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leyton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 04:52 PM
Original message
I need to defend Kerry's record on the war in a debate. Will you help?
I'm participating in a five-on-five debate in a public forum at the end of this week. My area to cover is character, and I am certain that the Republican's argument is going to involve staying the course, and by extension, an accusation of flip-flopping. Now, I don't care if Kerry voted for the war, against the 87 billion, and then came out calling it a diversion from Afghanistan (and that's how the opposition's argument will run, I'm sure). But I also don't know how to go about defending it. Can y'all help me out here?

I do know Kerry attached reservations to his vote on the original authority-to-go-to-war bill in from October 2002 (I think that's when it was). I also know he had qualms with the idea of a blank check being written to the administration, which explains his vote against the 87 billion. I still need help synthesizing this.

Any tips or info you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated!
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. One of my favorite sites on the subject
is in my sig. www.kerryoniraqwar.com .

Meanwhile, I will dig up Kerry's speeches on the subject. There is one right after he voted for the 87 billion that spells out exactly what he expected the administration to do before going to war. The president did none of it.
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. Why bother? Bush is gone in one week...
And you will never convince a Republican with facts. They cling to a faith-based version of world events which has nothing to do with facts or reason.
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leyton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. It's a public debate,
and I am essentially a representative of the Democratic party. I take that responsibility seriously.
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dave502d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. Swift Vets and POWs for "Truth" v. The Truth
http://swiftvets.eriposte.com /

This might help you with Swift vets lies.
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Shoeempress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. This timeline comparing Kerry & Chimpy's lives may help.
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timezoned Donating Member (107 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Great timeline
That's an impressive piece of work
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. Kerry was right
Rather than attempting to explain or defend his votes, I would use current information to show that Kerry was right. Holding Saddam accountable to meet the UN's disarmament standards was right. Letting inspections continue was also right. The troop revolt thing over lack of body armor, Kerry was right to want accountability. $7 billion to Halliburton. Kerry talked about the stockpiles back in the primaries at that Harvard debate, Kerry was right. That's what I'd do, Kerry was right and stick to it!
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Sydnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. Here's Kerry's speech before the war vote
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nine30 Donating Member (593 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. Your principle argument.
And this has been Kerry's position throughout:

"The THREAT of force is far more useful than its EXECUTION"

Why did Saddam let the inspectors in ? Because with full authority from the Congress to go to war.. Saddam was coming under intense pressure. He finally resumed co-operation. That was the right way to go - without spending 100s of billions, and taking thousands of lives.
Simply the *threat* of force would have gotten the job done. And the threat couldn't have been Real if the Kerrys and Edwards and didn't vote for it.


But disarming Iraq wasn't what Bush Co. was after. They wanted Regime Change, followed by a puppet govt, and a huge source of cheap oil.

But what happened as a result - everyone knows.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. The best analogy that I have seen on this was posted on DU
some time ago. Kerry voted to give * the keys to the car and * wrecked the car.
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pk_du Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. And dont forget OFFENSE.....there is a ton of low hanging fruit
to be had looking at George W(hy should I...) Bush on the character front.

W - hy should I serve in Vietnam when I can get pappy to get me in the Texas Air national Guard.

W - hy should i serve full 6 year commitment when I can skip a mandatory physical , fail to show at posting in AL and eventually melt into the background at Harvard MBA ?

W - hy should I have to admit I couldnt take the phyical cos I snorted coke with my buddy who also failed to take the phyical.

W - hy should I admit to insider dealing in the Harken stock scandal

W - hy should I let you guys form a "9/11 Commision"

W - hy should I tell "the truth , whole truth an nothing but the truth" (Oh wouldnt those words sound great with a Texas drawl) about WMDs in Iraq.

...any many , many more !!...remember best defence is a good offense.
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timezoned Donating Member (107 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. Easy: Bush himself proposed the bill, then threatened to veto it
Edited on Mon Oct-25-04 05:53 PM by timezoned
Or, in their parlance: First, he PROPOSED the bill, and then, (eyebrows high, eyes wide, for emphasis) he threatened to VETO it!

Bills change. Everyone in the process knows this. Kerry agreed with the first version, didn't like the version being funded by letting the rich keep tax cuts. Bush didn't like a proposed version with the rich having to help, liked the final version.

