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Kos’s Misquotes and Grand Canyon Revisited

by RonChusid

I just went to the archives of the Unofficial Kerry Blog to get the full quote from Kerry at the Grand Canyon in August 2004. Kerry was asked for a yes or no answer as to how he would have voted on the IWR knowing there was no WMD and replied, “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.” Not only did Kos edit this quote, he also puts words into Kerry’s mouth when he titles his post, “Kerry thinks he’s top Democratic war critic” despite no statements from Kerry making such a claim.

Kos left out the portion that Kerry “would have used that authority effectively.” Anyone who has followed Kerry’s more detailed discussions of Iraq would realize that he was speaking of using the authority to force the inspectors back in and achieve a diplomatic solution, not to go to war. Kerry also explained how he would have used the authority differently in an interview with Salon (more below) in which he stated, “My vote was the right vote. If I had been president, I would have wanted that authority to leverage the behavior that we needed. But I would have used it so differently than the way George Bush did.”

Of course this is hardly the first time Kos has misquoted Kerry and distorted his positions.

The post at the Unofficial Kerry Blog contains several quotes from John Kerry worth repeating, starting with a brief portion from his Senate floor speech:

“As the President made clear earlier this week, ‘Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.” It means that “America speaks with one voice.”

Walter Shapiro reviewed Kerry’s position in his book, One Car Caravan, with this quote from Kerry from October 2002, showing that Kerry is doing exactly what he said he would do from the beginning when he now criticizes Bush’s handling of the war:

“My vote was cast in a way that made it very clear, Mr. President, I’m voting for you to do what you said you’re going to do, which is to go through the U.N. and do this through an international process. If you go unilaterally, without having exhausted these remedies, I’m not supporting you. And if you decide that this is just a matter of straight pre-emptive doctrine for regime-change purposes without regard to the imminence of the threat, I’m not going to support you.”

Once war began, Kerry called for regime change at home in opposition to Bush going to war without exhausting diplomatic solutions. Following the war Kerry gave a number of interviews on his position. In December 2003 Kerry was interviewed by William Rivers Pitt:

PITT: Do you feel a kinship with the peace movement that exploded around this Iraq invasion, given your background? Or do you feel alienated from them because of that vote?

KERRY: I felt enormous understanding, empathy, sympathy and respect for the voice they were articulating. I completely understood it. I came from there. I understood the confusion over why someone with my long history, why there was confusion over my position, why people were questioning it.

KERRY: But I felt my decision was absolutely consistent with the counter-proliferation efforts I have been making as a Senator for my entire career. I felt proliferation was a critical issue. I thought a President ought to get inspectors back into Iraq. I thought a President ought to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. But I knew how to do it right, and my regret is that this President proved he not only didn’t know how to do it right, but was prepared to go back on his promises, be deceptive, and mislead the nation. I regret that he did that, and I regret that I put any trust in him at all. I shouldn’t have, obviously.

KERRY: Put it this way: Given the circumstances we were in at the time, the decision was appropriate, but in retrospect I will never trust the man again. That’s why I am running against him. He deserves to be replaced with someone who is trustworthy.

Salon also asked Kerry about the IWR vote in an interview on May 28, 2004:

SALON: According to recent polls, more than 50 percent of the American public now believes that the war in Iraq has not been worth the cost. Do you agree with that assessment?

KERRY: I’ve always believed that the president went to war in a way that was mistaken, that he led us too rapidly into war, without sharing the cost, without sharing the risk, without building a true international coalition. He broke his promises about going as a last resort. I think that was a mistake. There was a right way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable and a wrong way. He chose the wrong way.

SALON: But you voted in October 2002 to give Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. Was that vote a mistake?

KERRY: No. My vote was the right vote. If I had been president, I would have wanted that authority to leverage the behavior that we needed. But I would have used it so differently than the way George Bush did.

SALON: Would there have been a war in Iraq if you had been president?

KERRY: I can’t tell you that. If Saddam Hussein hadn’t disarmed and all the world had decided that he was not living up to the standards, who knows? You can’t answer that hypothetical. But I can tell you this. I would never have rushed the process in a way that undoes the meaning of going to war “as a last resort.”

SALON: And that’s what you thought you were authorizing — war as a last resort?

