[Marxism] Kerry and G.O.P. Spar Over Iraq Remarks

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 1 09:30:31 MST 2006

(Democrat John Kerry is campaigning TO THE RIGHT of George W. Bush.
This is the same Kerry who, five weeks ago, had an op-ed in the  
Wall Street Journal advocating that FIVE THOUSAND MORE U.S. TROOPS 
to be sent to AFGHANISTAN. Democrats like Kerry are trying NOT to
differentiate themselves from Bush. Kerry's latest fierce critique:

(This time, Mr. Kerry did not wait. "No Democrat will be bullied by 
an administration that has a cut-and-run policy in Afghanistan and a
stand-still-and-lose strategy in Iraq," he said in his statement. At
his news conference, he accused Republicans of creating "straw men"
because "they're afraid to debate real men." 

COMMENT: Kerry's trying to sound like California's Governator Arnold. 
Kerry is calling the chicken-hawks of the White House "girly-men".)

October 31, 2006
Kerry and G.O.P. Spar Over Iraq Remarks


WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 - Debate over the Iraq war seemed to reach a new
intensity today, with President Bush and other Republicans accusing
Senator John Kerry of insulting rank-and-file American troops and Mr.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, lashing back at some of his critics
as "assorted right-wing nut jobs."

The latest flap, in which Mr. Kerry accused Republicans of distorting
what he said on the West Coast on Monday, was another example of the
heated rhetoric surrounding the war issue as the Congressional
elections approach. President Bush said Monday that a Democratic
triumph in the races for the House and Senate would amount to a
victory for terrorists.

Mr. Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate who is believed
to be considering another run for the White House in 2008, set the
stage for bitter back-and-forth as he addressed a gathering at
Pasadena City College in California.

The senator, who was campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial
candidate, Phil Angelides, opened with several one-liners, joking at
one point that President Bush had lived in Texas but now "lives in a
state of denial."

Then, Mr. Kerry said: "You know, education, if you make the most of
it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be
smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

President Bush, campaigning this afternoon in Georgia for a
Republican House candidate, condemned Mr. Kerry's remarks as
"insulting and shameful."

"The men and women who serve in our all-volunteer armed forces are
plenty smart and are serving because they are patriots - and Senator
Kerry owes them an apology," Mr. Bush said, according to the White

Earlier today, Mr. Kerry's remarks were denounced by Senator John
McCain, Republican of Arizona and, like Mr. Kerry, a veteran of the
Vietnam conflict, as well as by a group of House Republicans.

"Senator Kerry owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans
serving in Iraq, who answered their country's call because they are
patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education," Mr.
McCain said.

Mr. McCain said any suggestion that only the poorly educated would
agree to serve in Iraq is "an insult to every soldier serving in

Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia, vice chairman of the House
Republican Conference, wrote a letter to Mr. Kerry in which he called
for "a clear and simple apology, without caveat or explanation." The
letter was signed by 18 other House Republicans.

And the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, asserted that Mr. Kerry's
speech "sort of fits a pattern" of criticizing American troops in
Iraq. "This is an absolute insult, and I'm a little astonished that
he didn't figure it out already," Mr. Snow said. "If I say something
stupid, I apologize as quickly as possible."

But if anyone should apologize, Mr. Kerry said, it is President Bush
and his administration officials who started the ill-conceived war.
He said his remarks, which he conceded were part of a "botched joke,"
had been distorted and called the criticism directed at him the work
of "assorted right-wing nut jobs and right-wing talk show hosts."

"If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000
heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there,
they're crazy," Mr. Kerry said in a statement. "I'm sick and tired of
these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from
those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack
those who did."

"I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House
mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no
doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's
Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied
about Iraq," Mr. Kerry went on. "It disgusts me that these Republican
hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort
so blatantly and carelessly about those who have."

At a televised news conference today in Seattle, Mr. Kerry said he
was "disgusted" by the Republican attacks, which he noted were coming
at the end of a bloody month in Iraq. "Sadly, this is the best this
administration can do," he said.

Mr. Kerry did not mention Mr. McCain in his statement, although at
the news conference he said Mr. McCain should seek an apology from
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney if he wants an apology
from anyone.

Mr. Kerry and Mr. McCain, separated by party and political philosophy
but united by their experiences in Vietnam combat, have been
described before as having a friendly relationship. Mr. McCain is
also viewed as a potential rival in the 2008 presidential race.

Feelings intensified as the day wore on, with Mr. Kerry issuing a
fresh denunciation of the administration this evening as Mr. Bush 
was in Georgia. "Had George Bush and Dick Cheney been in combat one
minute of their comfortable lives, they would never have sent
American troops to war without body armor or without a plan to win
the peace, and they wouldn't be exploiting our troops today," the
senator said.

Mr. Bush began to step up his attacks on the Democrats over Iraq on
Monday while campaigning for Republican candidates in Georgia 
Texas. "However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down
to this," he said. "The terrorists win and America loses."

Part of Mr. Kerry's outrage may arise from memories of 2004, when a
group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth raised allegations, never
substantiated, that he had exaggerated his wartime exploits. Some
political observers thought Mr. Kerry and his allies were too slow to
strike back at his attackers.

This time, Mr. Kerry did not wait. "No Democrat will be bullied by an
administration that has a cut-and-run policy in Afghanistan and a
stand-still-and-lose strategy in Iraq," he said in his statement. At
his news conference, he accused Republicans of creating "straw men"
because "they're afraid to debate real men."

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