Good for John: Attaboy!

John Kerry’s argument in today’s New York Times hits the nail on the head.

As someone who has known him since we both served on Swift Boats in Vietnam, I know that John at his best is a voice of reason and action and conscience.

Today he clearly understands that we have allowed ourselves to become referees in the middle of burgeoning Civil War, an untenable and unwinnable position.

John calls for the right mix of toughness, diplomacy, involvement of the other Middle Eastern States and the United Nations (all of who have at least as big a stake in a secure, stable, and peaceful Iraq as the United States) to address the situation.

Most importantly, he gets tough – he sends a mandate to the members of the Iraqi Provisional Government to set aside their own personal agendas and seriously assume responsibility for their own governance and security.

Although he does not specifically address the issue, John knows that comparisons between Iraq and our earliest struggles for freedom are not valid. Unlike our war for independence, the Iraqis won’t clean up their own house because they see us as the British intruders — and so they let the insurgents call the shots.

Yes, governments take time, but they cannot be born unless those within that burgeoning government take charge and assume responsibility. Critics have claimed that timetables empower the insurgency. However, to stay indefinitely with no focused timelines and expectations, only provides greater fuel to insurgency and reinforces inaction by the Iraqi politicians. Far from leaving the Iraqis in the lurch, John is challenging them to take responsibility and get their act together.

With Iraqi’s on the forefront of governance and security, the Iraqi people will better understand where responsibility for their security and safety resides, and the insurgency will no longer be fighting what they see as ‘the infidel’ and the Iraqis will instead kick out the jihadists in their midst.

Editor’s Note: Wade Sanders is a Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy and retired Navy Captain

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14 Responses to Good for John: Attaboy!

  1. Robert Pike says:

    This month marks the 31st Anniversary of the fall of South Vietnam. As a former United States Marine who served with the 1st Marine Brigade’s Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH-463), aboard the U.S.S. Hancock (CVA-19), during Operations Eagle Pull, and Frequent Wind, the evacuations of Phomn Phen, Cambodia and Saigon, South Vietnam in April 1975, I witnessed first hand the tragic consequences of a President who lead the United States into a war based on faulty intelligence. The lie President Johnson echoed in August 1964 regarding the North Vietnamese patrol boat attack on the U.S.S. Maddox convinced Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which permitted him to engage this nation in a war that resulted in the deaths of over 58,000 U.S. servicemen and women, an additional 300,000 WIA, and wasted over $116 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars. That President Johnson knew that the attack against the U.S.S. Maddox never occurred has been verified as recently as December 2, 2005 in an analysis of the event published in the National Security Agency’s classified, Cryptologic Quarterly by NSA historian Robert J. Hanyok.

    In October 2002, based on intelligence President Bush convinced Congress to pass Public Law 107-243, authorizing him to use force against Iraq to make Saddam comply with U.N. Resolutions that he disarm his nation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. This in spite of former Secretary of State James Baker’s declaration on January 9, 1996 during a PBS Frontline interview that “He (Saddam), no longer has the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction, he no longer represents the threat to his neighbors that he did before.” This assertion was essentially echoed by former U.S Marine and top U.N. Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, who stated in a Time Magazine interview on September 14, 2002 that “I’ve said that no one has backed up any allegations that Iraq has reconstituted WMD capability with anything that remotely resembles substantive fact. To say that Saddam’s doing it is in total disregard to the fact that if he gets caught he’s a dead man and he knows it. We have tremendous capabilities to detect any effort by Iraq to obtain prohibited capability. The fact that no one has shown that he has acquired that capability doesn’t necessarily translate into incompetence on the part of the intelligence community. It may mean that he hasn’t done anything.” These assertions were proved by the fact that no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found in Iraq, and by the conclusions of the CIA report released on October 7, 2004 that found Iraq’s WMD program had been ended in 1991, and that it had ceased its nuclear program after the Gulf War, the same year. The United States weapons inspectors officially concluded their hunt for the Iraqi WMD on January 12, 2005.

    That it stains the limits of credulity to believe that the President of the United States was not aware of these facts as declared in the aforementioned statements by both Baker and Ritter, is an understatement at best. For President Bush to believe that Iraq still had a Weapons of Mass Destruction and a Nuclear weapons program means that a bankrupt, third world country Iraq, a state that had lived under the harshest sanctions ever imposed on a nation in history was able to deceive the whole of the U.S. national technical means which we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars engineering, building, and operating over the last four decades including the spy satellites of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the National Security Agencies (NSA), Project Echelon.

