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John Kerry has “Real Courage in Setting an Iraq Strategy”

by Pamela Leavey

As the Senate Democrats prepare to “call for phased pullout” on Iraq this week, comes a Letter to the Editor from former Senator Gary Hart, about John Kerry’s “real courage in proposing a realistic plan to extricate our troops” from Iraq.

Real Courage in Setting an Iraq Strategy
Monday, June 19, 2006

The Post applauded President Bush’s courage in continuing an open-ended commitment to an American military presence in Iraq and disparaged what it termed political expediency on the part of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in calling for a reasonable timetable for phased withdrawal of our forces [“A Boost From Mr. Bush,” editorial, June 14].

Mr. Bush’s political capital is waning because he misled Congress and the American people, because we have experienced 21,000 American casualties as a result, because a mere 23 percent of the world’s people respect our nation, because he has no strategy worth the title, and because he is responsible for a military and foreign policy disaster. To “stay” an undefined and unlimited “course” may demonstrate many things but it does not demonstrate courage.

Having acknowledged the error in trusting Mr. Bush’s arguments for war, Mr. Kerry has demonstrated the real courage in proposing a realistic plan to extricate our troops from a nation whose people no longer want us there and which is now capable of achieving democracy on its own.

GARY HART
Kittredge, Colo.
The writer, a Democrat, was a U.S. senator from Colorado from 1975 to 1986.

John Kerry, was a leader on the call for withdrawal from Iraq last fall when he first said at Georgetown University, on October 26, “To undermine the [Iraqi] insurgency, we must instead simultaneously pursue both a political settlement and the withdrawal of American combat forces linked to specific, responsible benchmarks.”

The Boston Globe reports that a “resolution, crafted by Democratic Senators Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Carl Levin of Michigan,” will also be entered into the second week of debate in Congress “over the state of the war.”

John Kerry, (as I have reported here and here) “will press ahead this week with his separate amendment to pull virtually all US troops out of Iraq by the end of the year,” said his spokeswoman, April Boyd.

Kerry’s binding amendment to a Department of Defense authorization bill garnered six votes when it came up last week, but Boyd said the senator hopes to put pressure on the administration to come up with an exit strategy.

“We’re not getting into whip counts” of how many senators will vote for Kerry’s amendment, she said. “This is about saying we need to set a date and we need to withdraw .”

16 Responses to “John Kerry has “Real Courage in Setting an Iraq Strategy””

  1. How in the world do yall think the enemy views all this?This surrender business is going to prevent the Dems from ever running national security.Americans choosing between warriors and doves will choose warriors to protect them.People want “Daddy” to be out there protecting the “family”,not hoping the wolf goes away!

  2. Darth

    Your “Daddy” is a deadbeat dad – he abandoned his children.

  3. Darth,

    Getting out of a quagmire rather than remaining indefinatley is not surrender. Fighting the wrong war weakens rahter than enhandes our national security. Staying in Iraq just acts to strengthen al AQaeda and weaken us further.

    Admitedly this is a harder sell in political campaigns, but sometimes leadership means taking the harder to understand positions to the people. They weren’t ready for the message in 2004, but things have changed since then.

    We need leaders who are really interested in promoting a rational and comprehensive national security position, rather than continuing with the Republicans who chose to play politics while they pursue policies contrary to our national interests.

  4. Good one Pamela 😆

  5. I am really tired of Congress playing silly little con games, such as the dirty tricks they played with Murtha’s and Kerry’s proposals.

    If this will only get this country thinking seriously about Iraq, and force some seriousness into the congressional debate, it will, at least, be a step in the right direction.

