Kerry's Position on Iraq

From JeffR’s White House link:

Bush says “There are five steps in our plan to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom. We will hand over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government, help establish security, continue rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure, encourage more international support, and move toward a national election that will bring forward new leaders empowered by the Iraqi people.”

I saw Bush give that speech to the Army War College (try watching C-SPAN, it’s got lots of great stuff).

That’s NOT A PLAN, it’s a LIST OF GOALS.

Bush does not have a plan for victory. Bush does not have an exit strategy. Bush’s “plan” is to “stay there til we get the job done”. That’s not a real plan.

Also, like I said, George Bush’s definition of success is totally different than the military’s definition of success. Bush’s definition of success is to create an Iraqi democracy, which is the latest rationale he is using to sell the war to the American taxpayer. The military’s definition of success is to create enough stability that we can gradually withdraw our troops. They don’t really care if it’s a democracy or not, as long as there is stability.

In other words the commander-in-chief and the military have different goals!


John Kerry has delivered his “lengthy, detailed address” on Iraq. This is how the “USA Today” summarizes the Kerry Doctrine on Iraq:

"Kerry said the United States should:

- Get more help from other nations.

- Provide better training for Iraqi security forces.

- Provide benefits to the Iraqi people.

- Ensure that democratic elections can be held next year as promised."

All very nice, but basically it’s all stuff that Bush has proposed or started, with perhaps some small twist, or stuff that has already not worked – and Kerry doesn’t have much in the way of an explanation of how he would make it work other than the force of his magnetic personality and the fact he’s not Bush.

I mean, consider his point on getting help from other nations. Bush tried to do that, and got some help from our allies, whom Kerry has insulted, and didn’t get much help from France, Russia and Germany, all of which had their own interests opposed to doing anything to endanger their contracts witht he former regime.

Also, just where does Kerry think our allies are going to come up with troops trained in rebuilding and policing a country? Does he think France and Germany have standing forces just waiting for him to ask nicely? Given France’s problems in Africa, I’m not sure we’d even want their help anyway… But, of course, it doesn’t much matter, given that France has already announced it won’t send any troops to Iraq even if Kerry is elected and asks in French:

Here’s an excerpt of an article addressing all four of Kerry’s points:

Kerry’s first prescription is to internationalize the burden in Iraq. Internationalism is something of an id?e fixe in the Kerry camp, yet at the same time, it is a conceit of the Left to minimize the contributions of the 31 countries that have already joined the United States to help create a free and stable Iraq. “This is not a grand coalition,” Mr. Kerry intoned. England, Japan, Australia, and the rest do not count for much without France on board. And the Democrats can mock the contributions made by the 45 Tongan Marines currently in-country, but for a nation of 110,000 people that is a major commitment, so I say bravo Tonga. The Kerry plan will bring more nations into the Coalition through the magic of the summit meeting. This plays to the belief that somehow, by virtue of Kerry’s charisma, his Gallic mien, or some other imponderable, countries that have heretofore been reluctant to play a part in Iraq will reverse course and become willing participants. Apparently, if only the leaders of the world hear Kerry explain patiently to them why they should be in Iraq they will come forward with help, their national interests notwithstanding. He will also ask NATO to get more involved, as it is already in Afghanistan (a fact which also belies the “unilateralist” charge, but I digress). That is an excellent idea, and it may come as a news flash to Team Kerry that at the Istanbul summit last June the NATO military committee resolved to assist the Iraqi government in training its police and security forces. The Kerry plan would also open the contract bidding process to more countries, that is, to more than the over 60 currently allowed to bid to be prime contractors with no country limits on subcontracting. The plan is silent on issue of whether energy-development contracts and options concluded under Saddam’s regime should be honored by the new government. Kerry should clarify his position on this issue, which has not surprisingly hits France and Russia hardest.

Secondly, Kerry would beef up the Iraqi security forces. He said that only 5,000 soldiers and 32,000 police have been put in service. He neglected to mention the 34,000 Iraqi National Guardsmen who have been trained and assigned duty, but the Democrats do not usually count service in the National Guard so it is easy to see how that group escaped his notice. He also discounts the almost 12,000 border police, the 74,000 facilities protection service personnel, not to mention the 52,000 additional police who are training on the job. Beyond the numbers, Kerry underrates the important contributions the Iraqi cops have been making to their communities. The police are the most important civil institution in the country. According to several polls (for example the August survey done by IRI) the Iraqi police enjoy levels of public trust that rival those of religious leaders. They score the highest result of any group in response to the question, “Within your community, who has been the most active trying to improve the quality of life?” (Note that human rights organizations, political parties, women’s and youth organizations all score at the bottom end of the scale.) A September 16, 2004 poll by the State Department’s Office of Research showed confidence levels in the police in the 80- to 90-percent range. Another measure of the effectiveness of the security program is the fact that the terrorists are targeting the police and have been for some time. Kerry may want to have an argument over how many classroom hours a policeman in Iraq requires to be effective (his answer: twenty four), or what his universal training template would look like, but the Iraqi people have concluded that it is more important to have cops on the beat keeping neighborhoods safe right now.

The third point is the obligatory “big government” plank, bringing more benefits to the Iraqi people. Kerry called for countries to forgive the debts owed them by Iraq, which total as much as $164 billion. These “odious debts” were assumed under Saddam’s regime, and it would be unjust to force the free Iraqis to finance their own oppression after the fact. It is a great idea, and Senator Kerry has stumbled on it a year after President Bush began pursuing the same thing. Kerry also urged that more contracts be given to Iraqi contractors instead of “big corporations, like Halliburton.” Of course, companies like Halliburton, and Bechtel, and Siemens, and scores of others, already subcontract to 310 Iraqi firms, employing over 76,000 people. Then there are the over 500 smaller vendors doing business with the Iraq Project and Contracting Office. But of course this adds complexities that are harder to demagogue.

The fourth point deals with bringing democracy to Iraq ? which strikes one as ironic since this is the same speech in which Kerry said he would not have removed Saddam from power. But that aside, he calls for things like investing in civil-society groups and helping establish a constitutional process for power sharing, activities that have been underway since Iraq was liberated. He also called for discussions with Iraq’s neighbors to discuss border security, kind of like Assistant Secretary of State William Burns’ recent meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad.

Wall Street Journal Editorial
A War Referendum
September 22, 2004; Page A28

If nothing else, John Kerry’s apparent decision to close out the 2004 Presidential campaign as the “antiwar” candidate would seem to be true to himself and to the party he now leads.

The Democratic nominee entered public life, after all, questioning both America’s policy and its purposes in Vietnam. He’s now staking his bid for the White House as a critic of the boldest and most divisive American foreign policy initiative since. In the process, Mr. Kerry just might offer us all a clarifying debate over the proper scope and scale of the war on terror, and his Democratic base a badly needed sense that its misgivings about Iraq in particular have gotten a fair hearing.

At least that’s what we’re hoping. Although we’ll make no secret of the fact that we disagree with much of what Mr. Kerry had to say is his speech at New York University on Monday, the Senator finally did offer an internally coherent alternative to the Bush foreign policy of the past four years.

“We must have a great honest national debate on Iraq. The President claims it is the centerpiece of his war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion,” Mr. Kerry said, in what was a fairly accurate summary of the strategic differences between the two men. Whereas Mr. Bush has argued for tackling not just terrorists but their state sponsors – as well as for a broad “forward strategy of freedom” against terrorism’s root causes in the Middle Eastern despotism and poverty – Mr. Kerry wants to limit the fight to “the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists.”

In Iraq, Mr. Kerry said without equivocation that “we have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.” The Democrat painted a sad picture of life in that country without Saddam Hussein, and suggested he could do a more competent job than President Bush handling the “mess” that America now finds itself in. In other words, he now agrees with Howard Dean that the war he voted to authorize was a mistake.

