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Sunday, October 24, 2004

How would Saddam "not necessarily be in power" if Kerry'd been President?

From the transcript of the second debate (boldface added):

BUSH: Saddam Hussein was a risk to our country, ma'am. And he was a risk that — and this is where we just have a difference of opinion.

The truth of that matter is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he were the president of the United States, "And [according to Sen. Kerry] the world would be a lot better off."

GIBSON: And, Senator Kerry, 30 seconds.

KERRY: Not necessarily be in power, but here's what I'll say about the $87 billion....

Sen. Kerry never finished his "not necessarily" point.  So here's a challenge, then, to those of my thoughtful and articulate readers in general, and to selected bloggers, who support Sen. Kerry: 

Please offer a plausible, reasonably detailed scenario for how, if Sen. Kerry had been the President instead of Dubya, Saddam would not still be in power as of November 2, 2004.


Please be sure to point out in your scenario not only what you believe Sen. Kerry would have done to effect regime change in Iraq that would have been different than what Dubya's done, but also what Sen. Kerry would have done to effect regime change in Iraq that Bill Clinton didn't do.  This isn't a question about what a hypothetical Pres. Kerry would have done better to "win the peace."  Nor is it a question about whether it would have been acceptible to "keep Saddam in his box," short of deposing him and his government.  It's specifically about regime change.

Note to skeptics:  Feel free to comment upon this subject and any Kerry supporters' hypothetical scenarios, but let's be on very best behavior, please, and give the Kerry folks a fair chance to make their arguments.

cc (via email):

Kevin Drum of Washington Monthly
Andrew Sullivan of AndrewSullivan.com
Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo
Oliver Willis of OliverWillis.com
Charles Kuffner of Off the Kuff
Bryon L. of Burnt Orange Report

Posted by Beldar at 01:02 PM in Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to How would Saddam "not necessarily be in power" if Kerry'd been President? and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» "Not Necessarily." from Legal XXX

Tracked on Oct 24, 2004 9:32:20 PM


(1) Kalle (kafir forever) made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 1:33:18 PM | Permalink

Here is a bonus question: how would Kerry's hypothetical method have led to Libya's surrender of its secret WMD programs?

(2) Jeanne made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 1:42:58 PM | Permalink

I think Kerry would have had a summit with the troublesome French and Germans who might have mentioned their arrangements with Saddam. Kerry would then have offered a higher bribe than Saddam and the UN would subsequently have taken Saddam out.

(3) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 3:31:34 PM | Permalink

I'll say it straight--it was a dodge of the charge. A deflection.

However, it is a bogus mode of argument, imo, and well deserving of a dodge.

To demonstrate why, I won't go through the logical intricacies. Rather, I'll respond with the logical counterpoint:

If John Kerry had been president, over 1100 Americans who died under Bush would be alive today.

(4) Maxim made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 4:34:58 PM | Permalink

The question Beldar posed is a clear and pertinent response to one of Kerry's many unsubstantiated claims. The question is not bogus and it does not deserve a dodge. So I can't figure out if the comment from Geek Esq is supposed to be a satire of the logic of Kerry supporters or a serious response from a serious Kerry supporter. Any help on that?

(5) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 5:23:53 PM | Permalink

Geek, bonus points for recognizing that Kerry dodged the question at the debate. However, re your "logical counterpoint," I could just as easily posit that if Bush hadn't done what he did, 10,000 Americans would have died in the Washington subways when the artillery shell filled with sarin recovered from an IED in Iraq was exploded. (And of course, not much speculation at all is required to postulate another 50k dead Iraqis for each additional year of Saddam's continued rule, that being merely the extention of the previous factual line.)

I'm not looking for more Tom Clancy here. I'm looking for a plausible scenario where Kerry's "not necessarily" is explained, if there is one. You're a smart fellow. Is this the best you can do?

(6) Mike H. made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 5:28:19 PM | Permalink

Geek is a serious Kerry supporter. And he forgot to subtract from his 1100 survivors the unknown number of casualties of subsequent attacks on American civilians. Hey Geek -- Uh-rah.