  6. Jean

    I hear that – I think we are all tired of it. Change has got to come…

  7. Darth,
    I think we have been wasting our time discussing 4GW warfare with you.
    Doing what we are doing weakens us because more terrorists are created then can ever be killed.
    The biggest problem is telling the good guys from the bad guys.
    Is it the guy pointing a rifle at us? Yep he is not good.
    How about some guy having dinner with his familiy by day and planting IEDs at night? He is a bad guy also but we probably won’t catch him.
    Suppose we wipe out his town and kill all the folks; every one; men, women, children, dog, cat, canary… everything.
    Yep…that will teach them and the entire country sees we can’t protect the population and in fact are killing the population and we loose the moral case for war..
    Whenever one Iraq kills another Iraq while we are there that tells the rest of the country we can’t provide security. If we can’t provide security, the people won’t support us and we loose the moral case for weapons. Why should they?

    Get it through your head. Before the army battle portion is over we move into the nation building portion. It is just one task from the start of the battle until we toss them the keys and leave.

    It is too bad you and those like you are blind to the reality of fighting terrorism.
    This ain’t no friggin’ John Wayne movie. In fact, after John Wayne kiled everyone, the real terrorism battle starts.

  8. oopps..case for weapons
    s/b case for war.

  9. Battlebob,I hear your argument.I really believe Bush needs to go on T.V and tell the American people the truth about what we face.He has to tell people that we can’t pretend we can go on without some sacrifice from the American people.The wars don’t really affect a lot of folks,namely the wealthy,so Bush can fight without “bothering”joe-sixpack.That is a big reason he stayed in office……By the way I admire Cher.She hates the war,she hates Bush,yet she has spent thousands of her money to buy helmets and other equipment.I wish people on my side who support the war could match that.

  10. Darth,
    Does the truth say “I lied”.
    Does he talk about what does stay the coarse mean because he has never said what the coarse was. It seems to be whatever is happening at the moment.

    Actually if he were to do that, it would probably be political genious.
    I know a lot of folks that are going to Dems now because they don’t trust Bush. It has nothing to do with the war or the deficit or screwing up the environment. They don’t trust him because he lacks integrity. And when you don’t have brains, you better have truth.
    So if Bush gets up there and tells the truth of what and why he is doing, he would probably get public support back.

  11. Bob, Bush has to tell people on your side that it does not matter how yall may feel about him.He has to say we need everyone for this decades long war that will stretch into Europe as the native population is replaced by Radical Islam.Consevatives and Liberals must focus no matter who is President…..Bob we are in for a very long war and Bush needs to be blunt about it,also your grandsons will be fighting in France 20 years from now trying to save Paris from falling to a Prince of Al-Queda.

  12. nite all

  13. The center for radical islam is in Saudi Arabia. So what do we do about that?

    Nice point about France. We have business over there and I understand the problem with the Islamic folks is the nationalistic French are not allowing the Islamic folks to enter their culture. “The French people want to maintain the purity of France.” is what I was told(whateverthehellthatmeans).

  14. Darth,

    You miss the point. One of several reasons we don’t like Bush is that he has botched the effort against terrorism.

    Bush failed to pay attention to plans on fighting al Qaeda passed on from the Clinton Administration.

    Bush failed to take pre-9/11 warnings seriously.

    When we were attacked on 9/11, Bush sat around reading a children’s book rather than responding.

    Post 9/11 Bush gave a half-hearted resonse in Afghanistan, and then decided to play politics instead. He failed to finish the job in Afghanistan. He allowed bin Laden to escape at Tora Bora. He used 9/11 to justify his older goals of attacking Iraq, which led to strengthening of al Qaeda and weakening of the United States.

    Bush also has failed to take homeland security seriously at home. In two of the debates in the 2004 elections, when challenged to take more meaningful action to defend the country, Bush responded that it cost too much.

    If we are in a long war, Bush is the wrong man to lead it. He’s not even trying to lead it, having chosen to play politics rather than lead.

  15. Ron,
    So you think Bush has fouled up so much he can’t talk his way out of it?
    He would have to admit to doing some pretty horrible stuff to the American people.
    Impeachment…hell the gallows would await him. Who knows…there are a lot of kool-aid drinkers out there.

  16. night all.