On Monday John Kerry stated that he still would have voted to authorize the war in Iraq even if he had known there were no WMD’s there. “Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it was the right authority for a president to have.” Kerry said in an attempt to clarify his position on Iraq. Kerry went on to state that although he is in favor of continuing the occupation of Iraq, he could do a better job of it and get more international support.
While Kerry has been promising in recent stump speeches to lower the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by replacing them with foreign troops, he responded to the question of whether he send more troops if the military asked him to by saying “you’d have to respond to what the commanders asked for.”
Why Kerry would state that the President should have the authority to start wars without a legitimat reason is puzzling. As a Senator, one would hope that Kerry understands that it is the Congress’ duty, not the Presidents, to declare wars. While there are certainly some differences between the Democratic and Republican platforms, Kerry seems to be running on a platform of not being Bush while still promising many of the same policies, particularly on foreign policy. Kerry’s “I’m not Bush” strategy is becoming so pronounced that it is being regularly lampooned in mainstream comedy sites such as the Onion and the Daily Show.
Editors Note: While we here at Media Mouse have certainly been very critical of John Kerry, our criticism is not meant to be attack on people who will vote for Kerry in November. The 2004 presidential election presents real dilemmas for progressives and there are no easy answers as to whether to take an “anybody but Bush” position and vote for Kerry, vote third party, or even to boycott the election entirely as a statement about the bankruptcy of the American electoral system. Regardless of what happens on Election Day, the important thing is that we all continue to work on creating a broad-based anti-war/pro economic and social justice movement that is able to effectively confront power and create the positive change we all seek.