What Is it with Senator “Why The Long Face John” Kerry? When it comes to the war on terrorism, he has been wrong at every step along the road. Well except for maybe the time he voted for funding the troops after he voted against it. And when Kerry is on the road to fight terror he is usually traveling in reverse.
Part of the problem is that Kerry tends to look at terrorism as a crime rather than an act of war. In a 2004 appearance on Fox news, Kerry quoted what he wrote in the book The New War: He said, “In that book, I wrote about how we needed to strengthen our ability to be able to fight international criminal crime, including terror.” In another selection of the book, which he did not cite on Fox, the senator claimed, “The damage done by international crime is rarely as specific and dramatic as that of a terrorist attack, but in fact it is greater.” Thus when he said in his book that Yassir Arafat was a role model for other terrorists, (because he has made a transformation from outlaw to statesman) it was in the context of jurisprudence, prisoners being able to be rehabilitated.
Kerry recently came back from Afghan with the astonishing claim that General McChrystal “reaching too far, too fast,” almost as if he felt that Afghanistan was a crime scene that need to be slowly combed for clues. The Fact is the General was sent over to the war zone and told to come up with a winning strategy. Now that McChrystal made his recommendation Kerry is looking for a way to cut and run. Sorry Senator, there is a reason why McCrystal has a chest filled with medals and you threw your one medal away, he knows what he is doing:
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War On Terror: Sen. John Kerry, who was so wrong about Iraq, now says our commander in Afghanistan is “reaching too far, too fast” and that a “good enough” policy should suffice. It won’t.
Offering his advice on how to micromanage the war against the Taliban, Kerry said Gen. Stanley McChrystal, President Obama’s hand-picked general to fight what he called a “war of necessity,” is wrong in saying he needs 40,000 more troops to fight and win it.
Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday, Kerry advocated a “good enough” policy designed not to achieve victory in al-Qaida’s former home base but to merely get our troops out of there. “I believe his (McChrystal’s) current plan reaches too far, too fast,” he said.
Kerry also criticized McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy, saying, “We don’t have to control every hamlet and village.”
Yet it was a similar surge in Iraq that brought us victory. By having enough troops to provide security to “every hamlet and village,” it showed the Iraqi people we wouldn’t abandon them and gave them the courage and support they needed to rise up, reconcile, cooperate and fight for their own country.
In his party’s weekly radio address in February 2007, the Massachusetts senator said: “Another 21,000 troops sent into Iraq, with no visible end or strategy, ignores the best advice from our own generals and isn’t the best way to keep faith with the courage and commitment of our soldiers.” Kerry branded the proposal for additional forces by Gen. David Petraeus, our commander in Iraq, as “nothing more than the escalation of a misguided war.”
Kerry was wrong then and he’s wrong now. Vietnam vet Kerry, of all people, should be aware of the perils of micromanaging a war from afar, dithering on strategy and settling for less than victory.
More troops by itself is not an answer, but with the right strategy and the right commander they can be the tipping point, as Petraeus showed in Iraq. Once the goal of victory was established, President Bush let his commanders on the ground decide how to get there. Petraeus asked for more troops. He got them. He won.
At the NATO ministers’ meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, last Friday, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said defense ministers broadly supported the strategy for Afghanistan outlined by McChrystal a long two months ago.
“I have noted a broad support from all ministers on this counter-insurgency approach,” Rasmussen said.
McChrystal, speaking in front of military specialists at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London recently, was asked whether he agreed with Vice President Joe Biden’s endorsement of a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaida than more boots on the ground.
“The short answer is no,” McChrystal replied, adding that such a strategy would lead to “Chaos-istan.”
He defended his request for 40,000 more troops, warning that “a strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a shortsighted strategy.” So is Kerry’s.
During our Civil War, President Lincoln had a choice between “good enough” Gen. George McClellan and generals, namely Grant and Sherman, who believed the purpose of war was to defeat the enemy.
We faced that choice in Iraq, sent Petraeus over with enough troops, and the rest is history.
When their goal was getting us out of Iraq short of victory, Kerry and company said Afghanistan was the place we should be fighting. Now that we are there, they have once again sounded forth the trumpet that shall always call retreat.