(7) Steve L. made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 5:34:08 PM | Permalink

I can give you one scenario in which Saddam would be out of power during a Kerry presidency:

Hell froze over.

(8) The Lonewacko Blog made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 6:24:45 PM | Permalink

At each of his palaces, SH's servants prepared meals and performed other tasks just like he was there, even if he never showed up. Why? Why did SH move from palace to palace? Whatever was he afraid of?

Speaking about those palaces, how many of them were there? We certainly heard about the starving children because of sanctions, but strangely enough we didn't hear *as much* about whether sanctions were the real cause. OBL even mentioned the starving children in a speech.

I'd need to look back, but weren't some people speculating that SH was paying off leaders of France, Germany, and Russia?

Speaking of torture, there seems to have been some knowledge of SH torturing people before the war, but I think the image of the starving children overpowered torture claims, some of which have been discredited or were discredited years ago. (The incubators story).

How much money are France, Germany, and Russia currently making from Iraq?

(9) The Lonewacko Blog made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 6:29:57 PM | Permalink

Continuing the mind experiment, click here.

(10) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 6:39:55 PM | Permalink

Ah, the members of the faith-based community respond to my reality-based comments.

This is a fact (in other words, reality): 1100 Americans have died, and tens of thousands others have been horribly maimed, directly because of Bush.

This is also a fact: Saddam was a "diminishing threat" to the United States who had NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, nor any program to produce them.

So, Beldar's hypothetical is simply false--there would have been no Sarin shell capable of killing 10,000 people detonated in the United States. It never existed.

Saddam was not al-Qaeda. Saddam did not kill American civilians. He was an evil bastard and dictator, but he was not a threat to American civilians.

There is absolutely no factual evidence to support the conclusion that invading Iraq saved American lives in the short term. None.

People who don't accept this are denying reality.

(11) chaizzilla made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 6:52:43 PM | Permalink

[Comment deleted for failure to follow this blog's comment policies. Chaizzilla, consider this your first and only warning. Please keep comments civil. Calling anyone on either side "pigs" gets your comment zapped, and next time, your IP banned. — Beldar]

(12) jas made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 6:57:06 PM | Permalink

Saddam was a "diminishing threat" to the United States who had NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, nor any program to produce them.

Oh Good Lord! The same old spiel from the left. READ the FRIGGIN' Duelfer report! The only thing diminishing was the very existence of the sanctions. Hussein was still being sold the materials forbidden under the sanctions. He still maintained the intellectual capital to produce weapons. Duelfer evens admits that he cannot dispute how much was shipped into Syria before the war. If you insist upon denying "the facts", any credibility you attempt to maintain continues to "diminish".

(13) Charles R. Williams made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 7:12:21 PM | Permalink

What Kerry is saying - in an incoherent way - is that effective diplomacy might well have made the war unnecessary. He fancies himself a diplomat. When he was trucking with the enemy in Paris in 1970, I think he fancied himself a diplomat. Unfortunately, as his campaign demonstrates, he is not the man he thinks he is.

(14) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 7:26:24 PM | Permalink

Regarding the sarin shell that "never existed," here's something from that right-wing bastion CNN:

An artillery shell used in a roadside bomb in Baghdad did contain the nerve agent sarin as originally thought, U.S. officials confirmed Tuesday.

Laboratory tests confirmed initial findings from field tests that suggested the chemical agent was in the shell, which was found on May 15 and exploded two days later.

(I picked CNN at random; there are similar stories in WaPo, NYT, etc.) According to the DoD, the shell contained "an estimated three or four liters of the deadly nerve agent." If used effectively by terrorists somewhere like a subway station, the quantity of sarin from that one shell could indeed have killed 10,000 people. Saddam didn't need stockpiles of WMDs to enable terrorists to threaten the U.S.

Saddam's forces shot live missiles and anti-aircraft shells at American and British pilots on almost a daily basis for a decade before the Iraq War, in violation of the cease-fire terms to which he'd agreed at the end of the Gulf War. He conspired to assassinate an ex-President of the United States. That he didn't kill any Americans wasn't for lack of trying.

