Saturday, November 05, 2005

Setting the Record Straight on Kerry's Iraq Vote

For those that repeatedly claim Kerry voted for the war, how about checking your rhetoric at the door and look at the facts rather than the Republican talking points. Bush alone took the country to war and is responsible for the current mess. Did Kerry manipulate CIA intelligence? Did Kerry lie to the American people in a state of the union address? Did Kerry exaggerate WMD claims and invoke images of a nuclear holocaust to press the case for war. No. No. No.

In fact if you read what Kerry said on the Senate floor during the vote he clearly warned the President against rushing to war when there were other options to try first. Yes you have to protect America, but clearly pursuing a war of choice with Iraq based on deliberate false claims is an impeachable offense rather than smart foreign policy. -IFK Editor

John Kerry Did Not Vote To Go To War
Evelyn Pringle

Political pundits are always saying Kerry voted for the war. He did not vote to go to war. He voted for a resolution that gave Bush the authority to use force as a last resort, if it became absolutely necessary to protect us from an imminent threat from WMDs.

If Kerry is guilty of anything, it’s of being gullible enough to believe the lies told by the President of the United State, and his fellow liars, on the world stage.

In a speech on the Senate Floor on the day of the vote, Kerry made it clear that he was not voting to go to war when he said, “approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.” It means “America speaks with one voice.”

Kerry had no reason to think Bush was set to go to war. As he pointed out, any threat posed by Saddam and his WMDs, was “not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing … suggests it is imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack,” Kerry said. “Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for its self-defense…The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that test yet.”

Kerry said that he would only agree to go to war for one reason, to rid Saddam of WMDs. He emphatically warned Bush that if he did take the country to war for any other reason than an imminent threat, that he would be the first to speak out and demand that Bush be held accountable.

As we know now, there never were any WMDs and so therefore, as Kerry made clear, he would have never voted to go to war.

He clarified what his vote meant when he said, “let me be clear, the vote I will give…is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies,” he said.

“In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments…to work with the United Nations…to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.”

“If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent–and I emphasize “imminent”–threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs.”

In my opinion, the day for demanding accountability from Bush has long passed. It should have happened the day he took the country to war in Iraq. That said, I look forward to an opportunity to demand accountability from the Bush administration.

Kerry warned us about what would happen if Bush took us to war without just cause, and without our allies. He speech on the Senate floor on the day of the vote almost seems prophetic in hindsight. Here are a few excerpts from his October 9, 2002 Senate speech:

“The President needs to give the American people a fairer and fuller, clearer understanding of the magnitude and long-term financial cost of that effort.

“The international community’s support will be critical because we will not be able to rebuild Iraq single-handedly. We will lack the credibility and the expertise and the capacity.

“The administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed.”

Everything Kerry said would happen, happened. The skyrocketing costs of the war, both in lives lost, and tax dollars spent blow Americans away. The country was not prepared to sustain such a drastic drain on its resources. Nor were we prepared for the hatred that has been directed at Americans, not only in Iraq, but also throughout the Middle East.

Just like Kerry predicted, the region has become a magnet for terrorists that hate Americans. And he’s right; Saddam’s capture provides no consolation when weighed against the mess Bush got us into.

A scheme that turned Iraq into a boomtown for Bush and his fellow war profiteers, has turned into a never-ending nightmare for the rest of the country. First thing we see each morning, when we turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, is the number of soldiers killed or injured the day before. And there is no end in sight.

John Kerry bears no responsibility whatsoever for the war in Iraq. If he had been president we never would have ended up there to begin with.

By Evelyn Pringle


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he voted for the use of force, then he voted for the war. Period.

Anything else is a spineless, equivocal, duplicitious attempt to worm out of democrats responsibility for their votes.

12:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home