Monday, October 18, 2004

Why I support John Kerry

This is from a post to another list, so it jumps into the middle of a conversation, but there you are:

The vote in the Senate "for the war" was of course a vote to permit the president to pursue a course of action to ensure that Saddam Hussein had no WMD, a course of action that was to involve the UN, weapons inspectors, and further UN discussion and approval. It did not necessarily have to lead to war, except with this president.

I believe that John Kerry speaks the truth when he claims to have been misled into voting for it, both by the faulty, falsified, or edited evidence, and by George Bush's false promises. But I also believe that he was quite boxed in - if he had voted against it, he would not have had a chance against the Republican smear machine. I remember George McGovern, and I know what happens to anti-war candidates - they don't win. Try to imagine Howard Dean on those debate stages with Bush, and the spin after. It would not be a pretty picture.

I also remember the stand John Kerry took against the war when he came back from Vietnam, and the work he has done since.

- He joined with John McCain to try to heal the POW/MIA issue with Vietnam, and helped set the stage for the discovery and return of the remains of "our boys" that might be found, and for the re-establishment of normal relations.

- He pursuaded Jesse Helms of all people to allow the Iran / Contra investigation to proceed, based on evidence of drug trafficking, and pursued it relentlessly in the Senate. See
this article in the Boston Globe.

- As a young Senator he also investigated - against the wishes of his own party - the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) which was involved in illegal activities with Latin American drug cartels. BCCI is said to have been a precursor to terrorist funding mechanisms.
Washington Monthly explains this one.

These are the tough actions that stand out in my mind when I think about John Kerry's record. I don't care about whether there is any legislation with his name on it, legislating is only part of a senator's job. Oversight is another, and Kerry has pursued that line.

He has enormous integrity and great strength of character.

He knows what battles are worth fighting, when to make a stand, when to turn into the fray, when to fade away and let your opponent - or enemy - spend himself so that you can close for the victory.

Damn, you would hardly know I was a peacenik once, the way I go on. But I am absolutely thrilled that Kerry has come this far and desperately hopeful that he will prevail so this Republican nightmare will end.


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