But none of this is the point. Indeed, I regret responding to your provocation, friend Geek.

This isn't a thread about whether "invading Iraq saved American lives in the short term." It's about regime change. Feel free, but not compelled, to try to meet the challenge if you can. But please feel compelled to stay at least reasonably on-topic, or pick another thread, sir.

(15) perfectsense made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 7:31:46 PM | Permalink

Under Kerry's plan, these are the only plausible scenarios where Saddam would not "not necessarily be in power"

• Saddam sees the errors of his ways and joins Jimmy Carter in the habit for humanity.
• Saddam dies of laughter during nuanced negotiations conducted in French with Kerry.
• Saddam’s sons assassinate Saddam so they can rule Iraq.
• In a Clintonian twist, Kerry changes the English language by presidential decree so that “in power” does not include “murderous dictators who received 100% of the vote.”

(16) Boris made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 7:48:52 PM | Permalink

There is no plausible scenario where diplomacy results in Saddam being removed from power.

There is no reasonable scenario where the UN removes Saddam. If we haven't found WMD, inspectors were never going to find any.

It was either a dodge or Kerry is a supporter of 007 black ops assassinate and beat them at their own game master spy legend in his own mind.

(17) Dr. Weevil made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 8:19:27 PM | Permalink

I just posted three "remotely conceivable alternatives" on my blog (here). 'perfectsense' beat me to the least implausible of the three, that Saddam might have been murdered by one or both of his psychopathic sons if we hadn't killed them 15 months ago. Not very likely, and the other two are even less likely.

(18) Eric Pobirs made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 9:00:04 PM | Permalink

If Kerry had been elected President in 2000, not only would Saddam Hussein still be in power, he would be largely free of the sanctions. Kerry's beloved Euros petitioned repeatedly at the UNSC for the sanctions to be dropped. Only the steadfast determination of the US kept the sanctions and Saddam's restraint from restarting his weapons programs in place.

Kerry has demonstrated he cares about the concerns of foreign governments much more than is suitable for a US President. Is there anyone who believes Kerry wouldn't have given in to the combined solicitations of the French, Germans, Chinese, and Russians if they presented a unified front is calling for the sanctions (which they'd been violating all the while) to end?

(19) The Raving Atheist made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 9:10:40 PM | Permalink

What? Daily Kos isn't accepting e-mails from you?

(20) gsbaker made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 9:29:49 PM | Permalink

Not plausible but conceivable:
1. He shot in the air and a falling bullet killed him.
2. He slipped in his bath and drowned.
3. He got religion and resigned to become a hermit.
4. He decided that he would rather be a rock star.
5. He and Chirac decided to move to Tahiti and live the good life together.

Obviously there is no plausible scenario that involves Kerry and the removal of Saddam.

(21) Roofer made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 9:53:22 PM | Permalink

Put another way: Regime change in Iraq became U.S. policy during Clinton's second term. What would John Kerry have done to further that policy?

I used to be a bank exmainer with the Federal Reserve System. Unlike state banking departments or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Fed does not charter banks. Thus, its powers in many cases are more persuasive than truly regulatory. We used to wonder what would happen if a really obstinate bank were to decline to sign a Memorandum of Understanding or Cease and Desist order. We figured our response would have to be something like, "Okay, then, we're not going to like you anymore."

Kerry's approach to a recalcitrant Iraq would have been to not like Saddam a lot more than we didn't already like him.

(22) A.W. made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 9:58:07 PM | Permalink

Ah, i never read Kerry as meaning he would take Saddam out. I think he really just meant, "Well, maybe he would trip down the stairs of his palace and crack his skull." I never took that as a claim he would have done s**t about saddam. If he thought that, he would have said that.

[Edited for profanity — Beldar.]

(23) Ann_Observer made the following comment | Oct 24, 2004 10:50:15 PM | Permalink

If Saddam had ever shown the slightest weakness, somebody in the Iraqi military would have taken him out and installed himself as dictator-for-life.

