Senator Kerry: End US Occupation of Iraq

David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Fri Jul 18 09:12:06 MDT 2003


Kerry's formulation in the paragraph below is nowhere near the unequivocal
call for an end to the US occupation that the AGP headline suggests. Notice
that he call for an end to the "sense" of American occupation, registering
that public perception, rather than the actual occupation, as the problem.
Second, he appears to call for replacing the US occupation with a UN
occupation, which IMO would not be an improvement as it simply tries to
spread the pain of occupation more broadly.

 "We need to get the sense of American occupation over with. We need to
protect our troops. And that means that pride should not prevent this
administration from going to the United Nations and doing what they should
have done in the first place," he declared."

Nevertheless, this represents an electoral ratcheting up of the pressure on
the administration and registers the continuing erosion among certain
Democrats of all-out support for the war. Kerry is of course a stone liar
about the issue of his having been "misled," [please see my previous posts
concerning Glen Rangwala and www.Troprockpeace.org] but it is his and
others' titration of how far they think they can go in nipping at Bush that
is of interest here.

David McDonald


full article:

  Agence France-Presse

  Wednesday 16 July 2003

  Washington, DC - US Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry
called for an end to the US occupation of Iraq and criticized the
administration's use of now discredited intelligence as a basis for
launching the war. "I fought in Vietnam, and half the wall -- half the
(Vietnam Veterans Memorial) wall -- is filled with the names of people who
were there because leaders were filled with pride and wouldn't make the
right decisions," Kerry told NBC television.

  "We need to get the sense of American occupation over with. We need to
protect our troops. And that means that pride should not prevent this
administration from going to the United Nations and doing what they should
have done in the first place," he declared.

  Kerry also criticized US President George W. Bush's use in his January 28
State of the Union address of the erroneous claim that Iraq sought to buy
nuclear material from Africa.

  Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet has taken responsibility
for that claim and was to testify before a congressional panel investigating
the matter later Wednesday.

  "Remember the old saying, Harry Truman's saying, 'The buck stops here'?
Right now, apparently, the buck stops at Langley (CIA headquarters). And
there are a lot of questions about the political input to this
intelligence," Kerry told NBC's "Today" show.

  "We have to see what happened."

  The US senator for Massachusetts, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations
committee, also criticized the administration's efforts leading up to the
war in Iraq, launched on March 20.

  "I made it very clear that their diplomacy leading up to the war was
inadequate," Kerry said.

  "I said I thought the president should have even done more diplomacy
before he went to war. I said to the president, 'Mr. President, don't rush
to war. You need to build the large coalition necessary in order to win the
peace.'

  "And I said very clearly, winning the war was not what was difficult, it's
winning the peace," Kerry said. "And I don't think the president put a plan
together to do that."









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