Friday, April 07, 2006

Kerry and Allard Scrap on the Senate Floor -- The Veteran vs. the Veterinarian: Who Do You Trust?

Wayne Allard staged a deplorable, vile attack on John Kerry today on the Senate Floor. It was a cowardly act, as Kerry was in a committee meeting at the time of the attack. He returned to the Senate floor to rebuke Allard's attack after his committee and issued a scathing rebuttal (text here).

Just who does Wayne Allard think he is? I don’t know a lot of people who will stand for a veterinarian questioning a veterans’ patriotism.

While Kerry was in committee, Wayne Allard said:

“I would like to start off by saying I've been very supportive of the president on the war of Iraq because he has had a plan and he has stayed the course. That's what gives me confidence in the president.

I do think that what we see today in the criticism of the president from Senator Kerry, we're seeing an individual who's being spun in the political winds, unlike the president. When he calls the strategy of today counter productive and that we fought to pull out our forces immediately out of Iraq is a catastrophic suggestion. And it's not anything that we should consider very seriously. you know, it wasn't that far—long ago when Senator Kerry was saying that it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process to simply lay the groundwork for political expedient withdrawal of American troops.”

Wayne Allard’s attack on John Kerry’s Iraq plan today were absolutely despicable. It reeked of another instance of Swift Boat'ism -- John Kerry is a decorated Vietnam veteran who fought in a war gone bad just as Iraq has. Kerry has proven over and over again that he has the courage to speak the truth to power, about what he sees in Iraq – just as Jack Murtha has.

For Wayne Allard, a veterinarian, to stand up and attack a Vietnam veteran for speaking out for American troops the way John Kerry did is unacceptable and quite frankly in my book, "counter productive" and a "disgraceful betrayal" of our "American troops" and our Veterans.

Staying the course is not patriotic. Having the courage to speak out for a better policy for our troops is.

This unjustified war in Iraq, has killed 2,348 American troops and wounded over 8,000 so severely they could not return to duty.

Wayne Allard says he supports the President’s plan and that the President has stayed the course. In my book, that’s nothing to brag about. He should be hanging his head in shame -- or better yet, Allard should stand up to Bush and demand an end to the lies and deceptions and the fear mongering that led us into Iraq.

Wayne Allard did a disservice to our troops today. They deserve a real debate on Iraq, not an attack speech on a fellow Senator, behind his back, so full of Republican platitudes in attempt to save President Bush’s political bacon. Bush's bacon is cooked at this point -- it's burnt beyond recognition.

When the facts on the ground change, then your strategy has to change, too. There has been a 180 degree change in the situation on the ground in Iraq. Over three years, Iraq has morphed from an invasion of Baghdad into a civil war. Yes, a civil war.

John Kerry wrote this week in his OP/ED in the NY Times, that “Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work.”

This is a test of whether or not our United States Senators are willing to allow that mistake to repeat itself.

Wayne Allard needs to listen to our own generals about what’s “counterproductive” in Iraq. We need to make the Iraqi's stand on their own two feet.

Senior American commanders and officials have said repeatedly, the large U.S. military presence in Iraq feeds the insurgency. General George Casey, the top American military commander in Iraq, told Congress last fall that our large military presence “feeds the notion of occupation” and “extends the amount of time that it will take for Iraqi security forces to become self-reliant.”

If the President really believes in the Iraqi people, like Wayne Allard insists he does, then he will let them run their own country. And, if he wants to keep faith with our troops, then he will give the Iraqi's a deadline. He will get tough, and he will get our American troops home.

This crop of Republican's will stop at nothing to justify their dirty lies and secrets. Today Wayne Allard tried to twist an old speech of Kerry’s, saying that Kerry contradicted himself when he said we shouldn’t just up and leave Iraq. Well, that was in 2003. Wayne Allard needs to Wake Up– it’s 2006! And our troops are fighting in a civil war in Iraq.

Here’s what John Kerry really said on December 3, 2003:

“In fact, I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy. Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election.

“I have called for the administration to transfer sovereignty, and they must transfer it to the Iraqi people as quickly as circumstances permit. But it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops. That could risk the hijacking of Iraq by terrorist groups and former Ba'athists. Security and political stability cannot be divorced. Security must come first.”

The Swift Boating is just beginning, it appears. Kerry made his case today for deadlines in Iraq. Don't let the Republicans run rough-shod over a Veteran who has never been afraid to stand and speak the truth to power.

Watch Kerry's response to Allard here.

UPDATE - In the News: Allard, Kerry spar over Iraq


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