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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:48 AM
Original message
Kerry voices deep regret for voting for Iraq war
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/10/12/k... /

Kerry voices deep regret for voting for Iraq war
Blog post aimed at firming up his antiwar image

By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | October 12, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Four years to the day after voting to authorize war in Iraq, Senator John F. Kerry yesterday asserted that the vote is his greatest regret of his political career, and said all lawmakers who voted for the war should admit that it was a mistake.

``There's nothing -- nothing -- in my life in public service I regret more, nothing even close," Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrote in a dispatch on the liberal blog HuffingtonPost.com. ``We should all be willing to say: I was wrong, I should not have voted for the Iraq War Resolution."

Twenty-nine Senate Democrats joined all but one of the Senate's Republicans in approving the war resolution Oct. 11, 2002. Other prominent Democrats -- including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, one of Kerry's possible 2008 presidential rivals -- have not repudiated their votes.

Throughout his 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry said he would not have changed his vote to authorize force to topple Saddam Hussein. His struggles to articulate his position on the war epitomized his difficulty in communicating his campaign message.

...
In his blog entry, Kerry urged readers to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, which has the names of more than 58,000 US troops killed in battle. ``Half the names on that wall were lost after America's leaders knew and later acknowledged our strategy wasn't working," Kerry wrote. ``It was immoral then and it is immoral now to be quiet or equivocal in the face of that kind of delusion. Just think about what that Wall might look like for this war."


A good article in the Globe concerning Kerry's article on Iraq.

After having seen the answers by some on the kerry blog continuing to argue his vote was the right one after Kerry said he was the wrong one,

I have two questions for some people here and elsewhere that refuse to agree that it was THE WRONG VOTE:

1/ Do you think this vote was right? (I am not talking about whether Kerry would have gone to war whether he was president or not, but whether the vote was right, and, in this case, why was Kennedy's and Durbin's vote wrong?).

2/ It seems to me that Kerry's admission that his vote was "a vote he regrets" and that he is ready to recognize that and do something to correct that places him in a morally superior position to those who refuse to say their votes were wrong. (surprisingly, the globe seems to argue or at least to see the point). I cannot figure out why some insist to contradict what he says and to minimize the argument that HE IS MAKING. Can somebody explain the strategy to me? Rehashing the same stories will not help. If other people react the way I do, it could actually make Kerry less attractive.

I know each of us has his own sensibility, but I had to rant after having seen the beautiful post on the Kerry blog. I really do not understand the points that were made.

BTW, the post is excellent.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. Of course, it was the wrong vote
Yeah, I agree we've been defending Kerry on three things, and I think on two of them, he's contradicted US!

1. IWR vote -- he said he was wrong. He will NOT defend his vote. We should stop defending it, too.
2. SBVT attacks in August '04. He said he made the wrong decision in not fighting back. He thought the truth would be out there, but it wasn't. We continue to defend him and blame the media. I think he's saying he should have fought back and taken HOLD of the media.
3. Conceding Ohio -- this one I still haven't heard from him. I have to be honest that I think he lost the election, so it's hard for me to get involved with these concession discussions. But looks like he'll need to come clean on this, too, perhaps in a more liberal outlet.


I agree with you, Mass. We should stop defending his IWR vote. We can defend the THINKING AT THE TIME, but the vote itself -- no way.



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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. On 2, I agree, but the media are responsible too.
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 07:05 AM by Mass
In an ideal world, they should never have taken the story, but we are not in an ideal world, and they did not answer strongly enough for the rotten media we have (this does not mean that all the rest that we have said is not right, it is just that, at the end, it was Kerry's responsibility to make sure his defense was heard).

Same thing for the IWR. All that Ron and others are saying is right. But at the end, it was his responsibility to do the right thing and vote NO.

