Kerry Touring Middle East Before Deciding on 2008 Plans

Obama got the media hype, between the trip to New Hampshire and his appearance on Monday Night Football. People are still talking about Hillary Clinton as front runner, and are wondering if Gore both win an Academy Award and enter the Presidential race. Even the Kerry stories have been fluff, as the Boston Globe actually tried to make a story out of Ted Kennedy saying he is supporting Kerry except if he delays his decision “indefinitely.” Finally we got a story that means something. Kerry is going back to the Middle East:

Senator John F. Kerry plans to leave Wednesday for a nine-day trip through Iraq and five other Middle Eastern nations, as he seeks to hone a regional approach to ending the Iraq war while entering the final stage of his deliberations about another run for president.

Kerry said he hopes to use the regional trip, his first there in nearly year, to meet with political leaders and US troops in Iraq about solutions to the Iraq conflict. His meetings will include a session with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, a country that the Iraq Study Group recommended should be included in direct talks about the future of Iraq.

“The Mideast policy as a whole is in tatters, and the situation is getting more dangerous, and there is a lot that’s at play,” said Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat. “This is the most compelling and important issue on the table today: the war on terror, how it would more properly be fought.”

In addition to Iraq and Syria, Kerry will visit Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel, and he will meet with the head of state in all of those countries. He said he plans to venture outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad to talk to US troops stationed in more volatile parts of the country, including the Sunni Triangle.

And yes, for those more concerned with the horse race, “Kerry aides said Monday that the senator would declare his intentions shortly after the new year.”

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16 Comments

  1. 1
    yucca says:

    is he mad? is he actually gonna go to iraq and shake hands with the dumb troops??? i think his safety will be in great danger… it could be interesting, though: american soldiers tryin to skin him alive, and iraqi security forces (which we know to be crap) tryin to protect him… im actually lookin forward to it, now!

    anyway, while his physical health will be in danger once there, his mental health must be already gone, if he has decided himself for such a trip.

    one last thing: if he does run, he wont run for winning… he’ll run for ticketin

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yucca,

    Kerry has been to Iraq and the Middle East many times before. He’s not going to allow lies about what he said keep him from doing his job. By now most people realize that he never criticized the troops or called them dumb. Meeting with them will also allow him to set the record straight with some who might still believe this lie.

  3. 3
    yucca says:

    wait a second, Ron… are you actually saying that Kerry did not tell the troops deployed in iraq that they were there only because they were not clever enough to go to ivy league? are you sayin that that’s a lie? no, because there is footage… i wont go and fetch it just now… but if that’s what you are sayin, then let me know and ill get you the footage (which, clearly, you have already seen)

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yucca,

    Yes, we’ve all seen that footage which takes Kerry’s statement out of context and gives a misleading view of what he is saying. See my several previous posts on this.

    Kerry was speaking about George Bush, not the troops at the time, joking about Bush being dumb and getting us stuck in Iraq. It is ambiguous from the on line footage but Kerry’s meaning is clear when the full context is seen. It is also much clearer from the prepared text which more even more specifically refers to Bush.

  5. 5
    yucca says:

    god ron, you write a lot… it took me a while to find this again… anyway, this is very interesting… why do you think that the omitted “us” makes a difference? because, I presume, you think that shows that kerry didn’t actually want to offend the troops. only, we knew that already. he got shit not because he wanted to offend the troops, but because he did it. that was enough. nor does the omission show that he doesn’t actually think that the troops are dumb. politicians don’t ever say what they think, so the problem with what kerry said wasn’t that he was exposed as thinking something he ought not to think, but simply that he said something he ought not to say. in fact, kerry does probably think that going to ivy league schools does help not end up dyin in iraq. and he ought to think that, because it is true. and, by the way, me and you think that too. the whole accident was not about truth, but about what a politician ought not to say during a political campaign. for sure kerry did not mean to say that – but this is beyond the point. the problem is: he did say that, he got shit for it, and well deserved shit. and, by the way, the fact that he did say that does show that he is a lesser politician. because good politicians dont fall in those traps.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yucca,

    Kerry was talking about Bush, not the troops.

    This isn’t about what Kerry said. It’s about how the right wing noise machine twisted what he said and misquoted what he said.

  7. 7
    yucca says:

    this could go on for ever, because there is too much theory behind it; but let me tell you just one thing: it is kerry himself who twisted his message, as you yourself describe. the so-called right wing noise machine did its duty: exposing a crucial political mistake at a crucial electoral moment. so, by any standard, even yours and kerry’s, you’ll have to admit that the only one who did wrong was kerry

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Kerry botched the delivery of the joke but that doesn’t excuse lying about what he said. It was still clear he was talking about Bush and not the troops.

    There is a big difference between exposing something and distorting something, which is what the right wing noise machine did. They have no duty to distort what Kerry said. Similarly Bush botches lots of lines. The legitimate media does not dwell on attacking Bush for every misstatement he makes.

  9. 9
    yucca says:

    maybe we disagree about what politics is and how politics should be done, then…

    ciao,
    yucca

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    I guess. I certainly disagree with how the Repubicans dlo it.

    I think political discussion should be based upon what the opposing candidate actuall believes and says. The Republicans prefer to make it about how they can distort the opponent’s positions and statements. Most likley that is because they realize they can’t win when going up against Kerry’s actual positions. Just look at what Kerry did to Bush in the debates.

  11. 11
    yucca says:

    ron, i wanted to stop, but this one is funny:

    “I think political discussion should be based upon what the opposing candidate actuall believes and says.”

    funnily enough, that going to a good university is a good way to avoid ending up in iraq is both what kerry believes (hopefully he does anyway, given that it is true) and what he actually said. the only thing that it is not is what he meant to say.

    anyway, just consider this a final joke

    good night,
    yucca

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    I don’t see what’s so difficult about grasping the fact that Kerry was talking about Bush, not the troops, at the time.

  13. 13
    yucca says:

    ron, do you really want to keep talking about this?

    it depends on your theory of meaning, and on what you think determines meaning. you are insisting that, because kerry “was talking about bush”, it was mistaken (false, lying, as you said) of the gop to expose him as offending the troops. but what is it that makes it not true that kerry made a bad joke about the troops? now, as i showed you, it cannot be kerry’s intention. because everyone, gop included, aknowledges that kerry did not intend to say what he said. similarly, it cannot be kerry’s words, because those, unfortunately for him, came out as about the troops, because of omitted “us”. so that’s the problem: how else do you want to determine meaning, if words dont do, and nor does the speaker’s intention?

    one last thing: all this is independent from my claim that the gop did its duty in exposing kerry’s slip. even if there was a reliable way of establishing kerry’s meaning as different from what was exposed, still the gop ought to have taken that chance

    ciao,
    yucca

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    yucca,

    You certainly jump thru a lot of hoops to make a false case as to what Kerry said. Kerry was talking abougt Bush, not the troops, period. The rest is gibberish. Sure you can edit a clip and take something out of context to give the impression Kerry said something he did not say, but that does not change what was said.

    By your logic we can also say that George Bush admitted he planned to harm America. Do we take this quote literally?

    “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
    —George Bush at signing of defense appropriations bill, August 5, 2004

    Numerous other statemenents can also be quoted similarly to claim Bush said something he did not intend to say.

    In Kerry’s case his statement is clear if the full context is seen. It is necessary to cut the tape at the right spots to give the false impression as to what was said. Those present at the event knew what Kerry was saying and laughed along with this, as well as Kerry’s other Bush jokes.

    You write a lot of gibberish to twist what Kerry said, but there are a lot of simple arguments for what Kerry actually said, each of which is far simpler and holds up on its own.

    When the full context is heard, it is clear he is talking about Bush and not the troops.

    Kerry’s explanation makes it clear he was speaking about Bush. This is verified by the prepared text.

    You can also use Kerry’s other statements for verification. Kerry frequently speaks of Bush getting stuck in Iraq. In contrast he never speaks negatively about the troops, although it is common for the GOP to attempt to twist his words to claim he has done so to go along with their usual claims about Democrats.

    Campaigning based upon how you can distort what someone said as opposed to what they really said is a pretty low way to campaign. It worked for the GOP for a while until finally they were held accountable for their own record this year and couldn’t weasal out of it by their usual tactic of misquoting and distorting the opposition.

  15. 15
    tom donner says:

    John Kerry can have any fricken thought he wants, but when this LOUDMOUTH JACK$#@, says things that put our troops in danger, He should be taken out behind the toolshead!!!!! This spoiled brat of a presidential loser, keeps opening his ill advised Patte Lased piehole. It`s totally inconceveable! Hey John, where are your kids right now, I`ll bet not serving our country in the military! There overseas in one of his wife`s Ketchup plants using up one of the jobs that shoud be here in the US!!

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is Bush, not Kerry, who places the troops in danger by sending them to war with inadequate equipment and without a plan. Working towards ending the war is the best way to get them out of danger.

    By the way, his wife does not have any ketchup plants–she has absoulutely nothing to do with the ketchup company. The claim of taking jobs overseas is just one of the right wing lies put out for people like you who don’t bother with things like fact checking.

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