It's an absurd game. Not the bills, the "flip-flop" charge I mean.

If you're covering character, go here:

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=xeXXxRLIRiSLOmw7G0eh%2F ...

THE INVENTION OF FLIP-FLOP.
Fictional Character

The National Republic shows how the "flip flop" charge was used against everyone by the GOP for decades without exception. It's a trick, you can apply it to anyone. Bush is certainly no exception:

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/site/pp.asp?c=klL ...

My favorite one is simply to point out the this guy invented the tactic of steering his boat directly into gun nests (and no dispute about this part at all, even from the swift liars) a tactic praised by all of his commanders - does this sound like someone weak and indecisive? Say what you want, this is someone both decisive and gutsy as hell.

Hope those are useful.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
11. Flip-Flopping Charge Unsupported by Facts
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/200...

NEWS ANALYSIS
Flip-flopping charge unsupported by facts
Kerry always pushed global cooperation, war as last resort
- Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief
Thursday, September 23, 2004

Washington -- No argument is more central to the Republican attack on Sen. John Kerry than the assertion that the Democrat has flip-flopped on Iraq.

President Bush, seated beside Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, said Tuesday: "My opponent has taken so many different positions on Iraq that his statements are hardly credible at all.''

The allegation is the basis of a new Bush campaign TV ad that shows the Democratic senator from Massachusetts windsurfing to the strains of a Strauss waltz as a narrator intones: "Kerry voted for the Iraq war, opposed it, supported it and now opposes it again.''

Yet an examination of Kerry's words in more than 200 speeches and statements, comments during candidate forums and answers to reporters' questions does not support the accusation.

more...
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. And this JK op-ed in NYT in September, 02: "We Still Have Choice in Iraq"
http://www.cfr.org/campaign2004/pub5596/kerry/we_still_...

We Still Have a Choice on Iraq

Senator John Kerry, D-Mass.
New York Times
September 6, 2002


WASHINGTON -- It may well be that the United States will go to war with Iraq. But if so, it should be because we have to -- not because we want to. For the American people to accept the legitimacy of this conflict and give their consent to it, the Bush administration must first present detailed evidence of the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and then prove that all other avenues of protecting our nation's security interests have been exhausted. Exhaustion of remedies is critical to winning the consent of a civilized people in the decision to go to war. And consent, as we have learned before, is essential to carrying out the mission. President Bush's overdue statement this week that he would consult Congress is a beginning, but the administration's strategy remains adrift.

Regime change in Iraq is a worthy goal. But regime change by itself is not a justification for going to war. Absent a Qaeda connection, overthrowing Saddam Hussein -- the ultimate weapons-inspection enforcement mechanism -- should be the last step, not the first. Those who think that the inspection process is merely a waste of time should be reminded that legitimacy in the conduct of war, among our people and our allies, is not a waste, but an essential foundation of success.

If we are to put American lives at risk in a foreign war, President Bush must be able to say to this nation that we had no choice, that this was the only way we could eliminate a threat we could not afford to tolerate.

In the end there may be no choice. But so far, rather than making the case for the legitimacy of an Iraq war, the administration has complicated its own case and compromised America's credibility by casting about in an unfocused, overly public internal debate in the search for a rationale for war. By beginning its public discourse with talk of invasion and regime change, the administration has diminished its most legitimate justification of war -- that in the post-Sept. 11 world, the unrestrained threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein is unacceptable and that his refusal to allow in inspectors is in blatant violation of the United Nations 1991 cease-fire agreement that left him in power.

The administration's hasty war talk makes it much more difficult to manage our relations with other Arab governments, let alone the Arab street. It has made it possible for other Arab regimes to shift their focus to the implications of war for themselves rather than keep the focus where it belongs -- on the danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his deadly arsenal. Indeed, the administration seems to have elevated Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his neighbors to a level he would never have achieved on his own.

There is, of course, no question about our capacity to win militarily, and perhaps to win easily. There is also no question that Saddam Hussein continues to pursue weapons of mass destruction, and his success can threaten both our interests in the region and our security at home. But knowing ahead of time that our military intervention will remove him from power, and that we will then inherit all or much of the burden for building a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, is all the more reason to insist on a process that invites support from the region and from our allies. We will need that support for the far tougher mission of ensuring a future democratic government after the war.