As for what to do now, Mr. Kerry continues to insist that he will do a better job attracting international support for our efforts. That, he says, will help us train Iraqi security forces more quickly, which will help create the right conditions for elections, which will in turn allow American forces to start withdrawing next summer: “The principles that should guide American policy in Iraq now and in the future are clear: We must make Iraq the world’s responsibility…”

When it comes to the war on terror’s grand strategy, readers probably won’t be surprised to learn we prefer the Bush version. Limiting the definition of the enemy to bin Laden and his associates makes little sense in an age when terrorists cavort with rogue states and multiply like blades of grass in the despotic soil of the Middle East. Without an Iraq-type plan for changing the region, the U.S. would seem condemned to a century of playing terrorist whack-a-mole. If Mr. Kerry has an alternative root-causes strategy, he has yet to articulate it.

When it comes to Iraq specifically, Mr. Kerry’s picture of the country is unrealistically bleak and many of his proposals are already in motion. Iraqi security forces are being trained, after all, and Mr. Bush and Prime Minister Allawi remain committed to the January elections. As for getting other countries to share more of the burden, good luck. Sometimes we think we might enjoy a Kerry victory just for the spectacle of watching a Secretary of State Biden or Holbrooke try to convince the Europeans to accept responsibility for their own security, never mind Iraq’s.

The line about making Iraq “the world’s responsibility” was perhaps the most revealing in Mr. Kerry’s speech. Whereas John F. Kennedy’s Democrats pledged to “pay any price, bear any burden” in the promotion and defense of liberty, today’s Vietnam-scarred party sees little or no special role for American providence in the world. And the world knows it. Such statements risk encouraging our Baathist and jihadist enemies in their belief that we lack staying power. Likewise, they signal to our potential Iraqi allies that it would be wise to avoid choosing sides until November.

Let us be clear: We’re not questioning Mr. Kerry’s patriotism or his right to make an issue of Iraq. But let’s not kid ourselves either that the words of Presidential candidates don’t have consequences.

Which brings us to the gamble inherent in Mr. Kerry’s decision to mount an antiwar campaign: He risks being seen as hoping for an October of unprecedented violence in Iraq. Despite all the challenges to date, current polls show clear if not overwhelming American support for the war. While it may be possible to run an antiwar campaign without appearing to root for the enemy, the record of others who’ve tried would not seem encouraging. Mr. Kerry would be on stronger ground if his criticism of Mr. Bush’s war management included a vow to win the war, rather than a promise to leave Iraq at the earliest possible moment.

As we’ve noted before, one of the striking trends in recent years has been the complete role reversal of our two major parties in their philosophy of foreign policy, with Republicans pushing idealism and Democrats deriding it as “neocon” folly. This campaign is shaping up to be no exception.

Mr. Kerry is offering a minimalist conception of the war on terror, focused on al Qaeda and a rapid exit from Iraq. Mr. Bush spoke to the United Nations yesterday again pushing his democracy-for-the-Middle-East line. No one will be able to say voters weren’t offered a clear foreign policy choice come November.

By FrontPage Magazine | September 22, 2004

John Kerry has just delivered his “lengthy, detailed address” on Iraq. This is how the “USA Today” summarizes the Kerry Doctrine on Iraq:

"Kerry said the United States should:

  • Get more help from other nations.

  • Provide better training for Iraqi security forces.

  • Provide benefits to the Iraqi people.

  • Ensure that democratic elections can be held next year as promised."
    All nice and worthy sentiments, but:

  1. It’s hard to get more help from other nations when your own sister is telling allies like Australia that their participation in the war in Iraq has made them more of a terrorist target, with an unspoken conclusion being that the Australians should therefore get out. If the Kerry camp thinks that some other nations would make better helpers in Iraq than the current Coalition members, they should name them. In a somewhat related news, France has announced that it won’t be sending troops to Iraq even if John Kerry is elected president. So much for John Kerry’s Fraudulent Coalition of the Unwilling.

