

Kerrey’s not sure how this works either, so he tries a counterfactual:

Suppose we had not invaded Iraq and Hussein had been overthrown by Shiite and Kurdish insurgents. Suppose al Qaeda then undermined their new democracy and inflamed sectarian tensions to the same level of violence we are seeing today. Wouldn’t you expect the same people who are urging a unilateral and immediate withdrawal to be urging military intervention to end this carnage? I would.

Not only that, but they’d be pointing to the first George Bush and his betrayal of the Shia and Kurds in 1991 as reasons why we had a moral duty to intervene. Remember, the same card was played a few years ago by proponents of sending troops to Liberia. America, through its history of slavery, had created the problem that led to the establishment of that country and thus we had an obligation to do what little we could now to help them out.

It’s a matter of conscience, you see.

With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.

The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically “yes.”…

Those who argue that radical Islamic terrorism has arrived in Iraq because of the U.S.-led invasion are right. But they are right because radical Islam opposes democracy in Iraq. If our purpose had been to substitute a dictator who was more cooperative and supportive of the West, these groups wouldn’t have lasted a week.

If Kerrey hasn’t been formally excommunicated yet for “undermin[ing] the Democratic Party” with this piece, doubtless it’s on the agenda now. Still, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Democratics, it’s that they’ll bend over backwards not to alienate voters: that’s why so many of them voted for war in 2002 when they didn’t believe in it and that’s why they’re trying to walk the tightrope now between stopping the war and not doing something to stop it that’s so drastic (like cutting off funds) that they’ll be held partially responsible for defeat. If the public was still behind the war the Dems would be grumbling but held in check. But the public’s not behind it, and it’s Bush, through his mistakes and his failure to prepare America for a long fight (both in terms of expectations and military preparedness) who’s led them to that point. It sounds Kerrey’s appealing to the Dems to do the right thing even though they stand to inherit a political windfall in 2008 by doing the wrong thing. Exit question: Is he joking?