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Iraq was a threat before it wasn't a threat

John Kerry from last night's debate, via Cam Edwards

”Well, let me tell you straight up: I've never changed my mind about Iraq. I do believe Saddam Hussein was a threat. I always believed he was a threat. Believed it in 1998 when Clinton was president. I wanted to give Clinton the power to use force if necessary.”

Later in the debate answering a question on Iran…

”I don't think you can just rely on U.N. sanctions, Randee. But you're absolutely correct, it is a threat, it's a huge threat.

”And what's interesting is, it's a threat that has grown while the president has been preoccupied with Iraq, where there wasn't a threat.

You would think he could manage to not flip flop at least long enough to get thru a single debate. Of course he's never changed his mind.


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Comments (19)

Have you seen the Duelfer r... (Below threshold)

Have you seen the Duelfer report?

Freudian slip?
BUSH: 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 the
world would be a lot better off."

I downloaded the first 52 M... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I downloaded the first 52 MB of the Duelfer report and to be frank, was shocked as to how little it resembled the press coverage of it.

I'm not sure how your quote figures in the mix though.

I don't understand how peop... (Below threshold)

I don't understand how people can't see through this. He can't even stay conisistant in the same debate. I can't express how glad I am that saddam is not in power. He is a evil.

Rollins: He was pointing ou... (Below threshold)

Rollins: He was pointing out what Kerry thinks and how wrong Kerry is to think that the world would be a better place with Saddam in power.

In all fairness, I feel I h... (Below threshold)
D:

In all fairness, I feel I have to defend Sen. Kerry on this matter.

These statements about Iraq, and Saddam are 100% accurate. He says that he was a threat, and then later says where there wasn't a threat.

Fundamentally this seems like a flip-flop, but it really isn't.

Before we went into Iraq he was a threat. Saddam was dangerous, he, at the time, had aspirations toward starting his WMD programs again.

So we all know the first statement is true.

Now then, the second statement is also true. Now how can that be, I am sure you are wondering. The simple fact is, it all comes down to perspective. We are now liberating Iraq, and he have found no WMDs there. So there is no threat there. Statement two is correct. The crux of it all is, statement two can only be correct if we are on the ground in Iraq. Without being there it would be an outright lie.

From outside of Iraw, Saddam is a grave threat. Now that Saddam is gone, and there really were no WMDs, hindsight tells us that there was no threat there, even though we believed that there was one.

So it all boils down to perspective. He's a threat in power, but there was no threat now that we've deposed him and found out there is no WMDs there.
*Defense of Kerry complete*

However, I myself think Kerry can go take a flying leap off the Grand Canyon. We had to go back into Iraq, we had to remove Saddam, he was the greatest threat to the U.S. aside from Osama, and we all know that Osama is on the run, more likely dead. What Kerry DOESN'T seem to understand is that it is going to take several generations to breed terrorism out of the stupid. As the safe havens for terrorists decline, and more and more fanatics kill themselves, it truely is a matter of time before they simply breed themselves out of existence. We need Presidents like Bush who realize this, and will do what it takes, and keep the consistent pressure on these fanatics to basically pressure them out of existence. Kerry and the Liberals do not seem to fathom this concept from what I see of their core values.

D, that is some funny sh*t.... (Below threshold)
Vegas Infidel (the worst kind):

D, that is some funny sh*t. I'm going to put that first part in my rolling screensaver.

A lot of the 15yo DUmmies think Kerry is going to win with this nonsense--those poor bastards. I would feel sorry for them if they weren't such vile and obnoxious, human hating radicals.

The defense doesn't fly, D.... (Below threshold)
Pete:

The defense doesn't fly, D.

W still believes that Saddam was a threat, WMD stockpiles or no. Kerry didn't say that there "isn't" a threat, he said there "wasn't" -- while just moments before said that there WAS. No amount of mental acrobatics makes those two things jive.

If he believed, prior to the war, that Saddam was a threat but now doesn't believe that he actually was, what would that indicate? It would indicate that he...

...changed his mind. Maybe with good reason, maybe on account of facts and evidence, but he changed his mind all the same.

I've noticed some of the MS... (Below threshold)
Oat:

I've noticed some of the MSM pundits summing up last night's debate in this way: Bush played to his base, while Kerry played to the undecided's. How about this explanation instead: Bush holds principled positions, while Keryy adjusts and even reverses his positions in pandering to whatever audienec he happens to be speaking to.

For instance, on the issue of partial-birth abortion:

Bush: I'm against it.
Kerry: I was against it before I was for it.

I do not agree with Bush on a lot of issues, but the fact that he holds principled positions gives me confidence that on the issues with which we both agree, he's right.

Well,Prior to the war Kerry... (Below threshold)
D:

Well,Prior to the war Kerry believed him to be a threat, yes. Post war after we found out that he no longer had WMDs he learns that there wasn't a threat.

