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Thread: Kerry...he's anitwar...

  1. #1
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    A fair assessement of Kerry's incoherent attempts to make eveyone happy. Leadership requires making decisons that invariably favors one idea or group over others. Kerry is incapable. And as he doesn't understand that 9/11 changed what is important to most Americans, he will lose-badly. If he thinks voting for the war and then opposing it, or voting for NAFTA, and then opposing it, or being for gay marriage, and then opposing it, is going to work, he's in for a rude awakening. This might have worked before 9/11, but not any more.

    Say Anything
    by Andrew Sullivan


    Only at TNR Online | Post date 02.17.04

    We've been treated to many disquisitions on the "new" John Kerry, the emboldened, clear, unpompous candidate who emerged from primary season with a real chance to beat an increasingly vulnerable George W. Bush. Sadly, that new candidate didn't show up Sunday night in Wisconsin for the Democrats' most recent (and possibly final) debate. The same old tedious, flip-flopping Kerry was in evidence. Here are three interactions with two of his questioners--Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Lester Holt of MSNBC--and my interpolations.


    GILBERT: Let me turn to you, Senator Kerry, because you said your vote wasn't a vote for what the president ultimately did. But you did vote to give him the authority, so do you feel any degree, any degree of responsibility for the war and its costs and casualties?

    KERRY: This is one of the reasons why I am so intent on beating George Bush and why I believe I will beat George Bush, because one of the lessons that I learned -- when I was an instrument of American foreign policy, I was that cutting-edge instrument. I carried that M- 16.

    I know what it's like to try to choose between friend and foe in a foreign country when you're carrying out the policy of your nation.

    Oh, please. This immediate invocation of military credentials is both unseemly in its self-regard and irrelevant to the question. The presidency of the United States is open to those with military service and those without. It's a civilian office. Once you argue that a man with active military service is somehow more qualified to make decisions on war and peace, you are arguing that those without such service are somehow suspect. You are undermining our civilian democracy. This isn't Argentina.


    KERRY: And I know what it's like when you lose the consent and the legitimacy of that war. And that is why I said specifically on the floor of the Senate that what I was voting for was the process the president promised.

    There was a right way to do this and there was a wrong way to do it. And the president chose the wrong way because he turned his back on his own pledge to build a legitimate international coalition, to exhaust the remedies of the United Nations in the inspections and to go to war as a matter of last resort.

    The president went to the Security Council twice to achieve support. Twice--after twelve years of Democratic and Republican administrations grappling with the perceived threat from Saddam. The relevant question therefore is: What would Kerry have done after the failure of the second resolution? Stand down the military? Retreat before Saddam and Chirac? Demobilize? Call for more inspections? Unless he can tell us precisely what he would have done differently in this "process," his positioning is just, well, positioning.


    Last resort means something to me. Obviously, it doesn't mean something to this president. I think it means something to the American people.

    In 1991, it's worth recalling, "last resort" for Kerry meant leaving the invasion of Kuwait in place.


    And the great burden of the commander in chief is to be able to look into the eyes of any parent or loved one and say to them, "I did everything in my power to prevent the loss of your son and daughter, but we had to do what we had to do because of the imminency of the threat and the nature of our security. "

    I don't think the president passes that test.

    How does Kerry know this? Is he implying that the president deliberately lied about the threat he believed Saddam posed? It's not worth disinterring the "imminence" debate, but it is worth reiterating that what Kerry is accusing the president of is treating the lives of U.S. soldiers cavalierly. It's about the lowest shot you can possibly launch at a political opponent. Yet it's Kerry's option before he even answers the question put to him.


    GILBERT: But what about you? I mean, let me repeat the question. Do you have any degree of responsibility having voted to give him the authority to go to war?

    KERRY: The president had the authority to do what he was going to do without the vote of the United States Congress. President Clinton went to Kosovo without the Congress. President Clinton went to Haiti without the Congress.

    So is Kerry now saying that the president didn't need and shouldn't have sought congressional approval for war against Saddam?


    That's why we have a War Powers Act. What we did was vote with one voice of the United States Congress for a process.

    This is pathetic. Everyone knew that the congressional vote allowed the president to wage war if necessary. Kerry's weaseling out of this obvious fact is in itself--finally!--an answer to the question. Kerry will not take responsibility for a vote whose meaning was crystal clear at the time.