Actually, it is another positive thing that Kerry can see when he makes errors and admit them. He says: "the buck stops here" and this is what you should expect from a leader.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. Not me. I regret that he didn't lead a charge saying Bush was VIOLATING
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 07:54 AM by blm
the IWR. I understand (and he does, too) that if he had done that people like Bill Clinton and Joe Biden would have sided even MORE STRONGLY with Bush, but, in my mind it still would have been the right thing to do.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. May be he should have done that a long time ago, but he did not.
There is no point arguing again and again the same old arguments. He did what he did and now recognizes he was wrong. I still cannot understand why some Kerry's supporters have to be more stubborn he is.

Whatever his intentions were, it was the wrong vote and he recognizes it. Why do people insist he is wrong saying he was wrong????
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Because it was never that simple.
And that was not a vote to go to war. Truth does not die just because it is inconvenient. This misses the greater point anyway of why the moral issue is so important and courageous to bring up now. And it misses all the side issues about what has happened in this country in four years.

It is a bit childish to insist that "we have always lived at the castle" as a means of saying what we believe now is what was always held to be true. (That is a bit fascist and revisionist as well.) People are saying this because it is true.

The argument is also about what is now 'real politik' and I am somewhat surprised that you refuse to recognize that.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Ok, if you think it was the right vote, I cannot argue with that,
I am not revisionnist. I just never believed it was the right vote and continue not to believe it.

Sorry if you disapprove.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Mass, yoou posited a question
and stated that you don't understand how anyone can still defend that vote. I wrote how the vote, on it's face, as actually worded and on the merits, was defensible. In the realm of the technical, it was a defensible vote.

You live in Massachusetts. You know that Sen. Kerry is a responsible man who is not going to just throw away a vote because he thinks it will be politically better for him to do so. This was a deeply difficult vote to cast. It was not just, "La la la, let's go to war." Kerry has never voted that way. His floor statement and subsequent statements say that he didn't vote that way that day. This was not a throw-away vote, not by a long-shot. That's why people get angry.

This question confuses the state of politics then with the state of politics now. We cannot go forward politically, as a nation, until we deal with this war and it's effects and aftermath. The dialogue now is about that and the morality of that. That is a different argument on, essentially, a different subject.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I'm completely behind what he's doing now, because I understand that
the overall dynamic has to do with all the unseen background realities - like how quickly Bill Clinton would come out and defend Bush's decision.

The way I see it - Kerry's challenge at this point IS to Bill Clinton.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
4. Ahm, technically, the vote was correct
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:07 AM by TayTay
Technically, this paragraph from the floor speech Sen. Kerry made is correct:

The revised White House text, which we will vote on, limits the grant of authority to the President to the use of force only with respect to Iraq. It does not empower him to use force throughout the Persian Gulf region. It authorizes the President to use Armed Forces to defend the ``national security'' of the United States--a power most of us believe he already has under the Constitution as Commander in Chief. And it empowers him to enforce all ``relevant'' Security Council resolutions related to Iraq. None of those resolutions or, for that matter, any of the other Security Council resolutions demanding Iraqi compliance with its international obligations, calls for a regime change.

AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AGAINST IRAQ--Continued -- (Senate - October 09, 2002)




That is what the vote was on. From a cold and technical point of view, Kerry did not vote to go to war. He voted to enforce the UN sanctions and to authorize full measures that would have prevented the US from going to war if they had been properly carried out.

Bush is the one who screwed this up. He is the one who took this resolution in support of enforcing the UN sanctions and made it a vote for war. Kerry didn't vote to go to war. He believed that the 'imminent threat' clause said that the President of the US had the Constitutional right to defend this nation from an 'imminent threat' and that, were he, John Kerry, President of the US, he would want this power. That is Constitutional and correct.

However, this power was granted to a madman who only revealed the extent of his madness after this vote was taken and after military action was taken. Kerry did due diligence on the war effort and spoke with people who had been sane in prior times of national military readiness, people like Colin Powell who assured Kerry that only sane and proper action would be taken. Powell was obviously also deluded and taken in. (Do we need a reminder that Powell was a former JCS head and actually knew a lot about the military. He was the author of the Powell Doctrine after all and had learned the same lessons from Vietnam that Kerry had learned, you don't go blind into a civil war and you use overwhelming force to end a conflict quickly.)