    It is time for members of Congress to stop obfuscating and the Senate Intelligence Committee to complete their investigation into Iraqi pre-war intelligence in fully open and public hearings. This nation owes it to the 2,307 men and women of our armed forces who have been killed as well as the 17,000 who have been wounded in Iraq.

  2. Robert Pike

    Thanks for joining us and sharing your thoughts and thank you for your service to our country.

    You’re right – it’s time. My former brother in law was a Marines copter pilot in Nam, not sure what squadron. Semper Fi.

  3. Marjorie G says:

    Thank you for joining us Robert. There was competing evidence of what Iraq had, and memos and testimony clearly worrisome and unequivocal.

    You mention James Baker, but there were others who said there was weaponry, back then and even the lead up with David Kay, Hans Blix, who appreciated the resolution to get them in. They did find something, but not enough to consider WMD, which we carelessly abandoned to harm our own.

    Our elected people just wanted to find out what was there, considering the ominous overreach by the Bush team. We did not know a lot of what we know now, so we can’t go back and be more right.

    I know many of our elected officials did not want war if we were not endangered, except for those with neo-con stars in their eyes. Kerry clearly understood what war would mean. Just as he said at authorization, and afterwards.

    Meanwhile, Wade is one great flyboy. I know you remember him, Pam.

  4. Marjorie G

    I was wondering when you would see this. Yes, I remember Wade from NH. It’s an honor that he was able to post here at the Dem Daily!

  5. Sue says:

    Robert – thank you! Thank you both for your service and for your eloquent assessment here. What a perfect follow-up to Wade’s posting. I’m going to be sure to forward all of this to my brother in OH. He and his wife came out for a visit recently (I won’t go into all the details). However, I was so appalled to see my sister-in-law quickly tune in to the Fox fake news once they got back to the hotel. Now while we avoid lots of things in my family, including politics, I always knew my brother was basically a logical person and had good Dem leanings. However, my fears that my sister-in-law had totally whipped any sense out of him were soon confirmed. I made a subtle dig at whatever the latest propaganda was that they were spewing forth on Fox at that moment. A bit later when Saddam’s name was mentioned my brother made this offhand comment to me of, “your buddy Saddam”. I was stunned and disappointed by my brother’s comment. This was a man educated at Madison in the ’60’s, for God’s sake! He should know better than to buy into this “with us or against us” mentality, let alone the Rovian spin constantly pumped out there on FOX! I was so shocked when he said this. We got distracted and later I just decided to let it go. However, I think I’m going to forward today’s posts here. Hopefully he will come around! Wish me luck!


  6. Sue

    I hope you have better luck than I have in the past with mine.

    I’m just reading Wade’s post over again and it’s really stunning to me that peolpe like JK, Sander’s and Robert who posted above all see the truth and yet others don’t.

  7. Thanks to both Mr. Sanders and Mr. Pike for sharing those thoughts…and for your service.

  8. Indie Liberal says:

    Thank you Mr. Sanders and Mr. Pike for your service to our country.

  9. Sue says:


    Thanks! Isn’t it incredible? I mean party affiliations aside even for a moment. The fact that my brother, who is a very bright man and successful engineer, could actually make this absurd statement and buy into this “with us or against us” mentality is really scary! I thought the last year alone put the kabosh on that train of thought. I guess it just goes to show the hideous control that the Fox propaganda machine can still have on some of these people.

  10. Sue

    Some people just don’t get it still. It’s hard to believe isn’t it.

  11. Thanks Mr. Sanders and Mr. Pike for your past service to the country and well as now trying to get the truth out to the American public.

    Wade, please let JK know all of us at the DemDaily still have his back. Though I’m sure he already knows that. 😉

  12. kj says:

    {{{Band of Brothers, Band of Sisters}}} 🙂 🙂 🙂

    My heart and energy flows to the leaders who carry light, reason and hard-gained wisdom.

    What a “beautiful day.” Pennies toward the next convention, where we will all gather in mass. Could it be Boston again? Please?


  13. Ginny in CO says:

    It is so wonderful to have JK’s assessments and plans published in the MSM. The more people who realize how much better off this country would have been if he was elected, the better for ’08.

    Wade and Robert, thank you for speaking out so well. We do as much as we can to support John but none of us have the power of your experience.

    You are both part of my generation with Viet Nam being one of the biggest impacts during our adolescense and young adulthood. The ongoing effects, PTSD especially, continue to remind me how much all who served sacrificed for that atrocity. And vets like you continue to serve, speaking truth to power, defending the Constitution from all enemies: the domestic now being the worst.

    Thank you

    As an RN for 30 years, I am quite convinced the American citizens are mostly wonderful, good people. They are too trusting or cynical of government, and need to pay more attention and be more involved. They are worth fighting for.