In the speech, Kerry also says:

“Last spring, after too many months of resistance and delay, the president finally went back to the UN which passed Resolution 1546… That resolution calls on UN members to help in Iraq by providing troops, trainers for Iraq’s security forces, a special brigade to protect the UN mission, more financial assistance and real debt relief. Three months later, not a single country has answered that call… The president should convene a summit meeting of the world’s major powers and Iraq’s neighbours, this week, in New York, where many leaders will attend the UN General Assembly. He should insist that they make good on that UN resolution.”
From sublime to utterly ridiculous. John Kerry admits there is an UN resolution in place, which is being ignored by everyone concerned, and he’s calling on the President to force other countries to comply. This is exactly what the US was trying to do with another UN resolution in the run up to war and it didn’t work then either. Talk about persistently pursuing a losing Iraq strategy. Kerry might call it multilateralism, others will call it a diplomatic quagmire.

  1. The Coalition is already training considerable numbers of Iraqi police and security forces - see the last few editions of my “Good news from Iraq” (you can start with number 10). See also this article from the Strategy Page (scroll down): despite terrorist attacks, the police recruitment and activity are up throughout Iraq.

  2. No one disagrees that reconstruction should be progressing faster; alas Kerry offers little by way of specifics on how to achieve that, except for the call to cut the red tape; always an amusing proposition coming from the Party of Regulation.

  3. Maybe the news escaped John Kerry, but both the Bush Administration and the interim Iraqi government are trying their darnest to make sure that the election proceeds as planned in January - may I note, against the chorus of John Kerry’s own cheerleaders in the media and the international community who are already arguing that the election won’t be legit and therefore shouldn’t be held if the security situation throughout Iraq remains precarious. And Kerry’s Axis of Absenteeism has now said there’s no chance they will be sending any troops to Iraq before the January election, which of course is precisely the time when they would be of most use.

In another highlight of his speech, John Kerry had this to say about George Bush:

“By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war… If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded.”
This is pretty rich coming from a guy who offered 23 different positions on the war. Meanwhile, according the latest CBS/New York Times poll:

“Sixty percent of respondents said they did not have confidence in Mr. Kerry to deal wisely with an international crisis; that is a jump from 52 percent in June. By contrast, 48 percent said they were uneasy with Mr. Bush’s ability to manage a foreign crisis… The percentage of Americans who said Mr. Kerry had exhibited strong leadership qualities dropped eight points since summer to 50 percent; by contrast, 63 percent said Mr. Bush had exhibited strong qualities of leadership.”
So who’s confused and misled?

Update: The Republican National Committee has counted 14 flip-flops in John Kerry’s Iraq speech. The only consistent thing about Kerry seems to be his inconsistency.


According to a transcript of that Aug. 31, 2003, “Meet the Press” interview, Tim Russert asked Kerry: “Do you believe that we should reduce funding that we are now providing for the operation in Iraq?”

Kerry: No. I think we should increase it.

Russert: Increase funding?

Kerry: Yes.

Russert: By how much?

Kerry: By whatever number of billions of dollars it takes to win. It is critical that the United States of America be successful in Iraq, Tim."

Now,the second was a stump speech in Greensboro, NC that took place Sept. 7, 2004.

“The price tag so far, $200 billion dollars and rising,” he said. “That’s $200 billion that we’re not investing in health care in America, that’s $200 billion we’re not investing in schools in America, that’s $200 billion that were not investing in prescription drugs for seniors.”

Which is it!?!? Man, this guy is an idiot. Also, we haven’t even come close to spending that much yet (

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

You don’t really want a date, do you? I would understand if you wanted some targets, such as completion of free elections, or control of the major trouble areas, but a date? How likely/smart would that be?[/quote]

I see what you mean BostonBarrister, I didnt make myself clear, I meant for example, a month or year most of American troops would pull out of Iraq? The month the new Iraqi government will have its own military/police force would work since then there would be no need for US troops. The death rate of Coalition soldiers isn’t dropping very fast at all, and Iraqi civilian deaths has passed 13800. I was just hoping Bush had an end in sight and not years from now.


