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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Kerry: March 18, 2003

Project Vote Smart has a huge inventory of speeches and statements by John Kerry (and other major political figures).

In just a minute, I found this "Statement of Senator John Kerry Regarding President Bush's Announcement on Iraq" dated March 18, 2003, the day before the President started the war against Iraq (but after the 48 hour ultimatum). Does this sound familiar?
...the Administration's handling of the run up to war with Iraq could not possibly have been more inept or self-defeating. President Bush has clumsily and arrogantly squandered the post 9/11 support and goodwill of the entire civilized world in a manner that will make the jobs ahead of us -- both the military defeat and the rebuilding of Iraq -- decidedly more expensive in every sense of that word.

The Administration's indifference to diplomacy and the manner in which it has treated friend and foe alike over the past several months have left this country with vastly reduced influence throughout the world, made impossible the assembly of a broad, multinational effort against Saddam Hussein, and dramatically increased the costs of fulfilling our legitimate security obligations at home and around the world.
While Kerry next offers some bland words of support to the President for attempting to protect America's security in the post-9/11 world, he could not have been clearer about what he would have done differently:
My strong personal preference would have been for the Administration -- like the Administration of George Bush, Sr. -- to have given diplomacy more time, more commitment, a real chance of success. In my estimation, giving the world thirty additional days for additional real multilateral coalition building -- a real summit, not a five hour flyby with most of the world's powers excluded -- would have been prudent and no impediment to our military situation, an assessment with which our top military brass apparently agree. Unfortunately, that is an option that has been disregarded by President Bush.

In the colloquial, we are where we are. It will take years to repair the needless damage done by this Administration, damage to our international standing and moral leadership, to traditional and time-tested alliances, to our relations with the Arab world, ultimately to ourselves.
It's crystal clear.

Really, it is.

Bush went to war; Kerry would have waited and worked harder on diplomacy.

Then what?

Here's Kerry and Veep choice John Edwards on "60 Minutes," in July. They were being badgered by Leslie Stahl about their votes to support the October 2002 Iraq war resolution:
John Kerry: I think I answered your question. I think the way he [Bush] went to war was a mistake.

John Edwards: And I know you want to make this black and white, but the difference is... I'm going to finish this. The difference is, if John Kerry were president of the United States, we would never be in this place. He would never have done what George bush did. He would have done the hard work to build the alliances and the support system. We would have known... let me finish.

Stahl: Why build an alliance if they didn't have weapons of mass destruction?

John Edwards: We would have found out. That's the point.
It is really pretty simple.

I'm going to keep repeating this point every so often until someone with a large microphone joins me.

I imagined Edwards will help clarify the entire thing when confronting Cheney:
Stahl: You just recently said, if you get elected, no young Americans will go to war needlessly.

John Edwards: That's true.

Stahl: That's a direct quote from you.

John Edwards: Yes, ma'am.

Stahl: It implies that president Bush sent young men and women to war needlessly.

John Edwards: Because he didn't do the things that should have been done before taking this country to war. This is not A... I mean, we've now said it ten times. This is not a complicated thing.
It really isn't complicated.

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