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Old 05-08-2004, 11:33 AM   #1
chukzombi
The Undead Shaman
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: The Bowels of Hell, A.K.A. New Jersey
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Default War of the OPEDs, why Kerry is full of shit.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,119346,00.html

Kerry's Iraq Problem

Friday, May 07, 2004
By Ken Adelman
Iraq’s a major problem for the presidential candidate, one he’d better fix long before November. What’s the poor fellow to do?



Sure, that applies to George W. Bush. But — amazingly enough — it also applies to John F. Kerry.

You’d think that the unending cascade of woes on a major security issue would help the current president's opponent. That was the case with Richard Nixon in 1968 (search), even though Nixon’s policy on Vietnam (search) was actually closer to President Johnson’s than that of the Democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey (search).

Given that foreign affairs and national security will loom larger for voters in 2004 than in 2000, that the U.S. military action in Iraq was controversial (with many Democrats firmly against it), and that Iraq, after toppling Saddam, has turned out much tougher than ever expected, you’d think Kerry would be riding high on the issue.

Think again. He’s got a major Iraq problem. Here’s why:

He voted for the resolution that authorized the president to use force in Iraq (search). He is now saying that voting for this resolution did not really authorize the president to use force in Iraq. It just doesn’t wash.

Kerry’s explanation is that his vote was conditioned on Bush harnessing more international support before force was used. It was easy to say, but tough to produce. What could have brought the French on board? Nothing, it seems. What could have separated the Germans from the French? Nothing. Bring the Russians to turn on Saddam, who awarded them lucrative oil contracts? A third nix.

If such international support was indeed a precondition for Kerry — an eminently reasonable position — he should have voted against the resolution until that happened. But he didn’t.

Kerry justified going to war as pointedly and dramatically as did Bush and Vice President Cheney. He relied upon the same intelligence — namely, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He received that intelligence from the same sources as did Bush and Cheney—the CIA and virtually all foreign intelligence agents.

That this intelligence proved wrong damages the Bush administration and U.S. credibility. But it similarly damages those who came to the same conclusion.

On this, Kerry was uncharacteristically clear: “I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary.”

On the eve of the vote, Kerry said he was supporting the resolution “to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” (emphasis added)

That was on Oct. 9, 2002. As the prospect of war rose, so did Kerry’s rhetoric. On Jan. 2003, Kerry said, “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation….And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction…So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real.”

Kerry then became inconsistent, if not incoherent.

With Howard Dean’s clear anti-war stance seeming popular with the liberal voters in the do-or-die Iowa caucuses, Kerry voted against the $87 billion for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for Iraqi reconstruction.

Again, this stance would be understandable had he not voted for the war resolution and not justified it so vehemently. It becomes even tougher to understand with his subsequent stance that the U.S. cannot cut and run, but must support the effort now that we’re there. His speech last week said such, rather well.

But if that’s his view, why vote against the $87 billion? Is that not a cut and run?

Kerry’s attempt to justify this because of his concern with the U.S. budget deficit makes little sense, since he’s voted for nearly all other big-ticket items coming to the Senate.

For sure, Bush’s record on the war was clear. Opponents can claim it was wrong, but it has been consistent and understandable.

Kerry’s is a mess, one that he has to work out, or work out of, over the next six months. Otherwise, he’s lost what should be a major issue for him.
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