Look at the viciousness and ferocity of the current resistance to the coming of democracy to Iraq. The men behind this are devoid of scruples and conscience. They would do anything—anything—to attain and hold power. They're a virulent cancer entwined in the bowels of Iraq. Anybody who believes that such men could ever be talked into giving up power once they had attained it, is an utter and irremediable fool.

Fighting cancer with diplomacy for 35 years—John Kerry's motto.

(24) Where's The Beef? made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 12:19:03 AM | Permalink

I very much like the 'Beldar Challenge of the Week' approach to Kerry's campaign assertions. This one, for instance, included indivdualized invitations. The attempted distraction and the studied silence on the other side speaks volumes.

As we come down to the wire, howzabout one Beldar Challenger per day? All in the aid of restoring peace and quiet. Heh.

(25) Ron made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 12:26:45 AM | Permalink

I think the question is actually a paradigm. Everyone in the world community knew what SH was capable of, and they also knew his intentions. Snarky remarks aside, I feel the only logical conclusion to the question is he spoke before thinking. He was expected to reply to the charge from GWB but "it ain't necessarily so" was the segue to his talking points; he never meant it. This is a pattern he repeated throughout the debates: dodging a direct question to quickly segue to his memorized talking point.

I think geek was way off on a another typical dem tangent. They like to answer an honest question with a "terrible" accusation. Remember, as Ann Coulter said,"liberals are always victims". Kerry, as victim here, blurted a canned reponse and is now paying for it.

(26) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 12:44:51 AM | Permalink

This is about regime change, I agree.

But, the balance sheet of regime change includes both assets and liabilities. If Bush is going to hold Kerry accountable for the assets, then it would be equally valid to hold Bush accountable for the liabilities.

My point, lost in the fog of argument, is that the charge itself was bogus, and almost necessitated a dodge. The alternative for Kerry would have been the equally low blow I described above.

The dishonesty in either argument is to treat the dethroning of Saddam and the deaths of 1100 American troops as though they existed in a vacuum.

In other words, it was a dishonest answer to a dishonest charge.

(Off topic, but addressing the Sarin shell: The shelf life on that shell had long expired, and even the Pentagon did not consider it very important--nor was it considered a WMD.)

(27) MaDr made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 3:24:33 AM | Permalink

1. Kerry bores Saddam to death. Inside sources report, it wasn't so much the never ending conferences and summits where Kerry kept droning, but rather the after dinner entertainment - Kerry's 8mm home movies (Viet Nam)- hour after hour, night after night.

2. Between the lying nuance, flip flops, and straddles, Saddam is driven insane and takes his own life (in self defense).

3. At a post summit dinner, Tereza inflicts herself on Saddam, initiating an apoplectic fit, culminating in death. After Saddam reluctantly admitted that he preferred Laura's cookie recipe, her retort was either scumbag or shove it - accounts differed.

(28) Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 6:21:13 AM | Permalink

Beldar, Beldar, Beldar..there you go..lawyerin' agin....

Even the Babe, Hank and Barry struck out now and again..
What, you trying for 3 for 3??

I was, frankly pleasantly amazed at the respondents you drew from Chafetz' essay and Left Fringe...they were at least...thoughtful..in an undergraduate, if not passionate, albeit academic way...i.e., parroting their Prof's pet theories of altruistic behavior in secular humanism...heh

Bill over in DCJ tried a similar approach (and edited mercilessly to enforce his ground rules)and got a lot of "civil" but mediocre middle school responses. Struck me as the "fringe" of the DU crowd, actually.

Maybe those guys, (like Ubiquitor, et al) know an ambush from a distance when they see one...??? ya think??
Oh..and with the geek--I just consider the source...he don't count much, in my book

(29) Allan Yackey made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 7:45:42 AM | Permalink

Of course there is no plausible sequence of events under a Kerry administration that would lead to a removal of the Iraqi dictator.

Anyone can say anything when arguing a point. One of the things I do is watch for the underlying assumptions upon which an argument is based. Even perjury exposes its underlying assumptions. Even a pathological liar, who believes whatever he is saying at the time, must have some underlying assumptions for the lie.

Here then is the point. If I we were discussing a different topic, for example assume that the President decided that our armed forces were needed to protect lives in say, San Francisco after the feared 10.0 earthquake. Due to after shocks 1100 soldiers died saving 50,000 civilians. Who would fault the administration for the decision?

The numbers do not change. Only the situation, the location and the ethnic identity of the victims do. Mentioning the 1100 without acknowledging the lives saved, exposes a thought process. You now only need to give the person who expresses that thought process a name.

(30) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 9:08:15 AM | Permalink


The Armed Forces of the United States exist to protect American lives, not the lives of people overseas.

Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that the Iraqi invasion was motivated by humanitarian concern for the Iraqi people. The justification offered was national security. Bait and switch is not permissible when it comes to war.

(31) Ann_Observer made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 9:40:06 AM | Permalink

Geek, Esq

Was Iraq a threat to us last year? Not an imminent one (as President Bush himself pointed out). But our present post-war knowledge of his state of military readiness (or lack thereof) has all the advantages of hindsight. The point is, last year we weren't sure how much of a threat Saddam was to us, and to what extent he might be able to assist bin Laden and other such madmen in trying to realize their insane aims of toppling Western capitalism and killing all the world's infidels.

After we crushed the Taliban in Afghanistan, we needed a new front line for the war on terror, a front line that wasn't located in the United States. We chose Iraq because we were already at war with them anyway, because we thought that Saddam's weapons programs remained productive, and because Iraq was very close to a large number of angry young muslim radicals who needed to be provoked into showing themselves so we could kill them.

All this is not difficult to understand if your focus is on protecting the United States from further depredations by demented islamists. The more of them we kill over there, the fewer of them we'll have to kill over here. And if we can give the majority of the good and peaceful inhabitants of Iraq and the rest of the muslim Middle East a chance at a free and productive existence, that's all the better, isn't it?

(32) Addison made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 9:56:30 AM | Permalink


Talk about a "bogus" charge...

"(Off topic, but addressing the Sarin shell: The shelf life on that shell had long expired, and even the Pentagon did not consider it very important--nor was it considered a WMD.)"

What was it's expiration date?

No, the reason it didn't kill the people around them was it was a binary munition (Which Saddam didn't have in '91, and never declared that he did have), and use as a IED meant it didn't get mixed correctly. It wasn't expired, it was misused. (Because it wasn't marked as being different from any other shell.... Something you might want to consider when you make your (disproven by the very existance of that shell) charge that there were no weapons of mass destruction. That shell means there were. No special markings, meaning how many more are there? Well, we don't know.

It's called moving the goalposts. And at this point, you've moved them not just out of the stadium, but past the next county, and into a lake. Underwater. "Yeah, kick a goal now!"

And if we found the motherlode of all chemical dumps (besides the ones we've already found, filled to the brim with "Pesticide" (in case you skipped organic chem, that's deadly enough by itself, give any decent chemist 2 or 3 days with one of those bleached trailers, and they'll have you some nasty nerve gases ready) - wait, facts again) - then you'd just dismiss it as a Rovian plot, that we knew all along, waited until just before the election to "find" it, or else, we planted it.

(33) Michael B made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 9:58:20 AM | Permalink

Realistically we can't even be sure what a Gore or Kerry administration would have done in Afghanistan, much less Iraq. Certainly, one suspects something would have been done, but given the stark contrast between Kerry's status quo, overly cautious and transnationalist instincts vs. the President's long range view that is born out of a creative combination of realism and classical liberal initiatives (classical liberal in the vein of Locke, Montesquieu, et. al., not a Leftist pseudo "liberalism"), one cannot be readily or easily assurred about theoretical Kerry initiatives. (Obviously this is speculative, but if a scrupulous intellectual integrity is maintained within any speculative scenario, it is not likely that one would be readily assurred.)

The Bush doctrine is an all encompassing doctrine and strategy that has, post-9/11, set a positive course and has rejected failed policies of the past. By contrast it's almost inconceivable that Gore or Kerry would have matched the same vision, grit and resolve, even in Afghanistan, much less Iraq. Yes, they would have done something, but exactly what that something would have been is difficult to say and it's simply not credible that they would have matched the same vision and resolve when their status quo and reactionary Leftism is taken into account. It is precisely that status quo Leftism, far too ambiguously derivative of New Left instincts, that would have 1) limited their vision and resolve, 2) made them more susceptible to domestic pressure groups and 3) made them more susceptible to international pressures eminating from a variety of sources and motives (political, economic, statist/diplomatic, etc).

Hence it's not surprising that ideological and instinctive leftists that do maintain a high degree of veracity and intellectual integrity often support the President's vision as regards the war on Islamofascism. Examples include Christopher Hitchens perhaps most obviously, also thoughtful, conscientious and articulate people like Norman Geras and Oliver Kamm, among others.

(34) Where's The Beef? made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 10:24:00 AM | Permalink

--"Bait and switch is not permissible when it comes to war."--

There is a bait and switch but that's not it.

Kerry said then, and prevaricates now, that he was for the policy of regime change.

Based on Kerry's own words and actions, how could he have got the deed done? Was it permissable?

(35) jukeboxgrad made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 10:33:21 AM | Permalink

Beldar, especially since Beefy has now made cynical reference to the "studied silence on the other side," and has gleefully invited you to post "one Beldar Challenger per day," hopefully I'm not terribly off-topic to mention that it was exactly a month ago today that you posted a different "Beldar Challenger," presumably your first (http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2004/09/a_challenge_to_.html). It's more than 3 weeks since you said you would write a summary "sometime this weekend." It's a week since you closed the thread and made another reference to the "long-promised summary."

In the interim you've taken the time to write lots of other articles (roughly five dozen, give or take, since first promising the summary), so it's possible that I missed it in the traffic. Did I? Or maybe your summary somehow got misfiled and is in a dusty warehouse along with Bush's missing TANG records.

I realize you're busy. Just that one piece on masticatory thespianism must have chewed up a huge chunk of time. But if you're serious about inviting comment from the "other side," this track record doesn't help to demonstrate that. Integrity, integrity, integrity.

(36) ed made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 12:45:23 PM | Permalink


My guesses on how Kerry would remove Saddam?

1. A couple buckets of KFC sent to Baghdad every week would either kill him off with an errant chicken bone or severe increase in cholesterol.

2. Kerry could suggest playing "catch". Kerry isn't the best at throwing a baseball.

That's it, can't think of anything else.

(37) ed made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 12:49:08 PM | Permalink


"The Armed Forces of the United States exist to protect American lives, not the lives of people overseas.

Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that the Iraqi invasion was motivated by humanitarian concern for the Iraqi people. The justification offered was national security. Bait and switch is not permissible when it comes to war."

How ridiculous. Panama. Grenada. Balkan Campaign. Kosovo. Haiti. Somalia. etc etc etc.

American military forces have intervene on humanitarian grounds for decades now. Are you at all suggesting that protecting American lives and protecting foreign lives is somehow mutually exclusive?

nonsense. This is why I generally ignore you.

(38) Allan Yackey made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 4:04:43 PM | Permalink

I am afraid that the point of my original post was missed by at least one responder.

Iraq is and always was about US national security. That Iraq did not have stockpiles of WMD does not change its threat to us. So it is not bait and switch.

There is no question in my mind that a world of freely elected governments will be safer for all. There is little history of freely elected governments going to war against other freely elected governments. That tends to be what kings and despots do.

My post had to do with calculating the cost of the operation. Those who would discount the lives of the Iraqi people (counting them as zero) express an interesting attitude. Those who do most frequently claim association with the left. These are the same sources of verbal claims to value all people equally.

(39) Dave made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 7:53:28 PM | Permalink

Geek said something about the shelf life of the sarin shell found had been reached, therefore ,its potency had expired. Geek, care to tell us about organo phosphate poisons and their shelf lives inside a sealed artillery shell? I'd be fascinated to hear this.

(40) Allan Yackey made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 9:09:09 PM | Permalink

I have an additional hypothetical for Geek to respond to.

If a future President of the United States sent the United States military to Viet Nam in response to a humanitarian crisis created by a series of typhoons and 1100 were lost saving 50,000 Vietnamese would that be offensive to you?

