portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

government | imperialism & war | political theory

Someone PLEASE tell me this article isn't real...

I just came across this article in the online version of The New York Times..."Kerry Says His Vote On Iraq Would Be The Same Today". I was hoping someone could please tell me this article really doesn't exist, that what I just read is actually a part of a bad dream I have been having since November of 2000 and I will wake up and I will turn on NPR and hear President Gore thanking his supporters for nominating him, and he will give a special shout out to the 91,000 people (96% African American) in Florida who were NOT illegally denied the right to vote like they were in my dream.
NYTimes.com > Washington > Campaign 2004

Kerry Says His Vote on Iraq Would Be the Same Today

Published: August 10, 2004

RAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz., Aug. 9 - Senator John Kerrysaid Monday that he would have voted to give the president the authority to invade Iraq even if he had known all he does now about the apparent dearth of unconventional weapons or a close connection to Al Qaeda.

"I believe it's the right authority for a president to have," said Mr. Kerry, who has faced criticism throughout his presidential campaign for that October 2002 vote.

But Mr. Kerry, the Democratic nominee, extended his attack onPresident Bush's prosecution of the war, saying he had not used the Congressional authority effectively.

"My question to President Bush is, Why did he rush to war without a plan to win the peace?" Mr. Kerry told reporters here after responding to Mr. Bush's request last week for a yes-or-no answer on how he would vote today on the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq.

"Why did he rush to war on faulty intelligence and not do the hard work necessary to give America the truth?" he said. "Why did he mislead America about how he would go to war? Why has he not brought other countries to the table in order to support American troops in the way that we deserve it and relieve a pressure from the American people?"

Standing at an elevation of 7,200 feet on the edge of the canyon, Mr. Kerry also set a goal of reducing the number of troops in Iraq by next summer, though both he and his advisers rushed to say that deployment would depend on diplomatic progress and democratic elections in Iraq, among other things.

"I believe if you do the kind of alliance-building that is available to us that it is appropriate to have a goal of reducing our troops over that period of time," he said. "Obviously, we have to see how events unfold. The measurement has to be, as I've said all along, the stability of Iraq, the ability to have the elections, and the training and transformation of the Iraqi security force itself."

At the same time, Mr. Kerry said, if commanders on the ground ask for a troop increase, "you'd have to respond to what the commanders asked for."

The comments on troops grew out of a radio interview last week in which Mr. Kerry said, "I believe that within a year from now, we could significantly reduce American forces in Iraq, and that's my plan."

His senior foreign policy adviser, James P. Rubin, told reporters, "Senator Kerry made very clear he was talking about goals," pointing out that Tommy Franks, the recently retired general who led the Iraq invasion, said Sunday that troop reduction might soon be possible.

To back up his contention that he could reduce the number of American troops by persuading other countries to deploy forces to Iraq, Mr. Kerry suggested that two of his Democratic Senate colleagues, Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Carl Levin of Michigan, had received assurances while traveling abroad that a change in administration would change allies' attitudes.

"Right now, this administration is scrambling to try to get Muslim forces on the ground; the Saudis are trying to scramble to help assist to do that," he said. "All of this should have happened in the beginning, all of these things should have been achieved beforehand. American presidents should not send American forces into war without a plan to win the peace."

Mr. Kerry has said that he - along with other members of Congress and the American public - was misled by the Bush administration about its rationale for going to war in Iraq, but Monday's statement was his most definitive yet that he would have voted to authorize the use of force even if provided a fuller picture.

Over the past year, he has been bedeviled by the Iraq war, first attacked by antiwar Democrats in the primaries for his vote in favor of the resolution, more recently pilloried by Mr. Bush and his allies for voting against $87 billion that went largely to finance the war.

Mr. Kerry's 10-minute exchange with a handful of reporters came after he and his wife, and two of their adult children, took a 30-minute hike along the canyon's southern rim. On a postcard-perfect day, the Kerrys flew here to throw an environmental elbow at Mr. Bush over financing for the park system.

"Regrettably, today, the national park system is under stress," Mr. Kerry said, promising to make up what he described as a $600 million shortfall in the parks budget within five years, as part of a $20 billion conservation and energy trust fund.

"The policies of this administration are going backwards," he said. "We believe we ought to go forward in the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt, in the spirit of all those who for years have fought to preserve America's great treasure."

Mr. Bush's campaign said the park system's current $1.8 billion budget was 20 percent higher than when the president took office and "has more funds per employee, per acre and per visitor" than it has ever had.

"President Bush has provided record funding levels for America's national parks," said a spokesman, Steve Schmidt. "John Kerry's misleading attacks are one more reason why he has a growing credibility problem."

The campaign also released a statement from Gale A. Norton, the interior secretary, saying that Mr. Bush "has taken bold and responsible steps to protect America's forests, parks and natural resources," while Mr. Kerry "has skipped key votes on everything from Healthy Forests to the energy bill."