That’s why they call him a “flip flopper.” That’s also why he is going to lose!

Please look on

Play the kerry “positions” on Iraq.

This guy is an insult.

Let’s stop talking about him altogether.

Can’t wait for November. He’ll be back to being the Junior Senator from Liberal-ville.


P.S. How would you like to be Junior to Ted Kennedy?

Never mind that! How would you like to actually be Ted Kennedy? Phew…

Kerry seems to think foreign countries will jump all over themselves to help us if he’s elected - I guess based on his magnetic personality. However, it seems every time he opens his mouth he’s insulting our allies.

Today he questioned the Iraqi Prime Minister, and accused him of lying to influence our election – very statesmanlike:

Of course, instead of being in the Senate to talk to a foreign leader who would likely be important, Kerry is in Missouri (why hasn’t he resigned his Senate seat again?)

And last week, Kerry was spreading his opinions (I won’t be so impolitic as to accuse him of lying as he did the Iraqi Prime Minister), seemingly to affect the Australian elections:,5744,10797507^2703,00.html

And of course, Kerry loves insulting our allies generally (the “fraudulent coalition”):

I guess I should note that by “allies” I mean countries that have worked with us on the war on terror, rather than actively working against us (France) or abstaining from helping (Germany).

Anyway, I’m not certain Kerry is helping to make his case to our allies for more support should he win…

Anyone watch O’Riely last night (9-23). He ran an old interview with Kerry. The 2001 Kerry seemed to sound quite a bit different than the Kerry of today. He was talking about America protecting itself without any help! He further stated Sadam was dangerous and we would be better off without him.

I didn’t write any of it down, but just about everything that he stated seems to be in direct contrast to what he is saying now.

My wife and I laughed out loud! He truly is a flip flopper, that’s not just a campaign tag line. They guy is all over the board!

Zeb, BB -

I think your two posts just goes to show that there are very few people that are going to vote FOR John Kerry.

I’ll say it BB - the man is a liar. He can’t be trusted to stand firm on ANY issue.

How can he stand there and say he would build a stronger, more popular, and legitimate coalition while he’s tearing down Iraq as well as everyone who’s signed on to help the US out? (Were I Italy ot or G.B. - I would leave the coalition upon Kerry’s election.)

Yet, he’s less than 5 points behind Bush and we’re inside 40 days. This has to be one of the largest anti-incumbent voter blocks we’ve seen in a long time.

Rainjack –

Charles Krauthammer wrote a column today that hits on the theme of our latest posts:

The Art Of Losing Friends

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, September 24, 2004; Page A25

Of all our allies in the world, which is the only one to have joined the United States in the foxhole in every war in the past 100 years? Not Britain, not Canada, certainly not France. The answer is Australia.

Australia does not share only a community of values with the United States. It understands that its safety rests ultimately on a stable international structure that, in turn, rests not on parchment treaties but on the power and credibility of the United States. Which is why Australia is with us today in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has taken great risks and much political heat for his support of America. There is a national election in Australia on Oct. 9, and the race is neck and neck between Howard and Labor Party leader Mark Latham. Latham has pledged to withdraw from Iraq.

This is a critical election not only for Australia but also for the United States. Think of the effect on America, its front-line soldiers and its coalition partners if one of its closest allies turns tail and runs.

The terrorists are well aware of this potential effect. Everyone knows about the train bombings in Madrid that succeeded in bringing down a pro-American government and led to Spain’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. But few here noticed that this month’s car bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia, was designed to have precisely the same effect.

Where was the bomb set off? At the Australian Embassy. When was it set off? Just weeks before the Australian election and just three days before the only televised debate between Howard and Latham.

The terrorists’ objective is to intimidate all countries allied with America. Make them bleed and tell them this is the price they pay for being a U.S. ally. The implication is obvious: Abandon America and buy your safety.

