John Kerry On Iraq: Weathervane In A Windstorm

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“Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture don’t have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.” — John Kerry 12/20/03

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“…(T)he satisfaction we take in (Saddam’s) downfall does not hide this fact: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.” — John Kerry, 9/20/04

Reality Check

“Well, what can we say of Senator Kerry? He was for the war and then he was against the war. He was for it, but he wouldn’t fund it. Then he’d fund it, but he wasn’t for it. He was for the Patriot Act until he was against the Patriot Act. Or was he against it until he was for it? I forget. He probably does, too. This is a candidate who has to Google his own name to find out where he stands.” — George Pataki

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“But I don’t think anyone in the Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to be able to defend themselves. We’re not going to cut and run and not do the job.” — John Kerry on the $87 billion dollars spent to rebuild Iraq and support our troops in Iraq, 9/14/03

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“I’m proud to say that John (Edwards) joined me in voting against that $87 billion…” — John Kerry, 7/12/04

“I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” — John Kerry, 3/19/04

Reality Check

“My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words, not mine. I quote John Kerry, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” Maybe this explains John Edwards’ need for two Americas. One is where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against exactly the same thing.” — Rudy Giuliani

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“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 and I disagree with the Governor [Howard Dean].” — John Kerry, 12/15/03

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“…(W)e 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 from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists.” — John Kerry 9/20/04

Reality Check

“I was just back in my office banging my head on the jukebox. This is my candidate, and…I don’t know what he’s talking about.” — Don Imus, 9/16/04, after an interview with John Kerry that extensively covered his “position” on the war

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“If you don’t believe … Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn’t vote for me.” — John Kerry, USA Today on 2/13/03

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“If you think I would have gone to war the way George Bush did, don’t vote for me.” — John Kerry, Jan 2004

Reality Check

“When it was popular to be a Massachusetts liberal, his voting record was that. When it was popular to be for the Iraq war, he was for it. Now it’s popular to be against it, and he’s against it.” — Jay Carson, a Dean campaign spokesman

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“I would disagree with John McCain that it’s the actual weapons of mass destruction he may use against us, it’s what he may do in another invasion of Kuwait or in a miscalculation about the Kurds or a miscalculation about Iran or particularly Israel. Those are the things that – that I think present the greatest danger. He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat.” — John Kerry, “Face The Nation”, 9/15/02

“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 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. …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.” — John Kerry 10/9/02

Flop

“Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no – because a Commander-in-Chief’s first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe.” — John Kerry, 9/20/04

Reality Check

“Even in this post-9/11 period, Senator Kerry doesn’t appear to understand how the world has changed. He talks about leading a “more sensitive war on terror,” as though al-Qaida will be impressed with our softer side. He declared at the Democratic Convention that he will forcefully defend America after we have been attacked. My fellow Americans, we have already been attacked, and faced with an enemy who seeks the deadliest of weapons to use against us, we cannot wait for the next attack. We must do everything we can to prevent it and that includes the use of military force.” — Dick Cheney

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“I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq – Saddam Hussein is a renegade and outlaw who turned his back on the tough conditions of his surrender put in place by the United Nations in 1991.” — John Kerry, 7/29/02

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“It’s the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” — John Kerry, 9/06/04

Reality Check

“Senator Kerry says, “America should go to war not when it wants to go to war but when it has to go to war.” Well, Senator, the firefighters and cops who ran into those burning towers and died on September 11th didn’t want to go to war. They were heroes in a war they didn’t even know existed. America did not choose this war. But we have a president who chooses to win it.” — George Pataki

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“George, I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.” — John Kerry, Democratic Debate, 5/3/03

Flop

“Are you one of the anti-war candidates?” — MSNBC’S Chris Matthews, 1/6/04

“I am, yes, in the sense that I don’t believe the president took to us war as he should have, yes. Absolutely. Do I think this president violated his promises to America? Yes, I do, Chris. Was there a way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable? You bet there was and we should have done it right.” — John Kerry, 1/6/04

Reality Check

“(John Kerry) even, at one point, declared himself as an anti-war candidate. And now he says he’s pro-war candidate. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position four or five more times.” — Rudy Giuliani

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“I think the judgment of a nominee who doesn’t understand that having Saddam Hussein captured will make it extraordinarily difficult to be able to beat an incumbent wartime president who captured Saddam Hussein. And let me tell you why, Tim. Saddam Hussein took us to war once before. In that war, young Americans were killed. He went to war in order to take over the oil fields. It wasn’t just an invasion of Kuwait. He was heading for the oil fields of Saudi Arabia. And that would have had a profound effect on the security of the United States. This is a man who has used weapons of mass destruction, unlike other people on this Earth today, not only against other people but against his own people. This is a man who tried to assassinate a former president of the United States, a man who lobbed 36 missiles into Israel in order to destabilize the Middle East, a man who is so capable of miscalculation that he even brought this war on himself. This is a man who, if he was left uncaptured, would have continued to be able to organize the Ba’athists. He would have continued to terrorize the people, just in their minds, because of 30 years of terror in Iraq.” — John Kerry on NBC’s “Meet The Press, 1/11/04

Flop

“The only legitimate reason (to go to war was) the weapons of mass destruction question. But after you built the international coalition, exhausted the [U.N.] inspections and you have no other choice.” — John Kerry, 9/07/04

Reality Check

“The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal. Our choice wasn’t between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not our critics abroad. Not our political opponents. And certainly not a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam’s Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls.” — John McCain

Conclusion

The war on terrorism is serious business, not some petty political game. While the war is in progress, the lives of our troops, 27 million Iraqis, and countless Americans here at home depend on the decisions made by our Commander-In-Chief.

Given that, do we really want a President who’ll radically alter his position on something as important as the war in Iraq based on nothing more than which way the prevailing political winds are blowing? Literally millions of lives, American and Iraqi, may be saved or lost by decisions that are going to be made over the next four years in the White House. So think hard about this, do you really think someone as feckless as John Kerry can be trusted with that sort of responsibility? Obviously, the answer is no…

Hat tip to Reuters for the pic.

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