And this man could have been president

Thank goodness he’s not:

WASHINGTON — Senator John F. Kerry is placing himself at the center of congressional action over the war in Iraq this week with a crisply worded resolution to require President Bush to withdraw almost all US troops by the end of this year.

The measure has exposed Kerry to attacks from Republicans and some Democrats, as critics rushed to tag the plan as a “cut-and-run” strategy. But it also has made him a rallying point for antiwar activists.

The sweeping resolution amounts to the senator’s sharpest condemnation of the war and his broadest repudiation of his own vote to authorize force. It also stands in contrast to his handling of the war issue during his campaign for president two years ago.

“My friends, war is no excuse for its own perpetuation,” Kerry said before a group of cheering liberal activists who had gathered in Washington yesterday for a “Take Back America” conference. “It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake — to say the simple words that contain more truth than pride. . . . It was wrong and I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi war resolution.”

Just think for a minute if Kerry were President Kerry, Commander in Chief of the US military, telling them essentially: it’s over. You lost. We shouldn’t be there.

What’s interesting is how the Boston Globe portrayed Kerry’s comments as a ‘change in tone’ from his presidential campaign:

I wrote this in September of 2004 about John Kerry’s attitude towards the Iraq war, specifically on his pessimism:

Yes, we’ve got problems in Iraq and they’re being addressed and will continue to be. However, any President, as a Commander in Chief, must stay resolute and not waver in tough times. While acknowledging there are serious situations in Iraq to be dealt with, this President (along with Allawi) also has appropriately presented to the American people the positive side of what’s happening in Iraq because we need to hear both sides of the story. We generally only get one side of it in the mainstream press. John Kerry has given us his plan for how he’ll handle the situation in Iraq should he be elected President. Fine. But the face he puts on any comments he makes about Iraq is the face of someone who really wishes he’d never voted in favor of the war resolution, and would rather walk on hot glass barefooted than to have to deal with the consequences of it. Our troops, and the Iraqi people and the terrorists they face there, MUST see strength in a Commander in Chief, not pessimism and certainly not weakness. This is not the time for jello spines from our world leaders, in particualar, a US President. Our men and women (alongside the coalition and the people of Iraq who are fighting with us) are in the fights of their lives there right now and the last thing they need is a shaky CIC who regrets voting to send them there in the first place who’ll do little more than the bare minimum required there to get them out, rather than seeing the goal of democracy come to fruition in a place where it would do such good, not only for the people who live there, but for the region, and in fact the world. The sacrifices our troops have made, and continue to make, should not be made in vain for purposes of expediency. The President understands that. In my opinion, John Kerry does not.

I think that holds true even today, nearly two years later. Interestingly enough, he invoked his ‘rightness’ on protesting Vietnam and compared it with protesting the Iraq war today:

In an interview after the speech, Kerry said he has learned from the mistakes of his campaign, including his inability to articulate an easily understood position on the war. Now, drawing on his experience as a Vietnam-veteran-turned-war-critic in the early 1970s, he is making clear that he is a full-throated opponent of the Iraq war.

“It was right to dissent from a war in 1971 that was wrong and could not be won,” Kerry said in his speech. “And now, in 2006, it is both a right and an obligation for Americans to stand up to a president who is wrong today, [and] dissent from policies that are wrong today, and end a war in Iraq that weakens the nation each and every day we are in it.”

Once a war protester, always a war protester. Thank God this man is not the CIC.

Hat tip: Riehl World View


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