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.

 

 

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
November 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jonathan Cook
From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages
Linda Pentz Gunter
A Radioactive Plume That’s Clouded in Secrecy
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Fires This Time
Nick Alexandrov
Birth of a Nation
Vijay Prashad
Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis
Peter Montague
Men in Power Abusing Women – What a Surprise!
Kristine Mattis
Slaves and Bulldozers, Plutocrats and Widgets
Pete Dolack
Climate Summit’s Solution to Global Warming: More Talking
Mike Whitney
ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness, Part Two
James Munson
Does Censoring Undemocratic Voices Make For Better Democracy?
Brian Cloughley
The Influence of Israel on Britain
Jason Hickel
Averting the Apocalypse: Lessons From Costa Rica
Pepe Escobar
How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads
Jan Oberg
Why is Google’s Eric Schmidt So Afraid?
Ezra Rosser
Pushing Back Against the Criminalization of Poverty
Kathy Kelly
The Quality of Mercy
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Gerry Brown
Myanmar Conflict: Geopolitical Food Chain
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Robert Redford’s Big Game in Nairobi
Katrina Kozarek
Venezuela’s Communes: a Great Social Achievement
Zoltan Grossman
Olympia Train Blockade Again Hits the Achilles Heel of the Fracking Industry
Binoy Kampmark
History, Law and Ratko Mladić
Tommy Raskin
Why Must We Sanction Russia?
Bob Lord
Trump’s Tax Plan Will Cost a Lot More Than Advertised
Ralph Nader
National Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
Julian Vigo
If Sexual Harassment and Assault Were Treated Like Terrorism
Russell Mokhiber
Still Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco: John Boehner and College Ethics
Ted Rall
Sexual Harassment and the End of Team Politics
Anna Meyer
Your Tax Dollars are Funding GMO Propaganda
Barbara Nimri Aziz
An Alleged Communist and Prostitute in Nepal’s Grade Ten Schoolbooks!
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Graham Peebles
What Price Humanity? Systemic Injustice, Human Suffering
Kim C. Domenico
To Not Walk Away: the Challenge of Compassion in the Neoliberal World
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Giving Thanks for Our Occupation of America?
Christy Rodgers
The First Thanksgiving
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “We Were Eight Years in Power”
November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
Rick Baum
While Public Education is Being Attacked: An American Federation of Teachers Petition Focuses on Maintaining a Minor Tax Break
Paul C. Bermanzohn
The As-If Society
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail