Kerry and Iraq: A Confounding Story of Contradictions and Flip Flops

I was trying so hard to not write about John Kerry this week. But lately, I have been overcome with a sense of irony involving Kerry supporters and Iraq. In my experience with ad-hoc political discussions and various printed media, I understand the fundamental issue for Kerry supporters to be opposition of Operation Iraqi Freedom. However, Senator Kerry has failed to provide any trace of a solid stance on Iraq and has made a habit out of contradicting himself. In doing so, he denies the anti-Bush crowd of the one issue that they so desperately wish to rally around.Perhaps the apex of Kerry’s confusing behavior was best illustrated by former politician Ed Koch when he recently spoke at Colgate. Koch noted that the Democratic platform is anti-Iraq War; they outwardly oppose every facet. Yet, John Kerry says that with foreknowledge that there were no significant WMDs, he would vote for the war again. Excuse me? Plain and simple, this fact contradicts the public view of most Democrats and Kerry supporters.It gets better. There is a whole list of lesser known, but equally perplexing ways in which Kerry contradicts himself on the Iraq War. He says he will give our soldiers more armor and equipment, yet he criticizes the amount of money President George W. Bush has spent on Iraq. Kerry loves to talk about creating a stronger coalition of allies, but currently, there are 33 countries supporting this war and there really aren’t any major countries available to jump into the mix now. France? Germany? Please.Kerry’s attacks on Bush’s handling of the war are equally inert. Kerry claims Bush acted unilaterally, but the Bush administration lobbied the U.N. several times and held troops in the Middle East for months before finally invading. Another favorite rhetorical piece of Kerry’s is that Bush somehow intentionally initialized the war based on false intelligence. When Democrats tried to accuse Bush and the Cheney of purposefully stirring up misleading intelligence, no real evidence was ever forwarded. In truth, all of the countries involved in pre-war intelligence, including the 15 country U.N. Security Council, predicted massive caches of WMDs in Iraq. Kerry claims he would do “almost everything differently from the President,” but that is where his policy ends. Each time Kerry promises in a monotone, fist-pumping emotional appeal that he will do a “better” job that Bush, I can’t help but chuckle; I thought that juvenile diction and overuse of emotion were the faults of Bush. This paradox aside, the greater irony is that Kerry supporters continue to cite the war as main grounds of their support of the Senator.But when it comes to the Iraq War, most Americans trust President Bush over John Kerry. Consequently, Kerry is lagging in the polls, and his advisors want to switch the campaign focus to the economy. Kerry’s handling of Iraq could prove to be the downfall of his campaign, as he is failing to gain an advantage from an issue that so decisively divides the country. To all of the pro-Kerry folks: before the next time you bash Bush on the war, I urge you to take a hard look at your candidate as a positive alternative. I imagine you’ll be looking until November.