John F. Kerry's response to President Bush, Republican Convention -- 09/03/2004

John Kerry: John Kerry is Unfit for Command!

I've been thinking a bit about this line from the "Midnight Madness" speech:

Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation.
Now, I watched "The Kerry Iraq Documentary." It's a production of the Bush campaign, and therefore has no cause to be kind to Kerry. Still, it presents Kerry's position in his own words, and in his own voice -- usually through videoclips of him appearing, time and again, over several years, to advocate war with Iraq over WMD.

Kerry eventually voted for the Iraq war resolution, and said at the time that he "fully supported" it.

Kerry had a seat on the Senate Intel committee, although apparently he didn't make much use of it. Still, he has had direct access when he wanted it to the CIA's intelligence on Iraq; to CIA staffers for questions; and to the documentation from the rest of the intel community as well. Whereas Bush had access to this information only after 2000, when he assumed office, Kerry has been 'in the know' for a decade and more. He should have been familiar with the intel backwards and forwards, and indeed in the television spots he makes a big deal about the fact that he was.

And Kerry supported the war resolution, as he supported the President's call throughout 2001 and 2002.

So, what to make of his statement?
Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation.
There are two possible answers. The first is that Kerry is, today, acting in bad faith. He knows that Bush did not mislead the nation, as he himself had the same information and access and advocated the same course. Kerry is parroting the Michael Moore line because he thinks it is an effective attack, not because he believes it to be true.

The second possibility is that Kerry does believe Bush misled the country. In that case, however, Kerry misled the country too. In his own words, he is unfit to lead this nation.

Since we prefer to give veterans the benefit of the doubt whenever possible, I'll choose to believe that Kerry really thinks he is unfit to command. If I'm right to believe Kerry's words, all sides now agree on the point: Vice President Cheney, the Swifties, the Honorable Senator Zell Miller, and now John Kerry himself.

No comments: