Thursday, September 30, 2004

I + H -- Debate thread

I couldn't sleep last night, woke up at 3:00 AM and just had to come up with the 2-minute answer for John Kerry to the debate question:

"Senator Kerry, what is your position on the war in Iraq?"

Here's what I came up with...

"Jim, I support our troops and want success in Iraq. This can only be accomplished by electing a new Commander-in-Chief and immediately putting in new civilian leadership in the Vice-President's office and the departments of Defense, State and Intelligence. Once that's done, we can implement my four-part plan to win the war and help the Iraqi's establish a free, peaceful nation.

I apologize if my previous statements about the war have seemed unclear or have sounded contradictory. But I think that like many Americans, when the President began the march to war in 2002, I wanted to believe him. As a United States Senator, I wanted to support our troops and protect our country. That's why, when the resolution came up that would give him authority to use force as a last resort, I supported the President. He called it a 'vote for peace,' and in the public record, I stated that I supported force only as a last resort.

But again, like many Americans, I then felt betrayed when the President kicked out the weapons inspectors and decided to attack Iraq without UN support. That decision has blackened our image as a moral leader in the world. And while having Saddam and his sons out of power is a blessing, several of the tactical decisions our civilian leaders have made in Iraq have been disasterous to the Iraqi people and our troops.

So, while I understand that we're in Iraq and we must succeed, I think it's imperative that we hold the Commander-in-Chief accountable for the grave blunders of strategy and diplomacy that have hung our military and civilian support staff out to dry.

I want peace and democracy in Iraq. As Commander-in-Chief, and as representative of this nation at the negotiating table, I will work to put our plan into place so the Iraqi's will be able to lift themselves out of the chaos there and we can secure safe passage home for our troops when the mission is complete. Thank you.

One minute, forty-five seconds.


Indigo said...

Well written, young Matteo.

Snolen said...

Good thing you aren't running against Bush. Too bad Kerry isn't as coherent as you. I do indeed wonder what his true position on Iraq is. Kerry couldn't even explain it to Diane Sawyer:

DIANE SAWYER: Was the war in Iraq worth it?

JOHN KERRY: We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today.

DS: So it was not worth it.

JK: We should not — it depends on the outcome ultimately — and that depends on the leadership. And we need better leadership to get the job done successfully, but I would not have gone to war knowing that there was no imminent threat — there were no weapons of mass destruction — there was no connection of Al Qaeda — to Saddam Hussein! The president misled the American people — plain and simple. Bottom line.

DS: So if it turns out okay, it was worth it?

JK: No.

DS: But right now it wasn’t [ … ? … ]–

JK: It was a mistake to do what he did, but we have to succeed now that we’ve done what he’s — I mean look — we have to succeed. But was it worth — as you asked the question — $200 billion and taking the focus off of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda? That’s the question. The test of the presidency was whether or not you should have gone to war to get rid of him. I think, had the inspectors continued, had we done other things — there were plenty of ways to keep the pressure on Saddam Hussein.

DS: But no way to get rid of him.

JK: Oh, sure there were. Oh, yes there were. Absolutely.

DS: So you’re saying that today, even if Saddam Hussein were in power today it would be a better thing — you would prefer that . . .

JK: No, I would not prefer that. And Diane — don’t twist here.

Anonymous said...
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Kuz said...

I'm sure that Diane Sawyer thing was just sandbagging, so people would think he's unprepared.

How's that for spin?

Defiant Heart said...

Very articulate. It's just too bad that Kerry trys to raise himself up over the everyday person with his "I'm better than you" lingo. In doing this I think he loses himself in his rantings and backpeddleings so much so that the man really has no clue what he is going to do. I don't think he even knows why he wants to be President. Sorry man but Bush is going to debate this guy into the ground tonight.

Kuz said...

Defiant, you're probably right. The reason I have hope today is that I watched Kerry mop the floor with my man, Howard Dean. Kerry went from last to first in just 2 debates and some good ads. And John Edwards is a gamer. I refuse to be nervous today. Today, I am a Republican, blindly optimistic that John Kerry will crush his opponent according to the will of Jesus and George Washington. And at 9:31 CDT, the calls to talk radio, letters to the editor, and blogging begins. Spin baby!

Snolen said...

As perhaps the lone Republican posting on this site, let me state for the record that I'm not "blindly optimistic" that Bush will crush Kerry according to Christ's will. Despite popular belief, not all of us think like that.

Kuz said...

Scott, you SO cannot take a joke.

Defiant Heart said...

Don't worry, your not the lone republican here. I'm standing next to ya. And don't worry about not taking a joke, those left-wing liberals have a strange sense of humor.

I'm a republican and I'm not sure if I even believe in God, but I do believe in Dubbya woopin' your boy Kerry by the grace of George Washington and everything "right" (thats "right" politically but not always correct, I have loyalty but I'm not blind.) ;-P

MikeSantoro said...

How about this:

Jim, my position on Iraq is simply this. It was a mistake to invade Iraq the way we did, but now that we’re there I support the military in its eventual 100% victory.

That’s it. Every statement I have made before, during, and after the vote to authorize force in Iraq is absolutely consistent with that statement and I challenge anyone claiming otherwise to explain what they mean. For example, many have said that I voted for the war. That is a lie. On March 6, 2003 the president asked for a Congressional resolution authorizing force against Iraq so that he could go to the UN and ask for a second vote. The president failed to do that. The resolution I voted for had two requirements: (1) That the president make a determination that Iraq was involved in September 11th; and (2) that the President exhaust all diplomatic means. He failed on both accounts. As I stated on the Senate floor, I supported force only if these two requirements were fulfilled. As president, I would have ensured these requirements were met before sending our troops to war, this president did not.

Another driving force for the dishonest claims against my consistent position was my vote for and against different versions of the $87 billion funding bill, so let me explain it. The president asked for America to borrow $87 billion to pay for Iraq operations. I supported funding the troops, but disagreed with borrowing the funds. So, I supported and voted for a bill supplying the funds by rolling back a portion of the tax cut on the wealthiest Americans. When this bill came to a vote, I voted for it, nearly every Republican voted against it, and the President threatened to veto it. Does that mean that the president did not support the troops because he threatened to veto the bill – No. Those familiar with the legislative process understand that many versions of bills are sometimes presented requiring many votes to come to final passage. Neither of us were going to let the troops go unfunded, we both know that, we both held positions against a version of the bill based on how it would be funded. Neither of our positions suggest inconsistencies

Anyone who claims otherwise either doesn’t understand the legislation we passed, doesn’t understand the legislative process or is intentionally deceiving you. The American people deserve a full explanation - beyond the simplistic “I voted for the war”, which is clearly wrong - if that dishonest claim of inconsistenties is uttered from this moment forward.

Kuz said...

Mike, I think he said it even better than both of us. Thanks everyone for writing.