Kerry on Iraq in his own words.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Post by Stimpson J. Cat » Tue Sep 21, 2004 6:22 pm

Luke,
We're sure Kerry is right in claiming that the White House, played down the possibility that the vote would lead to actual conflict. That does not mean the public will be satisified with an explanation that he authorized an invasion under the presumption it would not happen. After nearly two years of working with the Bush administration, Congress had a very good idea ofhow Bush viewed the world, what advisers he listened to, and what he was likely to do with U.S. troops if Congress gave him a broad authorization to go to war. It was for precisely that reason that some senators, led by Joseph Biden and Richard Lugar, struggled unsuccessfully to narrow down the resolution.
This is a pretty obvious strawman attack. Kerry did not say that he voted for the authorization under the presumption that it would not happen. The resolution was designed to give the president the authority to use military force if necessary. Has Kerry anywhere stated that he would have objected to the use of such force had it actually been necessary? I haven't seen any such statement. What I have seen is Kerry state that he disagrees with Bush's assessment that the military force was necessary.

Again, Kerry is not saying that Bush should not have been given the power the resolution gave him. He is disagreeing with the way that Bush used that power, and the decisions he made as president.

Also, none of the quotes you have posted from Kerry in your last post in any way contradict what he is saying now, either.


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Post by Luke T. » Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:55 pm

Stimpson J. Cat wrote:Luke,
We're sure Kerry is right in claiming that the White House, played down the possibility that the vote would lead to actual conflict. That does not mean the public will be satisified with an explanation that he authorized an invasion under the presumption it would not happen. After nearly two years of working with the Bush administration, Congress had a very good idea ofhow Bush viewed the world, what advisers he listened to, and what he was likely to do with U.S. troops if Congress gave him a broad authorization to go to war. It was for precisely that reason that some senators, led by Joseph Biden and Richard Lugar, struggled unsuccessfully to narrow down the resolution.
This is a pretty obvious strawman attack. Kerry did not say that he voted for the authorization under the presumption that it would not happen. The resolution was designed to give the president the authority to use military force if necessary. Has Kerry anywhere stated that he would have objected to the use of such force had it actually been necessary? I haven't seen any such statement. What I have seen is Kerry state that he disagrees with Bush's assessment that the military force was necessary.

Again, Kerry is not saying that Bush should not have been given the power the resolution gave him. He is disagreeing with the way that Bush used that power, and the decisions he made as president.
And yet in August, a month ago, he still would have given Bush the authority knowing what he knows now.
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Post by gnome » Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:49 pm

Luke T. wrote:And yet in August, a month ago, he still would have given Bush the authority knowing what he knows now.
Luke, you are trying very hard to make his position seem contradictory. From the beginning it has been clear to me that he was in favor of getting tough on Iraq, but opposed Bush invading in the absence of a more compelling immediate threat OR a broader alliance and UN support.

I haven't heard much to tell me that he's changed his position significantly.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:33 pm

That was a very well written letter. Described what the problem was, what needed to be done and how this differed from his opponent.

I have yet to see any of our local rightist give their view on what is wrong with Kerry's initiatives or compare them to any thoughts on the matter that Bush might have had.

All I see is attacks on Kerry's background. Amazing.

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Post by Luke T. » Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:39 pm

DanishDynamite wrote:That was a very well written letter. Described what the problem was, what needed to be done and how this differed from his opponent.

I have yet to see any of our local rightist give their view on what is wrong with Kerry's initiatives or compare them to any thoughts on the matter that Bush might have had.

All I see is attacks on Kerry's background. Amazing.
Well, I see the night shift is here. :)

What is wrong with Kerry's "initiative" is that he plans on bailing out of Iraq after the first quarter of the game. And I believe he will do it whether or not the U.N. steps in to fill the vacuum.

The left wants to see a repeat of Vietnam, they will get it with Kerry.
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Post by Sundog » Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:42 pm

Luke T. wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:That was a very well written letter. Described what the problem was, what needed to be done and how this differed from his opponent.