KERRY: Absolutely. You know, we got a set of promises: We’re going to build an international coalition, we’re going to exhaust the remedies of the U.N., respect that process and go to war as a last resort. Well, we didn’t.

KERRY: And not only [did we] not go to war as a last resort, they didn’t even make the plans for winning the peace. They disregarded them. They disregarded [U.S. Army General Eric] Shinseki’s advice, disregarded Colin Powell’s advice, disregarded the State Department’s plan. The arrogance of this administration has cost Americans billions of dollars and too many lives.

13 Responses to “Kos’s Misquotes and Grand Canyon Revisited”

  1. People like Kos are doing more damage than Bush because he is hiding behind a false image and manipulating potential advocates of a good, peaceful, equitable society away from the leaders who will effect that.

    This might be the deeper lesson for this society. To see through Kos and really take responsibility for our country’s welfare.

    I refuse to lose my self control over this disastrous behavior, and I will hope with all my might that he will be diminshed when the time comes. Erradicated.

  2. Considering how much damage Bush has caused I wouldn’t to so far as to say Kos is doing more damage. Besides, a blogger just doesn’t have the destructive power of the President. Where Kos is doing harm is in undermining attempts to get people like Bush out of power.

    I wonder if it all comes down to him holding a grudge for having his blog link removed from the old official campaign blog after his remarks favoring the killing of paid workers (and possibly mercinaries as he argues).

  3. Ron,

    What?

  4. Kos himself is not doing the damage and neither is Bush. It’s the collective that ultimately determines. It’s the lack of awareness and participation of the public that does the damage. So everyone that spreads lies makes up the damaging factor.

    In fact, focusing on just personalities impedes our progress.

  5. Teresa,

    Four Americans were killed in Falluja who were paid employees rather than in the military. Kos says they were mercinaries, and might have been right on this.

    Kos’s had a post on this saying “screw you” basically supporting the killing of these four Americans and his rational involved opposition to mercinaries.

    In response, many blogs condemned Kos, some advertisers dropped their ads, and the official campaign removed their link to Kos.

  6. Thanks Ron. Unbelievable. He’s worse than I thought. He won’t last.

    Supporting killing, huh?

    We’ll see when the changes on deck are actually here. The people who are in the vanguard are limited in number, anyway, and are found in places like this one, so it’s better to put energy and enthusiasm into what we are doing.

  7. Yes, he supported killing.

    So maybe he holds the grudge against Kerry for having had his blog link removed.

    Maybe it all stems from the money the Dean campaign paid him to get favorable publicity during the primary campaign.

    Maybe, after months of bashing Kerry by falsely claiming he supported the war, Kos is upset that Kerry is now being called a leader of the opposition to the war while his candidate has been awfully silent lately.

  8. I’m glad Kerry removed him.

    I want an end to this war and administration so I can’t help but resent these small people who play these personality games and care so little about the society.

    It all points back to Kerry’s power though, and anyone who denies his anti-war beliefs will soon be proven quite wrong. K’s stupidity is clear in continuing to pursue this angle.

  9. I remember the infamous “Grand Canyon Gaffe.” I heard that JK and Momma T had a fight, so that wasn’t the best trip for them.

  10. Teresa, my friend, your words are such a welcome sight. I have really missed you.

    Ron, re: the link removal, at the time, I opposed removing the link. I thought Kos posted out of genuine anger over the national outrage over those men, who chose to be in Iraq, receiving so much attention at the same time our troops, who didn’t chose to be there or in the kind of danger the attack on Falluja offered them, were not receiving much attention… but, in retrospect, I didn’t know beans about Kos at the time. I’m happy to see you’re pulling Kos’ covers over this quote. Does he think there is no Ron Chusid around with a database? HA!

    Hi Indie!!! I’m also really happpy to see you too, my friend. 😉

  11. Hey, kj. Glad you’re here.

  12. […] first time Kos has misquoted Kerry on this topic. My previous response is here, and reprinted under the fold. What Kerry actually said is that he would have still voted to give […]

  13. […] “> Kos’s Misquotes and Grand Canyon Revisited Posted by Ron Chusid November 15th, 2005 @ 1:34 pm I just […]