Technically, it was a defensible vote. I could defend it up and down all day long. And I would lose the long term argument. It has become emotional and the beginning is now the ending. All views are now the same views, the truth is a casualty of the situation and all things must now be seen in the lens of what happened after the war, not what the viewpoints were at the time of the war. This is regreattable but it happens all the time.

The vote became retro-fitted and revised into something it was not: a vote from the Congress of the United States formally authorizing the President of the United States to go to war. (It clearly was not this. Just read the resolution. It never says this. Bush, surprise, surprise, lied about this fundamental issue.) The revisionist view of that vote has won the short term historical war of ideas. That vote is now seen as what allowed Bush to go to war, whether that is what it actually said or not. (There are now lies on both sides, regrettably.)

There are a lot of people who remember the truth. There are a lot of people who understand 'real politik' and understand that we have to say what we have to say in 2006, regardless of what the truth was in 2002. That is how it goes in politics sometimes.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. The error in judgment was not about all of those technical issues
His error in judgment was due to WHO was president. He trusted George Bush (and Colin Powell who backed Bush up), and quite frankly, that was a stupid thing to do. Many liberal posters say "hey, I KNEW that guy was up to no good even back in 2002". So the real question is: why did John Kerry trust George Bush in October 2002?

Why?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. The extreme left had an irrational hatred of Bush at that point
that ended up being a justified one. I don't know if there are solid examples of Bush betraying promises at that point. (The way he won the election was the only thing I could list.)

Also, when rumors of Iraq came up in summer 2002, Kerry was among the people arguing that Bush didn't have the authority to invade Iraq. They pushed Bush to go to the UN and Congress. Bush lost about 10 percentage points in his very high approval rating in this time.

Kerry may have felt that public opinion would stop Bush if he did start to break the agreement. Nearly 40% of the country was against going to war before we invaded - with very few public officials speaking out.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Because he was the duly elected President of the US
and you don't disregard the issues because you don't like the current President. That is irresponsible. Doesn't that mean that everyone else gets to disregard you, if they suspect that you might not be all that you say you are.

You know this was an argument in Congress, not on the psychic news network.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Not dislike. But flagrant absolute lack of integrity.
The vote was wrong. Kerry just said that. You're going to argue with this?:

There's nothing - nothing - in my life in public service I regret more, nothing even close. We should all be willing to say: I was wrong, I should not have voted for the Iraq War Resolution.



In my view, that makes this case closed. I'm with Mass here. Why are you guys defending a vote Senator Kerry will not defend anymore? It seems like a waste of time.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Because it matters.
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:59 AM by TayTay
You don't close the book on history. You don't pretend things didn't happen. You don't rewrite the past because it is inconvenient.

We need to look at the Downing Street Memos. We need to review what the hell happened with the lack of planning for post-war Iraq, we need the truth to come out on those all-important subjects.

It's not enough to say, oh, the vote was wrong, and I regret it. He wasn't the one who screwed this up. His part is miniscule compared to the true bastids who did this. No one closes the books on this chapter in history, it's too damn important to be swept under the rug. Ever. Those who did this must pay for it. It is immoral.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I agree with you here:
His part is miniscule compared to the true bastids who did this.



On the rest, another agree to disagree on this point. In Vietnam, nobody looks back at the Gulf of Tonking except to throw it on LBJ. I think Iraq will be viewed the same way in 20 years. But today, it's important that Kerry say that he got it wrong. Even if there were 9 good arguments FOR it the 1 argument against it -- Bush was lying -- voids the first 9.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Beachmom, pretend for a second that you are a mom
who gets that knock on the door notifying you that your son or daughter was killed in this war. You originally approved this war, though with reservations, because you thought it was an action that would make America and the world safer.

