"All too aware that his inner circle has pressed for a more aggressive campaign style, Senator John Kerry today heavily criticized George W. Bush for what he called the president's failures in handling the Iraq war and the wider war on terror, saying "I would have done almost everything differently."
I do beleive he would, and then he would go ahead and do the same thing. This guy is actually quite funny.
I'm waiting to hear the news from Kerry's speech to The American Legion. I'm sure the whole thing will be staged, because most people in the American Legion would probably rip Kerry limb from limb.
What horseshit. He criticizes Bush for liberating Iraq without the support of our allies, which is code speak for France.
But when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990 and the French were on our side in the coalition, how did Kerry vote? AGAINST liberating Kuwait, of course!
hielo: can you post the entire article. My NY Times is not working at the moment.
Here you go.
All too aware that his inner circle has pressed for a more aggressive campaign style, Senator John Kerry today heavily criticized George W. Bush for what he called the president's failures in handling the Iraq war and the wider war on terror, saying "I would have done almost everything differently."
Mr. Kerry also hit out on the issues of jobs, health care, taxes and fiscal responsibility.
But it was the war in Iraq — and what he characterized as a failure to plan for peace — that formed the core of an address in Nashville, Tenn., to the convention of the American Legion, a conservative-leaning group that warmly welcomed Mr. Bush on Tuesday.
Mr. Kerry's litany of Bush miscalculations included charges that the administration ignored advice on the number of troops needed for the job, failed to adequately train and equip the Iraqi police and put an American rather than an international face on the occupation.
"President Bush now admits he miscalculated in Iraq," Mr. Kerry said in a speech lasting 35 minutes. "In truth, his miscalculation was ignoring the advice that was given to him, including the best advice of America's own military.
"So when the president says we have the same position on Iraq, I have to respectfully disagree.
"Our differences couldn't be plainer. And I have set them out consistently. When it comes to Iraq, it's not that I would have done one thing differently, I would've done almost everything differently."
He added: "I would have built a strong, broad coalition of our allies around the world. And, if there's one thing I learned from my service, I would never have gone to war without a plan to win the peace."
Mr. Kerry, who was departing from presidential campign tradition by making his speech during his opponent's nominating convention, also did not let a quick switch in Mr. Bush's assessment on fighting terror slip by without comment.
"In an interview two days ago, the president said we can't win the war on terror," Mr. Kerry said. "I absolutely disagree. With the right policies, this is a war we can win, this is a war we must win, and this is a war we will win."
On Tuesday Mr. Bush changed his statement of Monday, telling the legion's convention that America was winning, and would win, the fight against terror.
Mr. Kerry, who has been criticized by some fellow veterans for his anti-war demonstrations after his return from Vietnam, appeared to have been received politely by the legion, of which he is himself a member.
Mr. Kerry said his plans for strengthening America's military position included adding 40,000 active-duty troops, not in Iraq, "but to strengthen American forces that are now overstretched, overextended, and under pressure."
As he has in the past, he said that if elected president he would double the number of America's special forces. "And we will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists."
In a comment clearly designed to appeal directly to the veterans, Mr. Kerry said the country's soldiers needed jobs, health care, and a good education to live by real American values.
"But for the first time since the Great Depression, America has lost jobs — 2.7 million manufacturing jobs in the last four years alone. More than 45 million Americans don't have health insurance, 5 million have lost coverage since 2000. And this year alone, 220,000 more Americans couldn't afford to go to college."
He added: "When our soldiers pay their taxes, we believe they deserve better than four more years of a fiscal policy that has raised the tax burden on middle-class families. Our plan will cut taxes for the middle class and working families to help them pay for health care, child care, and sending a son or daughter to college."
...funny as a screen door on a submarine.