    And remember, until the Congress asserted itself, this president wasn't intending to go to the United Nations. In fact, it was Jim Baker and Brent Scowcroft and others and the Congress who got him to agree to a specific process. The process was to build a legitimate international coalition, go through the inspections process and go to war as a last resort.

    Actually, it was Colin Powell and Tony Blair who encouraged the president to go via the United Nations. And Bush never publicly said he was intending to go to war without such an effort. And what, pray, is the difference between an international coalition and a "legitimate" international coalition? Was the Clinton Kosovo war the product of an "illegitimate coalition" because it wasn't approved by the United Nations. Is NATO illegitimate? Is Kerry now saying that only U.N.-sponsored coalitions are henceforth kosher? What signal does this send to those many countries who did join the coalition?


    He didn't do it. My regret is not the vote. It was appropriate to stand up to Saddam Hussein. There was a right way to do it, a wrong way to do it.

    My regret is this president chose the wrong way, rushed to war, is now spending billions of American taxpayers' dollars that we didn't need to spend this way had he built a legitimate coalition, and has put our troops at greater risk.

    More flim-flam. Does Kerry believe that other governments would be funding the bulk of Iraqi reconstruction if they had given token consent to the invasion? He has no evidence for this. This was always going to be a fundamentally American commitment. Only the United States has the military means and economic power to bring about a transition to democracy in Iraq. Anyone who believes otherwise is engaged in a fantasy about the real world.

    * * *


    GILBERT: Senator Kerry, President Bush a week ago on "Meet the Press " described himself as a war president. He said he's got war on his mind as he considers these policies and decisions he has to make. If you were elected, would you see yourself as a war president?

    KERRY: I'd see myself first of all as a jobs president, as a health care president, as an education president and also an environmental president. And add them all together, you can't be safe at home today unless you are also safe abroad.

    KERRY: So I would see myself as a very different kind of global leader than George Bush.

    Well, what we have here is a clear and damning difference. Bush thinks we are at war. Kerry seems to believe that unless you have higher employment and expanded health insurance, we are vulnerable to terrorism. Then he says, "You can't be safe at home today unless you are also safe abroad." That seems like a direct refutation of the previous sentence. Ah, I'm beginning to get it. The two parts of the answer are designed for two constituencies: doves and hawks. Once again, Kerry's response to a simple yes or no question is: both.


    Let me be precise.

    He has ignored North Korea for almost two years. I would never have cut off the negotiations of bilateral discussion with North Korea. I think he's made the world less safe because of it.

    He has ignored AIDS on a global basis until finally, this year, for political reasons, they're starting to move. They still haven't adopted the bill that we wrote three years which could've done something.

    The Bush policy toward North Korea has been to engage it on a multilateral basis. Why would Kerry differ? And does Kerry believe that the key to disarming North Korea is to ply it with devoted attention? As for AIDS, any criticism of this president has to be accompanied by a devastating critique of the last one. For all its flaws, the anti-HIV policy of this administration in Africa is light years more ambitious than anything attempted by president Clinton.


    He's ignored the cooperative threat reduction that Howard just referred to. We didn't buy up the nuclear material we could have to make the world safer.

    He walked away from the global warming treaty. He abandoned the work of 160 nations that worked for 10 years to try to make the world safer.

    He didn't continue the efforts in the Middle East with an envoy who stayed there and helped to push that process forward.

    I think there is an enormous agenda for us in fighting an effective war on terror. And part of it is by building a stronger intelligence organization, law enforcement, but most importantly, the war on terror is not going to be completely won until we have the greatest level of cooperation we've ever had globally.

    The worst thing this president does is his lack of cooperation with other countries.

    So I will lead in a different way, and I will not just sit there and talk about the war. I'll talk about all of the issues and provide solutions for America.

    I think we have an answer here: no war in Iraq; no war anywhere; just law enforcement measures and cooperation with the French, Russians, and Germans. All the problems of the world stem from U.S. policy. Nowhere does Kerry say anything about the threat of Al Qaeda, or the designs of the Syrians or Iranians, or of Islamist terror-states more broadly. These real threats just don't seem to register on his radar screen. If this is the Democratic candidate's recipe to tackling the nexus of global terror, then he will be creamed in the fall. And he'll deserve to be.

    * * *


    HOLT: You say you oppose gay marriage. As you know, the highest court in the state of Massachusetts has ruled against civil unions, which you support. If it were to come before you today for a vote, the issue of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as that between a man and a woman, would you vote yes or would you vote no?

    KERRY: Well, it depends on the terminology, because it depends on what it does with respect to civil unions and partnership rights.

