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.


 

 

 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”