Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Kerry's Own Words

The following Viewpoint article appeared in The Marquette Tribune some time during September 2004 – I do not recall the specific edition date in which it appeared sadly because I did not think at the time to clip the article out of the newspaper and save it for reference purposes. What I do remember is that it was written in the short months leading up to the Presidential Election in November in response to contradictory statements made by then-presidential candidate John Kerry concerning his position on the Iraq War. This was originally a short three-hundred editorial written for a local newspaper but was extended for its publication in the university newspaper.

Randy Beers, national security adviser to John Kerry, stated in response to the Bush campaign’s questioning of Senator Kerry’s stance on the Iraq War in August 2004, “the issue has never been whether we were right to hold Saddam accountable, the issue is that we went to war without our allies, without properly equipping our troops, and without a plan to win the peace”. If that is the case then where does Mr. Kerry stand on these particular issues? Why don’t we let Senator Kerry’s own words speak for themselves?

Have the spineless French and Russians forgotten this comment Kerry made in November 1997? “Where's the backbone of Russia, where's the backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity, but in a sense, they're now climbing into a box and they will have enormous difficulty not following up on this if there is not compliance by Iraq” – Might they be recalling their endorsement of the senator now?

Kerry then states in September 2002, “If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act”. What! Go into Iraq without the support of the all-powerful United Nations? Perish the thought!

When it came to funding our brave men and women fighting over in Iraq, Senator Kerry commented in September 14th, 2003, while on CBS’ Face the Nation “I don’t think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to – to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That’s irresponsible. What is responsible is for the administration to do this properly now” – And then he voted against the appropriations bill that same day. Both he and his running mate John Edwards were among the scant twelve Democratic senators who opposed the appropriations bill to give our troops the supplies they need to finish the job in Iraq.

Thankfully Kerry clarified, or at least attempted to clarify, his last minute decision to vote against the bill by stating in March 2004, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it”.

Then on July 26th, 2004, Senator Kerry switched his position on funding our troops once again by saying, "You don't value families if you force them to take up a collection to buy body armor for a son or daughter in the service”. This scathing comment of the Bush administration from a guy who voted against funding supplies for our troops – Wait, he did support it until he voted against it. We must be fair about this after all.

And what’s his plan on winning the peace? “My goal, my diplomacy, my statesmanship is to get our troops reduced in number and I believe if you do the statesmanship properly, I believe if you do the kind of alliance building that is available to us”. Sounds like another Vietnam to me! I guess he learned nothing from his four months service recording footage and ranking up purple-heart bandages.

To even the most hard-core Kerry supporter, this has the candidate in a predicament of his own making. But, as President Bush has kindly noted to him, there is still at least two more months for Senator Kerry to change his position once again.