John Kerry's seeming inability to articulate a coherent position on Iraq, his unwillingness to distance himself from Bush when the increasingly unpopular disaster of a war there should be a clear political winner for Kerry, may be a manifestation of the systematic problem in American politics which allows thugs like the neocons to force a war through all the checks and balances which are supposed to protect the American political system. Once the American psyche is 'in play' due to some real or artificial threat to the country, the peculiar American combination of moral self-righteousness and violence manifests itself in inevitable foreign entanglements if there is some interested party in power with ulterior motives for war. Kerry may be more of a mainstream American than his background would suggest, and be channeling the knee-jerk reaction of Americans to a perceived crisis, or have come to the cynical realization that the only way he can become President is if he manages to outdo Rove in manipulating American opinion. Even a hint of sensible pacifism won't fly in today's talk-show world where any nuanced approach is easily ridiculed, and this despite the fact that it is clear that the vast majority of Americans dislike the American violence against the Iraqi people. In order to become President, if you are not gifted with the natural stupidity of Bush, you have to pretend to be stupid by claiming to have dumb and simplistic policy positions.