Friday, January 11, 2008

Kerry's Kiss of Death?

Barack Obama has been endorsed by none other than Senator John Kerry, who but for a colossal blunder in November of 2006 in California might have been running against Obama for the democrat nomination instead of appearing with him in South Carolina (and cadging a bit of media exposure for himself). This is what Kerry said in California, “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

This was Kerry’s backhanded way of calling the troops ignoramuses, but the subject of Iraq also reminds of Kerry’s famous remark during his 2004 unsuccessful presidential campaign that he “was for the war (funding it with $87 billion) before he was against it”…or something like that. For that matter, his running mate – whom he deserted in his endorsement of Obama – also voted for the Iraq action, as did Senator Clinton. Of course, they both are now against it, putting them in the same silly category as Kerry, who picked South Carolina, Edwards’ birth-state, as the place to administer his attempt at a coup de grace to his former running mate…something known as loyalty?

In a CBS Face the Nation appearance in December 2005, Kerry said, “And there is no reason, Bob [Schieffer], that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the – of – the historical customs, religious customs. Whether you like it or not ... Iraqis should be doing that.” Does Obama actually believe an endorsement by this man can help him? Not only did Kerry accuse American GIs of crimes, but he actually said that Iraqis ought to be carrying out those crimes, as if that would make them okay. Egad!

This is from the Boston Globe of March 25, 2004, “In a question-and-answer session before a Senate committee in 1971, John F. Kerry, who was a leading antiwar activist at the time, asserted that 200,000 Vietnamese per year were being ‘murdered by the United States of America’ and said he had gone to Paris and ‘talked with both delegations at the peace talks’ and met with communist representatives.” At the time, Kerry was a U.S. Naval Reserve officer committing an act of treason (defined as “the betrayal of a trust: TREACHERY”) with the enemy while Senator McCain and others were caged like dogs and tortured in the Hanoi Hilton.

This means that by the time he made that statement (his exact words, “So what I am saying is that yes, there will be some recrimination but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America …”), Kerry’s comrades/nation had murdered [his word] 1.6 million Vietnamese 1964-71 (or almost 4 percent of the population for 1970), mostly civilians – women, children, and old men. He’s never offered a scintilla of proof for that wacky accusation. Regarding morality, he betrayed his country in 1970 in France and lied to Congress in 1971.

In an Op-Ed piece for the New Hampshire Union Leader, Kerry said, “Iraq has made America less safe. The terrorists are not on the run. Terrorist acts tripled between 2004 and 2005. Al-Qaida has spawned a decentralized network operating in 65 countries, most of them joining since 9/11.” According to Kerry, terrorists in significant numbers apparently had just started crawling out from under the rocks, but they’ve been crawling all over the world for decades, especially during the 1990s, when his democratic administration seemed totally unable or unwilling, or both, to significantly try to stay their hand. Witness the WTC, 1993; Somalia, 1993; Riyadh, 1995; Dhahran Khobar Towers, 1996; U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (at least 257 dead), 1998; USS Cole, 2000, and, finally, 9/11. Did Kerry believe the Girl Scouts were at work in those catastrophes while Bill Clinton was the commander-in-chief?

Of course, if Kerry hadn’t made that stupid remark in 2006 he might have been well-advised to dodge the current quadrennial circus anyway since the “Swift-boaters” would have marshaled humongous forces against him, now that they’ve had time to make adequate preparations. In only a few months in 2004, they effectively helped blow Kerry completely out of the water on the basis of both his Vietnam-induced conduct (remember tossing the medals over the fence) and his refusal to release the bulk of his military records, including a number of purple-hearts awarded for unbelievably dubious “actions.”

Obama makes much of the fact that he was against the Iraq action, but the fact is that he didn’t make it to the U.S. Senate until 2005 and so had no vote on the matter in 2002-03. He was well on his way to the current run in 2006, so he hasn’t had much Senate experience, much less any other experience on a national and, certainly, on an international scale. Kerry’s endorsement may prove to be an albatross around Obama’s neck, especially when a lot of men begin thinking about what it means. People are sometimes judged on the basis of their friends…the company they keep. It might have been better if Kerry had been an opponent, after all.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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