by John Hawkins | June 19, 2003 1:11 pm
If Bush ‘Misled Us’, So Did John F. Kerry: I hate to beat on John Kerry too much right now because I believe he’s unelectable, yet he has a great chance to win the Democratic nomination. However, I did want to address his latest comments…
“Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and then waged a war based on questionable intelligence.
”He misled every one of us,” Kerry said. ”That’s one reason why I’m running to be president of the United States.”
Kerry said Bush made his case for war based on at least two pieces of U.S. intelligence that now appear to be wrong that Iraq sought nuclear material from Africa and that Saddam’s regime had aerial weapons capable of attacking the United States with biological material.
Still, Kerry said it is too early to conclude whether or not war with Iraq was justified. There needs to be a congressional investigation into U.S. intelligence on Iraq, he said.”
OK, let’s take it from the top. We went into Iraq backed by a huge coalition. It included, Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan among others. So without question, we had support from a vast coalition.
Kerry then goes on to claim that Bush “misled every one of us”, implying that Bush lied about WMD. Well, if Bush mislead us about WMD, then did John Kerry “mis(lead) every one of us” back in 1998 when he signed a letter to Clinton saying that,
“[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
Kerry then continued to “mis(lead) every one of us” in October of 2002 when he said,
“I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force – if necessary – to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.
Was Kerry misleading us when he said those things? I’d love hear someone ask him about that sometime.
Furthermore, Kerry cites two pieces of “questionable intelligence” that Bush used. Quite frankly, neither of them were terribly important or lynchpins in Bush’s case that Iraq had WMD. Picking out those two pieces of info is like yanking two pebbles off of a mountain and claiming that it’s no longer sturdy.
That being said, I will grant you that the African nuclear materials report that the CIA gave to the Bush administration turned out to be bogus. But unfortunately, our intelligence agencies aren’t omnipotent and they occasionally make these sorts of mistakes. On the other hand, Kerry is deliberately attempting to mislead people in regards to what Bush said about aerial weapons. Bush actually said, “We’re concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.” Ari Fleischer even went further in explaining this issue when he said, “The threat from UAVs would come from their being launched from a ship or a truck or by their being smuggled into the United States.” So where did Bush mislead anyone with these comments? Again, I’d like to see someone call Kerry on this issue.
Last but not least, Kerry says it’s too “early to conclude whether or not war with Iraq was justified.” Of course, because Kerry is a weasel, he also said, ”I’m glad Saddam Hussein is gone.” So which is it? Was our attack on Saddam unjust? If so, then doesn’t justice demand that we fill in the mass graves, put Saddam back in charge, and send him a fruit basket to apologize? On the other hand, is Kerry saying that he’s glad that America did something that he thinks may not have been justified? This is the sort of rhetorical pretzel the Democratic candidates have to twist themselves into to appeal to the anti-war lefties without angering the moderates they need to become President.
In any case, the left, Kerry included, is getting no real traction on this issue despite all the sympathetic media coverage they’re receiving. Even if we don’t find so much as a single anthrax spore in Iraq, I don’t believe Bush will be significantly hurt by it given that the intelligence was there to support it and that there were so many prominent Democrats who also said Saddam had WMD. However, if we do find WMD in Iraq (and I believe we will), all of this is going to boomerang on the Dems….big time.
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