From Opinionjournal.com: ============= Friday morning, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts made a stunning speech retracting what he called his "intemperate and, truth be told, cynical" comments earlier this week when he compared Iraq to Vietnam and George W. Bush to Richard Nixon. Kennedy said that Sen. John McCain's remarks on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon had been "both sobering and steadying." McCain, the respected Republican moderate, said Iraq is "safer now" than it was under Saddam and "this is no time to cut and run." Kennedy said he'd pondered McCain's views, and concluded they were right. "I guess I panicked," Kennedy said. "I wanted to be relevant again. I wanted to be young again. So I indulged my ego and hoped, aloud, for hopelessness. The fact is, we cannot afford to let Iraq descend into chaos and nihilism." Kennedy said that while U.S. troops were deployed in a foreign land he would say nothing that would give inspiration to those who do not wish our country well. He said he will lead a movement within his party to both assist in the democratization of Iraq, and begin a national conversation on what should be next in terms of U.S. national security. "My needs are nothing compared to my nation's needs," he said. "Even though I am, uh, roughly, arguably the size of Connecticut, and can personally moon Europe. Thank you." In possible response to that--Peter, we cannot claim to know all the reasons for these events, only their order--the president of France, Jacques Chirac, made his own stunning speech in Paris. In what appeared to be an extended ad lib in an otherwise unremarkable text, Chirac said he had just finished reading Anne Applebaum's book "Gulag," which this week won the Pultizer Prize. Said Chirac, "Halfway through it a lightbulb went off. I had an insight. An inspiration! Applebaum reminds us of the Soviet reign of terror. We know who ended that, and let's face it, it wasn't French intellectuals smoking Gauloises and shrugging with silent existential eloquence. It was America. While Harry Truman was doing his best to give us the Marshall Plan and save Europe, Stalin was getting drunk all night and deciding who to shoot next. Bastarde. A regular Saddam. And then I realized: Oh, I have been unappreciative! I have been silly about America. She has more than proved her high mindedness and idealism and tradition of goodness. And now she is having a bad time in Iraq. Well, I have decided it is time to stand with America as America has stood with us. So, 'Pershing, we are here!' We will send French troops to join the coalition. This is a historic move--but then any country that is magnifique would do it. And France is magnifique. And by the way, Mr. Berlusconi, the leaders of Europe are not a bunch of 'big ugly slugs.' " ========= Ted Kennedy and Jacques Chirac, the high priests of anti-Americanism and leftist anti-war sentiment, have apologized, reversed their positions, and publicly committed to change. Condi Rice hit a grand slam on Thursday. I don't think I've ever seen a political reversal as amazing as this. Ever.