For instance, how does Kerry explain his 2002 vote authorizing President Bush to use force against Iraq? He says he voted only to 'threaten the use of force'. In 1991 he said such a vote would be dangerous and flawed.
In 1991, to those who said voting for war with Iraq would "give the administration leverage to force Hussein out of Kuwait," Kerry responded, "That thinking is dangerous … and flawed. … This is not a vote about sending a message. It is a vote about war." slate.msn.com
This is Kerry's record. Talk tough when politically necessary, but don't follow through when it counts.
Three weeks after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Kerry said he supported President Bush's swift deployment of troops to the region and the administration's insistence that Hussein pull out. But he said Hussein should be given more diplomatic wiggle room for withdrawal. "My greatest fear is this issue is too much box and not enough capacity to move out," Kerry told editors and reporters at the Boston Globe on August 27, 1990. "That line is pointing in a very dangerous direction." centriststation.com
When it comes down to it Kerry will not hesitate to refuse to take strong action when strong action is needed. The first gulf war appears to fit all the criteria Kerry reviles George W. Bush for not meeting, including his 'global test', yet the First Gulf War got a failing grade. "On CBS's This Morning before the first Gulf War, Kerry said, "I'm convinced we're doing this the wrong way." If the first Gulf war didn't pass his 'global test' what would?
We don't know because Kerry can't tell us. That would ruin the con and blow the illusion. He can only say that Bush did it all wrong, that he would have done it better, smarter, and more effectively. That more time, more talks, more resolutions, more allies, more stalling, and more wiggle room for the dictator is in order. Kerry talks a tough game, but threatening the use of force and never actually carrying it through makes issuing such threats a worthless and feeble endeavor. If the police were never actually willing to go into a house to catch a criminal, issuing warrants would not make us any safer.
Kerry's arguments against war are equally empty whether it is the First Gulf War or the Last. Kerry regarding the First Gulf War:
In his lengthy speech . . . he repeatedly criticized Bush and his "unilateral" rush to war. "We are in this position today because the president of the United States made a series of decisions that have put us in this position." With economic sanctions tightening their grip on Iraq, "there is no one who suggests that Saddam Hussein is winning anything today," Kerry said. centriststation.com
The con is that Kerry says he is ready and willing to go to war... when circumstances warrant it. What he won't say is that his circumstances don't exist. He cannot afford to be honest on this issue because he would lose crucial support with Americans. If it were up to Kerry, Saddam Hussein would still be in power and he would control Iraq and Kuwait along with immense Arab stature he would have achieved in getting away with murder.
Kerry said that sanctions hadn't been given enough time, there wasn't a sufficient coalition, the American people were unable to accept the heavy casualties the would result, and that a war would destabilize the Middle East.
Kerry said he was "willing to accept the horror that goes with war" but only "when the interests or stakes warrant it." washingtonpost.com
Kerry says he would defend this country just like he did as a young man. This is undoubtedly meant to conjure up an image of Kerry as a forward-leaning military hawk, but it's another example of his tough talk facade. What comes to my mind when he says this is the unbridled effort he put into discrediting US soldiers as war criminals and the Vietnam War as an illegitimate war along with fellow traveler Ramsey Clark. Which is the real John Kerry: hawk or anti-war hero?
This quote about Clinton's unilateral war in Bosnia is instructive. Kerry puts a higher value on the morality, goodness, and exceptionalism of the UN than he does the United States. So much so that if our soldier's deaths are to have worth it needs to happen under the blue flag of the UN.
"If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no." washingtonpost.com