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John Kerry on the Bush Defense of Failed Policies in Iraq, Afghanistan

by Pamela Leavey

Bob Woodward will on 60 Minutes on Sunday in an interview with Mike Wallace discussing his new book, “State of Denial,” and the fact that “the Bush administration has not told the truth regarding the level of violence, especially against U.S. troops, in Iraq.” CBS News reports that Woodward “reveals key intelligence that predicts the insurgency will grow worse next year.”

John Kerry smacked down Bush’s defense of his failed policies on Iraq and Afghanistan today, quoting Woodward:

“Bob Woodward says the Administration is in a state of denial. It’s worse than that. The lying needs to end and the incompetents who gave us a Katrina foreign policy have to go. The Administration has a stand still and lose policy in Iraq which isn’t the center of the war on terror, and a cut and run policy in Afghanistan which is the center of the war on terror. The only clear thing about the president’s policy is that it’s clearly not working.

American troops are coming home without arms and legs, for a strategy our military and our leaders know won’t work, and a policy that worsens terrorism. The repetition of presidential platitudes in daily speeches only compounds the immorality of a policy that is reckless with young Americans’ lives, and leaves America’s moral authority in tatters.

We have seven times more troops in the crossfire of a civil war in Iraq, which our intelligence agencies confirm fuels terrorism, than we have in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is resurgent and Al Qaeda roams free. Rhetoric about providing money to rebuild Afghanistan is hollow from an Administration that has cut aid to Afghanistan by 30% this year, and even requested 67% less than that for next year. Even Don Rumsfeld acknowledged yesterday we need more troops in Afghanistan, but President Bush remains stuck in a state of denial.

This administration cut and run from the truth, and every day this administration refuses to face reality is another day they play into the hands of the terrorists. President Bush needs to start telling the truth, and acting on it.”

According to Bob Woodward, “insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret.”

It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That’s more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces,” says Woodward.


  • Todd says here on the Dem Daily, “So Iraq Really Is Vietnam All Over Again.”
  • Think Progress reports: “New Woodward Book Details Multiple Bush Cover-Ups Over Iraq.”
  • One Response to “John Kerry on the Bush Defense of Failed Policies in Iraq, Afghanistan”

    1. Pamela,

      As we think of our soldiers going ever onward into Iraq with no end in sight, the “stay the course” approach brings to mind the Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem, Charge of the Light Brigade. Something to think about:

      Half a league, half a league,
      Half a league onward,
      All in the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.
      “Forward, the Light Brigade!
      “Charge for the guns!” he said:
      Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.


      “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
      Was there a man dismay’d?
      Not tho’ the soldier knew
      Someone had blunder’d:
      Their’s not to make reply,
      Their’s not to reason why,
      Their’s but to do and die:
      Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.


      Cannon to right of them,
      Cannon to left of them,
      Cannon in front of them
      Volley’d and thunder’d;
      Storm’d at with shot and shell,
      Boldly they rode and well,
      Into the jaws of Death,
      Into the mouth of Hell
      Rode the six hundred.


      Flash’d all their sabres bare,
      Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
      Sabring the gunners there,
      Charging an army, while
      All the world wonder’d:
      Plunged in the battery-smoke
      Right thro’ the line they broke;
      Cossack and Russian
      Reel’d from the sabre stroke
      Shatter’d and sunder’d.
      Then they rode back, but not
      Not the six hundred.


      Cannon to right of them,
      Cannon to left of them,
      Cannon behind them
      Volley’d and thunder’d;
      Storm’d at with shot and shell,
      While horse and hero fell,
      They that had fought so well
      Came thro’ the jaws of Death
      Back from the mouth of Hell,
      All that was left of them,
      Left of six hundred.


      When can their glory fade?
      O the wild charge they made!
      All the world wondered.
      Honor the charge they made,
      Honor the Light Brigade,
      Noble six hundred.

      Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,
      J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870

      Really pretty sad don’t you think?