That is what the terrorists are saying. Why is the Kerry campaign saying the same thing? “John Kerry’s campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government’s support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists.” So reports the Weekend Australian (Sept. 18).

Americans Overseas for Kerry is the Kerry operation for winning the crucial votes of Americans living abroad (remember the Florida recount?), including more than 100,000 who live in Australia. Its leader was interviewed Sept. 16 by The Australian’s Washington correspondent, Roy Eccleston. Asked if she believed the terrorist threat to Australians was now greater because of the support for President Bush, she replied: “I would have to say that,” noting that “[t]he most recent attack was on the Australian embassy in Jakarta.”

She said this of her country (and of the war that Australia is helping us with in Iraq): “[W]e are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels.” Mark Latham could not have said it better. Nor could Jemaah Islamiah, the al Qaeda affiliate that killed nine people in the Jakarta bombing.

This Kerry spokesman, undermining a key ally on the eve of a critical election, is no rogue political operative. She is the head of Americans Overseas for Kerry – Diana Kerry, sister to John.

She is, of course, merely echoing her brother, who, at a time when allies have shown great political courage in facing down both terrorists and domestic opposition for their assistance to the United States in Iraq, calls these allies the “coalition of the coerced and the bribed.”

This snide and reckless put-down more than undermines our best friends abroad. It demonstrates the cynicism of Kerry’s promise to broaden our coalition in Iraq. If this is how Kerry repays America’s closest allies – ridiculing the likes of Tony Blair and John Howard – who does he think is going to step up tomorrow to be America’s friend?

The only thing that distinguishes Kerry’s Iraq proposals from Bush’s is his promise to deploy his unique, near-mystical ability to bring in new allies to fight and pay for the war in Iraq – to “make Iraq the world’s responsibility” and get others to “share the burden,” as he said this week at New York University.

Yet even Richard Holbrooke, a top Kerry foreign policy adviser, admits that the president of France is not going to call up President Kerry and say, “How many divisions should I send to Iraq?”

Nor will anyone else. Kerry abuses America’s closest friends while courting those, like Germany and France, that have deliberately undermined America before, during and after the war. What lessons are leaders abroad to draw from this when President Kerry asks them – pretty please in his most mellifluous French – to put themselves on the line for the United States?


Yes, there is a large anti-Bush block of voters. Fortunately, there are not enough of them for Kerry to win. I also think that as the election draws nearer Bush will actually open up a wider lead. I will go out on a limb and state flat out that Bush is going to win that first debate! Not necessarily on debating points, but win it the way all Presidential debates are won: In the peoples minds!

All Bush has to do is keep a note pad of Kerrys flip flops by his side. Whenever Kerry takes a position Bush simply refers to his notes on what Kerry’s position used to be months ago.

In short, he makes Kerry debate Kerry. I think that would be an excellent strategy for winning. Hhowever, whatever strategy he uses he will win.

Those people who expect Kerry to “blow away” President Bush in a debate are going to be very surprised indeed. One only need take a look at history to see that the person who is the best debater does not necessarily win the peoples hearts and minds.

Many on the board are to young to remember the Reagen vs Carter debate. Carter has an IQ off the charts and the liberal press couldn’t wait to remind everyone how Carters command of the facts would silence the less intelligent Reagen. We all know what happened there. Reagen came off likeable, spontaneous and witty. Reagen won the Presidency! Four years later same thing when Walter Mondale, a true intellect of enormous proportions tried to take on the Gipper in a debate and found out how difficult it was.

If we go even further back to the first televised Presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon. Nixon was supposed to be the one with the facts, figures etc. And those who listened to it on the radio (huge medium then) thought Nixon had won. However, those who watched it on TV thought the better looking and quite likeable Kennedy had won.

Okay, I am off topic on this post, but what the heck everyone always goes off topic. My point is, that Kerry does not have the pesonal charisma, looks or mastery of oratory skills to beat President Bush. Bush will appear likeable, decisive and in command. Kerry supporters are going to be disapointed yet again after the first debate! And this will add to President Bush’s lead and gurantee him the election!

