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Kerry’s Flip-Flop On Afghanistan Troops

An editorial from the Wall Street Journal:

John Kerry’s Tora Bora Campaign

The Senator is now in favor of more troops after he was against them.

DECEMBER 1, 2009

President Obama unveils his new Afghanistan strategy today, and in the nick of time Senator John Kerry has arrived with a report claiming that none of this would be necessary if former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had only deployed more troops eight years ago. Yes, he really said more troops.

In a 43-page report issued yesterday by his Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Kerry says bin Laden and deputy Ayman Zawahiri were poised for capture at the Tora Bora cave complex in late 2001. But because of the "unwillingness" of Mr. Rumsfeld and his generals "to deploy the troops required to take advantage of solid intelligence and unique circumstances to kill or capture bin Laden," the al Qaeda leaders escaped.

This in turn "paved the way for exactly what we had hoped to avoid—a protracted insurgency that has cost more lives than anyone estimates would have been lost in a full-blown assault on Tora Bora."

The timing of the report’s release suggests that Mr. Kerry intends this as political cover for Mr. Obama and Democrats, and some in the press corps have even taken it seriously. But coming from Mr. Kerry, of all people, this criticism is nothing short of astonishing.

In 2001, readers may recall, the Washington establishment that included Mr. Kerry was fretting about the danger in Afghanistan from committing too many troops. The New York Times made the "quagmire" point explicitly in a famous page-one analysis, and Seymour Hersh fed the cliche at The New Yorker.

On CNN with Larry King on Dec. 15, 2001, a viewer called in to say the U.S. should "smoke [bin Laden] out" of the Tora Bora caves. Mr. Kerry responded: "For the moment what we are doing, I think, is having its impact and it is the best way to protect our troops and sort of minimalize the proximity, if you will. I think we have been doing this pretty effectively and we should continue to do it that way." The Rumsfeld-General Tommy Franks troop strategy may have missed bin Laden, but it reflected domestic political doubts about an extended Afghan campaign.

Remarkably, Mr. Kerry is now repeating those same doubts about Mr. Obama’s troop decision, saying that the "Afghans must do the heavy lifting" and that he supports additional troops only for "limited purposes" and wants the U.S. out within "four to five years." Adapting his legendary 2004 campaign locution, Mr. Kerry is now in favor of more troops after he was against them, but in any case not for very long.

We have already commented on this preposterous report ordered up by Mr. Kerry, which just happened to say exactly what Mr. Kerry wanted it to say.

But Mr. Kerry’s hypocrisy cannot be overstated.

Speaking of which, here is another exchange from that same Larry King interview:

CALLER: Hello. I’m calling to find out what are they going to do with bin Laden when they bring him back to the United States? Are they going to bring him back to the United States or are they going to try him over there?

KING: What do you make of that? First, Senator Kerry, if they come upon him, what is the move?

KERRY: Well, I think it is probably the wish of most people in this country that justice is going to be delivered and we don’t have the choice of the bin Laden that we have to try. And I think that is an honest appraisal by most people in this country.

If, on the other hand, we are in a situation where he is, in fact, taken prisoner, we will live by the rules, then has to be tried. I believe that it may very well be that he is being — that that is why the president has established the tribunals. And I’m not against the tribunals. I do think, however, that it may be better — I mean, I think America needs to talk more about our strengths. And one of the greatest strengths of our country is our justice system. I don’t think we should be scared to use that and particularly with respect to him.

KING: But if he is brought back to the United States, that will be a spectacle, wouldn’t it?

KERRY: Well, there are ways to handle this, I think. You may be able to do the tribunal, not do it here, but do it by our full measure of rules. I think that is subject still to determination, Larry.

He is still the same flip-flopper we came to know and loathe during the 2004 campaign.

Clearly, these are just some more of those pesky things that Mr. Kerry was for before he was against.

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Kerry’s Flip-Flop On Afghanistan Troops”

  1. BillK says:

    From an OpEd piece in the Wall Street Journal:

    John Kerry’s Tora Bora Campaign

    President Obama unveils his new Afghanistan strategy today, and in the nick of time Senator John Kerry has arrived with a report claiming that none of this would be necessary if former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had only deployed more troops eight years ago. Yes, he really said more troops…


    So, to paraphrase a famous statement, Kerry was against more troops before he was for them.