"John Kerry's inconsistent rhetoric shows just how out of touch he is with the values Westerners hold dear," Ms. Norton said.
Heh 11.Aug.2004 07:24


You're surprised that Kerry is a fraud??? This guy is just as bad as Bush don't fool yourself. If he gets elected nothing is going to change. They both work for the same people. Wake up and smell the coffee.

they're not the same 11.Aug.2004 08:39


they're pretty damn close.
JFK doesn't work for the Christian Conservative right, which means he isn't obligated to keep women from having their own choices regarding their bodies. Which means he isn't oil royalty, w/ ties to Halliburton and the gang. His environmental policies won't be AS bad (but he's not a green, that's for damn sure)...but he's not the same and Dubya Doo and the "let's go back in time" regime.

He is a rich fuck who knows little about the lower class. He is a wealth monger who is part of an elite class who doesn't understand what poverty really is. He is still supported by corporate empire and won't stop the bullshit which is the root of all that's wrong. He's also supported by much more education money, which is better than drug company ca$h.... if he's going to be returning favors.

Lesser of two evils. . . 11.Aug.2004 09:02

Hal E. Burton

Sadly, we are faced with a choice of little change, but the lesser of two evils is to be preferred. If it's any consolation, recall that both Cheney and Rumsfeld worked in Nixon's administration.

The man who would be the next "war president" 11.Aug.2004 09:12

Hector Macgoblin

Kerry is a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI). Guess that should be "was an member", now that Iraq has been liberated they've probably disbanded. The roots of this organization go back at least to the Gulf war and has many members in common with the infamous PNAC. Read about it here, or go googling...


But c'mon, cheer up! It's only four more years...

link 11.Aug.2004 09:20

the truth

Kerry Says His Vote on Iraq Would Be the Same Today


Do you see now why pressure must be placed on him?

Since a large section of the Progressive Left has flung their endorsement at him (you know who you are,) he has no reason whatsoever to do anything for those people THE people.

Oregon is a battleground state. We need to send a strong and loud message this Friday that unchecked imperial agression will no longer be tolerated or funded by our taxes. We have to shout it at him at waterfront park.

See you there,
bring some throat lozenges

We have got to do something about this! 11.Aug.2004 09:49


So how did we get stuck with Kerry, the guy who is barely better than Bush?

It might have something to do with the facist techniques of the Kerry handlers that were easily exposed at the democratic convention in Boston. I personally experienced this same type of strong arm tactics at my state convention. I would strongly encourage others who experienced this to please comment on this article. Could it be that the DLC pushed everyone around, and pushed this unworthy candidate on us? He is going to lose this election and that is hard to do. Are we really going to just sit back and watch this happen?

My suggestion is this...we hold an emergency session of the democratic delegates. No speeches, no corporate parties...just the delegates getting together to discuss the platform and the direction of our country. The delegates job at the convention was far more important than holding a sign, and yet their voices were not heard. Ninety percent of the delegates were against the war, yet had to sit through war talk from both Kerry and Edwards, without having the ability to express their own beliefs.

Answer 11.Aug.2004 10:13

Answer Desk

"So how did we get stuck with Kerry, the guy who is barely better than Bush?"

Because most of the sheeple can't bring themselves to vote for 3rd parties.

Getting the facts straight 11.Aug.2004 10:13

Eltear eltearpdx@netscape.net

AP Again Attributes a Statement to Kerry That He Never Made

Read through this piece of A.merican P.ropaganda and you will soon discover that nowhere does Kerry actually state, as AP claims, that "he would have voted to authorize the war in Iraq knowing what he does now." What Kerry actually said is: "Yes, I would have voted for the AUTHORITY. I believe it was the right authority for a president to have." Kerry's vote was based on the scenario - presented and subsequently misused by Bush - that if the US were ACTUALLY UNDER ATTACK that the president could declare war and retaliate without waiting to convene Congress. But that was NOT what happened. We were NOT under attack nor in real danger of attack. But AP is helping Karl Rove with his latest strategy - promoting the idea that "there's no difference" between Kerry and Bush, esp. on the Iraq war. Tip: Read every AP article VERY carefully - this is not the first time they (and the NY Times) have attributed statements to Kerry he never made.

Kerry was not misled 11.Aug.2004 10:23


Kerry knew exactly what was going to happen, as did many people. His claims to the contrary are just because he feels it's better to look incompetent than complicit... just like the Bush regime.

Nice Try, Eltear 11.Aug.2004 10:32

Bush/Kerry in 2004!!!

However, it is the Constitutional responsibility of Congress to decide matters of war, and I couldn't care less if that indisputable fact has been ignored for decades. The President (or pResident) is not the Commander in Chief unless we are at war. Are we at war? I don't recall a Congerssional declaration, only big talk from the Chimp.


whatever 11.Aug.2004 10:42


this article surprised me about as much as a cloudy day in portland in February.

Skull and Bones is as Skull and Bones does


Don't bother trying to explain it away 11.Aug.2004 10:53


Knowing then what he knows today about the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Kerry still would have voted to authorize the war and "in all probability" would have launched a military attack to oust Hussein by now if he were president, Kerry national security adviser Jamie Rubin said in an interview Saturday.


surprise 11.Aug.2004 11:34


Two days ago Kerry called for citizens to form neighborhood watch groups to combat terrorism. Fucking neighborhood watch groups. The line seperating Bush and Kerry continues to blur.