Now you have doubts. Now you think that maybe it was wrong, maybe even immoral.

Are we really going to go around and tell these people that you must now say that from the beginning you must admit that you were wrong, that all these doubts are meaningless and that the only revision that matters is that you retroactively come out and say you were wrong in the beginning.

What the hell kind of a country asks that of people? We must all fit into the liberal mode, we must all be politically correct and insist that the journey itself never happened, the moral twists and turns of the soul and the mind and the heart never happened, there was no wrenching decision because, after all, everyone who is anyone knew it was wrong to begin with and they are worthless now and worthless then because they didn't toe this line.

I utterly reject that point of view. It is heartless, cruel and reeks of revisionism. I find it an inhuman argument to make. People can apologize for their own actions, they should not apologize for the journey that led them to say an action was wrong. This is a big difference.

What's next, no one who voted for the resolution can hold office cuz they are now morally tainted. No citizen who thought it might have had merits can vote, cuz they are suspect. I hate this enforced sense of correctness jammed onto a backward mirror of history. It's not right. We didn't just wake up one day and find that everything was screwed up and we should have known from the start. That was a process and a very powerful one that we can learn from, but only if we recogize it and not sweep it under the rug in the rush to be backward politically correct.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. I'm not saying those things aren't happening privately
But that is unknowable. Here's my point: when some lefty type says Kerry was wrong to vote yes on the IWR, my answer will be -- you're right, he was wrong, and he said so, and then I will provide the quote from the Huffpost. What's wrong with that? It ends the discussion, and the person could go on and on about never voting for anyone who voted yes (which they would no matter what), but for others, they can say -- okay, he's admitted his mistake, now on to the next question: how do we get our troops out of there. Without the admission of error, people don't even want to talk about anything else.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. This is why it matters, it begs the next question:
Nearly every Democrat set to run for president in 2008 is responsible for this war. They voted for it or they supported it. That single, stupid decision has cost us 2,592 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. Lieberman and Company made a colossal mistake -- and we are going to make sure they pay for that mistake. Payback time started last night.

I realize that there are those like Kerry and Edwards who have now changed their position and are strongly anti-war. Perhaps that switch will be enough for some to support them. For others, like me -- while I'm glad they've seen the light -- their massive error in judgment is, sadly, proof that they are not fit for the job. They sided with Bush, and for that, they may never enter the promised land.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php


What is your argument against that logic of the left?
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Michael Moore's logic is upside down
Those who voted for the IWR and now want this war to end have MORE of a vested interest than, say Feingold or Boxer who voted no in the first place. I strongly disagree with that kind of extreme thinking, which is why Moore has been correctly labelled a left wing extremist, who isn't even a Democrat.

Maybe somebody needs to ask Senator Kerry himself, because I strongly feel you are disagreeing with HIM. He didn't say I was wrong voting for it even if my thinking was correct at the time. He said "I was wrong". Period.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. I disagree completely.
The process matters, the leadup to the war matters, 59 million Americans in 2004 said it mattered and voted for Kerry even with that vote.

I think the war was wrong. I was against it from the beginning. I think that people should continue to defend that vote and note strongly that the war is wrong. There is a difference. Just because people once believed the sun revolved around the earth didn't make it right. It matters. Down Street Memos matter. The flawed plan for the war matters. It should not be dropped and this is not in disagreement with what Sen. Kerry is saying. (Not to me. I do not understand how those statements about this being immoral make any sense at all without the context. Without that context, that statement is meaningless and crassly self-serving and ineptly political.)
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Okay, what about this
When he voted yes to the IWR, he most certainly did not vote for the war as it occurred in March 2003. He spoke out against it before it even started (Ron always quotes that). Therefore, his vote was a mistake, because it did NOT lead to how he thought it should have been handled.

