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What would a President John Kerry have done re: Afghanistan?

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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:01 PM
Original message
What would a President John Kerry have done re: Afghanistan?
I suspect he would have increased the forces back in 2005 (and drawn down in Iraq to a point that we'd be virtually out of there by now). And perhaps even more troop increases if the need arose.

President Hillary Clinton would have increased forces substantially in Afghanistan and probably been much slower than Obama to draw down in Iraq.

I suspect John Edwards would have upped our Afghanistan troop levels too, as would Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson.
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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not sure Kerry would have gone into Iraq in the first place...
...Just how different would AFG look right now if we hadn't make that horrible mistake?
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Yo, Kerry voted TO go into Iraq
And before anyone tries to explain it away, saying that he never thought Bush would do what he eventually did, let me remind them that Kerry was gungho on the invasion on the night before Shock and Awe was announced, Kerry reiterated his support: "I think Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction are a threat, and that's why I voted to hold him accountable and to make certain that we disarm him. http://www.blogicus.com/archives/failed_statements_by_s...

I remember it well, because I was a constituent, and I've never gotten over my anger over his stance (which he later hedged on).

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. What the hell is that suppose to prove?
Kerry never once minced words in opposing Iraq:

And the truth is that George Bush has made America weaker by overextending the armed forces of the United States, overstraining, overstraining our reserves, driving away our allies and running the most arrogant, reckless, inept and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our country.

link



If the president would move in this direction, if he would bring in more help from other countries to provide resources and to train the Iraqis to provide their own security and to develop a reconstruction plan that brings real benefits to the Iraqi people, and take the steps necessary to hold elections next year, if all of that happened, we could begin to withdraw U.S. forces starting next summer and realistically aim to bring our troops home within the next four years.

link



I will make a flat statement: The United States of America has no long-term designs on staying in Iraq.

KERRY: And our goal in my administration would be to get all of the troops out of there with a minimal amount you need for training and logistics as we do in some other countries in the world after a war to be able to sustain the peace.

link



Do you remember that Kerry angered the Republicans one week into the Iraq war by calling for regime change in the United States?

As far as Afghanistan, Kerry wanted Bush to refocus on terrorism and not a conventional war. In fact, Kerry's entire 2004 campaign was about moving away from using the military to deal with terrorism by sending a few thousand specialized forces to Afghanistan to do just that: shift away from the so-called war on terror to dealing with terrorism through international crime fighting measures.

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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Point proven. Let's throw a liberal Dem under the bus
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 08:18 PM by politicasista
Hopefully proven wrong, but DU, Kos, and the rest of blogosphere is going to get very ugly tomorrow. It always does whenever Kerry opens his mouth or a "quote" is leaked in the press.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Kerry spoke against going into Iraq before the war started at Georgetown University
The source you linked takes things out of context and provides no links. Incidentally, the comment you quote is the day after the invasion and even then he was saying that more diplomacy was possible. Kerry was labeled by the media in early 2003 as anti-war inspite of his vote - gungho is a fair statement for Edwards, who really was.

I can understand why you were angry as a constituent, but that list is the type of list the Republicans had on nearly every Democrat. In all cases, they took just the phrases that helped them. Kerry's stance always was to go to war only as a last resort.
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ObamaKerryDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Exactly.
:fistbump:
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. He did not speak against the war in Iraq at Georgetown
He was merely imploring the Bush administration not to go it alone:

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.

The Administration must pass this test. I believe they must take the time to do the hard work of diplomacy. They must do a better job of making their case to the American people and to the world.

I have no doubt of the outcome of war itself should it be necessary. We will win. But what matters is not just what we win but what we lose. We need to make certain that we have not unnecessarily twisted so many arms, created so many reluctant partners, abused the trust of Congress, or strained so many relations, that the longer term and more immediate vital war on terror is made more difficult. And we should be particularly concerned that we do not go alone or essentially alone if we can avoid it, because the complications and costs of post-war Iraq would be far better managed and shared with United Nation's participation. And, while American security must never be ceded to any institution or to another institution's decision, I say to the President, show respect for the process of international diplomacy because it is not only right, it can make America stronger - and show the world some appropriate patience in building a genuine coalition. Mr. President, do not rush to war.

And I say to the United Nations, show respect for your own mandates. Do not find refuge in excuses and equivocation. Stand up for the rule of law, not just in words but in deeds. Not just in theory but in reality. Stand up for our common goal: either bringing about Iraq's peaceful disarmament or the decisive military victory of a multilateral coalition.


http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/200...

I have read the speech. At no time before the war did he unequivocally oppose it. He only opposed the way the Bush administration was going about it. When I was a constituent of Senator Kerry's I had conversations with his staff and with him, in person, on this subject. I would have been thrilled if I had received one iota of opposition to the idea of the necessity of "disarming" Saddam Hussein. And I will swear on a stack of bibles that on the evening before the war, Senator Kerry made a strong statement in support of the invasion. It was my birthday, and so I remember it well. If I can find the quote after all these years, I will post it.

I am not saying that John Kerry did not foresee some of the problems involved with the invasion of Iraq. But it is absolutely false that he ever opposed it, or that he did anything to try to stop it.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. He absolutely did
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 09:02 PM by ProSense
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.

The Administration must pass this test. I believe they must take the time to do the hard work of diplomacy. They must do a better job of making their case to the American people and to the world.

I have no doubt of the outcome of war itself should it be necessary. We will win. But what matters is not just what we win but what we lose. We need to make certain that we have not unnecessarily twisted so many arms, created so many reluctant partners, abused the trust of Congress, or strained so many relations, that the longer term and more immediate vital war on terror is made more difficult. And we should be particularly concerned that we do not go alone or essentially alone if we can avoid it, because the complications and costs of post-war Iraq would be far better managed and shared with United Nation's participation. And, while American security must never be ceded to any institution or to another institution's decision, I say to the President, show respect for the process of international diplomacy because it is not only right, it can make America stronger - and show the world some appropriate patience in building a genuine coalition. Mr. President, do not rush to war.


Kerry was advocating diplomacy. Period.


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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. The words you bold are in no way equivalent to speaking out against that war
Read in context, they are merely appeals for Bush to use diplomacy to get more countries involved with us in the war. The bottom line is that he argues: let diplomacy try to get him to disarm, but if he doesn't a war will be absolutely necessary.

Six weeks or so later, Kerry was saying the war was necessary.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. "Six weeks or so later, Kerry was saying the war was necessary." What BS. n/t
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #27
32. The words are asking Bush to use diplomacy
The purpose of diplomacy was that as Kerry said in a September 2002 oped, America should go to war only as a last resort. Kerry does not say that a war is necessary - nor was that how the right interpreted Kerry's speech. The National Review printed a David Frum (former Bush speechwriter) op-ed in reaction to the speech. Frum linked Kerry, France, and Germany as forces that would never agree that that was sufficient cause to go to war here - and he whined that they were slowly proceeding, not rushing to war.

What Kerry was doing in speaking of the threat Saddam posed was addressing the fact that Saddam was bad, but Kerry then argued for using other methods to resolve the problem. He spoke of it not being a "last resort". This was a serious argument against going to war, made in a serious forum, to serious people. Do you understand the significance of the words "last resort"? The Catholic Church and I think Christianity, requires war to be a last resort or it is not a "just war".

The comment you quote from Kerry the day after the invasion is cut off mid sentence in your link and on every right wing source (some indicating that with ... (you can find many googling the words.) Now, I have always been suspicious of any quote taken out of context, but one that cherry picks part of a sentence takes this to a higher level of dishonesty. This is likely especially true for Kerry, who often will use sentences where the full sentence has a totally different meaning than an excerpt. At that time, Kerry's comments everywhere were essentially that (he was concerned with Saddam's weapons), but (there were outstanding diplomatic measures and the inspectors were doing there job). That was consistent with his position in 2002, 2003, 2004 etc

As to the predicate of the sentence which you take as supporting the war. The fact is that the Senate voted a resolution commending the President and supporting the troops in the wake of the invasion on March 20. 99 Senators voted for it, Zell Miller did not vote. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r...