    About the rights, I believe that it is important in America not to discriminate with respect to rights. I, personally, believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    In two sentences, Kerry says two things that, in the view of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, are contradictory. The court was asked whether partitioning gay couples into an institution called "civil unions" was discriminatory or not. The judges said it was--because civil unions reinforce stigma and exclusion for no rational reason. If Kerry believes that civil unions do not do such a thing, he should explain why. Instead he just repeats the contradiction.

    The basic question is: Why should the government grant a marriage license to two people who do not have biological children of their own, while denying such a license to two equally qualified people who also have no biological children of their own? Kerry's civil marriage to Teresa Heinz falls into the childless category. It also falls into a category condemned by the Catholic Church--a second marriage after a divorce. Kerry needs to explain why what's good enough for him isn't good enough for a gay couple. He hasn't. He won't. He wants to pander to prejudice while maintaining he is in favor of equality.


    But I also believe that we ought to be able to not let marriage and the concept get in the way of respecting the rights of people to be able to visit a partner in a hospital, to be able to pass on property, to be able to live under the equal protection clause of the United States.

    But equal protection under the Massachusetts constitution was precisely the reason the Massachusetts court refused to tolerate the very solution Kerry favors! More incoherence.


    And the question is whether or not that can be put in the Constitution. We will see what will happen. But my personal opinion has been -- is today that marriage is between a man and a woman. I'm for civil union. I'm for partnership rights and the full measure of nondiscrimination within those rights.

    HOLT: So on a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman, your vote would be?

    KERRY: Well, it depends. Not a federal one. You're talking about federal or state? I mean, there's a difference between the two.

    I believe the states have a right to make up their own mind, and it ought to be left up to each state individually, period.

    So Kerry favors a state constitutional amendment banning marriage rights to gays in Massachusetts. But it would depend on the wording. And he opposes a federal amendment, on states' rights grounds. At least that makes sense. But it would be far simpler if Kerry put it clearly that way--and made absolutely clear his opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. But even now, he seems incapable of a clear and ringing answer. He's still defensive--even when he doesn't have to be.

    And that's true throughout this debate. Kerry is pro-war, except when he's antiwar. He votes for war against Saddam but opposes financing it. He's for equality for gays, but against equality for gays in marriage. And his attempts to explain his having it every which way only confuse matters even further. Not a good sign for November.

    Andrew Sullivan is a senior editor at TNR.

  2. #2
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    who cares -

    the best thing Kerry has going for him is that he's not Bush.

    he can say anything and i hope he does. Frankly im embarassed by the leadership of this country to date and if pressed can't name one quality thing that has come out of the first 3 years of Bush admin.

  3. #3
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 18 2004, 12:00 PM
    [b] if pressed can't name one quality thing that has come out of the first 3 years of Bush admin. [/b][/quote]
    Here's several...he's not dean or kerry or edwards or gore or sharpton or clinton or kennedy or levin or byrd or h. clinton or boxer or davis or fienstein or shcumer or clarke or mcclueless and so on and son on and son on... :D

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    Uh, do wiping out the Taliban and toppling Saddam Hussein ring any bells? You may not agree, but if Kerry thinks spouting meaningless platitudes will work, well, I can't wait. The man is an empty vessel. He has NO ALTERNATIVE other than badmouthing Bush.

  5. #5
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    that's great but did the Taliban or Saddam Hussain harm the US in ANY Way?

    if you told me that Bush stopped AL_Queda that would at least be something.

    but who really gives a s**t about the Taliban? or Saddam?

    yeah and you know what Bugg - Kerry is another Skull and Bones asswipe who is deep in the pockets of big business... the only difference between him and Bush is that Kerry might nominate decent Supreme Court justices and he will raise taxes

    4 more years of Bush = 3 more scalias and US financial ruin

    answer me this how come if i want to go to Europe on vacation i have to bring a dump truck full of cash to buy anything? Bush is being COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLE with the US DOLLAR. As republicans you should be ashamed - the man is clearly an economic LIABILITY. Spendthrift is too mild a word to describe what Bush is doing.

  6. #6
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 18 2004, 12:52 PM
    [b] that's great but did the Taliban or Saddam Hussain harm the US in ANY Way?

    [/b][/quote]
    The way libs will stoop to any means is unbelievable.....no wonder they are demokRATS.

