John Kerry On Iraq: That Was Then, This Is Now

The weathervane in a windstorm that is John Kerry’s position on Iraq has again been blown wildly to the left by the 9/11 commission’s report….

“Kerry seized upon the commission’s findings as further evidence that the White House misled the public about its reasons for invading Iraq. He said Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney “on a number of occasions have asserted very directly to the American people that the war against al-Qaida is the war in Iraq. And on any number of occasions the president has made it clear that the front of the war against al-Qaida is in Iraq.”

“This administration took its eye off of al-Qaida, took its eye off of the real war on terror in Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan and transferred it for reasons of its own to Iraq,” Kerry said. “And the American people are paying billions of dollars now because of that decision. And most importantly, American families and American soldiers are paying the highest price of all.”

Asked what Bush’s true motivation was for attacking Saddam’s government, Kerry said that is a question for the administration.

“It is clear that the president owes the American people a fundamental explanation about why he rushed to war for a purpose that it now turns out is not supported by the facts,” Kerry said. “And that is the finding of this commission.”

Oooh, I bet the liberals love days like today when Kerry is trying his best to do a Howard Dean impression.

But, if the press were actually interested in getting to the bottom of the huge, gaping, inconsistencies in John Kerry’s position on Iraq, these latest statements from Kerry would inspire lots of tough questions.

The first one would of course be, “Are you saying the war was a mistake?” To the best of my knowledge, John Kerry is still hedging on the answer that question which is really pathetic if you think about it. We went to war more than a year ago and yet here’s a man who wants to be the POTUS who has yet to decide whether it was a good idea or not.

Also, this quote is quite fascinating…

“This administration took its eye off of al-Qaida, took its eye off of the real war on terror in Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan and transferred it for reasons of its own to Iraq.”

…fascinating because it contradicts the position he took on the same issue in December of 2003. Back then, John Kerry said…

“Iraq may not be the war on terror itself, but it is critical to the outcome of the war on terror, and therefore any advance in Iraq is an advance forward in that…”

So which is it? Was Iraq “critical to the war on terror” or not part of the “real war on terror”? Why isn’t John Kerry being asked to answer that question?

Furthermore, if this is all some big mistake, why did Kerry not only vote to give Bush the authority to go to war, but say the following in October of 2002,

“It would be naive to the point of grave danger not to believe that, left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will provoke, misjudge, or stumble into a future, more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world. He has as much as promised it. He has already created a stunning track record of miscalculation. He miscalculated an 8-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America’s responses to it. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending Scuds into Israel. He miscalculated his own military might. He miscalculated the Arab world’s response to his plight. He miscalculated in attempting an assassination of a former President of the United States. And he is miscalculating now America’s judgments about his miscalculations.

All those miscalculations are compounded by the rest of history. A brutal, oppressive dictator, guilty of personally murdering and condoning murder and torture, grotesque violence against women, execution of political opponents, a war criminal who used chemical weapons against another nation and, of course, as we know, against his own people, the Kurds. He has diverted funds from the Oil-for-Food program, intended by the international community to go to his own people. He has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel.

I mention these not because they are a cause to go to war in and of themselves, as the President previously suggested, but because they tell a lot about the threat of the weapons of mass destruction and the nature of this man. We should not go to war because these things are in his past, but we should be prepared to go to war because of what they tell us about the future.”

Of course, Kerry supporters can also point to a bevy of statements Kerry has made that don’t seem as hawkish, but that’s the problem with Kerry. He’s taking all sides of the issue.

He wants to be perceived as a tough, no nonsense, “Scoop Jackson Democrat” who can’t wait to kick a little terrorist @ss while simultaneously winking to his supporters on the left so they’ll know he’s really a Ted Kennedy clone who believes the best way to fight terrorism is via tete a tete’s with Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac.

I’m betting he can’t keep having it both ways until November. Time will tell….

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