Jewish World Review June 15, 2006/ 19 Sivan 5766

Larry Elder

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Al-Zarqawi's death softened by criticisms of ‘Bush's war’? | In the wake of the death of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, will Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., soften his irresponsible, hey-don't-blame-me criticism of the war in Iraq?

Kerry voted for the war resolution, and insisted that he did not regret his vote. Yet recently, he told a group of Democratic activists that he did regret his vote. Kerry accuses the Bush administration of a "rush to war," arguing that our intelligence painted an incomplete picture of Iraq's WMD.

In a recent meeting with a group of liberal bloggers, Kerry "agreed completely with someone's assessment that everything that Bush does is solely for the purpose of looting the country," as one of the bloggers later reported. "(Kerry) basically said that Bush and his cohorts are criminals. At some other point, he referred to Supreme Court justices Alito, Scalia, and Roberts as 'idiots.'" Following this month's elections that took place in much of the country, Kerry sent an e-mail to Democrats, "(Republicans') claims of momentum are as phony as their claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Rush to war? " Claims " of weapons of mass destruction? Let's go the videotape.

"Americans really need to understand the gravity and legitimacy of what is happening with Saddam Hussein. He has been given every opportunity in the world to comply . . . Saddam has not complied. Saddam Hussein is pursuing a program to build weapons of mass destruction." — Kerry, Dec. 16, 1998, press conference.

"If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already-existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act." — Kerry, Sept. 6, 2002, The New York Times.

"It would be naive to the point of great danger not to believe that, left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will provoke, misjudge or stumble into a future, more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world. He has as much promised it . . . He has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel . . . We should not go to war because these things are in his past, but we should be prepared to go to war because of what they tell us about the future." — Kerry, Oct. 9, 2002, Congressional Record.

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"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority — if necessary — to disarm Saddam, because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our society." — Kerry, Oct. 9, 2002, Congressional Record.

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal and murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. And we all know the litany of his offenses. The reason I think we need to really think about him is because he presents a particularly grievous threat through the consistency with which he is prone to miscalculation. He miscalculated an eight-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America's response to that act of naked aggression. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending scuds into Israel and trying to assassinate a former American President. He miscalculated his own military strength and he miscalculated the Arab world's response to his misconduct. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose and destroy its weapons programs. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it's not new. Since the end of the Persian Gulf War we've known this." — Kerry, Jan. 23, 2003, Georgetown University.

"It appears that with the deadline for exile come and gone, Saddam Hussein has chosen to make military force the ultimate weapons inspections enforcement mechanism . . . (T)he only exit strategy is victory. This is our common mission and the world's cause." — Kerry, March 20, 2003, at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president." — Kerry, Dec. 16, 2003, campaigning in Iowa.

Following Zarqawi's death, most Democrats, including Kerry, managed a tight smile. But Congressman Pete Stark, D-Calif., took the Michael Moore/Cindy Sheehan road and flat-out said that Bush manipulated the timing of Zarqawi's death. "This is just to cover Bush's (rear) so he doesn't have to answer" for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers. "Iraq is still a mess — get out."

And only five months to go until the November elections. Are we there yet?

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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