Skip to comments.Kerry Redoubles His Attack Over the War
Posted on 05/29/2004 12:23:01 AM PDT by familyop
GREEN BAY, Wis., May 28 - Senator John Kerry promised an occasionally tearful gathering of soldiers, veterans and their families here on Friday that as president he would bring the troops home from Iraq "as fast as possible." He also attacked the Bush administration as insensitive to the human toll of the war.
Noting that Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, was unable to tell a recent Congressional hearing how many American soldiers had died in Iraq, Mr. Kerry declared, "You'd think that every day they'd be conscious of exactly what the cost is."
Mr. Kerry's comments came at a forum that captured his campaign's current mix of patriotism, support for the troops in Iraq and scalding criticism of the policies that put them there. On the second day of a two-week drive to establish his credentials on national security, Mr. Kerry also told an audience of veterans that Mr. Bush had shortchanged their health and benefit programs while carefully protecting tax cuts for the wealthy.
Citing a recent administration budget document that discussed new reductions in spending for the veterans benefits, Mr. Kerry declared, "I'm not going to listen to Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and some of these other people talk about patriotism in America when the first definition of patriotism is keeping faith with the people who wore the uniform of our country."
A spokesman for the Bush campaign, Steve Schmidt, called Mr. Kerry's attacks "egregiously false.''
In a measure of how raw the debate over the war has become, several who spoke at this gathering struggled with tears. Donna Freeman of Green Bay rose to say that her brother was killed in Vietnam "four months after he was sent over there." Her voice cracking with anger and grief, Ms. Freeman said she was dismayed to hear people play down the number of deaths in Iraq.
"When I hear we've only lost 500 or 600 kids, you tell that to a family member who has lost that child," she said. "What I want to know is, what do you plan to do to bring our troops home?"
Mr. Kerry said it was impossible to predict what the situation in Iraq would be when - if elected - he took office. But he said neither the United States nor its allies could afford a failure in Iraq, and repeated his call for Mr. Bush to engage more countries in the transition.
"I promise you this," he said, "I am going to get the troops home as fast as possible, with honor and the job accomplished in the way it needs to be, and we will bring other people into the process."
Mr. Kerry was also introduced and endorsed by a decorated Vietnam veteran, John Nusbaum, who said he was a longtime Republican. Mr. Kerry is increasingly reaching out to Republicans in his speeches, arguing that what is at stake in this election transcends partisanship and ideology. "In the end, this isn't about party," he said. "It's about country."
Mr. Kerry also regularly urges his audiences to "do away with partisan politics for the moment" and "just think common sense about our country, about what it should be doing."
The senator's campaign swing this week, from Washington to Portland, Ore., to Seattle and Green Bay, drew large, attentive crowds.
The upheaval in Iraq and the prisoner scandal have turned the public's attention to foreign policy in a way few could have predicted. Now Mr. Kerry is trying to seize the moment to show himself as a credible commander in chief.
The policy speeches over the next few weeks are part of his case, as are his 20 years in the Senate. But Mr. Kerry is also relying, once again, on his comrades from Vietnam, some of whom were with him again on Friday. One of them, Jim Rassman, an Army Green Beret whose life was saved by Mr. Kerry in Vietnam, carried the same message here on Friday that is implicit throughout the Democratic campaign these days: that a candidate can vigorously disagree with the government while vigorously supporting the troops.
"'I promise you this,' he said, 'I am going to get the troops home as fast as possible'"
The terrorist leaders in Iraq read this and think, "If we can hold out just a little longer..."
Wait a day...Kerry'll change what he says,yet again.:-)
Kerry's only frame of reference is Vietnam. Now he's back to "peace with honor" bs.
He's a threat to our security.
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"Mr. Kerry declared, "You'd think that every day they'd be conscious of exactly what the cost is."
A man cannot lead the military if his every thought is the loss of soldiers. Lib Dems will never understand that...ever!
Okay, you pansy Democrats, answer this: were our ancestors tougher than we are? Are we so molly-coddled that we cannot accept our losses, put our shoulders back to the wheel and soldier on? Our enemies are taking ten times the losses we are and they're still fighting.
That's the absolute truth. This kind of talk puts our troops in more danger. It becomes sermon topics in the mosques and encouragement for our enemies.
My son was in Mosul for 10 months. I asked him if the anti war talk ends up in the mosques over there. He replied in the affirmative. I kerry and his ilk putting my son's life in more danger than necessary and I've developed a rather deep and abiding hatered for that bunch.
This being Memorial Day Weekend, I'd like to mention my son's best friend, Spc. Ray J. Hutchinson, A Co., 2-502 Inf, 101st Airborne, Mosul Iraq, Dec. 7, 2003
how did you feel on sept 11th.
if this pos get's elected you can have that same feeling over and over again.
"A man cannot lead the military if his every thought is the loss of soldiers. Lib Dems will never understand that...ever!"
What's that famous Robert E. Lee quote?
"To be a good soldier, you must love the army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love."
Paraphrased, I guess.
Clinton only used air power in Kosovo because he didn't want American ground casualties to drop his approval rating. If you really think a mission is essential to your security, you must see it through and win.
Thought you might like to see this...
LOL! On the darker side, though, there's truth to that.
...forgot one thing in the picture, though. About a decade ago, a buddy who transfered to my old Guard unit (when I was in) from Navy fire control (tomahawk, and he was crazy enough to be a light engineer) told me about the "tug boat women."
If Kerry gets in, there'll probably be a lot more tug boat women with large but soft biceps.