Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Kerry To Speak on Bush's Failings in Iraq

In response to George Bush's speech scheduled for John Kerry has an op-ed in the New York Times today. He will also be speaking on the Senate floor to give a major speech on Iraq. They will be sending out an emailing to three million members of johnkerry.com. Also watch for more response to Bush's speech on Light Up The Darkness.

In his op-ed in the New York times, Kerry states:

The reality is that the Bush administration's choices have made Iraq into what it wasn't before the war - a breeding ground for jihadists. Today there are 16,000 to 20,000 jihadists and the number is growing. The administration has put itself - and, tragically, our troops, who pay the price every day - in a box of its own making. Getting out of this box won't be easy, but we owe it to our soldiers to make our best effort.

Our mission in Iraq is harder because the administration ignored the advice of others, went in largely alone, underestimated the likelihood and power of the insurgency, sent in too few troops to secure the country, destroyed the Iraqi army through de-Baathification, failed to secure ammunition dumps, refused to recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces and did no postwar planning. A little humility would go a long way - coupled with a strategy to succeed.
Kerry is being a bit modest here. He could have pointed out that our mission is harder because George Bush ignored the advice given by John Kerry in the months leading up to the war. This advice included:
  • Only going into Iraq if we were proven to be threatened by weapons of mass destruction
  • Go in for the purpose of removing the threat of WMD, not nation building
  • Go into Iraq as part of an international force, not unilaterally, if feasible

Kerry predicted the problems we now face when he spoke at Georgetown University before the war:
I have no doubt of the outcome of war itself should it be necessary. We will win. But what matters is not just what we win but what we lose. We need to make certain that we have not unnecessarily twisted so many arms, created so many reluctant partners, abused the trust of Congress, or strained so many relations, that the longer term and more immediate vital war on terror is made more difficult. And we should be particularly concerned that we do not go alone or essentially alone if we can avoid it, because the complications and costs of post-war Iraq would be far better managed and shared with United Nation's participation. And, while American security must never be ceded to any institution or to another institution's decision, I say to the President, show respect for the process of international diplomacy because it is not only right, it can make America stronger - and show the world some appropriate patience in building a genuine coalition. Mr. President, do not rush to war.


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