This, from a man who voted for Nafta, the Patriot Act, and the war. In light of recent developments in the ever spectacular Kerry campaign, it appears Kucinich has failed in reforming the sacred Democratic party. Fuck. He was so close.

If you bring a sign or your voice of dissent to his"rally" this Friday, it won't be tolerated. You will go where all those who aren't in step end up, far away from the flag waving and the fever of corporate politics.

Meanwhile, we still have members of the progressive community clinging to Nader and his stale campaign of ego and big money. Nader's run as an independent and Kucinich's "progressive" campaign have done more damage to the 3rd Party movement in Portland than Bush could ever have hoped for. There's no solidarity in an independent, and there's no progressive politics in the Democratic party.Both have sucked time and resources out of an already fragmented community and left us bitching about symptoms.

See ya'all Friday.

yes, it's fascism, but also good sign making 11.Aug.2004 12:02


My sign for the Kerry rally:

Neighborhood Terrorist Watch Groups For Kerry

strict conditions 11.Aug.2004 12:10


to go inside the event you are not allowed any signs nor bags!
very strict conditions.
perhaps to protect Nardo or Bon Jovi.
maybe the Big Skull
who knows.

i suggest t-shirts w/ lovely messages if you plan on going inside.
"Your War Monger is Not Welcome Here"

except that. . . 11.Aug.2004 16:05


"Kerry is a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI). Guess that should be "was an member", now that Iraq has been liberated they've probably disbanded. The roots of this organization go back at least to the Gulf war and has many members in common with the infamous PNAC. Read about it here, or go googling..."

Bob Kerry is a member of the CLI, not John Kerry. At least read the documents you link to.

Comments on comments 11.Aug.2004 16:29

Anybody but Kerry

First, "Bush/Kerry in 2004" commented that:

"The President (or pResident) is not the Commander in Chief unless we are at war."

The President is commander-in-chief OF THE MILITARY regardless of whether we are at war. He is never commander-in-chief of the country or of you an I unless we are in the military, regardless of whether we are at war. Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution reads: "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;"

My teeth grind when I hear people not in the military talk about the President as the "commander-in-chief." That is fascist thinking. Worse is when Christo-fascists say the Bible requires us to follow the commander-in-chief, citing Romans 13. Grrrrr. Bush is not my commander-in-chief, and dissent in wartime is permissable and necessary, especially because the troops can't voice their opposition to their commander-in-chief.

Second, Eltear is wrong -- the authority for use of the armed forces was very broad and not limited to responding to an attack. Read resolution excerpt below. A vote for this resolution was a vote for war.



(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.


In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and

(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Kerry is NOT pro-choice and he accuses Bush of being soft on Iraqis 11.Aug.2004 17:59


Under Clinton, abortion access declined steadily. It's likely that Kerry will stand by while this happens as well. He opposes abortion personally, but defends it on the basis that it is the law. Recent comments from Kerry put into question whether he is really all that dedicated to preserving abortion as the law of the land. Kerry, a devout Catholic who says he once considered becoming a priest, said in May that he might even appoint an anti-abortion Supreme Court justice if it provided necessary "balance" to the Court.

Bragging that he voted to confirm Antonin Scalia in 1986, Kerry told reporters that he has voted in favor of "any number of judges who are pro-life or pro-something else that I may not agree with," some of whom were nominated by Republican presidents. Asked about future Court picks if he's offered the chance, Kerry said, "Do they have to agree with me on everything? No... that doesn't mean that if that's not the balance of the court I wouldn't be prepared ultimately to appoint somebody to some court who has a different point of view. I've already voted for people like that. I voted for Judge Scalia."

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry declared that, if he were elected, US troops would remain in Iraq throughout his first term in office—to the end of 2008. The Democratic candidate also suggested that the Bush administration was more likely to withdraw troops quickly than a Kerry administration.

Both the content of the interview and the choice of publication, the Journal, has been the most vehement media advocate of the war in Iraq and is one of the chief editorial voices of the extreme right within the American political establishment—are politically calculated to send a message. Kerry is reassuring the US ruling elite, including the far-right elements who now back Bush, that he can be trusted to carry forward the US conquest and occupation of Iraq.

beats me 11.Aug.2004 20:07

i saw it as

simply kerry trying to appeal to voters who are still under the spell of the bush machine's propaganda. this is about the reverse of howard "wrong to go, right to be there" dean. sound like everyday fence straddling to me.

gosh we'd all like kerry to take a firm, open stand, but he's already out on a limb with chimp-worshippers just by even having an exit strategy, and the both the goering quote about tryants questioning the patriotism and the way rethuglicans attacked mccain and cleland by... yeah, by questioning their patriotism, ought to tell you me and kerry that he's concerned that an open stand again the invasion will open him up to those attacks, possibly to the point that it will leave bush in power.

there's a reason rethugs use those tactics, i presume it's because they tend to work. they're laying the mine feild, that is for certain. should i really see this as more as kerry not stepping it in?

i had hoped for better, and i stood up for what i thought were clearer choiced, but the time for that was during the primaries. they're over now, unfortunately.