John Kerry: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
If you just read those words on their own, it’s pretty clear what Kerry is saying: Good students can “do well.” Those who maybe weren’t such good students — like, for instance, our current president — end up “stuck in Iraq.”
It’s not a great joke, and it’s no model of clarity. But only someone absolutely determined to score points would read it and state with certainty that Kerry meant our soldiers in Iraq are idiots. So of course that’s what Tony Snow and the GOP attack machine are saying. (CNN’s lead basically buys it hook and sinker.)
There’s the stench of Swift Boating here. But Kerry’s not up for election this time. The vote is about Bush’s disastrous Iraq policies. And anyone who really cares about the welfare of our troops — who’ve been thrust into an unnecessary war without the forces, the equipment, or the strategy they need to win — will realize that the Bush administration is playing a desperate game of “Don’t look behind the curtain.”
Maybe they’ll successfully hijack the news cycle for a day or two by twisting Kerry’s words. Every minute spent arguing about what Kerry might have meant is a minute we’re not talking about the wasted billions and the wasted lives. Sooner or later we’ll return to the stark fact of this White House’s responsibility for driving America into the Iraq ditch.
Kerry responds: “If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy… The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it… No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.”
[tags]john kerry, iraq, 2006 elections[/tags]