I think you are talking about moral questions (for which I have NO doubts in my mind to the sincerity of Kerry being against the war when it started) and POLITICAL strategy based on CW that a yes vote for IWR meant a vote for war. HE sure has heck didn't mean that when he voted yes. Therefore, the vote was a mistake.

So you're really going to defend that vote in the outer world? Because I'm not. I feel like Kerry has unchained us all from that. But maybe I have misunderstood his words.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Yes, because the war was a mistake
It was a mistake because of what others did. It matters. Again, why put up resolutions to get the Downing Street Memos investigated or anything else investigated if it's all just wrong. I don't get that.

The mistake was not Kerry's. The perception of it was that it was a vote for war. It wasn't. I understand the 'real politik' of the moment, but I am not going to go hat in hand to the lefty freepers and pretend that they were right all along for what never happened. Sorry, not going to happen. That was not what happened and truth matters. (Isn't the truth part of what pisses people off in this whole discussion. We then lay aside truth now. I don't get it. Why does this journey mean nothing. I don't get that either.)
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Maybe at some point we can have clarification on this
Of course, we need investigations on the DSM and pre-war intelligence and ALL of that. I don't think admitting his vote was wrong changes that one bit.

I think this is a serious disagreement for which we should be told how to go about this. Because I don't see Kerry saying the things you're saying, and I am really confused.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Here's what is REALLY going on and why I support Kerry's approach:
Bill Clinton has been getting heat at Dem gatherings all around the country about why Hillary is reluctant to stray much from Bush on Iraq and won't revisit her IWR vote, at all. He has been getting hot under the collar in his defense of Hillary and the IWR vote. He doesn't say that Bush VIOLATED the guidelines as Kerry did during the campaign, he just says the vote was good and that he would have made it himself.

Now - we have seen and heard the jabs that both Clintons have taken at Kerry, as well as Carville and Begala's little jabs - - This is Kerry fighting back AT THEM.

He knows he has the moral ground here with his withdrawal plan and their refusal to get behind it puts them closer to Bush than to most of the Dem party.

He's being SMART - Hillary can't debate him on this and win, and the Clinton team knows it.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #25
32. The point is that you do need to
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 11:06 AM by karynnj
counter the Michael Moores by adding that Kerry was NOT with Bush when he chose to invade. Kerry's vote was wrong because it gave Bush one more vote to claim as a vote for war, in spite of the fact that a week or so before the vote, Bush said it was not a vote for war. It is important NOT to further conflate the two.

As to Kerry, re-look at his torture speech. He clearly is still saying that he was wrong to trust Bush. That was a judgement error, but it is NOT the graver error (or sin) of favoring a war that fails his "global test" and fails his interpretation of a just war.

It is important to say he was wrong on the vote AND that he was publicly against going to war when Bush did. The repeated comment that this was not a war of last resort makes this an unjust war per his religious beliefs. He chose to speak of St Augustine when speaking about Iraq at Pepperdine. The reason his being anti-war should be pointed out is because 1) It is true, 2) It goes to the heart of his views on when war is justified, 3) it clearly distinguishes him from Edwards.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. I agree with this. It reunites all sides.
I am against just whitewashing the past and pretending that it didn't exist. That really and truly does feel like a flip-flop to me. And it will never work. The segment of the population this appeals to will never, ever hear it. They will never forgive anyone for this vote, no matter what happens. There is just too much about feeling 'morally superior to others' in it for it to go away. You can't do anything about the Michael Moore's and their brain-dead opinions on this. I don't want to try. (Plus it is not true. That means something.)

I think we are hearing fundamentally different things when we hear the phrase 'the war itself was a mistake and I was wrong to vote for it,' and for the lines about it being 'immoral.' I might be hearing one thing, while someone else is hearing something different in that phrase. I still think that is about Bush in the former, and Kerry in the latter.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
37. Michael Moore is being unreasonable.
He could have been just as wrong about Iraq as he was right.That goes for all the pure righteous lefties. He based his opinion, not on inside knowledge,research or concern, but on a hunch about Bush. Unfortunately, those who are elected to serve the people and protect this country can't base there votes on a hunch. Personally, I wouldn't want them to.
People who makes the IWR vote a litmus test for elect-ability in 08,without considering position changes and current actions are as bad as the one issue Pro-life voters.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Exactly - historic record is too important to future decisons and future
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 09:43 AM by blm
generations to distort it.

