Skip to comments.VIETNAM ALLUSION TK (Kerry took BOTH sides on Gulf War in letters to same constituent! ROTFL ALERT)
Posted on 01/30/2004 1:40:28 AM PST by Stultis
VIETNAM ALLUSION TK: Monday I dwelled a bit on one of John Kerry's many yet-to-be-exploited-but-blindingly-obvious vulnerabilities: his vote on the 1991 Gulf war. I noted in that post that the vote could be potentially devastating to Kerry, not so much because it portrays him as soft on national security, but because it makes him look like he takes whichever side of whatever issue happens to be most politically advantageous. (Or, as Mickey Kaus would have it, whichever side he thinks is most politically advantageous, however wrong he turns out to be.)
Turns out I was giving Kerry too much credit. Rather than take a side--albeit the one he thought was most expedient--Kerry actually stood on both sides of the first Gulf war, much like he did this time around. Consider this "Notebook" item from TNR's March 25, 1991 issue, which ran under the headline "Same Senator, Same Constituent":
"Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition ... to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favor of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war."Will someone PLEASE put this guy out of his misery? Please?
--letter from Senator John Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, dated January 22 
"Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush's response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf."
--Senator Kerry to Wallace Carter, January 31 
NOTE: Special thanks to TNR reporter-researcher Josh Benson for dredging up this item.
UPDATE: Ramesh Ponnuru was all over this story back in October of 2002. (As he points out, eerily self-consciously, what better evidence is there that conservatives will use this stuff against Kerry in the general election?)
Kerry is gung-ho for deploying hundreds of thousands of troops and billions of dollars worth of armaments, to sit in a desert somewhere, so long as they don't actually do anything, at least until "sanctions" (or whatever) have been allowed to work.
Apparently Kerry thinks genocidal, terror sponsoring, warmongering dictators can be swayed by his lugubrious posturing as easily as flocks of disillusioned Deaniacs. But considering that sanctions didn't work after 12 years in Iraq, have lasted 18 years in Libya, and that even the dimmest dictator will easily cotton on to Kerry's "strategy," our armies are apt to spend some long spells in those desert bivouacs. If Kerry should be elected President (God forbid) the Pentagon better stock up on sunblock.
But think back to before the Dean bubble and how we all felt about those candidates, those nine nimrods in their silly (seemingly nightly) "debates". The debates that nobody watched. The debates about which Bill O'Reilly said: "I'll tell you why nobody's paying attention. Those people are boring."
No one thought back then that Kerry was anything to cheer about. No one was worried then about Kerry's ability to beat Bush. Back then, such a notion would have been laughable.
But then came the Dean bubble. It distracted us. It actually made the race somewhat interesting. And after the bubble popped, suddenly Kerry's some kind of a rising star.
But he's no more of a rising star now than he was then. He's no less boring now than he was then. He's no less of a clueless Massachussettes Kennedy Liberal now than he was then.
It's just that the Dean bubble caught the media glare, and Kerry's bursting of was hence a media event, so that now we've lost sight of the main fact here: Kerry is a loser.
That fact was obvious at the beginning of this nominating process and --- though it's being ignored by the media --- it should be just as obvious now.
1.Vietnam, which we all know about,
2. GWII (see above).
3. He also tried to play both sides in Gulf War I, voting against the Senate resolution, but then, after quick US success, he said he voted against it because Bush41 wasn't going to remove Saddam.
So Kerry, who claims he wants to act in accordance with UN SecCouncil permission slips, was all for stuffing the Council in 1991!!
We don't need the Muddle-Minded Man from Massachussetts!!
Don't laugh, your face would look like that too if you spent 35 years using your head for a weather vane!
One other funny thing about this is that the same office innundating this constituent with wildly divergent positions on matters in Iraq and Kuwait had developed a reputation for failing to address basic constituent services and local issues:
John Kerry And Home Groan Politics (he ignores local pols, issues, constituent services)
The New Republic via CBS News ^ | 26 January 2004 | Michael Crowley
You read too quickly. The letters above are from Gulf War I (1991).
So you're saying Kerry had (at least!) three positions. First he was behind Bush 100 percent, then he was opposed to the war as precipitous (and in favor of sanctions which would only have incentivised Saddam to leave Kuwait at best), and then he claims he would have been in favor of the war if only it gone farther and lasted longer (removing Saddam from power).
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