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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:05 PM
Original message
John Kerry's Afghanistan Doubts
Source: The American Prospect

In an opening statement at hearing this afternoon on Afghanistan strategy -- previewed ably by Spencer Ackerman -- Senator John Kerry doesn't seem to comfortable at all with the Administration's current plan. At one point he left his prepared remarks behind to recall when he was a young Naval officer heading to Vietnam as President Lyndon Johnson and General William Westmoreland were constantly calling for more troops to achieve their adjustments without questioning crucial strategic assumptions like the "domino theory." Kerry concluded that we have to ask those fundamental questions now, saying...

I am concerned because at the very moment when our troops and our allies troops are sacrificing more and more, our plan, our path, and our progress seem to be growing less and less clear. ... no amount of money, no rise in troop levels, and no clever metrics will matter if the mission is ill conceived.

more: http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month...
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. If only the White House could figure this out!
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Obama'c comment today about the need to make sure they have the
right strategy sounds like he has similar concerns.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. We all have our doubts
too bad Kerry didn't doubt in 2004,,
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. What are you talking about??
On Afghanistan then, he spoke of the error of the "US outsourcing the effort to capture OBL to Afghan Warlords who just weeks before were allies of the Taliban". From an article written by a reporter who happened to be covering his actions the very day that was reported (ie before the outcome was know) showed that the above was his first, immediate reaction. He read it in the paper and was immediately calling people to argue against it.

On Iraq, you missed that he spoke of it not being a war of last resort (ie to most Catholics, that means not a just war) and the wrong war at the wrong time and place.

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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I remember all the candidates being asked do you support the war(s)?
Gerhardt Kerry Edwards Leiberman all "supported" the war.
Braun Sharpton Kucinich Dean all "opposed" the war.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Link please
Kerry spoke out before the war started at Georgetown University saying that they should not rush to war. He was routinely identified as anti-war in the first half of 2003, in spite of his vote, because he did as he promised speak out when Bush broke all the promises he made of the process he would follow if given the approval.

I don't think there was ever a question in any primary debate of whether "they supported the war". By the time the primaries started, we were at war. What was the question?

If it were, did you support the decision to go to war, Kerry didn't - he repeatedly said that more diplomacy was possible and it was not the last resort. The latter statement was made very often.

If it were, do you support the war, given that we were fighting it, both Dean and Kerry always said that they thought the war was being fought incompetently and they both (Kerry first) called for Rumsfeld to resign, but both argued that they couldn't just pull out. Kerry's exit plan was more detailed - involving a regional summit. It was Kerry who specifically called for no permanent bases and the need to make it clear that we did not want an occupation.

So, neither supported the war as it was being undertaken. If you call anything but a pledge to leave "supporting the war", then Dean and Kerry both supported the war. Kerry's vote was wrong and it is possible that defending his reasons for that vote, rather than disavowing it in 2003 or 2004, can be criticized, but it is not true that Kerry supported going to war.

You might want to consider why Ted Kennedy supported Kerry and worked extremely hard for him. He was there and he knew who Kerry was, was he did, what he said, and why he voted as he did.


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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I dont have a link. The anti-war protests in NYC
had fliers claiming that Dean, Braun, Sharpton, and Kucinich "did not support" the war.

Gep, Joementum, Kerry, and Edwards (and Graham - I forgot about him) somehow didn't make the anti-war cut.

ANSWR and the other anti-war group (Peace and Justice?) called Dean, Braun, Sharpton, and Kucinich anti-war. They didn't call Kerry or Edwards "anti-war". Perhaps cause they voted for Bush goin to war "as a last resort"?

Kerry was always Teddy's choice - perhaps because he was the most liberal out of the electable dems
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. That proves nothing - ANSW was NOT the most thoughtful organization.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 02:58 PM by karynnj
I went with my husband and 3 daughters to some of the NYC protests and never saw that, but I do not doubt it. The reason was likely his vote. Edwards, Lieberman and Gephardt were in favor of going to war - and supported that decision even months after the invasion and all three were co-sponsors of their houses bill. Kerry wasn't. Edwards was extremely pro-war even 6 months after the invasion.

In addition, many in the far left of the party, disliked Kerry from 1971. They resented the attention he got, even though he was by far the most powerful anti-war voice. They disliked that he argued for staying in the system and changing it, while they argued for revolution.