I have yet to see any of our local rightist give their view on what is wrong with Kerry's initiatives or compare them to any thoughts on the matter that Bush might have had.

All I see is attacks on Kerry's background. Amazing.
Well, I see the night shift is here. :)

What is wrong with Kerry's "initiative" is that he plans on bailing out of Iraq after the first quarter of the game. And I believe he will do it whether or not the U.N. steps in to fill the vacuum.

The left wants to see a repeat of Vietnam, they will get it with Kerry.
As I expected, you simply ignore it when told what Kerry actually said. He said for that to happen, there were some actions Bush would have to take right now. You have no shame whatsoever about distorting Kerry's position.

Your "beliefs" might interest the Rosicrucians, they don't interest me.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:49 pm

Luke T. wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:That was a very well written letter. Described what the problem was, what needed to be done and how this differed from his opponent.

I have yet to see any of our local rightist give their view on what is wrong with Kerry's initiatives or compare them to any thoughts on the matter that Bush might have had.

All I see is attacks on Kerry's background. Amazing.
Well, I see the night shift is here. :)
Night indeed. It's 00:45 here at the moment.
What is wrong with Kerry's "initiative" is that he plans on bailing out of Iraq after the first quarter of the game. And I believe he will do it whether or not the U.N. steps in to fill the vacuum.
It is interesting that you could even bring this up as a criticism. It seems to me that the invasion was, among other things, sold on the idea that it would be quick and that the US troops wouldn't stay there one minute longer than neccessary. And now you critisize the idea that someone has a goal of at least getting them out within 4 years!

Anyway, your comments above do not address the initiatives given by Kerry. They only try to slander his IMO very laudable goal of getting the troops out as fast as possible.
The left wants to see a repeat of Vietnam, they will get it with Kerry.
I have no idea how to address this piece of straw.

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Post by Luke T. » Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:51 pm

Okay, fellas. What has Kerry said his plans are for Iraq in the thousands of words of hot air in the opening post letter in this topic that has everyone swooning? Show me where he has said what his plan is.

Show me his "initiative."
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Post by Luke T. » Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:53 pm

Kerry on Iraq.
George Bush has no strategy for Iraq. I do.
And then?

Nothing.
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Post by DanishDynamite » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:00 pm

Luke T. wrote:Okay, fellas. What has Kerry said his plans are for Iraq in the thousands of words of hot air in the opening post letter in this topic that has everyone swooning? Show me where he has said what his plan is.

Show me his "initiative."
Allow me to quote from the letter:
First, the president has to get the promised international support so our men and women in uniform don't have to go it alone. It is late; the president must respond by moving this week to gain and regain international support.

...

The president should convene a summit meeting of the world's major powers and Iraq's neighbors, this week, in New York, where many leaders will attend the U.N. General Assembly. He should insist that they make good on that U.N. resolution. He should offer potential troop contributors specific, but critical roles, in training Iraqi security personnel and securing Iraq's borders. He should give other countries a stake in Iraq's future by encouraging them to help develop Iraq's oil resources and by letting them bid on contracts instead of locking them out of the reconstruction process.

This will be difficult. I and others have repeatedly recommended this from the very beginning. Delay has made only made it harder. After insulting allies and shredding alliances, this president may not have the trust and confidence to bring others to our side in Iraq. But we cannot hope to succeed unless we rebuild and lead strong alliances so that other nations share the burden with us. That is the only way to succeed.

Second, the president must get serious about training Iraqi security forces.

Last February, Secretary Rumsfeld claimed that more than 210,000 Iraqis were in uniform. Two weeks ago, he admitted that claim was exaggerated by more than 50 percent. Iraq, he said, now has 95,000 trained security forces.

But guess what? Neither number bears any relationship to the truth. For example, just 5,000 Iraqi soldiers have been fully trained, by the administration's own minimal standards. And of the 35,000 police now in uniform, not one has completed a 24-week field-training program. Is it any wonder that Iraqi security forces can't stop the insurgency or provide basic law and order?

