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January 7, 2005
Kerry's Baghdad Disgrace

A time existed in American politics when politicians kept foreign-policy disputes at the shoreline. In a time of war, criticizing US policy from foreign locales used to be considered a craven and disreputable act. But having a sitting US Senator and a failed presidential candidate go to the theater of war to stage a protest against the current administration goes far beyond the pale:

Baghdad -- Sen. John Kerry, whose seemingly shifting positions on the U.S. war in Iraq plagued him throughout his presidential campaign, came to this war- torn capital Wednesday to see for himself whether the country was moving toward stability or deeper into chaos. ...

The senator said he was more interested in asking questions of soldiers, U.S. officials, Iraqis and even the journalists themselves instead of rehashing the political battles of the past campaign season.

But in several instances, Kerry attacked what he called the "horrendous judgments" and "unbelievable blunders" of the Bush administration. The mistakes, he said, included former U.S. occupation leader Paul Bremer's decisions to disband the Iraqi army and purge the government of former members of Hussein's Baath Party. Both moves are widely believed to have fueled the largely Sunni insurgency.

"What is sad about what's happening here now is that so much of it is a process of catching up from the enormous miscalculations and wrong judgments made in the beginning," he said. "And the job has been made enormously harder."

I have no problem with Kerry criticizing US policy in the Senate or on the campaign trail, even if I think he does little more than engage in Monday-morning quarterbacking. He had months to convince American voters that he had a better plan -- and could never produce a coherent alternative to what Bush already was doing. Now, in an attempt to make himself politically relevant, he travels to a hot zone and uses troops on the front lines to undermine the chain of command.

I first read this on Newsmax earlier in the day, and I hoped that this item was a mistake or an exaggeration. I waited to post about this until I read a separate confirmation. Apparently and appallingly, Newsmax got it right. This is yet another example of Kerry's selling out the troops for his own political gain. He did it in 1971 by smearing his "band of brothers" as war criminals, and now he's doing it by using them as props for the media to boost his chances at running again in 2008.

When he returns to the Senate, Bill Frist should call for an investigation into his conduct with troops serving under fire. He deserves the contempt of the Senate and the American people. The voters of Massachusetts should be ashamed to have selected that man to represent them.

UPDATE: Kevin McCullough has his own thoughts on this disgrace.

UPDATE II: CQ reader Sharon notes this picture from DU (released by the Army). Does it look to anyone like these guys are "cheering" Kerry as the headline stated?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 7, 2005 7:35 AM

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