Thursday, June 15, 2006

Joan Vennochi’s Ignorance of Kerry’s Positon on Iraq

Some people are just determined to display their ignorance in public. Joan Vennochi does a particularly shocking case of this in her editorial in today’s Boston Globe. You would think from her editorial that she just started covering Kerry this week, but obviously we know this is untrue as she has had plenty of other absurd comments on him in the past.

Writing on Kerry’s anti-war speech this week, Vennochi writes “The Massachusetts senator is finally taking the antiwar position that people who know him well expected him to embrace long ago.” From her comments on Kerry’s admission that his vote for the IWR was a mistake–an admission he has been making for several months. Vennochi even acknowledges that Kerry had stated he changed his mind on the vote in his 2005 Georgetown speech, failing to realize how this contradicts her earlier statements in the same column.

Vennochi is also clearly unaware of Kerry’s pre-war position. She has no idea that Kerry’s explanation for his IWR vote in his Senate floor statement made it clear that his vote was not one in support of war except as a last resort. She is unaware of Kerry’s advice against going to war such as in his op-ed in the New York Times, his article in Foreign Affairs, or his pre-war Georgetown speech. Then there’s Kerry’s call for regime change in the United States in protest at the onset of the war.

Of course Vennochi isn’t the only person who has made this mistake. Even if we forgive her for this, she seems oblivious to Kerry’s many statements opposed to the war during the campaign. She writes “Had he taken such a clear stand in 2004, he might be in the White House.” Kerry’s statement of “wrong war, wrong place, wrong time” sound pretty clear. She also appears unaware of Kerry’s many statements on the war following the campaign and prior to this week.

Vennochi expresses skepticism over what she sees as Kerry’s change in position. Her problem is that she fails to understand what Kerry’s position has been.Those of us who have actually paid attention to what Kerry has had to say about the war, and his vote, understand that Kerry has been consistent in his views, understand why Kerry voted for the IWR, and understand why Kerry realized his vote was a mistake when more information on George Bush’s motives became clear. Kerry never changed his position on the war as he always opposed going to war with the conditions that actually existed. The only change is that Kerry changed his mind on whether to give Bush authorization to go to war as a last resort, and whether to believe Bush’s promises that he would first seek a diplomatic settlement. The Downing Street Memos proved that Bush was lying, and Kerry realized he should have never have trusted George Bush to keep his word. Kerry’s speech this week just reflects the same position he has been expressing for quite some time.


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