FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Zig-Zagging Through the War with John Kerry

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.

 

 

More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book, co-authored with Jeffrey St. Clair, is Big Heat: Earth on the Brink. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail