vote on Iraq
Democratic candidate for the Presidency, Senator John Kerry has
been under mounting pressure to provide a clearer explanation of
his views on the war in Iraq, including why he voted for the congressional
resolution giving the President the authority to wage war if necessary.
On August 6, George Bush challenged Kerry to answer whether he would
have supported the war "knowing what we know now" about
the failure to find weapons of mass destruction that U.S. and British
officials were certain were there.
Kerry said: "Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe
it was the right authority for a president to have."
indicated that he felt any President, engaged in diplomatic endeavor
against a hostile power, ought to have the possible use of force
as one arrow in the quiver. That is not only commonsense, but a
common practice. Diplomacy has often been defined as the art of
saying "Nice doggie..." while holding a stick. Without
the possibility of force behind the words, no one will pay the least
attention to them.
Kerry has said
as well that he took the President at his word and that he had fully
expected that Bush would exhaust all avenues of diplomacy to gather
a significant coalition before invading Iraq and that war would
be a last resort.
the resolution giving the President authority to wage war was not
intended as a blank check. There was only authorization under certain,
rather exacting circumstances, including exhausting every diplomatic
peaceful method or if there were a deadlock in U.N. about how to
handle Iraq with regards to enforcement of all resolutions regarding
The only circumstance
allowing UNILATERAL action or any action without the U.N. was if
the president had overwhelming proof that Iraq posed an immediate,
imminent threat to the U.S. or its allies in the Middle East.
Bush had already decided to disregard the resolution and walk away
from the diplomatic arena, when he went to the U.N. to get support
for dealing with Iraq.
Kerry has charged
that the president and his advisers badly mishandled the war, and
in a news conference he has posed sharp questions for Bush.
we rush to war without a plan to win the peace?" he asked.
"Why did you rush to war on faulty intelligence and not do
the hard work necessary to give America the truth?
he mislead America about how he would go to war?" he added.
"Why has he not brought other countries to the table in order
to support American troops in the way they deserve it and relieve
the pressure on the American people?"
and President Bush have attempted to misrepresent Senator Kerrys
position on the war in Iraq, saying he has flip flopped. But Sen.
Kerry has made it clear to any fair-minded observer that had he
been in charge of policy, the United States would not have diverted
its power from the assault against Al Queda to the invasion of Iraq.
He has made it clear that he considers the invasion of Iraq was
wrong-headed, and that even if one agreed it was a proper course,
that it was done in the poorest possible manner, without a proper
coalition for the invasion and without planning for the aftermath.
In this matter,
Sen. Kerry's views are, in fact, those of a decided majority of
the populace, and so ought to have the widest possible appeal at
the polls. That is precisely why there is such a campaign of misrepresentation
being waged about them by the right and their sundry allies.
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