Kerry on Iraq War, Honest, Consistent, and Right
Republican Smear Video Distorts the Truth
Republican Smear Video Distorts the Truth

Anatomy of a Smear Video

Kerry says that we can't let Hussein push us around and talks about strengthening bonds with our allies

The video is edited to imply that Kerry said we should ignore our allies and go ahead without them. He's actually saying the opposite: that we shouldn't back down from tyrants because of fear, but rather provide leadership, and that we need to deal with the issues that have strained our alliances so we'll be in a position of strength to deal with Saddam. He says that a lot of things have caused envy and strain in the relationships between the U.S. and its allies, and that if we deal with some of those other things, we'll be in a better position.

O'REILLY: One of the reasons many in Europe are angry with the United States, as we said, is that it is clear President Bush is going to go after Saddam Hussein. And Senator Kerry, who is one of the few people on the Hill who felt that the Gulf War in 1991 could have been handled a little bit differently. He voted against the military action because he wanted more time for Americans to come together about the war and things like that. Senator Kerry joins us now from Washington. The ambassador to Germany is basically saying what most people in Europe are saying, senator. They're afraid. They're afraid that if we go after Saddam Hussein, and all the Arabs get crazy, and the whole thing blows up, that Europe's going to take the brunt of this. I said you can't negotiate with tyrants out of fear. How do you feel about it?

KERRY: I agree with you. … I think we've all reached a judgment that obviously the United States has to protect our national security interests. And we have to do what we think is right. I do think the European demonstrations are larger than just Iraq. I think they're concerned about other issues, like global warming. They're concerned about proliferation. They're concerned about — I mean, there are a whole host of issues. So I think it's a more confused bag than just Iraq, but I think they're wrong on Iraq. I mean, plain and simply, the United States will have to do what we need to do, and our best judgment to protect our national security. And quite frankly, if we do what we need to do, it will also wind up protecting Europe.

O'REILLY: Yes, I mean, that's right. And Europe has lost a lot of credibility. Let's face it. .. we're carrying the ball for these people time and time and time again.

KERRY: I think a lot of Americans feel that way. And I think a lot of Europeans are — I mean, I've talked to many people over there, who wish the leadership was more willing to stand up on this. I think — you know, there is a sense that the United States acts unilaterally sometimes. I think there's an envy. One can feel that envy. A lack of consultation. There was even in Kosovo a very significant backlash because of the degree to which the United States had to lead. And even the members of NATO felt somewhat disgruntled by the fact that even within NATO, they weren't able to, in a sense, keep up. So I think there's a certain amount of backlash from all of our success. What we need to do is manage that effectively. And I think some of the other initiatives that we haven't been frankly been very good on, like global warming, are not handling it very effectively.

[O'Reilly Factor, May 22, 2002]

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