This isn't a difficult concept to wrap your brain around. It's all about perspective. He isn't saying that he no longer believes that Saddam wasn't a threat while in power. Kerry has stated that now that Saddam is no longer in power, we have come to learn that Iraq was at no point in the near past a threat. Where he believes that Iran, and North Korea ARE a current and immediate threat.

Kerry's belief is that had we not invaded, the weapons inspectors would have declared Saddam disarmed and neutralized, in regards to WMDs. The fault in this thinking is that I feel Saddam would have been more than willing to allow terrorists safe haven within Iraq. Instead of having Chemical, Biological, and nuclear weapons of Mass Destruction, Saddam would instead be able to finance terrorism. A living WMD.

Kerry isn't saying that Iraq or Saddam wasn't a threat, he's saying that Bush has focused in Iraq, when Iran, and North Korea are a bigger problem, and Iraq wasn't a threat, because there is no WMDs(Which we didn't find out about untill after the invasion was complete). Kerry believes that the sanctions would have worked... I like to compare Iraq, and Saddam to a toddler... How many times do you have to tell a two year old no, before you finally have to punish him/her? Saddam, you can't have WMDs... Saddam, You must disarm or we'll hit you with sanctions... Saddam, You haven't disarmed, so instead we'll give you food for oil(which he turned around and never gave to his people)... Saddam, You still haven't disarmed, so we're going to make you disarm(which started to work untill he threw the inspectors out... Numerous times.)... Saddam... I think you get the point. Over and over and over again the U.S. and the worlds leaders tried and tried to keep Saddam in check, and he kept defying everyone every step of the way. I applaud President Bush for breaking out the good ole leather belt and finally punished Saddam like he should have been years ago.

I feel what Kerry is trying to point out here with these apparent "flip-flop" statements is that He felt Saddam was a threat. Yes, we all knew this. But now that we're on the ground in Iraq, we have learned that there really was no threat of WMDs. Which was the reason for entering Iraq again in the first place. That is the point I feel he is trying to make, and he did not make it in a clear and easily understood manner. If you still fail to see the whole point of perspective well, I feel for you, but I'm not going to explain it a third time.

Wow, D, it took you 5 parag... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Wow, D, it took you 5 paragraphs to explain Kerry's position. I can do it in one word -- bullshit.

Obviously Kerry,once again,... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Obviously Kerry,once again,was just speaking incorrectly about his views on the matter of the Iraq threat. Much like he spoke incorrectly about the "voted for it before I voted against it" debacle. So we can all sigh in relief and forget about it as totally irrelevant. It is all part of his super powers....the one that allows him to change his mind with every bit of new data that blows in.

I am curious about the Medicaid thing. Kerry said that he and others fixed it in '97-'98? I am not sure of the exact years he mentioned. If this is true that he fixed it,why is it such a problem now? He said they brought it into the future,but that seems to be a very short time frame. Kind of like his views on Iraq.

Rich

- Actually Kerry is managi... (Below threshold)
Hunter:

- Actually Kerry is managing to be wrong in every position he takes on Iraq. His leftie handlers must be praying that the Bush camp doesn't pursue the fact that Saddam actually used the sanctions as a form of WMD by siphoning off billions of human aid, intended for food and medical support for the Iraqi people...

- This is documented in another section of the Duelfer report, largely ignored by the MSM. It was detailed to an even greater degree by an Arab/Iragi human services official who served under Saddam. Kerry has painted himself into a very small corner that its doubtful he can tap dance his way out of. Bush would be absolutely within the bounds of accuracy if he looked at Kerry during the third debate when the subject of Iraq came up and the feckless boytoy leftist Senator had done one of his patented flip flops on Hussein and say:

...."Senator Kerry you keep saying we should have waited and negotiated much longer before going to war and taking down Saddam Hussein....Since Hussein was stealing all the money targeted for human welfare and to relieve suffering in his country....effectively killing thousands of his people by his heinous crimes against his own citizens....

- [How many thousands more Iraqi woman and children's blood would you have on your hands today if you would have waited and waited and left Saddam in power?....How many more mass graves would we be unearthing now]...

- You say there were no weapons of Mass destruction...It seems you and everyone who keeps making this statement were wrong...Saddam would still be in power and laughing at America and its leadership if you had your way...Thats not the way to defeat international terrorism or to protect America....or to make a change in Iraq and spread freedom in the world...Your ideas are wrong and you have no plan other than the one we are already acting on with vigor and effectiveness....The American people know what we're doing is right...In fact you even voted against the first gulf war...You are consistant alright...consistantly on the wrong side of defending freedom and America".....

Followup:

..."Not only was Saddam using the sanctions as a WMD against his helpless citizens....His partners in this inhuman program of killing and war crimes are some of the same countries you want to ask to join the coalition...all of who are under investigation even now as we speak and have stated clearly they will never join us in the fight in Iraq under any circumstances.....Is this the sort of leadership you offer to the American people?.....I don't think America wants your brand of "Internationalism" and weakening of America...Getting permission from others before acting in defense of America...I will defend America from those that would see us weakened and fail...I will always follow a policy of America first".....

I'd really like to see Bush broadside Kerry with this one and slam the door once and for all on the anti-war Senators wrongheaded rhetoric and obfuscations.....

There were others, but I ha... (Below threshold)
-S-:

There were others, but I have to write about them more specifically by quoting more of Kerry's statements (not going to do that here, but will go write about it in my own site out of consideration to your comments feature). Kerry made many of these sort of glaring disagreements with himself, which are pretty clear when you work all the way through his long-winded statements.

Rich: Kerry said that he "... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Rich: Kerry said that he "fixed Medicare" (not Medicaid as you pose here).

I believe Kerry was referring to his work with Ted Kennedy...but I don't know the year.

On the other hand, the "national healthcare" that Kerry SAYS he's going to provide and that his wife SAYS is going to be provided "for every American from the very first day (her) husband is in office" is an expansion of the state regulated MEDICAID programs...meaning, IT WILL COST BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in funding to the States and on one but the very, very poor will ever receive much of anything from it. Kerry doesn't tell you these details, neither does his wife, as to that "healthcare" that they SAY Americans will receive, but imagine taking a public bus for two hours on a one-way trip to your work at six in the morning, and that will give you a good idea of the sort of "healthcare" that Kerry and THK have in mind, as does Ted Kennedy, and also as did and still does Howard Dean (remember him?).

Dean's entire "healthcare plan" is based upon enlarging Medicaid enrollment for more state residents in each state, just as Dean did in Vermont. It's not MEDICARE, it's MEDICAID, the Medicaid system, that reimburses differently, and offers far less than does Medicare.

I never read Democrats even trying to describe the speicifics of this disasterous plan by Kerry (same thing with Dean's candidacy), just that they continue to complain about people needing healthcare, so vote for a Democrat. But what they never ask is what those Democrats have in mind as to what they'd "provide" in the form of what "healthcare" they imagine. It's a grim story...

But it's also an excellent example of the crafty leading the blind.

A bit of fact checking is d... (Below threshold)
DBJ:

A bit of fact checking is due here. I looked for the Kerry quotes in the transcripts of both debates, which I obtained from the Fox News web site. I think this flip-flop, while it is real, is not as it is represented.

1) The quote: ”Well, let me tell you straight up: I've never changed my mind about Iraq. I do believe Saddam Hussein was a threat. I always believed he was a threat. Believed it in 1998 when Clinton was president. I wanted to give Clinton the power to use force if necessary.” is not in the transcript of either debate.

2) The quote: ”I don't think you can just rely on U.N. sanctions, Randee. But you're absolutely correct, it is a threat, it's a huge threat." is in response to this question by Randee: "Iran sponsors terrorism and has missiles capable of hitting Israel and southern Europe. Iran will have nuclear weapons in two to three years time.
In the event that U.N. sanctions don't stop this threat, what will you do as president?" So, the "huge threat" Kerry responded to in part of the quote was the threat of Iranian missiles, not Saddam Hussein.

3) So, the quote: ”And what's interesting is, it's a threat that has grown while the president has been preoccupied with Iraq, where there wasn't a threat.” does indeed represent a flip-flop by Kerry, but the flip-flop is not a described at the original site of camedwards.com.

Now, if I do not have correct transcripts, please show me where I can get them.

Transcripts of the debates ... (Below threshold)

Transcripts of the debates can be found through C-SPAN's website: http://www.cspan.org

Thank you Jinx McHue. I do... (Below threshold)
DBJ:

Thank you Jinx McHue. I downloaded the transcripts of all three debates (#1, #2, and VP) from the C-SPAN website. Much to my surprise, they show that the transcripts I downloaded from the FOX News website are not complete. I downloaded them from FOX again, and they are still incomplete. I am going to check other places, also.

The quotes cited are indeed in the C-SPAN transcripts. FOX News credibility just took a body blow.

DBJ-I did not look... (Below threshold)
Paul:

DBJ-

I did not look at the transcripts on Fox but you might want to look close. Most of the news organizations hire court reporters to transcribe it live. They have a big note on the top that they might not be complete.

cspan probably goes back and cleans it up.

I fell for by a bad transcript on the Washington Post once.

Again, I did not even go to FOX's site but I suspect that is your problem.

P

Thanks, Paul. I never in m... (Below threshold)
DBJ:

Thanks, Paul. I never in my wildest dreams suspected that a "news" organization would publish a "transcript" of a Presidential debate that was incomplete or incorrect, and then leave it so for days.




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