Monday, September 20, 2004

John Kerry gave a hell of a speech today.

...the President rushed to war without letting the weapons inspectors finish their work.  He went without a broad and deep coalition of allies.   He acted without making sure our troops had enough body armor.  And he plunged ahead without understanding or preparing for the consequences of the post-war. None of which I would have done.

Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way.  How can he possibly be serious?  Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq?  My answer is no – because a Commander-in-Chief's first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe.

Now the president, in looking for a new reason, tries to hang his hat on the "capability" to acquire weapons.  But that was not the reason given to the nation; it was not the reason Congress voted on; it's not a reason, it's an excuse. Thirty-five to forty countries have greater capability to build a nuclear bomb than Iraq did in 2003.  Is President Bush saying we should invade them?

I would have concentrated our power and resources on defeating global terrorism and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.  I would have tightened the noose and continued to pressure and isolate Saddam Hussein – who was weak and getting weaker -- so that he would pose no threat to the region or America.

The President's insistence that he would do the same thing all over again in Iraq is a clear warning for the future.  And it makes the choice in this election clear: more of the same with President Bush or a new direction that makes our troops and America safer.  It is time, at long last, to ask the questions and insist on the answers from the Commander-in-Chief about his serious misjudgments and what they tell us about his administration and the President himself.  If George W. Bush is re-elected, he will cling to the same failed policies in Iraq -- and he will repeat, somewhere else, the same reckless mistakes that have made America less secure than we can or should be.

Maybe it's the Hail Mary pass some people have been hoping for. On the other hand, maybe it'll just be described as a flip-flop. In any case, read it. If you've been lukewarm in your support for Kerry, it really might inspire you.

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