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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Bold, Decisive Leadership

"Now, might we have wound up going to war with Saddam Hussein? You bet we might have." -- John Kerry, speaking to the 2004 UNITY convention.

Every time I reconcile myself to John Kerry being our next president, he goes and says something like that to suggest that he won't be much of an improvement. I saw the "you bet we might have" line quoted in the comments on a blog, but figured I'd better try to track down the original in context. I didn't find a transcript, but there is a recording online. And while the remark is part of the answer to a question, it is a lengthy answer, and that line is in the middle of it. Listening to more of it, it seems to me that Kerry very much is trying to have it both ways. He continues to talk about the way that Bush went to war, not that he did. He suggests that the $200 billion spent on the war could have been put to better use, but still "you bet we might have" gone to war under President Kerry anyway.

My question for Kerry is: What more do you need to know to answer the question? We know now from David Kay that Iraq had no WMD's or even active programs. We know from the 9/11 Commission that Iraq had no ties to 9/11 or a "collaborative relationship" with al Qaeda. If you had known then what you know now (and you should have, Senator), would you have still invaded a sovereign nation that had never attacked us and posed no realistic threat to us? Because we've already got a president like that, and I don't ever want another one.

"You bet we might have" is not good enough; in fact it's not good at all.

[Update 11:46 AM] It gets worse. While not explicitly answering my question above ("would you still have invaded...?"), Kerry yesterday answered a similar question about his vote, and not in a good way:
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said on Monday he would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing force against Iraq even if he had known then no weapons of mass destruction would be found.

Taking up a challenge from President Bush, whom he will face in the Nov. 2 election, the Massachusetts senator said: "I'll answer it directly. Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it is the right authority for a president to have but I would have used that authority effectively."
But Senator? Suppose that the president was a ne'er-do-well dry drunk who had already shown abundant contempt for the international community and the constitution, as well as a willingness to go to war without anything resembling evidence (recall, if you will, Afghanistan, October 2001, and 9/11 report, July 2004)? Do you still think it is right to give authority for even such a president to start a war?

Never mind. You've already answered the question. We know we can't trust Bush. But how can we trust this weasel?