The question is not whether we should care if Saddam Hussein remains openly scornful of international standards of behavior that he agreed to live up to. The question is how we secure our rights with respect to that agreement and the legitimacy it establishes for the actions we may have to take. We are at a strange moment in history when an American administration has to be persuaded of the virtue of utilizing the procedures of international law and community -- institutions American presidents from across the ideological spectrum have insisted on as essential to global security.

For the sake of our country,the legitimacy of our cause and our ultimate success in Iraq, the administration must seek advice and approval from Congress, laying out the evidence and making the case. Then, in concert with our allies, it must seek full enforcement of the existing cease-fire agreement from the United Nations Security Council. We should at the same time offer a clear ultimatum to Iraq before the world: Accept rigorous inspections without negotiation or compromise. Some in the administration actually seem to fear that such an ultimatum might frighten Saddam Hussein into cooperating. If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act. But until we have properly laid the groundwork and proved to our fellow citizens and our allies that we really have no other choice, we are not yet at the moment of unilateral decision-making in going to war against Iraq.


John F. Kerry, a Democrat, is a senator from Massachusetts.
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leyton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. This looks like good stuff!
And thank you everyone! DU is a great research tool.
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pk_du Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
13. Character?...I'll show you character!!....................................
...my fellow Americans , we are going to war with Iraq today to rid the world of an imminent threat of WMD from its dictator


...eh, well okay, ehm...it was because of the operational alliance between Iraq and AlQaida...

...eh , well it was because we wanted to spread freedom , thats it , freedom to all the oppressed people ( except those in China , North Korea , Sudan , Saudi Arabia etc. etc. etc.)
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. From a webpage I've put together (link in sig)
Kerry's vote was AFTER the war had begun. Because Bush rushed to war with the bare minimum needed for an invasion, the resulting mess required more troops than originally planned and, therefore, 40,000 troops were short of the body armor and armored vehicles they needed.

The $87 billion bill was for more than just body armor for those that now needed it. It was also to cover reconstruction costs. The original version of the bill had $20 billion as loans but Bush was going to VETO that version. The subsequent version changed that $20 billion to grants and had a $7.5 billion no-bid contract for Halliburton. Kerry did the smart thing by voting no. The deficit was already increasing and he was doing the fiscally responsible thing. If Bush was so concerned about the troops' body armor, why was he going to VETO the original version of the bill? Why didn't Bush drop the $7.5 billion no-bid contract for Halliburtion and submit a new bill to the Senate?



More concisely:

Kerry voted for the original version that provided $20 billion in reconstruction LOANS. This is the version that Bush was going to VETO! Also, it didn't include a $7.5 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton.

Kerry voted against the version that put us deeper into debt by changing that reconstruction money to grants and also added a $7.5 billion no-bid contract for Halliburton.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-25-04 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. First of all if you read the authoization for use of force
Edited on Mon Oct-25-04 06:12 PM by Nicholas_J
It indicates that Bush had to exhaust all diplomatic and peaceful methods of dealing with Iraq before going to war in Iraq.

Secondly, it stated that we could go to war with Iraq if a link to 9/11 and Iraq could be found.

No other conditions other than Iraq posing an immediate threat to the U.S. were allowed under that act.

Why bother about Kerry's military record. There is one thing that makes it obvious that he has been to war, and been in a war zone. THe fact that he is reluctant to let someone elses kids go into the same environment.

t really doenst matter how Kerry gort his Purple Hearts. I partcularly dont care if he got the citations for getting splinters in his ass sitting on the Swift Boat benches. He was in Vietnam. Bush was not, and joining the National Guard was the best way to get out of being drafted and going to Vietnam. Bush didnt volunteer to go to Vietnam. Kerry did. Bush didnt volunteer for what was considered a dangerous duty. Kerry did. All of thr crap about it being possible for Bush to be sent to Vietnam with the Guard is just tat, crap. At the time the Guard was not allowed to be sent to Vietnam.

