FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Zig-Zagging Through the War with John Kerry

by JOSHUA FRANK

The search is finally over. Sen. John Kerry is believed to have found his heroic voice. He apparently misplaced it back in the early ’70s after standing up to the U.S. war in Vietnam upon his saluted return from battle. Now many antiwar liberals believe Kerry is dissenting yet again.

“I have come here today to reaffirm that it was right to dissent in 1971 from a war that was wrong. And to affirm that it is both a right and an obligation for Americans today to disagree with a president who is wrong, a policy that is wrong, and a war in Iraq that weakens the nation.”

Kerry made his proclamation at Boston’s Faneuil Hall on April 22, celebrating the 35-year anniversary of his infamous speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Although MoveOn.org and others have supported Kerry’s appeal to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq in 2006, the senator has been quite careful to qualify his remarks. He doesn’t want all U.S. troops brought home, just enough to appease the antiwar crowd and the growing percentage of Americans who think this war isn’t going so hot. As Kerry wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on April 5:

“If Iraq’s leaders succeed in putting together a government, then we must agree on another deadline: a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by year’s end. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces should remain.”

That sure doesn’t sound like an end to the war to me: Keeping troops in Iraq until the “job” is done or Iraqi leaders put together a “government”? More like, occupy the poor bastards until they comply with U.S. demands. Like that’s going to happen anytime soon. What Kerry is calling for is just more of the same: war and occupation. Nice try Sen. Kerry, but I don’t think you should be welcomed into the antiwar movement with that kind of twisted logic.

Kerry’s long been on the teetering Iraq fence, unsure of which way to fall. He supported ousting Saddam in the late 1990s by the use of force and voted for Bush’s war resolution giving the liar in chief the right to wallop the Iraqi menace for whatever reason his coterie of nut jobs conjured up. He supported Clinton’s Iraq bombings and the UN’s sanctions during the ’90s, too.

This isn’t a new thing for Kerry the flip-flopper; he’s done it his whole political life. He signed up to kill in Vietnam and later opposed it. He signed up U.S. soldiers to kill in Iraq, and now he says he opposes it. How can anybody trust a senator with a record like that?

And remember, it’s only the Iraq war Kerry has a little problem with these days, not the much more grandiose and illusive “war on terror.” If anything, the senator just wants a better, more effectively executed “war on terror,” not an end to it.

If the fallible John Kerry is the best the Democrats have to offer, we have a long, treacherous road ahead of us. Not to mention many more Iraq war anniversaries, and countless deaths.

JOSHUA FRANK, author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, edits BrickBurner.org.

 

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail