Kerry on Iraq in a Nutshell

A excellent noteworthy reader comment at The Kerry Spot:

It’s the wrong war at the wrong time [but not a mistake!], but I’m committed to winning it; We’re spending too much on Iraq ($200 billion), but I’d send more troops and equipment; I’ll bring in more nations to help Iraq, but the other nations currently in Iraq were coerced and do not provide much assistance; Saddam and Iraq were a grave threat, but Osama is the only terrorist worth pursuing; Terrorists are pour[i]ng into Iraq, but Iraq is a distraction to the war on terror.

This perfectly encapsulates Kerry’s position on the war: sounds great until you start pairing up all the conflicting statements. Though all the inconsistencies may not be there, I think it does show that Kerry still has som un-muddling to do with his position on Iraq.

UPDATE: Revised my comments in light of a comment.

6 thoughts on “Kerry on Iraq in a Nutshell”

  1. Steve,

    There are clearly two things going on here. Kerry is looking at the past and the future. His statements regarding the past demonstrate what poor judgment Bush used. You know better than to take things out of context and put them side by side.

    Statements regarding poor judgment:

    It was the wrong war at the wrong time.
    We spent too much going into Iraq when we should have been looking for Osama.

    The other nations who went into Iraq were coerced and do not currently provide much assistance.

    He did NOT say that Osama was the only terrorist worth pursing. I don’t even know where you got that. He said that Iraq was clearly not linked to Osama and we should have done that job right. Iraq did not attack us.

    Terrorists are pouring into Iraq. This contradicts Bush’s statement that things are going well.

    Statements regarding the future:

    Now that we’re there I’m committed to winning it. He’s not going to leave Iraq a failed state.

    Now that we’re there we need to sent more troops and equipment.

    In order to make sure Iraq doesn’t become a failed state we need to ask for the help of other countries.

    He did not say that Iraq is a “distraction” to the war on terror. He said there was no link between AQ and Iraq, and we knew how big of a threat AQ was but we didn’t follow through.

    It is possible to critique a president’s judgment so that we don’t re-elect him to make more big mistakes.

  2. I had a rather long response written out when I realized the true thrust of your comment, so now I’m not sure it even applies right now. I’m thinking it over.

    Regardless, I’d like to point out that these were not my words, I only thought they were noteworthy. And, at first blush, I think your past/future defense of Kerry’s comments seems to be pretty solid (though I think each separate point you made has problems), so I think it would be fair for me to make some changes.

  3. I don’t know, Steve. I think you were right the first time. Kyle might have a point with the first comparison, but the rest seem to be fair comment, even if they weren’t said by Kerry as they are written here.

    Kerry voting against funding (the famous $87 billion) the troops in Iraq and saying that the president is spending too much is inconsistent with saying that he will support the troops as well or better than Bush and send more troops and equipment.

    How were the other nations with us in Iraq coerced? Did we threaten to invade Poland if they didn’t send troops? Did we threaten to keep them out of the EU, as France and Germany did to Turkey? And will France and Germany magically become happy to send their troops to fight and die in Iraq when Kerry is president? He won’t have to concede something or coerce them by supporting their resolutions in the UN or anything like that. He’s just such a nice guy they’ll ante up without a whimper. Bush got all the assistance he could and didn’t bully anyone to do it.

    And though terrorists may be pouring into Iraq, that doesn’t mean it’s not going well. It means it’s not perfect, it means it’s difficult, it means it’s going take a while and it also means that we’re fighting and killing the terrorists who want to kill us in Iraq, not the US. It’s better to take the fight to the enemy than to let the enemy bring the fight to us.

    And how could we have “followed through” better against Al-Qaeda? I seem to recall that we liberated Afghanistan, are still co-operating with the Pakastanis to hunt terrorists along the Afghan border and are working with governments world-wide to stop terrorists in their countries. We’ve liberated Iraq from a dictator that murdered his own people and gave aid and comfort to terrorists. And I wouldn’t be sorry to see us gear up and send the military to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities the minute Iraq quiets down enough to allow it. We wouldn’t even need to occupy it. Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror in the same way that essay questions are a distraction from the GRE. It’s something that is difficult and time-consuming, but has to be done.

  4. Bob, my original response is along the same lines that you have, but since it didn’t go directly towards Kyle’s argument, I didn’t see the point of posting it.

  5. We’ve left Afghanistan practically unmanned. Most places are considered completely unsafe for UN troops to even enter. There are only two hundred volunteers to handle three thousand voting areas because the opium lords make the areas so dangerous. The upcoming election that Mr. Bush touted so proudly in his debate is going to be hopelessly flawed.

    Coercion comes in many forms.

    Kerry was wrong about voting against the funding. He did admit to that.

  6. You are right that Kerry still has unmuddling to do. Part of the problem is that his plan for the future is very similar to Mr. Bush’s. Despite that, he still presents grounds to question Mr. Bush’s judgment.

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