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July 03, 2005

KerryWatch®: Department Of Having It Both Ways

All right, I lied. The preceding post was not a segue into this post, but into the next post. I got distracted.

Previously I pointed out that Democrats like Jay Rockafeller who criticize the President for invoking September 11th and the supposedly non-existent connections between 9/11, Iraq, and Al Qaeda are both rewriting history and ignoring the fact that Congress' resolution to use force invoked precisely those connections. Which would seem to make their objections pretty dishonest.

Now James Taranto reveals a development that I am fairly certain will shock ordinary Americans to the very marrow of their voting souls: M. Jean-Fraude Kerrie, je suis tres désolé de vous dire, has once again performed Le Grande Flippe-Floppe. Yes, it would seem that though today he sees no connection between Saddam, the sad events of that tragic day in 2001, and our decision to go to war, such was not the case back in 2002:

The administration missed an opportunity 2 years ago [sic; two years before this speech, Bill Clinton was still president] and particularly a year ago after September 11. They regrettably, and even clumsily, complicated their own case. The events of September 11 created new understanding of the terrorist threat and the degree to which every nation is vulnerable. That understanding enabled the administration to form a broad and impressive coalition against terrorism. Had the administration tried then to capitalize on this unity of spirit to build a coalition to disarm Iraq, we would not be here in the pressing days before an election, late in this year, debating this now. The administration's decision to engage on this issue now, rather than a year ago or earlier, and the manner in which it has engaged, has politicized and complicated the national debate and raised questions about the credibility of their case.

In other words, WE SHOULD NOT HAVE WAITED TO GO TO WAR, BECAUSE WE HAD AN IMPRESSIVE COALITION BEHIND US... NOT A "trumped-up, so-called coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought, and the extorted." AS MR. KERRY LATER CALLED THE COALITION DURING THE ELECTION.

No stranger to Xtreme Speechifying, Taranto goes on to mention that like Senator Rockafeller (who managed to wave the bloody shirt four times during two paragraphs in his 2002 floor speech) Kerry also out-Bushed the Shrub:

In fact, Kerry mentioned Sept. 11--the subject liberals now want to render taboo--six times during his Iraq floor speech.

These 'patriots' now castigate the President for mentioning 9/11 three or four times during one half-hour speech.

And as for Kerry's ridiculous claims that somehow the President hasn't been leveling with the nation, well... that is simply more historical revisionism from the same man who wants us to forget what he did (or didn't do) in Vietnam. We need look no further back than the night of September 11th, 2001 to find a clear, concise statement of where we were going and what the President intended:

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

The Saturday after the attack:

Victory against terrorism will not take place in a single battle, but in a series of decisive actions against terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them. We are planning a broad and sustained campaign to secure our country and eradicate the evil of terrorism. And we are determined to see this conflict through. Americans of every faith and background are committed to this goal.

September 20th, 2001 before Congress:

The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat. Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

And to those who say the President never presented all the information I have been patiently laying out before you recently, I say that you are wrong. October 2, 2002:

First, some ask why Iraq is different from other countries or regimes that also have terrible weapons. While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone -- because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant who has already used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people. This same tyrant has tried to dominate the Middle East, has invaded and brutally occupied a small neighbor, has struck other nations without warning, and holds an unrelenting hostility toward the United States.

And that is the source of our urgent concern about Saddam Hussein's links to international terrorist groups. Over the years, Iraq has provided safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal, whose terror organization carried out more than 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or injured nearly 900 people, including 12 Americans. Iraq has also provided safe haven to Abu Abbas, who was responsible for seizing the Achille Lauro and killing an American passenger. And we know that Iraq is continuing to finance terror and gives assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East peace.

We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.

Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem.

These are all arguments I have made recently and I have heard in response from liberals, "Well, why hasn't the administration made these arguments?"

Well, they have. I remembered that they had and didn't have time during the work week to look it up.

Moreover, the leaders of your party have made many of these arguments too, yet now that it is to their political advantage to deny this, they are lying about it.

It is my considered opinion that thoughtful Americans should be asking some tough questions of men like John Kerry and Jay Rockafeller.

What changed? How can you say Mr. Bush lied when you said exactly the same thing back then, based on exactly the same information, most of which, with the exception of the WMD information, HAS NOT CHANGED?

How can you pretend, looking back on the Congressional resolution to authorize the use of force, that WMDs were the only rationale for going to war?

It is inexcusable. And dishonest.

Senators, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Posted by Cassandra at July 3, 2005 12:07 PM

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Cassandra, many of the most vocal critics also tend to be "moderates" and lefties who are absolutely smitten with Colin Powell.

Powell went to Langley and sat down will all the relevant IC analysts for three days prior to his presentation of the WMD intelligence briefing to the UN. He personally scoured all the raw data, and reviewed and dissected the assessments with the analysts. He presented only that info which he had high confidence in, and threw much of it out. Those slamming Bush about the "WMD pretext" are in essence slamming Powell, his judgement, and honesty. Powell himself gave the WMD briefing to the UN. The critics, many of whom still love and admire Powell, seem to have forgotten that.

Posted by: jordan at July 4, 2005 08:22 PM

Nicely done. I like your new logo, too...HUBBA, HUBBA! :-D

Posted by: camojack at July 5, 2005 07:54 AM

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