Here is the information on the resolution:



NEW SEARCH | HOME | HELP
S.RES.95
Title: A resolution commending the President and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
Sponsor: Sen Frist, William H. (introduced 3/20/2003) Cosponsors (98)
Latest Major Action: 3/20/2003 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 99 - 0. Record Vote Number: 61.
Jump to: Summary, Major Actions, All Actions, Titles, Cosponsors, Committees, Related Bill Details, Amendments
SUMMARY AS OF:
3/20/2003--Passed Senate without amendment. (There is 1 other summary)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced in the Senate on March 20, 2003. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Commends and supports the efforts and leadership of the President, as Commander in Chief, in the conflict against Iraq.

Commends, and expresses the gratitude of the Nation to all members of the United States Armed Forces (whether on active duty, in the National Guard, or in the Reserves) and the civilian employees who support their efforts, as well as the men and women of civilian national security agencies who are participating in the military operations in the Persian Gulf region, for their professional excellence, dedicated patriotism and exemplary bravery.

Commends and expresses the gratitude of the Nation to the family members of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and civilians serving in operations against Iraq who have borne the burden of sacrifice and separation from their loved ones.

Expresses the deep condolences of the Senate to the families of brave Americans who have lost their lives in this undertaking, over many years, against Iraq.

Joins all Americans in remembering those who lost their lives during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in 1991, those still missing from that conflict, including Captain Scott Speicher, USN, and the thousands of Americans who have lost their lives in terrorist attacks over the years, and in the Global War on Terrorism.

Expresses sincere gratitude to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government for their courageous and steadfast support, as well as gratitude to other allied nations for their military support, logistical support, and other assistance in the campaign against Saddam Hussein's regime.
MAJOR ACTIONS: <[[br />
3/20/2003 Introduced in Senate
3/20/2003 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 99 - 0. Record Vote Number: 61.
ALL ACTIONS:

3/20/2003:
Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 99 - 0. Record Vote Number: 61. (consideration: CR S4075-4107; text as passed Senate: CR S4106-4107; text of measure as introduced Senate: CR S4179)

TITLE(S): (italics indicate a title for a portion of a bill)

* POPULAR TITLE(S):
President and Armed Forces Appreciation resolution (identified by CRS)

* OFFICIAL TITLE AS INTRODUCED:
A resolution commending the President and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

COSPONSORS(98), ALPHABETICAL : (Sort: by date)