Kerry is absolutely right to feel wrong for voting for a bill, that was technically a bill anyone should have been comfortable to vote for, but it was based in TRUSTING a president and his advisors to implemenrt it honestly.

Again it comes down to blaming the party that deserves the blame - Bush - the IWR was VIOLATED by Bush.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. That is exactly right!
The constant meme that this was a vote for war overshadowed the real purpose of the IWR. If it was a vote for war, Bush would not have lied to make his case and then would not need to attach a signing statement.

This was posted at JK's blog:

Senator Kerry, I have read your prescient speech before your vote on the war authorization and I recommend others read it, too. These lines stand out:

"In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council 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."

http://www.independentsforkerry.org/uploads/media/kerry ... ...

Not only did Bush lie about the justification for the war, he lied about his intention to avoid war to begin with. For this he deserves impeachment. In fact, the first step toward bringing the world together again would be to try Bush an his cronies for war crimes.


If the average person can understand that, why couldn't the media hold Bush accountable for violating the IWR? Instead they confused the issue. I don't buy that crap about being angry as a reason to blame those who voted yes on the IWR. Genuine anger, sans an ulterior motive, would have been directed at the real culprit: Bush. I blame misdirected anger for slowing the process of informing the public as to how deceptive Bush has been from day one!



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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. You're talking about putting Conventional Wisdom on its face
Not going to happen.

Rove started it, Dean ran with it, and all MSM, most lefty blogs, and ALL conservative outlets say a vote for IWR was a vote for war. That doesn't make it true, but perception is EVERYTHING, and we simply cannot think we're going to convince enough people to change their perception. I have been making the same arguments you guys have, and frankly, I'm tired of it. It's so complicated involving a million links and parsing words and quoting speeches. Kerry had to do it for his entire campaign, which led to mistakes -- most notably the $87 billion and the Grand Canyon. Were they unfairly sound bited? Yes. But what was missing was clarity, and that's what made the charges stick, as unfair as they were.

So Kerry himself is saying he made a mistake. We can sit here and fight a million battles as to which part of it was a mistake, but he sure isn't going to waste any more time on it. That leaves him concentrating on saving lives, where his focus SHOULD be.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Like I said - I agree with Kerry's approach. It's the only way to succeed
in getting the greater message across - that the course other Dems are taking that doesn't include support for his withdrawal plan, is just 100% WRONG.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
33. It's not complicated!
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 11:03 AM by ProSense
It's not even conventional wisdom! It's based purely on motive and agenda. I'm not trying to fight a million battles, but I will keep pointing to the fact that Bush violated the IWR; it's that simple!

No one on earth could claim that they did not understand Kerry's speeches on October 9 and January 23, 2003. No one!

I agree that Kerry doesn't have to continue going into the nuance, he's done it many times.
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. I've always felt that it was a "right vote, wrong commander-in-chief"
situation.

But since JK can't go back in time and single-handedly change the outcome of the 2000 election, if he wants to say his vote was wrong, that's totally up to him.
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. I agree
What Senator Kerry is saying now is that he regrets ever trusting this dishonest pResident.

In hindsight,that resolution was working and the asshole in charge knew it, and that is when "yellowcake from Africa" got tossed in to play the fear card even more.

