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October 01, 2004

A Question Should Have Been Asked By Somebody

John Kerry makes much of his Vietnam War experience. Because he was in Vietnam for four months before filing Paperwork for Papercuts and getting his white ass home early and intact, he says he knows what it means to put men into battle, and he knows what it means for men to die in war.

He has a respect for the solemnity of war, he says, which George Bush doesn't.

Very well.

If that's the case, can Senator Kerry explain why he voted in favor of authorizing a war which he claims he did not intend to authorize? According to his own statements -- or at least most of them, since he tends to be all over the map -- John Kerry voted to authorize war not to actually go to war, but to simply give Bush the "leverage" he needed for diplomatic maneuverings at the UN.

Authorizing war is the gravest decision a Senator can make. There is no vote that is more solemn or important or fraught with peril.

And yet John Kerry, by his own account, voted to authorize war -- war, which he claims he knows the solemnity of so well, from first hand experience -- not because he had made the difficult choice that men must die in order to secure some important military goal, but because he wanted to give Bush some leverage when fencing with Dominique de Villipain.

John Kerry-- the man who knows well the lessons of Vietnam, because he fought in that war.

Funny. There was a little resolution in 1965, I think, that authorized the President to go to war, if he determined it was necessary. Many Senators voted for that authorization for war, they later claimed, in the understanding that it was just needed to convince the enemy that we were serious. It wasn't really an authorization for war, they claimed later; it was an authorization for the threat of war. War is bad; threats of war, apparently, are good.

That resolution was of course the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, and, surprise suprise, it turned out it wasn't merely a "threat" of war, but, get this, a full-blown authorization for war (as the text of the resolution plainly stated), and President Johnson relied upon it as such.

Given John Kerry's history, can he plausibly say he was unaware of this?

How can he now say that he has a better appreciation for the solemnity and gravity of war, when he admits to voting to authorize war for some secondary diplomatic reason?

And of course we are too charitable to credit his account as being accurate. We all know he voted for war for one reason-- to preserve his viability as a candidate for President. He never wanted war; he never wanted to authorize war or even the threat of war. He wanted to avoid the charges that he is anti-war, and counterweight his 1991 vote against the first Gulf War.

The man who claims to know first-hand the viciousness of war voted for war so he could attain a higher office.

Liberals are always arguing that "being against the war is an honorable position." I actually agree.

But that isn't John Kerry's position. John Kerry's position was to be in favor of the war for political reasons, and then to be against the war for other political reasons.

Do liberals argue that that too is an "honorable position"? If that's honorable, what on earth could possibly remain dishonorable?

War may be a solemn consideration, but John Kerry's political aspirations have always been, to him at least, even more solemn.

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posted by Ace at 01:57 PM

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