What do you think Lumpy?

Your right BB -

I forgot all about Australia’s contribution to the coalition.

Zeb -

I agree with you 100% about Bush’s victory 39 days from today. I doubt there will be a need any recounts, or court battles to determine our president.

The debates don’t concern me much either, except for one thing: Kerry’s departures from the truth. I don’t remember where I read it, but there was a piece done somewhere that was warning Bush of Kerry’s penchant for using half-truths and outright misstatement of facts in his debates. I would love to see Bush spend the entire debate forcing Kerry to explain himself and his bi-polar-like positions.

I excerpted this from an LA Times article – suffice it to say I’m dismayed by this. It’s one thing to disagree – it’s another to undermine U.S. foreign policy, which is what is accomplished by questioning whether Allawi is “a puppet.”:

[Begin excerpt] Democrats moved quickly to fuel skepticism, denouncing Allawi’s message in unusually pointed terms.

While Kerry was relatively restrained in disputing Allawi’s upbeat portrayal, some of his aides suggested that the Iraqi leader was simply doing the bidding of the Bush administration, which helped arrange his appointment in June.

“The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips,” said Joe Lockhart, a senior Kerry adviser. [End excerpt]

I think this goes beyond fair criticism of policy. I don’t recall McGovern criticizing the South Vietnam government as being a U.S. puppet, irrespective of whether he believed it to be true. Nor Goldwater. This wasn’t Kerry, but I can’t believe Lockhart, a senior campaign advisor, is running off half-cocked just saying whatever he wants.

Then again, I could be wrong about the Viet Nam campaigns – I wasn’t alive back then. But I still find this disturbing.

[UPDATE: I missed this little paragraph at the end of the article – apparently the DNC and Kerry hadn’t coordinated reactions to the Allawi speech:

[Begin excerpt] The Democratic National Committee inadvertently revealed some dissonance over Allawi. Kerry and his aides were accusing him of sugarcoating conditions in his country, but the DNC issued a statement before Thursday’s speech contrasting what it described as Allawi’s “honest assessment of the challenging situation on the ground in Iraq” and Bush’s “rosy picture of success.”[End excerpt]]


Really interesting take on the whole issue here:



“Bi-Polar like condition.” Whahaha

I would love to see Bush spend the entire debate forcing Kerry to explain himself and his bi-polar-like positions.[/quote]

This would be interesting, however, Bush should be required to answer some questions in a straighforward and articulate manner.

I would like to see Bush put some tough questions to Kerry – and I’d like to see Kerry knock them out of the park with a bold, honest stance.


“I would like to see Bush put some tough questions to Kerry – and I’d like to see Kerry knock them out of the park with a bold, honest stance.”

Honestly, and I mean this as non-partisan as possible, such boldness just is not part of Kerry’s makeup, it’s entirely too assertive and macho for Kerry.

Kerry likes the role of therapist, not bouncer. That kind of frank, unapologetic langauge is not likely to come out of the mouth of Kerry.

SO Mr. Kerry Iraq was a mistake. We should of never gone into Iraq. There are no ties to terrorism and Saddam Hussien…YOu truly have not been doing your homework:

This is from Richard Perle: It is dated Dec. 28. 2001.

December 28, 2001

The U.S. Must Strike at Saddam Hussein


WASHINGTON – Within hours of the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” From that first statement, Mr. Bush shaped a grand strategy for the war on terrorism that is as transforming of American policy as was Ronald Reagan’s pledge to consign an “evil empire” to the “ash heap of history.” It breaks with the past by taking aim at states harboring terrorists as well as at terrorists themselves. It is why we have destroyed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan even as we hunt down Osama bin Laden himself. It is why the war against terrorism cannot be won if Saddam Hussein continues to rule Iraq.