What Senator Kerry is saying now is " when right keep it right, when wrong make it right". He takes responsibility for trusting a sitting president, for that he is profoundly sorry. I accept his apology, and I also thought that the vote would make things right and I too was wrong. It is sad that Bush has destroyed what we use to respect from a sitting president.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
35. It got the inspectors in
It was the right vote. We found out to what extent Bush would ignore diplomacy through the inspection process. The vote got spun, can't be unspun, but it was still the right vote.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
8. I think the point is that the vote was designed as a trap
If you ignore politics, that "NO" is the correct vote depends on assuming that Bush was not acting in good faith. I guess you could vote "no" explaining that the President as CIC already had the right to attack if there was a clear and present danger and if it were not that type of crisis, he should have to come back to Congress.

I think the key is that, both of these can be true at the same time:

- The vote was wrong
- Kerry cast his vote in good faith - for the reasons given at the time. His goal was to go to war only as a last resort

So, the arguments you see are defending the second point. I agree with you that it's important to couple any arguments on the second point with the first point. I understand that this is not just to let Kerry put that in the past, but for the reasons he has articulated. It was wrong to trust Bush on such a critical issue. It's clear it really hurts him that his name is on that list.

I agree that it is better to defend that Kerry would not have led the country to war without defending the IWR vote, but emphasizing that Kerry WAS publicly against going to war when Bush invaded. This does differentiate him from some of his competitors. The Clintons, who now claim the same vote motivation, were to my knowledge silent. Edwards was actually very pro-war at least through Oct 2003 when on a Hardball interview he endorsed the war for reasons beyond WMD.

As this was an important vote, it's natural to try to explain that it wasn't carelessness, politics or a post 911 militancy that motivated Kerry. Kerry did act in good faith attempting to push Bush into a course that he (Kerry) would have taken. From the last 3 years, we know arguing the vote gets us into a morass of confusion.

In some ways, the problem is that he didn't succeed in switching the focus from October 2002 to March 2003 while campaigning in 2004. He did say in 2004, that he would not have gone to war. His often repeated litany of all Bush's promises that he didn't do may have needed a more point blank statement that he (Kerry) would not have gone to war AND that he had said that before the war started. That was what he was saying with "war as a last resort", which is tied to Kerry's deepest values.

Many pundits have tried to use their comments in 2003 ignoring where they were in 2002. The point was that Bush went to war as the inspectors were finding nothing. That Kerry was acting in good faith is shown by the fact that he did publicly speak out in early 2003 when it was clear Bush was taking the country to war. This is when Bush broke faith and when Kerry called him out. (It is also the counter for Kerry's action being political - he was against the war before it began.)

At any rate, what's more important, as you and the BG noted, Kerry has become the strong anti-war voice.

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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
12. I think I understand why he voted as he did. I don't think his vote was
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:50 AM by wisteria
wrong based on intelligence reports, the assessments of officials and other circumstances that were in play at that time. He put America's safety first and he trusted President Bush to honor his commitments to finish the inspections and reach out for additional world support. I think it was an honorable thing he did at the time.He put partisan politics aside and supported the President. Now his gut may have told him not to trust Bush, but he had to consider the what ifs and the consequences of making the wrong decision. American's being attacked again versus a resolution outlining careful detailed steps the President had agreed to follow before even considering war with Iraq.

In regards to the others who did not vote for the resolution, I question their motivation at that time. I don't see it as a bold move on their part, but a ridiculous one, that could of actually put American's in harms way. I actually feel, those who voted against it did it for political reasons, to make a point about the timing of the resolution and because they felt they couldn't trust Bush.

Anyway you look at it, it was a tough call. How could anyone know that Bush and company were so low as to inject power politics into such a serious situation for nothing but political and personal gain?
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
38. But they are lauded as "heroes" for saying no
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 02:30 PM by politicasista
while Kerry and others that voted for it are asked "Why?" I know he deeply regrets his vote, but why can't Democrats just stand together and say Bush violated the IWR and push the need for the Downing Street Memo investigations.

I get asked why didn't Kerry side with Kennedy, Boxer, Feingold, Byrd? Saying that it was just a trap doesn't mean anything to them. The Congressional Black Caucus (e.g. Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee) knew Bush was lying from the start, but no one wanted to listen to them.

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