Sen Akaka, Daniel K. - 3/20/2003
Sen Alexander, Lamar - 3/20/2003
Sen Allard, Wayne - 3/20/2003
Sen Allen, George - 3/20/2003
Sen Baucus, Max - 3/20/2003
Sen Bayh, Evan - 3/20/2003
Sen Bennett, Robert F. - 3/20/2003
Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. - 3/20/2003
Sen Bingaman, Jeff - 3/20/2003
Sen Bond, Christopher S. - 3/20/2003
Sen Boxer, Barbara - 3/20/2003
Sen Breaux, John B. - 3/20/2003
Sen Brownback, Sam - 3/20/2003
Sen Bunning, Jim - 3/20/2003
Sen Burns, Conrad R. - 3/20/2003
Sen Campbell, Ben Nighthorse - 3/20/2003
Sen Cantwell, Maria - 3/20/2003
Sen Carper, Thomas R. - 3/20/2003
Sen Chafee, Lincoln - 3/20/2003
Sen Chambliss, Saxby - 3/20/2003
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham - 3/20/2003
Sen Cochran, Thad - 3/20/2003
Sen Coleman, Norm - 3/20/2003
Sen Collins, Susan M. - 3/20/2003
Sen Conrad, Kent - 3/20/2003
Sen Cornyn, John - 3/20/2003
Sen Corzine, Jon S. - 3/20/2003
Sen Craig, Larry E. - 3/20/2003
Sen Crapo, Mike - 3/20/2003
Sen Daschle, Thomas A. - 3/20/2003
Sen Dayton, Mark - 3/20/2003
Sen DeWine, Mike - 3/20/2003
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. - 3/20/2003
Sen Dole, Elizabeth - 3/20/2003
Sen Domenici, Pete V. - 3/20/2003
Sen Dorgan, Byron L. - 3/20/2003
Sen Durbin, Richard - 3/20/2003
Sen Edwards, John - 3/20/2003
Sen Ensign, John - 3/20/2003
Sen Enzi, Michael B. - 3/20/2003
Sen Feingold, Russell D. - 3/20/2003
Sen Feinstein, Dianne - 3/20/2003
Sen Fitzgerald, Peter - 3/20/2003
Sen Graham, Bob - 3/20/2003
Sen Graham, Lindsey - 3/20/2003
Sen Grassley, Chuck - 3/20/2003
Sen Gregg, Judd - 3/20/2003
Sen Hagel, Chuck - 3/20/2003
Sen Harkin, Tom - 3/20/2003
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. - 3/20/2003
Sen Hollings, Ernest F. - 3/20/2003
Sen Hutchison, Kay Bailey - 3/20/2003
Sen Inhofe, James M. - 3/20/2003
Sen Inouye, Daniel K. - 3/20/2003
Sen Jeffords, James M. - 3/20/2003
Sen Johnson, Tim - 3/20/2003
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. - 3/20/2003
Sen Kerry, John F. - 3/20/2003
Sen Kohl, Herb - 3/20/2003
Sen Kyl, Jon - 3/20/2003
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. - 3/20/2003
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. - 3/20/2003
Sen Leahy, Patrick J. - 3/20/2003
Sen Levin, Carl - 3/20/2003
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. - 3/20/2003
Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. - 3/20/2003
Sen Lott, Trent - 3/20/2003
Sen Lugar, Richard G. - 3/20/2003
Sen McCain, John - 3/20/2003
Sen McConnell, Mitch - 3/20/2003
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. - 3/20/2003
Sen Miller, Zell - 3/20/2003
Sen Murkowski, Lisa - 3/20/2003
Sen Murray, Patty - 3/20/2003
Sen Nelson, Bill - 3/20/2003
Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin - 3/20/2003
Sen Nickles, Don - 3/20/2003
Sen Pryor, Mark L. - 3/20/2003
Sen Reed, Jack - 3/20/2003
Sen Reid, Harry - 3/20/2003
Sen Roberts, Pat - 3/20/2003
Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV - 3/20/2003
Sen Santorum, Rick - 3/20/2003
Sen Sarbanes, Paul S. - 3/20/2003
Sen Schumer, Charles E. - 3/20/2003
Sen Sessions, Jeff - 3/20/2003
Sen Shelby, Richard C. - 3/20/2003
Sen Smith, Gordon H. - 3/20/2003
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. - 3/20/2003
Sen Specter, Arlen - 3/20/2003
Sen Stabenow, Debbie - 3/20/2003
Sen Stevens, Ted - 3/20/2003
Sen Sununu, John E. - 3/20/2003
Sen Talent, Jim - 3/20/2003
Sen Thomas, Craig - 3/20/2003
Sen Voinovich, George V. - 3/20/2003
Sen Warner, John - 3/20/2003
Sen Wyden, Ron - 3/20/2003

COMMITTEE(S):

***NONE***

RELATED BILL DETAILS:

***NONE***

AMENDMENT(S):

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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Yes, he did. But did he did so with the information he was provided...
...by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, etc. I don't think, given the same information, he would have interpreted it the same way. JMHO. You may very well be right though.
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. And they ALL have said as much with respect to Afghanistan. n/t
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 06:09 PM by Fire1
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. Doesn't matter. He and Obama
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 06:10 PM by politicasista
are all gonna get thrown under the bus tomorrow by liberals, progressives and fellow Dems anyway.

Don't come here much anymore, so thank goodness for music and sports to get through this mess. :)
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ObamaKerryDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Ain't that the damn truth!
*shakes head*




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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. True
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 08:17 PM by politicasista
**shakes head**
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Nevertheless, we
miss you and it's good to know that there are other DUers out there who support our President but don't necessarily want to wade through the crap around here.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. Thanks
I am more of a lurker/reader than poster now. The issues are so complex to wade in, so it's better to watch from the sidelines.

I disagree with and don't care for war or the occupations of Iraq or Afghanistan by any means.

However, One of my parents told me today that as much as we need to leave Afghanistan, (His words not mine) "Obama may feel that he owes it to the men and women in the military and their families to finish the job." :shrug:


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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I think he feels he
owes it to the Planet as in a much larger scope.

And, you're right the issues are complex but I spend a lot of time just counterting the insults and cheap shots thrown at the President.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. That's good and all but,
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 08:38 PM by politicasista
Me is just wondering how Obama and his alies are going to sell this. One of my mom's co-worker's sons may be heading there soon.

It's good there are people countering the attacks. Have been staying out of both GDs for good reason.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Here's the speech and I've highlighted a few
paragraphs that may help.

<snip>

Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our armed services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my Administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It is an honor for me to do so here at West Point where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.

<snip>

"Throughout this period, our troop levels in Afghanistan remained a fraction of what they were in Iraq. When I took office, we had just over 32,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan, compared to 160,000 in Iraq at the peak of the war. Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive. Thats why, shortly after taking office, I approved a long-standing request for more troops. After consultations with our allies, I then announced a strategy recognizing the fundamental connection between our war effort in Afghanistan, and the extremist safe-havens in Pakistan. I set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and pledged to better coordinate our military and civilian effort."

<snip>

"So no I do not make this decision lightly. I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror. This danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al Qaeda can operate with impunity. We must keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region."


<more>
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. I keep showing up here, maybe I'm a masochist!
Maybe I should move to the Lounge :)
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Good idea.
:)
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. That was four years ago when many Americans did not know what we know today.
Today we know that there are only 0 to 100 members of Al Quaeda in Afghanistan. Hardly worth sending 37,000 additional troops at a cost of $1 million dollars per soldier. This could be handled with a much smaller police operation.

Also we can't afford these imperialistic wars anymore with the cost at $1 million dollars per soldier per year. In this country we have one in six children hungry, record numbers of people losing their homes and jobs with no end in sight, as well as over 44,000 Americans dying for lack of health care each year and a government who is not adequately addressing these needs.

Times are very different then they were John Kerry was running. Things are different in Afghanistan and in the U.S. To top it off after 8 years in Iraq we are fucking war weary.

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oneplanet Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. If Hillary were President I suspect we'd be going in guns blazing
to Afghanistan, and the deliberations would not have gone on as long as they have. I suspect Obama is taking a more balanced approach than would otherwise have been the case.
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MollieBradford Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. what
do you base that opinion on?
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. Probably her campaign. nt
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #18
34. Imagination?
There was nothing I heard in the primaries to suggest that. The only thing that comes remotely close was the indirect Biden quote that she pushed, against him, for the escalation in March. She did side with Gates in pushing for this escalation, but even there, there is no suggestion that she would have been as militant as that poster suggested. Leaving it that she is a more hawkish influence is likely as far as any knowledge goes. (The surprise is that Biden, who was more hawkish than most Democrats, shifted to being less so.)
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. Depends on which John Kerry you mean
The John Kerry who asked "how do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake" wouldn't have fallen for the bullshit.

The John Kerry who kissed DLC & PNAC ass from 2000-2004 probably would have gone along with whatever the neocon shitbags wanted. Especially with Will Marshall writing his foreign policy platform.
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ObamaKerryDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. That's a very neat, oversimplified way to categorize his stances..
Nice to see that you still have the talking points from the '04 primaries (and I do like Dean, but still..).



