Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kerry’s Fact Finding Mission in Iraq

On a fact-finding mission in Iraq, John Kerry met with troops in Iraq on Wednesday.

During a visit to Camp Al Tahreer in Baghdad, Kerry met with soldiers from Massachusetts, “asking them what he should tell Congress about the war in Iraq.”

The troops complained to Kerry that the good work that they are doing is not getting reported in the United States.

(AP Photo/U.S. Army, Pfc. Charles Maib, 1/5/05)

During his visit, Kerry discussed sports, the presidential election and the state of the war in Iraq.

(AP Photo/U.S. Army, Pfc. Charles Maib, 1/5/05)

The veteran Massachusetts senator said he wanted to see for himself whether the country was moving toward stability or deeper into chaos, and the best way to learn was to seek information firsthand.

''I've been visiting a lot of places like Des Moines and Green Bay [during the campaign], and it has been great," Kerry said during an informal lunch at the Al-Rashid Hotel with a small group of reporters and officials from nongovernmental organizations. ''But we are at war, and I think you can't really make all the judgments that you need to make without digging in."

He declined to compare the insurgency in Iraq with the one he faced in South Vietnam as a Navy lieutenant three decades ago. He insisted that superior firepower alone wouldn't quell the violence in Iraq.

''No insurgency is defeated by conventional military power alone. Look at the IRA," he said, referring to the Irish Republican Army, which fought a decadeslong guerrilla war against the British in Northern Ireland. ''It was defeated by a combination of time and political negotiation."
He said he was more interested in asking questions of soldiers, American officials and Iraqis themselves than in rehashing the political battles of past campaign.

But in several instances, he attacked what he called the ''horrendous judgments" and ''unbelievable blunders" of the Bush administration. The mistakes, he said, included the decisions to disband the Iraqi Army and purge the government of former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party. Both moves are widely believed to have fueled the Sunni Arab insurgency.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thx for posting the story and corr. photos. This reminds me I have to keep informed of policy in the second term and voice concerns when necessary. My feeling is that this adminstration will be held to greater scrutiny this time around.
E Davis
Tempe, Ariz.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Pamela Leavey said...

Hey E Davis

Good to see you here! I'll be continuing to post whatever I find about what JK is doing in the future. I also plan to shed a light on the things that need to change in our country.

Today was an awesome day for democracy. I'm proud to call Barbara Boxer my Senator and proud to be a former constituent of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

7:44 PM  

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