(41) Old Patriot made the following comment | Oct 25, 2004 11:18:24 PM | Permalink

John Kerry's record in the Senate provides us with a huge clue to what he'd have done post 9/11 - nothing. The man is an empty suit. He's an actor, playing a role, not to be taken seriously. He's his own "West Wing", without the plot line. There is no way he'd ever have done anything positive about removing Saddam Hussein, regardless of the provocations.

There is no reason to believe that John Kerry would have done anything differently than what Bill Clinton did during the previous eight years of repeated attacks against the United States and its assets worldwide. In fact, knowing Kerry's psychological blinders, there's even LESS reason to believe he'd have done anything at all, except talk - and talk - and talk. His performance in response to the SwiftVets ads, his performance in the debates, his performance on the campaign trail, day after day reinforce the utter emptiness of the man of anything remotely resembling an idea - new, old, worn, useless, or dumb. He's a creature of group-think, of focus groups and the lavish psychobabble of the "in" crowd among the Democrats. He doesn't have the character or the courage to be president. The fact that he's even a candidate is a telling blow to how low the Democrats had to stoop to find someone to put up against George Bush. His even being CLOSE is more from the "Anybody but Bush" hate group than those that actually think he'd be a good President. Even Al Gore at his worst would be a better president than John Kerry at his best. John Kerry is always someone else's reflection, never himself. He tries to be a reflection of John Kennedy, he tries to be a reflection of Ted Kennedy, and now he's trying to be a reflection of Bill Clinton.

There is no room in the White House for reflections.

(42) Joe Stephens made the following comment | Oct 26, 2004 12:23:59 AM | Permalink

Kerry said: KERRY: "Not necessarily be in power, but here's what I'll say about the $87 billion.

I made a mistake in the way I talk about it. He made a mistake in invading Iraq. Which is a worse decision?

Now, I voted the way I voted because I saw that he had the policy wrong and I wanted accountability. I didn't want to give a slush fund to Halliburton. I also thought the wealthiest people in America ought to pay for it, ladies and gentlemen. He wants your kids to pay for it. I wanted us to pay for it, since we're at war. I don't think that's a bad decision."
Kerry in his response not only dodged the Sadaam Hussein still in Iraq question, He dodged the $87 billion vote question twice in his response. Three dodges in one response. Obviously he had to dodge both questions because they both expose his gross politically opportunistic record. Whatever is expedient politically will define what he does. What is right morally will not influence what he does unless he first runs it through the political filter.

(43) Chads made the following comment | Oct 26, 2004 9:45:07 AM | Permalink

A commenter above mentioned it, and I'll go a little further. The response after the Cole bombing was -------zip. The Democrats had a policy of "containing" terrorism, as was revealed in the testimony about that incident. We weren't willing to do anything about the Taliban at that time, so I doubt that 9/11 with it's tenuous ties, would have pushed a gore or Kerry administration over even that edge. We might have sent some forces to try to capture Bin Laden, totally, Alienating the Northern Alliance, and Pakistan. A Dem administration would have first had to jump this hurdle to even GET to Iraq, which I doubt they would have. In all probability the horrible sanctions would have been dropped, Saddam would have went back to his illegal weapons programs, and in a few years we would have lost 30,000 men trying to take them away, or countless civilians because we didn't, or couldn't. The Duelfer and Kay reports, suggest this is the most likely scenario.


(44) MP made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 6:12:35 AM | Permalink

Mickey Kaus at Slate http://slate.msn.com/id/2108682/
recently posted this excerpt of a McLaughlin Group transcript from October of '01 showing Kerry saying:

"I have no doubt, I've never had any doubt -- and I've said this publicly -- about our ability to be successful in Afghanistan. We are and we will be. The larger issue, John, is what happens afterwards. How do we now turn attention ultimately to Saddam Hussein? How do we deal with the larger Muslim world? What is our foreign policy going to be to drain the swamp of terrorism on a global basis?"

So as of October 2001 Kerry did in fact, intend to take on SH as part of the broader War on Terror.

What happened?

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