View Full Version : Kerry’s Secret Plan to End the War

05-18-2004, 09:25 PM
He hints around about having one. But why can’t the Massachusetts senator lay it out?
By Richard Wolffe
Updated: 4:23 p.m. ET May 18, 2004May 18 - For politicians, striking the right tone about war is rarely easy, except in times of resounding victory—and this clearly isn’t one of them. The choice of tone is relatively simple for George W. Bush: certainty about future success and celebration of past triumph. But for John Kerry, the struggle to talk about Iraq seems as hard as the administration’s struggle to find an exit strategy. He hedges and he dodges; he issues caveats and subordinate clauses. Kerry’s underlying suggestion is that he thinks he can turn the war around. But he finds it unusually difficult to say so in simple terms, without offering ammunition to his rivals.

It has been only two months since Kerry entangled himself in the notion that the rest of the world was yearning for his victory over Bush. “I’ve been hearing it, I’ll tell you. The news, the coverage in other countries, the news in other places,” Kerry told a Florida fundraiser. “I’ve met more leaders who can’t go out and say it all publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, you gotta win this, you gotta beat this guy, we need a new policy, things like that.” Those comments have become fodder for a thousand Republican punchlines, endlessly repeated by Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney as part of their standard speech on the stump. .

Kerry made a similar assertion last week, when asked how he would overcome international opposition to sending troops to Iraq. Kerry said that even countries that have publicly ruled out sending troops to Iraq—like France—would reverse their positions with a new president. Citing “conversations” with “senators and other diplomats”, Kerry told reporters at his campaign headquarters. “Given the right statesmanship and leadership, it’s possible to have a very different level of participation. I know what the public statements are today. It doesn’t deter me one iota from saying what I say based on private conversations.”

Whether or not the rest of the world likes Kerry—and whether or not any American voter should care—is beside the point. Kerry’s suggestion that many world leaders want to change U.S. foreign policy—and the administration behind it—is obvious to anyone who has picked up a newspaper in the last three years. What’s less clear is why Kerry would cite private conversations to back up his position. Some critics suggest that the Massachusetts senator is echoing Nixon’s “secret plan” to end the Vietnam war. However Kerry’s plan is anything but secret. He wants a NATO mission in Iraq, and has described that mission down to the sectors and operations that could come under its control. He has outlined not just his desire to include the United Nations in Iraq’s future, but the title of the person leading its work: a high commissioner, no less. And he wants a “massive training effort” to rebuild Iraq’s security forces. You can disagree with Kerry’s policy, or even dismiss it as similar to Bush’s approach. But you can’t call it a secret.

Kerry’s problem here is political, of being outmaneuvered and outspun by his opposition. Take the prisoner-abuse scandal. Kerry’s comments on the pictures were mild until the end of last week, yet that did not stop the Bush campaign from tearing into him for “politicizing” the issue. Campaign chairman Marc Racicot accused Kerry of having “relentlessly played politics with the war in Iraq,” and suggested there was something treasonous in criticizing Bush at a time of war. “At a moment when America and Americans stand strong behind our troops on the battlefield, John Kerry is attacking President Bush and the military and seeking to divide along party lines,” he told reporters. Ignoring for a moment the obvious politics of Racicot’s attack, the Bush campaign’s message is reaching its target. According to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, 54 per cent of Americans (including more than half of independent voters) say it’s inappropriate for Kerry to criticize Bush when U.S. troops are fighting in Iraq.

In fact, Kerry’s position on the prison photos is best described as ultra-cautious. When the photos first emerged, he issued a written statement saying that he was merely “disturbed and troubled” by the events. It would take another week before Kerry spoke in public on the scandal, as Congress jumped into the fray. Even then, the senator limited his finger-pointing at the Bush administration to what he called Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s “slow and inappropriate” response and Bush’s failure to express regret. After seeing the pictures of abused prisoners for himself in Washington, Kerry finally took his attack to the highest pitch, accusing the president of ignoring reports from the Red Cross and failing to uphold American standards in wartime. “As president I would personally have been concerned long ago about the reports that were coming out form the Red Cross and from elsewhere, about the pictures from Guantanamo, about the status of our own approach,” he told reporters. “Our own soldiers are at greater risk of torture and ill treatment when we don’t live up to that.”

From the outset, Kerry’s strategists believed the controversy would hurt Bush as part of a general picture of incompetence—rather than a personal scandal that could be connected directly to the White House. “It’s the whole sense of a president who isn’t really in command of this thing,” said one senior Kerry adviser. Kerry’s challenge now is to convince voters he really could be in command of Iraq’s future. “You have to change the entire dynamic, ladies and gentlemen,” he told reporters last week, explaining how he would secure more foreign troops to help in Iraq. “You cannot do it proceeding as we are today with a stiff arm to the international community, with a half-hearted sort of open door, without a legitimate transfer of authority, without a recognition that you’ve made some mistakes.” In 2000, George W. Bush declared he was going to change the tone in Washington. Four years later, John Kerry could do worse than saying he wants to change the tone outside Washington—and start by changing his own.