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 18 2004, 12:52 PM
    [b] that's great but did the Taliban or Saddam Hussain harm the US in ANY Way?

    if you told me that Bush stopped AL_Queda that would at least be something.

    but who really gives a s**t about the Taliban? or Saddam?

    ... [/b][/quote]
    Bitonti will vote for GWB if he stops Al Queda and only under certain conditions. Here are bitonti's conditions for stopping Al Queda (no particular order):

    1) outlaw the Patriot Act
    2) remove reliance on ME oil
    a) raise MPG
    B) ban SUVs
    c) stop (the myth of) global warming
    d) drill ANWAR only when a thru c are satisfied
    3) give foreign terrorists the same judical rights as American citizens and dismantle Gitmo
    4) fight terrorism the UN way (it's taken the UN 10 years so far to define terrorism - not done yet)
    5) drop support of our only true ME ally, Israel
    6) eliminate all tax cuts
    7) immediate withdrawal of every serviceman in the ME
    8) flip the bird to pakistan and appologize to france
    9) free abu mummia jamal

    Final disclaimer: for GWB to be successful in the war on terror, each and every current and future member of Al Queda captured or killed.

    I think I've covered it all. I'm sure GWB will miss bitonti's vote.

  8. #8
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    replace Mumia with Leonard Peltier and we have a deal ! ;)

    im not saying Ban SUV's but instead tax gas for non-commercial use. You want to drive a car so large that filling millions of them threatens national security? thats fine but you should be willing to pay for the privlege.

    seriously the sad thing is that you print a list of all the things that you think would have to happen for Bush to get my vote (lets assume they are accurate for the sake of argument) - and the truth is that NOT 1 of those things will EVER be considered.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 18 2004, 03:26 PM
    [b] replace Mumia with Leonard Peltier and we have a deal ! ;)

    im not saying Ban SUV's but instead tax gas for non-commercial use. You want to drive a car so large that filling millions of them threatens national security? thats fine but you should be willing to pay for the privlege.

    seriously the sad thing is that you print a list of all the things that you think would have to happen for Bush to get my vote (lets assume they are accurate for the sake of argument) - and the truth is that NOT 1 of those things will EVER be considered. [/b][/quote]
    You miss the whole point of the post.

    IF it took all those things for you to vote for GWB, I'd gladly have you pull the lever for Kerry.

    Peeance Freeance!

  10. #10
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    yeah right Weeb if George did any of the above you'd hail it as genius

    Bush could take a piss on your back and call it rain and you'd remark on what a rainy season its been.

    i don't think you've ever criticized George Bush II - i guess that means he's batting 1.000 - a PERFECT presidency!

    cmon lets be frank all you care about is he's not getting blowjobs from interns.

    when it comes to the economy or other poorly planned policies, if George does it, its OK by you!

    he meant to choke on that prezel! it wasn't an accident he was testing the awareness of secret service! ;)

    the only reason you don't like my plans or policies is because Bush hasn't carried them out! the second that Bush makes a statement - well ill be damned its the best thing since sliced bread!

    the man could collapse the dollar, permananly lose 3 million jobs, rack up record deficits, declare Amnesty for 30million mexicans, mortgage our Children's economic future, go to war just to hook up his corporate buddies and you'd still love him!

    oh wait all those things actually happened... i sadly rest my case

  11. #11
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 18 2004, 05:29 PM
    [b] yeah right Weeb if George did any of the above you'd hail it as genius

    Bush could take a piss on your back and call it rain and you'd remark on what a rainy season its been.

    i don't think you've ever criticized George Bush II - i guess that means he's batting 1.000 - a PERFECT presidency!

    cmon lets be frank all you care about is he's not getting blowjobs from interns.

    when it comes to the economy or other poorly planned policies, if George does it, its OK by you!

    the man could collapse the dollar, lose 3 million jobs, rack up record deficits, declare Amnesty for 30million mexicans, mortgage our Children's economic future and you'd still love him!

    oh wait all those things actually happened... i sadly rest my case [/b][/quote]
    Turn it back on yourself. You'd vote for the man that raped your mother over GWB. At least I'm better off now than when he took office from said blowee.

    The bottom line for me is that GWB is a better choice than [b]anything[/b] the opposition offers. A vote for anyone but GWB is a vote for a weaker America. Your side can't prove that wrong. That just eats away at you libs, doesn't it?

    Here's a solution to the weak dollar. Spend your money in America.

  12. #12
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    E-mail running around . If you want to raise questions about Bush's service...
    ...