Three things about Saddam Hussein make the destruction of his regime essential to the war against terrorism

First, like Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein hates the United States with a vengeance he expresses at every opportunity. It is hatred intensified by a tribal culture of the blood feud ? one that he has embraced since Mr. Bush’s father defeated him on the field of battle.

Second, Saddam Hussein has an array of chemical and biological weapons and has been willing to absorb the pain of a decade-long embargo rather than allow international inspectors to uncover the full magnitude of his program. The expulsion of inspectors from Iraq three years ago has rendered future inspections worthless; everything that could be relocated has been moved and hidden in mosques, schools, hospitals, farms, private homes. These programs ? now involving dozens, perhaps hundreds, of clandestine sites ? will prove even more difficult to find than Osama bin Laden.

Alone among heads of state, he has actually used chemical weapons against his own people, killing thousands of unarmed citizens in northern Iraq. We know that he has produced quantities of anthrax sufficient to kill millions of people, as well as other biological agents. Disseminated to would-be martyrs from Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad or other terrorist groups, Saddam Hussein’s biological arsenal could kill very large numbers of Americans.

With each passing day, he comes closer to his dream of a nuclear arsenal. We know he has a clandestine program, spread over many hidden sites, to enrich Iraqi natural uranium to weapons grade. We know he has the designs and the technical staff to fabricate nuclear weapons once he obtains the material. And intelligence sources know he is in the market, with plenty of money, for both weapons material and components as well as finished nuclear weapons. How close is he? We do not know. Two years, three years, tomorrow even? We simply do not know, and any intelligence estimate that would cause us to relax would be about as useful as the ones that missed his nuclear program in the early 1990’s or failed to predict the Indian nuclear test in 1998 or to gain even a hint of the Sept. 11 attack.

Third, we know that Saddam Hussein has engaged directly in acts of terror and given sanctuary and other support to terrorists. In 1993 he planned the assassination of George H. W. Bush during the former president’s visit to Kuwait. He operates a terrorist training facility at Salman Pak complete with a passenger aircraft cabin for training in hijacking.

His collaboration with terrorists is well documented. Evidence of a meeting in Prague between a senior Iraqi intelligence agent and Mohamed Atta, the Sept. 11 ringleader, is convincing. More important is his long, continuing collaboration with a number of terrorist groups, some of whose leaders live in and operate from Iraq. He openly, defiantly pays the families of suicide bombers and praises the attacks on Sept. 11. If anyone fits the profile of support for terror, it is Saddam Hussein.

Saddam Hussein’s removal from office, we are told privately, would be cheered in the Persian Gulf. The conventional wisdom that an attack on him would be seen as an attack against Islam is an insult to Islam, and it is wrong. To most Muslims, his reign of terror is an abomination. In Iraq itself, his downfall would be met with dancing in the streets. A decent successor regime would be very likely to encourage peace in the region.

The charter of the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella group of Saddam Hussein’s opponents, calls for eradicating weapons of mass destruction and renouncing terrorism. Those opponents need our political and financial support today, and when the time is ripe, they will need our precision air power.

In 1981 the Israelis faced an urgent choice: Should they allow Saddam Hussein to fuel a French-built nuclear reactor near Baghdad ? or destroy it? Once fuel was placed in the reactor, it could not be bombed without releasing lethal radioactive material. Allowing the fueling to go forward meant that the Baghdad regime could eventually get the plutonium to build a nuclear weapon. The Israelis decided to strike pre-emptively, before it was too late: in a spectacular display of precision bombing, the reactor at Osirak was destroyed.

Everything we know about Saddam Hussein forces President Bush to make a similar choice: to take pre-emptive action or wait, possibly until it is too late. We waited too long before acting broadly against terrorism. We were too late to save the victims of Sept. 11. We should have taken terrorism seriously three years ago, when our embassies in East Africa were destroyed. To leave Saddam Hussein in place and hope for the best would repeat that mistake. And narrowing the war against terror to exclude his regime would drain a bold and courageous policy of its great and vital strength.

Richard Perle, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1987.

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company