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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Point proven again
:(
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #9
33. You are biased by believing everything that Howard Dean said as
Edited on Wed Dec-02-09 09:00 AM by karynnj
his campaign imploded. Like with Clinton, things are said in desperate last minute efforts that were untrue and which I would bet Dean likely regretted.

Kerry was far more detailed than Dean on what he would do in Iraq. He spoke of an immediate regional summit, having other countries help train Iraqi soldiers (derided as impossible in 2004, but Jordan, Eqypt, France and Germany committed to Kerry that they would if asked in early 2005 - but Dr Rice said we didn't need help). He spoke of NO PERMANENT BASES in the 1st debate with Bush. He spoke of likely withdrawing some troops in 2005. This is the antithesis of PNAC. (The fact is that in 2006, Dean was backing the Korb plan; while Kerry proposed Kerry/Feingold)

The fact of the matter is that Kerry was one of the people leading the effort in 2002 to try to prevent Bush from attacking Iraq. He was almost the only the Democrat speaking out against Bush's actions on Afghanistan, including both Tora Bora and moving resources to areas around Iraq. In September 2002, his comments were less hawkish than Howard Dean's now conveniently forgotten comments. (Dean spoke on a Sunday talk show of setting a deadline for Saddam to disarm.) It was entirely fair for Dean to use Kerry's vote, but Kerry was never one of the cheerleaders for war. The fact is that more of the antiwar people for whom Iraq was the main issue caucused for Kerry, not Dean in Iowa. So, one on one, Kerry convinced many of his sincerity. Casting Kerry as you do is likely based on your disappointment in the 2004 primaries.

Kerry, not Will Marshall, defined Kerry's foreign policy platform - and it was not PNAC or DLC. You have obviously never read or heard a Kerry speech on foreign policy if you believe he agreed with PNAC. The fact is that Kerry and people associated with him created Amercan Security Project, ( http://www.americansecurityproject.org/content/about / ) which works against the various PNAC think tanks. Kerry, more than anyone I have heard, has always spoken of the need to understand and respect the cultures elsewhere. This was a major theme in speeches from his 1966 speech at Yale and to his recent speech on Afghanistan. The root of this is the foreign policy philosophy of his father, Richard Kerry.

Here is who a foreign policy institute speculated Kerry would bring in:

Kerrys foreign policy process will follow the path of less militancy, unilateralism, and foreign intervention and will produce more multilateral diplomacy, more emphasis on international law and the UN, and a greater focus on structuring the global economy. Gone will be Bushs closed coterie of radical pro-war neoconservatives. In their place will appear more genuine foreign policy conservatives, namely: Rand Beers, Richard Holbrooke, Wesley Clark, Strobe Talbott, Sandy Berger, Leon Fuerth, Nancy Sodeberg, and possibly Lee Hamilton and, yes, Bill Clinton. Richard Armitage, currently the deputy at State and outspoken neocon critic, could be the most prominent holdover from Bushs foreign policy team. These experienced professionals would be in tune with Kerrys more traditional policy process, which, compared to Bushs, would be more open, deliberative, and based less on ideology and more on pragmatism. Theres not a Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, Feith, Hadley, Libby, Rice, or Cheney among them.


http://www.foreignpolicyforum.com/view_article.php?aid=...

(To those names, you can add Richard Clarke and Gary Hart. Clarke advised Kerry on national security and spoke well of Kerry in the 1990s and later. Gary Hart, introducing Kerry in September 2006, spoke very highly of Kerry and he now heads ASP.) Note: Armitage, the neo con critic is in ASP too - as were Susan Rice and George Mitchell before joining the administration.)
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Garam_Masala Donating Member (711 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
30. Only Kucinich would have withdrawn all troops eom
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jesus_of_suburbia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
31. Who cares? Kerry and Clinton didn't win. This is Obama's war. It's on him now.
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