    Don is a retired tanker, Major, combat veteran and genuine good guy. He knows insiders who went "backpacking" in Cambodia and Laos, on extended trips to snipe NVC and Cong ... sneak n' peek - shoot and loot. He and friends are the real deal, not two-faced wannabees from Beacon Hill

    Read and forward as you see fit. It's time for us all to be political, and serious, cuz the bad guys certainly are. They're depending on their Fifth Column friends to keep us anesthetized



    Subject: John Kerry...You decide


    Sent to me by an old shipmate....

    I was in the Delta shortly after he left. I know that area well. I
    know the operations he was involved in well. I know the tactics and the
    doctrine used. I know the equipment. Although I was attached to
    CTF-116 (PBRs) I spent a fair amount of time with CTF-115 (swift
    boats), Kerry's command.

    Here are my problems and suspicions:

    (1) Kerry was in-country less than four months and collected, a Bronze
    Star, a Silver Star and three purple hearts. I never heard of anybody
    with any outfit I worked with (including SEAL One, the Sea Wolves,
    Riverines and the River Patrol Force) collecting that much hardware so
    fast, and for such pedestrian actions. The Swifts did a commendable job.
    But that duty wasn't the worst you could draw. They operated only
    along the coast and in the major rivers (Bassac and Mekong). The rough
    stuff in the hot areas was mainly handled by the smaller, faster PBRs.

    (2) Three Purple Hearts but no limp. All injuries so minor that no
    time lost from duty. Amazing luck. Or he was putting himself in for
    medals every time he bumped his head on the wheel house hatch? Combat
    on the boats was almost always at close range. You didn't have minor
    wounds. At least not often. Not three times in a row. Then he used
    the three purple hearts to request a trip home eight months before the
    end of his tour. Fishy.

    (3) The details of the event for which he was given the Silver Star
    make no sense at all. Supposedly, a B-40 was fired at the boat and
    missed. Charlie jumps up with the launcher in his hand, the bow gunner
    knocks him down with the twin .50, Kerry beaches the boat, jumps off,
    shoots Charlie, and retreives the launcher. If true, he did everything
    wrong.

    (a) Standard procedure when you took rocket fire was to put your
    stern to the action and go balls to the wall. A B-40 has the ballistic
    integrity of a frisbie after about 25 yards, so you put 50 yards or so
    between you and the beach and begin raking it with your .50's.

    (B) Did you ever see anybody get knocked down with a .50 caliber
    round and get up? The guy was dead or dying. The rocket launcher was
    empty. There was no reason to go after him (except if you knew he was
    no danger to you just flopping around in the dust during his last few
    seconds on earth, and you wanted some derring do in your after-action
    report). And we didn't shoot wounded people. We had rules against that,
    too.

    © Kerry got off the boat. This was a major breach of standing
    procedures. Nobody on a boat crew ever got off a boat in a hot area.
    EVER! The reason was simple. If you had somebody on the beach your
    boat was defenseless. It coudn't run and it couldn' t return fire. It
    was stupid and it put his crew in danger. He should have been relieved
    and reprimanded. I never heard of any boat crewman ever leaving a boat
    during or after a firefight.

    Something is fishy.

    Here we have a JFK wannabe (the guy Halsey wanted to court martial for
    carelessly losing his boat and getting a couple people killed by running
    across the bow of a Jap destroyer) who is hardly in Vietnam long enough
    to get good tan, collects medals faster than Audie Murphy in a job where
    lots of medals weren't common, gets sent home eight months early,
    requests separation from active duty a few months after that so he can
    run for Congress, finds out war heros don't sell well in Massachsetts in
    1970 so reinvents himself as Jane Fonda, throws his ribbons in the dirt
    with the cameras running to jump start his political career, gets
    Stillborn Pell to invite him to address Congress and Bobby Kennedy's
    speechwriter to do the heavy lifting, winds up in the Senate himself a
    few years later, votes against every major defense bill, says the CIA is
    irrelevant after the Wall came down, votes against the Gulf War, a big
    mistake since that turned out well, decides not to make the same mistake
    twice so votes for invading Iraq, but oops, that didn't turn out so well
    so he now says he really didn't mean for Bush to go to war when he voted
    to allow him to go to war.

    I'm real glad you or I never had this guy covering out flanks in
    Vietnam. I sure don't want him as Commander in Chief. I hope that
    somebody from CTF-115 shows up with some facts challenging Kerry's
    Vietnam record. I know in my gut it's wildy inflated. And fishy.

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