05-20-2004, 12:08 PM
I feel another flip flop coming from JFK. He does not inspire confidence, just seems to be wobbly.

I'll pull the troops out: Kerry
May 20, 2004 - 12:24PM

United States Democrat John Kerry promised that, if elected president of the United States, he would pull virtually all American combat troops out of Iraq - away from the "death zone" - by the end of his first term.

In an interview yesterday with AP reporters and editors, he also criticised President George W Bush for damaging relations with allies. There is so much strain in those relationships now, he said, that only a new president can repair them.

"Every president of the last century, Republican and Democrat alike, worked differently from this administration, reached out to other countries and worked with greater respect through international structures," Kerry said.

"This has been a terrible period of loss of American influence, respect and prestige, and it costs us all across the globe."

The problem is most evident in Iraq, said Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He promised to avert a quagmire, saying "it will not take long to do what is necessary" there.

"It will not be like Vietnam," Kerry said. "I will get our troops home from Iraq with honour and with the interests of our country properly protected."

Republican Richard M Nixon used similar language during the 1968 presidential race, but the war in Vietnam dragged on for years after his election.

Saying his goal would be achieved in his first term, Kerry explained: "Look, you may have some deployments of people for a long period of time in the Middle East depending on what the overall approach to the Middle East is. I'm not going to tell you we won't shift deployments from one place to another, but we're not going to be engaged in an active kind of death zone the way we are today."

Kerry also said he is confident that if he becomes president, he could persuade countries that sat out the Iraq war to contribute peacekeepers. But he said he would not place US soldiers in Iraq under UN command, or under the command of another country.

06-06-2004, 09:25 AM
Unfortunately his secret plan for iraq would be the same plan used in vietnam (who would have thought it). Before MD chimes in and quotes me stuff from recent kerry speeches, I just don't trust kerry, mainly because I don't trust his party. To think that kerry will stand against kennedy, dean, gore, peloisi etc. is naive to me.

From HughHewitt (http://www.hughhewitt.com/)

"Speaking softly" about American perseverence:

"At an event that Rumsfeld attended Saturday morning in Singapore, Cambodia's co-defense minister urged the secretary to persevere in Iraq despite recent outrage over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in U.S. custody, saying, 'Let's not have the lesson of Cambodia repeated in Iraq.'"

"Recalling how the Khmer Rouge slaughtered more than 1million Cambodians after the United States stopped bombing the group's havens in Indochina, the co-defense minister, Prince Sisowath Sirirath, spoke softly during a question-and-answer session after Rumsfeld's speech to the Shangri-La Dialouge, a regional security conference sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"'Speaking purely from the experience of my country,' he said, 'barely two years after the announcement of halting of the bombing in Indochina by U.S. forces, Cambodia, South Vietnam, and Laos collapsed. So I am against those who call for the United States to [set] a time-table for U.S. forces and its allies to withdraw from Iraq.'"

This quote is buried at the end of a Los Angeles Times story that portrays a trip to Asia by Donald Rumsfeld as disappointing. The prince provides a very perceptive reflection on the consequences of American withdrawal from those areas in the world where the struggle for freedom against freedom's enemies is most acute.

06-10-2004, 10:18 PM
Pretty much what he has always said.... Like the monty pythons....."Run Away", "Run Away"...

Kerry's AGAIN wrong assertion about Reagans SDI.

"Are we rushing headlong into the next step of those 40 years of progressions by which we do something then they do something, by which we pretend that we're going to build this and it will somehow strengthen our deterrent then they do it, and low and behold, the next thing we know is, the President of the United States is addressing the nation saying, ‘My fellow Americans, I hate to tell you this, but the Soviet Union is deploying more of these, and we have to respond, and I'm asking the Congress for more money in order to respond.’ Star Wars is guaranteed to do that, and it's guaranteed to threaten the heavens -- the one line we haven't yet crossed with weaponry: the heavens." – Senator John Kerry, on SDI, the program that brought the evil empire to its knees, August 5, 1986.

06-12-2004, 04:09 PM
More "insight" from kerry.

# March 23, 1983: Reagan announces the Strategic Defense Initiative program ("Star Wars").
What we as citizens can tell our government is that President Reagan should reorder his priorities. We don’t need expensive and exotic weapons systems.
- John Kerry, Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts, in a letter to a constituent, April 1983

06-12-2004, 04:18 PM
"The Iraqi regime's record over the decade leaves little doubt that Saddam Hussein wants to retain his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and to expand it to include nuclear weapons. We cannot allow him to prevail in that quest. The weapons are an unacceptable threat."
-John Kerry, 10/9/02