Monday, August 23, 2004


John Lyndon Baines Kerry?

From Friday's Boston Globe, and republished on Common Dreams, Derrick Z. Jackson takes Kerry and the Democrats to task for refusing to challenge the choice to go to war in Iraq, and their borrowing from the Republicans jingoistic language when talking about the war in Iraq and the war on terror. Kerry continues to say that, even had he known before the war what we know now, he still would have cast his vote in support of the war (and let's not fool ourselves into thinking that wasn't what that vote was about). In an attempt to catch up to Bush in polls that showed that Bush was viewed more favorably when it comes to national security and defense against terrorism, the Kerry/Edwards campaign has adopted the "hunt them down and destroy them" language of the Bushies when it comes to terrorism. But Jackson writes:
Things were going so badly in Iraq that Kerry came from big deficits in several major polls into a close race with Bush on who can better handle terrorism and Iraq. But very recent polls by Pew and Time show that Bush has stopped his free fall and is back up to 56 to 58 percent approval ratings on his handling of terrorism. That may foretell that Kerry's go-along-to-get-along, but I-can-do-it-better claim may already be at the end of its effective use.
Hopefully the Democrats can come up with a better strategy this time than just doing more of what the Republicans are doing. And I also hope that, if elected, the tune will change a bit with Kerry no longer in a campaign. But that doesn't change how disheartening it is to hear Kerry say that he would have supported the war no matter what.
By saying he would still vote for the Iraq invasion, Kerry seems to endorse the loss of between 3,200 and 7,300 Iraqi civilians in the initial invasion, according to estimates by news agencies and think tanks. By saying he would still vote for the invasion, Kerry also accepts how Americans were numbed by the Bush administration not to care about Iraqi civilians, even as we claimed to liberate them.

The United States refused to make any civilian death counts even though it will say how many "insurgents" were killed. In an April press briefing, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt was asked about images on Arab TV of American soldiers purportedly killing Iraqi children. Kimmitt's response was straight out of 1984. "My solution is quite simple: change the channel. Change the channel to a legitimate, authoritative, honest news station. The stations that are showing Americans intentionally killing women and children are not legitimate news sources. That is propaganda and that is lies. So you want a solution? Change the channel."

The US-propped-up Iraqi interim government did change the channel this month, shutting down the Baghdad office of Arab satellite television network Al Jazeera for 30 days. We have unnecessary carnage and censorship, and Kerry would still vote for this?

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