The president should urgently expand the security forces training program inside and outside Iraq. He should strengthen the vetting of recruits, double classroom training time, and require follow-on field training. He should recruit thousands of qualified trainers from our allies, especially those who have no troops in Iraq. He should press our NATO allies to open training centers in their countries. And he should stop misleading the American people with phony, inflated numbers.

Third, the president must carry out a reconstruction plan that finally brings tangible benefits to the Iraqi people.

Last week, the administration admitted that its plan was a failure when it asked Congress for permission to radically revise spending priorities in Iraq. It took 17 months for them to understand that security is a priority, 17 months to figure out that boosting oil production is critical, 17 months to conclude that an Iraqi with a job is less likely to shoot at our soldiers.

One year ago, the administration asked for and received $18 billion to help the Iraqis and relieve the conditions that contribute to the insurgency. Today, less than a $1 billion of those funds have actually been spent. I said at the time that we had to rethink our policies and set standards of accountability. Now we're paying the price.

Now, the president should look at the whole reconstruction package, draw up a list of high visibility, quick impact projects, and cut through the red tape. He should use more Iraqi contractors and workers, instead of big corporations like Halliburton. He should stop paying companies under investigation for fraud or corruption. And he should fire the civilians in the Pentagon responsible for mismanaging the reconstruction effort.

Fourth, the president must take immediate, urgent, essential steps to guarantee the promised elections can be held next year.

Credible elections are key to producing an Iraqi government that enjoys the support of the Iraqi people and an assembly to write a Constitution that yields a viable power sharing arrangement.

Because Iraqis have no experience holding free and fair elections, the president agreed six months ago that the U.N. must play a central role. Yet today, just four months before Iraqis are supposed to go to the polls, the U.N. Secretary General and administration officials themselves say the elections are in grave doubt. Because the security situation is so bad and because not a single country has offered troops to protect the U.N. elections mission, the U.N. has less than 25 percent of the staff it needs in Iraq to get the job done.

The president should recruit troops from our friends and allies for a U.N. protection force. This won't be easy. But even countries that refused to put boots on the ground in Iraq should still help protect the U.N. We should also intensify the training of Iraqis to manage and guard the polling places that need to be opened. Otherwise, U.S forces would end up bearing those burdens alone.

If the president would move in this direction, if he would bring in more help from other countries to provide resources and forces, train the Iraqis to provide their own security, develop a reconstruction plan that brings real benefits to the Iraqi people, and take the steps necessary to hold credible elections next year -- we could begin to withdraw U.S. forces starting next summer and realistically aim to bring all our troops home within the next four years.

This is what has to be done. This is what I would do as president today. But we cannot afford to wait until January. President Bush owes it to the American people to tell the truth and put Iraq on the right track. Even more, he owes it to our troops and their families, whose sacrifice is a testament to the best of America.

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Post by Luke T. » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:13 pm

DanishDynamite wrote:
Luke T. wrote:Okay, fellas. What has Kerry said his plans are for Iraq in the thousands of words of hot air in the opening post letter in this topic that has everyone swooning? Show me where he has said what his plan is.

Show me his "initiative."
Allow me to quote from the letter:
Every bit of it is what he thinks Bush should do. In fact, he says it will be too late for HIM to do any of it come January. So where's his plan? He's pre-emptively throwing in the towel on Iraq before being elected by saying these are things Bush should do.

I can hear him now. Well, Bush didn't do what I suggested, so there is nothing I can do.

A couple thousand word attack on Bush. Not one word of his plan. Not a peep.

And, DD, I have said since before the war that anyone who thought we would be there less than five years was being incredibly naive. I anticipated 5 to 10 years.

All Kerry has talked about is bailing out, and not in this letter. Nothing about what he would do to help the people of Iraq that he is saying Bush is screwing over. Just bailing out.

I think under Kerry, Iraq will fall to the insurgents the way South Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese. A self-fulfilling prophecy. He's going to bail no matter what. He doesn't have a plan to win. He thinks we have lost before the first quarter of the game is over.
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Post by DanishDynamite » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:27 pm

Luke T. wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Luke T. wrote:Okay, fellas. What has Kerry said his plans are for Iraq in the thousands of words of hot air in the opening post letter in this topic that has everyone swooning? Show me where he has said what his plan is.

Show me his "initiative."
Allow me to quote from the letter:
Every bit of it is what he thinks Bush should do. In fact, he says it will be too late for HIM to do any of it come January. So where's his plan? He's pre-emptively throwing in the towel on Iraq before being elected by saying these are things Bush should do.
Good grief. His plan is right there in the letter! The fact that he emphazies that these steps must be taken as soon as possible, in fact even before he could possibly become president, somehow means these steps are wrong?!

Of course he thinks these things should be done NOW! There's supposed to be a humping election in Iraq this coming January!
I can hear him now. Well, Bush didn't do what I suggested, so there is nothing I can do.
Good grief. He's saying what needs to be done and that it needs to be done now. Are you saying that he should state what can possibly be salvaged if the Bush doesn't start doing what needs to be done?
A couple thousand word attack on Bush. Not one word of his plan. Not a peep.
It appears you are must be blind.
And, DD, I have said since before the war that anyone who thought we would be there less than five years was being incredibly naive. I anticipated 5 to 10 years.
Good for you. Relevance?
All Kerry has talked about is bailing out, and not in this letter. Nothing about what he would do to help the people of Iraq that he is saying Bush is screwing over. Just bailing out.
Good grief (again). "Bailing out"? Initiatives for stabilizing the situation to a degree that the troops can come home, is "bailing out"?

Good f*cking grief.
I think under Kerry, Iraq will fall to the insurgents the way South Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese. A self-fulfilling prophecy. He's going to bail no matter what. He doesn't have a plan to win. He thinks we have lost before the first quarter of the game is over.
I'll let you stew in your own weird and unfounded prejudices.

And here I thought you were a rational righty.

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Post by specious_reasons » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:31 pm

Grammatron wrote:You know for those saying Luke's quote of Kerry are not contradictions, consider this: Nothing is stopping him now from saying something to an extent of, "Knowing what I know now I would not have voted today. I would have included a provision that would required UN security consul consensus for any military action taken by us."

However, he did not, he specifically said that he would vote anyway knowing full well Bush would use that authority to invade whether security consul would act with him or not.
I know it's a bit late in the conversation, but I noticed this.

First of all, this wound be in contradiction to his stated premise that he was also willing to do what was necessary to defend the country. Plus, can you imagine DIck Cheney jumping on Kerry for being "soft on terror" because he required UN support?

Second, I blame modern media, but what you said doesn't seem good as a sound bite. It would seem more likely that the press would run with a headline like "Republicans say that Kerry flip-flopped on the war in Iraq". Regardless if it's true.
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Post by Grammatron » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:32 pm

I think the point is you can't have a plan that involves you telling your opponent how he should do his job. It should be something he can do once in office, the implication here is that he can't do anything once enough if Bush doesn't do what he wants now. That's not much of a plan, that’s a way to be absolved of all responsibility.

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Post by gnome » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:38 pm

Grammatron wrote:I think the point is you can't have a plan that involves you telling your opponent how he should do his job. It should be something he can do once in office, the implication here is that he can't do anything once enough if Bush doesn't do what he wants now. That's not much of a plan, that’s a way to be absolved of all responsibility.
I read it that he intends to get started on those steps himself, but that if Bush were wise, he'd start it sooner.

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Post by Grammatron » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:41 pm

specious_reasons wrote:
Grammatron wrote:You know for those saying Luke's quote of Kerry are not contradictions, consider this: Nothing is stopping him now from saying something to an extent of, "Knowing what I know now I would not have voted today. I would have included a provision that would required UN security consul consensus for any military action taken by us."

However, he did not, he specifically said that he would vote anyway knowing full well Bush would use that authority to invade whether security consul would act with him or not.
I know it's a bit late in the conversation, but I noticed this.

First of all, this wound be in contradiction to his stated premise that he was also willing to do what was necessary to defend the country. Plus, can you imagine DIck Cheney jumping on Kerry for being "soft on terror" because he required UN support?

Second, I blame modern media, but what you said doesn't seem good as a sound bite. It would seem more likely that the press would run with a headline like "Republicans say that Kerry flip-flopped on the war in Iraq". Regardless if it's true.
First, I am sure his writer can do a better sound bite job than I.

Second, so what? Is his position so weak he has to worry about what Cheney will say?

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Post by Luke T. » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:46 pm

DD, the difference is in our perceptions. You appear to believe everything Kerry is saying is the right thing and the gospel truth. I do not.

You appear to believe Kerry will handle Iraq better than Bush. I do not.

Kerry thinks the U.N. not only should but will pick up the major part of our burden and see things through. I most vehemently do not believe this for one minute.

I mentioned the 5 to 10 year thing because you said I was criticizing Kerry for taking 4 years to leave. I did not, do not, expect the leaving part to even begin until after the first 5 years. Hell, we have been "occupying" Europe for over 60 years now, and Korea for over 50, and I'm glad we didn't let the leftists run us out of there.
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Post by Silicon » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:48 pm

Luke T. wrote:
edited to add: Why didn't he utter ONE FUCKING WORD against the invasion at the time??? Why did he say a month ago he STILL would have given the authority to the President, since the INVASION HAS OCCURRED???
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Luke, you KNOW that if Kerry had uttered ONE WORD against the invasion at the time, he would have been STEAMROLLED. The entire nation was blowing trumpets and waiving the flag like it was Cheney's flaccid member.

Kerry would have been tarred, feathered and run out of Washington on a rail if he had even hinted that the invasion might have been the smallest of a misstep. Rove would have had run 7 ads a week morphing Osama's face into Kerry's.

Speaking against an invasion while it was happening?!!? Political suicide.


I think Kerry wasn't going to hit Bush on this stuff. It looks bad to do that, and if things were going so swimmingly, it was reasonable to expect we'd be out of Iraq, Chalabi installed, by the elections.

As we have learned, Mission Accomplished meant hardly that.

So Kerry has to pick up the bat he set aside for awhile. He's got to challenge the President on Iraq.

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Post by specious_reasons » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:57 pm

Grammatron wrote:First, I am sure his writer can do a better sound bite job than I.

Second, so what? Is his position so weak he has to worry about what Cheney will say?
Well, actually, I think the stronger argument is that Kerry also wants to claim that he will do what is necessary to defend the US, hence the logic of not requiring the President to wait for the UN. I just worry that something which requires an understanding of the history of the events is far too subtle for the mainsream press to handle properly, and is ripe for conservative media to get the facts just wrong enough to make Kerry look like a flaming flip-flopper.

I don't have any faith in our current media system to handle anything, especially political issues, correctly.
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Post by Vic Daring » Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:19 pm

Luke T. wrote:DD, the difference is in our perceptions. You appear to believe everything Kerry is saying is the right thing and the gospel truth. I do not.

You appear to believe Kerry will handle Iraq better than Bush. I do not.

Kerry thinks the U.N. not only should but will pick up the major part of our burden and see things through. I most vehemently do not believe this for one minute.

I mentioned the 5 to 10 year thing because you said I was criticizing Kerry for taking 4 years to leave. I did not, do not, expect the leaving part to even begin until after the first 5 years. Hell, we have been "occupying" Europe for over 60 years now, and Korea for over 50, and I'm glad we didn't let the leftists run us out of there.

Luke, the difference is in our perceptions. You appear to believe everything Bush is saying is the right thing and the gospel truth. I do not.

You appear to believe Bush has handled Iraq better than Kerry would. I do not.

Bush thinks American soldiers, familes, and taxpayers should pick up not only the major part, part practically all of the burden in Iraq. I most vehemently do not agree with this for one minute.
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