    How surprising.

  2. proreason says:

    You have to hand it to Traitor John.

    He is the only person on earth who can rival the Moron as a liar.

    Although the CRUddites are emerging as rivals for the throne.

  3. tranquil.night says:

    A simple bing (not google) search of “Truth about Tora Bora” yielded this 2004 nationalreview article: http://www.nationalreview.com/babbin/babbin200411010743.asp, which links to this 2002 Washington Post article, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A62618-2002Apr16, which is what Mr. Kerry who-served-in-Vietnam bases this ‘factual’ argument on.

    “DeLong and Franks didn’t fail in Tora Bora. Moreover, there was neither a failure of the Afghan forces nor any “outsourcing.” Instead, there was careful planning and the use of Afghan forces to great effect, in places and in ways our own forces couldn’t function.

    The plan for Tora Bora employed the same methods that had worked elsewhere in Afghanistan. DeLong said, “It goes back to the beginning of the war.” In the north of Afghanistan, “We used the Northern Alliance — which was in fact then the rebel force — to act as Gen. Franks’s army on the ground and using their generals as Gen. Franks’s ground generals. We would embed with each of their medium size ground forces a rather large special forces team with the capability of calling in air [strikes] and the CIA came because they knew the terrain and they knew the people, they knew the languages and it forced the Department of Defense and the CIA to work closer together, so it was a perfect fit.”

    DeLong said, “There were so many tunnels up there, that we knew that no matter how many people we put up there, we could put millions, you wouldn’t find all the tunnel entrances and openings.” (The Soviet Union, in its decade-long war against Afghanistan in the 1980s, shattered its army by throwing masses of troops into the Afghan mountains trying to trap the mujahideen. They failed, and retreated with tens of thousands of dead. Fortunately, Franks and DeLong studied the lessons of that war.)

    Mr. Kerry seems to conveniently ignore this in his recycled assessment of Tora Bora, ironic as it’s the cornerstone for the left’s crusade against the possibility of even attaining victory in Afghanistan. “Graveyard of Empires” right Bill Handel?

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Kerry has been given too much credence since too long ago.

      Why people listen to him is beyond me. His relativistic BS is not only tiresome, it’s juvenile.

  4. canary says:

    Meglomaniac, full of himself, Obama’s relationship with John Kerry.

    The Audacity of Hope Barack Obama

    19)”… No wonder then that upon my arrival in Washington that January, I felt like the rookie who shows up after the game, his uniform spotless, eager to play, even as his mud-splattered team-mates tend to their wounds. While I had been busy with interviews and photo shoots, full of high-minded ideas about the need for less partisanship and acriomony, Democrats had been beaten across the board – the presidency, Senate seats, House seats. My new Democratic colleagues could not have been more welcoming toward me; one of our few bright spots, they would call my victory…”

    (Savior Obama informs us how they all went to him for support and a shoulder to cry on)

    “And then there was the small matter of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: the shocking efficiency with which a few well placed ads and the chants of conservative media could tansform a decorated Vietnam war hero into a weak-kneed appeaser.”….

    21) “I happened to run into the retiring Senator Zelll Miller, the lean, sharp–eyed Georgia Democrat and NRA board memeber who had gone sour on the Democratic Party, endorsed George Bush, and delivered the blistering keynote address at the Republican National Convention – a no-holds-barred rant against the perfidy of John Kerry and his supposed weakness on national security. Ours was a brief exchange, filled wih unspoken irony – the elderlly Southerner on his way out, the young black Northerner on his way in,…Later, I would happen upon an excerpt from his book, A Deficit of Decency, in which he called my speeh at the convention one of the best he’d ever heard,…”

    (Obama suddenly switches to his statments on how his wife will tell you (the reader) how Ann Coulter, nor Sean Hannity could get under his skin when he watched them, and his pity for people who waste their precious evenings doing so. Obama missed his daughter’s growing, so don’t be fooled)

    354) “Some of the hyperbole can be traced back to my speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, the point at which I first gained national attention. In fact, the process by which I was selected as the keynote speaker remains something of a mystery to me.”

    (uh? uh? he disguised his dialect? uh duh?)

    354)” had met John Kerry for the first time after the Illinoise primary, when I spoke at his fund-raiser and accompanied him to campaign event high-lighting the importance of job-training programs. A few weeks later we got word that the Kerry people wanted me to speak at the convention….
    After I hung up, I turned to my driver, Mike Signator.
    “I guess this is pretty big, I said.”
    “Mike nodded.’ You could say that”. ‘

    (Obama tells he hadn’t planned on going, was broke, had neglected his law practice and rarely seen his wife or duaghter for 6 monthes, but he knew John desparately needed his talented speech, Besides everyone told him it would be fun and good experience for next time he tried to run. He booked a flight to L.A., only once there, the Hertz car rental lady’s face became embarrassed and she told him his credit card didn’t work after re-trying it for him. After 30 minutes on the phone, explaining how important Obama’s mission was, a kindhearted supervisor authorized the car rental.
    Things got worse. As Obama was not a delegate he was not allowed a floor pass.

    355)” I ended up watching most of the speeches on various television screens scattered around the Staples Center, occasionally following friends or acquaintances into skyboxes where it was clear I didn’t belong.”…

    “Given the distance between my previous role as a convention gate-crasher and my newfound role as a convention keynoter, I had some cause to worry that my appearance in Boston might not go very well…”

    (worked on speech drafts, and then a spark and brought to his mind a phrase that his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., had once used in a sermon; the audacity of hope, and he hammered out his speech)

    357)”…I arrived in Boston…my first appearance on Meet the Press. …Tim Russert put up on the screen an excerpt from a 1996 interview…I had forgotten….the reporter asked me – as someone just getting into politics as a candidate for the Illinois state senate – what I thought about the Democratic Convention in Chicago?
    The convention’s for sale, right…You’ve got these $10,000-a-plate
    dinners, Golden Circle Clubs. I think when the average voter looks
    at that, they rightly feel they’ve been locked out of the process.
    They can’t attend a $10,000 breakfast

    After the quote was removed from the screen, Russert turned to me. “A hundered and fifty donors gave $40 million dollars to this convention,” he said. “It’s worse than Chicago, using your standards. Are you offended by that, and what messge does that send the average voter?”

    I replied that politics and money were a problem for both parties, but that John Kerry’s voting record, and my own, indicated that we voted for what was best for the country. ….

    358) “… I spent most of the first three days at the convention fulfilling my role in this pagent.,,,I practiced my speech in front of a video monitor, did a walk-through of how it would be staged, received instruction on where to stand, where to wave, and how to best use the microphones…..

    359) I WOULD BE lying if I said that the positive reaction to my speech at the Boston convention – the letters I recieved, the crowds who showed up to rallies, …- wasn’t personally gratifying…
    the torrent of publicity that followed the speech reinforces my sense of how fleeting fame is, ….

  5. canary says:

    Kerry’s report is b.s. Everyone knew Pakistans were helping Bin Laden sneak back and forth across the border. But, we got permission to put in troops in Pakistan as long as we did not engage on their country. If you recall when Obama first came into office Jan he dropped bombs at least 2 times from drones that hit part of Pakistan, and the payments started. If Bush had done this, he’d have been called a baby murderer. And we didn’t hear anit-war peace protestor calling Obama a baby killer, no Kerry kept making trips over there paying Pakistan to include his last big payment.
    It’s okay for a white man like Obama be a self-hypocrite, and hold Bush to a higher standard, then say he failed. And Kerry is still a blind deer in headlights, except for when he traveled to other countries like France and before Obama’s world tour of telling the globe that America is an evil country. Can you imagine the money John Kerry aided Obama’s fund-raising? Obama chooses those of his own feather to run the country, no matter how unethical, corrupt, stupid, ignorant, scum….

  6. Laree says:

    Lawrence Eagleburger on Your World with Neil Cavuto video, He doesn’t think this troop build up is a good idea it isn’t even nearly enough to stabilize the region and he isn’t the only one who thinks so many have doubts that 30,000 troops can do much of anything inside of Afghanistan.


  7. Liberals Demise says:

    Really ….. what would you expect from a guy (?) that walked his three (3) fake Purple Hearts through without the first day spent in a rear hospital area with white sheets, round eyes and A/C? It just doesn’t add up. Everyone one gets rear time……at least a day or two. It wasn’t the world but it wasn’t the bush either!
    Kerry is as phony an Honorable Veteran as Ali Bama is a Christian.

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