August 09, 2004


Stripes: The charge is out there that Republicans are much better suited to handle defense issues. How do you counter that?

Kerry: My record counters that, and my friends counter that. . . .

They went into Iraq in a brilliant military strategy, which we all adopted and supported, but they didnít have a plan to win the peace. They didnít bring other [countries] to our side. They didnít give our troops all the equipment ó the body armor and the armored Humvees and things they need and deserve.

Thereís a great tradition of Democratic presidents whoíve led us in war.

(Emphasis added). Leaving aside the "other countries" bit, which is bogus unless "other countries" is just a synonym for France and Germany, note that this is an endorsement of the war, and seems to completely undercut earlier statements that Bush "misled the country." Will this be the new Kerry position -- the war was justified, but the peace was bungled? And I'll handle the wars I start better? Is it a return to the 2001/2002 pro-war Kerry?

I'm not terribly averse to that, but I wonder how it'll play with the antiwar base? (Via Sarah). Probably no better than this even stronger statement:

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said on Monday he would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing force against Iraq even if he had known then no weapons of mass destruction would be found.

Taking up a challenge from President Bush, whom he will face in the Nov. 2 election, the Massachusetts senator said: "I'll answer it directly. Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it is the right authority for a president to have but I would have used that authority effectively."

This really seems to undercut the "Bush lied, people died" line, doesn't it?