The fact is that the anti-war movement did go completely behind Dean, but voters in Iowa and elsewhere, who identified themselves as having been against the war, split for Kerry - not Dean. In Iowa and NH, the reason was that Kerry was there in late 2002 and he said things like "America does not go to war unless it has to" and he was still arguing against the war until Bush invaded. Person to person, people knew he was not pro-war.

Dean's and Kerry's comments on talk shows and interviews in September and October 2002 did not place them far apart - both wanted to avoid war. Kerry in summer 2002 was one of the leading voices arguing that it was wrong to go without going to the UN and Congress. Dean was not a pacifist either - constantly making the case that he would have voted for Gulf War 1, which even Senator Lugar said in a SFRC hearing this year was a war for oil. It was legitimate for Dean to use Kerry's vote - but, it is not 100% clear how he would have voted. He had said he would vote for Biden/Lugar, but that was the bill that Kerry preferred as well - and it was not the bill voted on. There is NO pre-vote comment on his part against the bill.

In case you don't know, the significance of saying it was "not the last resort" was a way of saying it was not a just war. This is from Catholic St Augustine theology - and if you doubt that is how Kerry meant it - listen or read his speech at Pepperdine. http://www.pepperdine.edu/pr/releases/2006/september/ke... (This is a 2006 speech on religion and faith and how they inform action. )

If you listened to Kennedy speak for Kerry in Iowa, he did not shy away from speaking of Iraq. In addition, you ignore that in 2005 and 2006, Kerry had a stronger position for exiting Iraq than Dean, who supported the Korb plan.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I hear ya
I think that P&J and ANSWR asked each candidate point blank "Do you oppose the war?"
The lefties plus Dean replied yes.
The "electable" dems replied no or did not care to reply.

By 2005 I would agree that Kerry was "anti-war". It is too bad that he chose to run as a "war hero" as opposed to an anti war hero. But that was then, this is now..
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I doubt they asked them - I assume that they labeled them
It was not "by 2005" - Kerry spoke against going to war in January 2003.

Kerry actually mentioned BOTH his having been in Vietnam - he did NOT state he was a hero - and the fact that he came home to oppose the war in his acceptance speech. (In reality, if Kerry's sole goal was to become President, his best strategy would have been to have voted against the IWR - giving almost the same speech, but arguing that giving the authority in advance was wrong - and then NOT running in 2004. He could still have led on Kerry/Feingold. Then, given his 1971 past and being a leader on the path out, would have been a perfect fit in 2008 - a year of change. On Foreign policy, Kerry would be more change than Obama.

The fact was he likely did better than any other Democrat could have.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. By Jan/Feb2003 Kerry was siding with weapon inspectors and AGAINST an invasion of Iraq.
That you THINK he was pro-war is because mass media ran with Rove's storyline that all IWR votes were pro-war with no distinction for those lawmakers who rejected Bush's DECISION to go to war by siding with weapon inspectors and speaking out publicly. Kerry did that before, during and AFTER the invasion and stayed consistent with that throughout 2003-2004.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Kerry sided with weapon inspectors who said force was not needed and he stayed sided with them
and spoke against Bush's decision to invade throughout 2003 and 2004.

Your story is manufactured, as was the media's exaggeration of Kerry as a pro-war candidate - he never was.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Actually he did have doubts in 2004
and those doubts were all over the media reports of that campaign.

Most famously, the doubts were about the necessity of a war versus the necessity of an international police presence to reduce "terrorism."

He also had doubts in 2003, again everywhere in the media, if you were paying attention.

The greater question then on Iraq and now on a host of issues is what "support" and "doubt" mean. Max Baucus "supports" health care reform. But he clearly means this is a different way than Bernie Sanders does when he says he supports hrc. That difference matters.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kick
Interesting, people scream for accountability, but when Kerry talks about it, it's not good enough for many here.

Go figure.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. keep talking Kerry
we need to get the hell out of there asap
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. If you want to read Kerry's statement or watch the hearing, here's a link
http://foreign.senate.gov/hearings/2009/hrg090916p.html

It has Lugar's and the three experts' statements as well.
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branders seine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. Hooray for John
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