Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Kerry keeps debating himself on Iraq issues

One reason Sen. John Kerry isn’t gaining traction in his presidential bid is that he keeps contradicting himself.

Speaking in Cincinnati last week, he attacked President Bush’s Iraq policy. He’s running a TV ad voicing the same theme.

“George W. Bush’s wrong choices have led America in the wrong direction on Iraq and left America without the resources we need here at home,” he said in Cincy. “I call this course a catastrophic choice that has cost us $200 billion because we went it alone, and we’ve paid an even more unbearable price in young American lives ... $200 billion for Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford after-school programs for our children; $200 billion in Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford health care for our veterans; $200 billion for Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford to keep the 100,000 police officers we put on the street.”

But Sen. Kerry voted to give President Bush authority to invade Iraq, supported the invasion and still supports the war! Wars cost money — billions and billions of dollars. If one supports the war, one also supports spending money on the war.

The senator believes that, had he been president, he could have gotten other countries to help out. But it’s unlikely anyone could have convinced Germany and France to join the quagmire. Even if Sen. Kerry could do so if elected, each country is unlikely to send more than the 9,000 troops our ally Great Britain already has committed to Iraq, meaning only 18,000 French/German troops would arrive.

And such troops likely would not displace Americans but supplement them. As noted previously, about 46,000 more troops would be needed to fight a proper anti-insurgency war. So the cost to taxpayers under a President Kerry — and the U.S. casualty rate — would remain high. The only way to save money in this war is to pull our troops out.

As to the programs Sen. Kerry says the money should be spent on, schools and police are local matters that are and should be locally supported. And veterans could best be served, not with more spending, but with turning most of veterans’ care over to America’s best-in-the-world private medical system.

The senator still is playing it both ways, supporting the war in Iraq while sometimes posing as a quasi-anti-war candidate. His double-digit deficit in recent polls shows that a candidate divided against himself is unlikely to win.