Kerry did not Flip Flop. His consistant position was, Get Osama First, and then worry about going after Saddam, and that the only conditions for going after Saddam before going after Osama was that if you could prove that he currently has WMD's OR that he was directly involved with September 11th. Bar that Osama is the first threat, deal with it first>

Heres a few links to Kerrys speeches before the war showing exactly this position which he held from the get go, and still states today:

****************************************************

We Still Have a Choice on Iraq

Senator John Kerry, D-Mass.
New York Times
September 6, 2002...
Regime change in Iraq is a worthy goal. But regime change by itself is not a justification for going to war. Absent a Qaeda connection, overthrowing Saddam Hussein -- the ultimate weapons-inspection enforcement mechanism -- should be the last step, not the first. Those who think that the inspection process is merely a waste of time should be reminded that legitimacy in the conduct of war, among our people and our allies, is not a waste, but an essential foundation of success.

If we are to put American lives at risk in a foreign war, President Bush must be able to say to this nation that we had no choice, that this was the only way we could eliminate a threat we could not afford to tolerate...

http://www.cfr.org/pub5596/john_f_kerry/we_still_have_a...


*************************************************************

t r u t h o u t | Address
Senator John Kerry
Remarks Georgetown University

Thursday 23 January 2003

"Mr. President, Do Not Rush To War"

First, destroying al Qaeda and other anti-American terror groups must remain our top priority. While the Administration has largely prosecuted this war with vigor, it also has made costly mistakes. The biggest, in my view, was their reluctance to translate their robust rhetoric into American military engagement in Afghanistan. They relied too much on local warlords to carry the fight against our enemies and this permitted many al Qaeda members, and according to evidence, including Osama bin Laden himself, to slip through our fingers. Now the Administration must redouble its efforts to track them down. And we need to pressure Pakistan to get control of its territories along the Afghanistan border, which have become a haven for terrorists.

Second, without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. He miscalculated an eight-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America's response to that act of naked aggression. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending scuds into Israel and trying to assassinate an American President. He miscalculated his own military strength. He miscalculated the Arab world's response to his misconduct. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm.

So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War. Regrettably the current Administration failed to take the opportunity to bring this issue to the United Nations two years ago or immediately after September 11th, when we had such unity of spirit with our allies. When it finally did speak, it was with hasty war talk instead of a coherent call for Iraqi disarmament. And that made it possible for other Arab regimes to shift their focus to the perils of war for themselves rather than keeping the focus on the perils posed by Saddam's deadly arsenal. Indeed, for a time, the Administration's unilateralism, in effect, elevated Saddam in the eyes of his neighbors to a level he never would have achieved on his own, undermining America's standing with most of the coalition partners which had joined us in repelling the invasion of Kuwait a decade ago.

In U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, the United Nations has now affirmed that Saddam Hussein must disarm or face the most serious consequences. Let me make it clear that the burden is resoundingly on Saddam Hussein to live up to the ceasefire agreement he signed and make clear to the world how he disposed of weapons he previously admitted to possessing. But the burden is also clearly on the Bush Administration to do the hard work of building a broad coalition at the U.N. and the necessary work of educating America about the rationale for war. As I have said frequently and repeat here today, the United States should never go to war because it wants to, the United States should go to war because we have to. And we don't have to until we have exhausted the remedies available, built legitimacy and earned the consent of the American people, absent, of course, an imminent threat requiring urgent action.

http://www.truthout.com/docs_02/012503A.kerry.no.rush.h...

No flip flopping there. This position which Kerry has held since well before the invasions of Iraq is the same positionsthat he has been stating over and over agains since the war was engaged in and the same that he states during the debates.

*************************************************************

The act itself was no blank check for war, not dod kerry "VOTE FOR THE WAR" as the Bush Adminstrations keeps repeating. Unfortunately, Howard Dean gave the media the opening to create this opinion in the public eye by calloing the act a "blank check for war" when there were limitations in the act:

This is the sections authoriuzing the use of military force:

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

(c) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

http://www.kpid.dk/Iraq%20Resolution%20of%202002.htm

Anything there giving Bush a free ride to go to war. Do you note that the conditions that Bush had to meet before he would be considered to have done what COngress would want to see before he engaged in the use of military force?


THe act is rather clear. THe president could only go to war if it was proven that peaceful measures would not be effective.
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