John F. Kerry in 2004?

A skeptical blog examining John F. Kerry's candidacy for President in 2004.

"The longest journey begins with the first step. And that first step is electing John Kerry." -- Howard Dean, 3/25/04

Why Blog about Kerry?
The means influence the ends
Comparing Kerry and Bush's record from 1966 - 1973
Kerry's service record and biography
"I request duty in Vietnam."

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Sunday, February 06, 2005

John Kerry will sign Form 180 - will Bush/SBVFT? 

This is a lengthy interview with John Kerry, discussing some of the mistakes he made during his campaign and what he learned from the experience. One of the things that make me angriest about the 2004 campaign was the hypocritical and cynical way in which Republicans embraced the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth group. Perhaps the most visually disgusting memory of the GOP convention was the purple heart bandaids that delegates enthusiastically sported around the floor.

Kerry now pledges to sign the Form 180 - and asks whether Bush and the SB liars will do the same. I think it is obvious that they won't - their protestations that they were only going after Kerry because of Vietnam and not for political gain was already torn to shreds the moment that it became clear that Jerome Corsi, the co-author the SB liars' book "Unfit for Command", intends to move to Massachusetts and challenge Kerry for his Senate seat:

WASHINGTON -- The co-author of the Swift Boat veteran's book that was critical of Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam service may challenge the Bay State's junior senator.

Jerome Corsi told the Boston Herald he plans to move to Massachusetts this year so that he can run against Kerry in 2008. Corsi lives in New Jersey, but the 58-year-old businessman said he wants to establish residency in Boston this spring.

He said his first choice is to run as a Republican. However if he can't get GOP backing, he will run as an independent.

Corsi is co-author of "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry."

And Kerry's primary critic from the group, John O'Neil, was originally recruited by Nixon to take Kerry down for his work in the Veterans Against the War group. So the political ties of these smear artists are well-established. Why would they bother to sign Form 180? It would only be more damage to their burgeoning Republican careers.

from the Globe article:

The furor over military credentials hasn't ended with the campaign. Kerry pledged to sign Form 180, releasing all of his military records, but challenged his critics, including Bush, to do the same.

''I want them to sign it, I want [swift boat veterans] John O'Neill, Roy Hoffmann, and what's their names, the guys on the other boat," Kerry said. ''I want their records out there. They have made specific allegations about my record, I know things about their records, I want them out there. I'm willing to sign it, to put all my records out there. I'm willing to sign it, but I want them to sign it, too."

Kerry later confirmed that his decision to sign the form is not conditional on any others signing, but he expressed lingering bitterness over double standards on military service.

''Let me make this clear: My full military record has been made public," Kerry said. ''All of my medical records and all of my fitness reports, every fitness report involving each place I served, is public. Where are George Bush's still? Where are his military records? End of issue."

To make it clear, Bush has released some records, but not all of them - and Bush certainly hasn't signed Form 180 (and never will). The document dumps during the 2004 campaign were of selected records only and there are still many holes.

It seems most probable that Bush was discharged for drug usage from the Air National Guard, a position he had obtained through political favoritism via his father. He went AWOL to work on a political campaign in Alabama rather than report to duty.

I look forward to Kerry entering the primaries in 2008, even though I presently favor Hillary Clinton. The reason is that - IF Kerry has signed the bloody 180 by then - it will become a talking point and Bush's service, and the hypocrisy of the Swift Liars, will again be a subject of debate. Obviously Bush won't be running in 2008, but any chance at rectifying this injustice to a great patriot is one that should be embraced. I hope Kerry runs in 2008 for that reason alone.

posted by Aziz P. | 6:00 AM

Thursday, September 30, 2004


This blog hasnt been updated in some time, and my political posting takes place at UNMEDIA and Dean Nation anyway. So, for the time being, I'ved decided to shut this blog down.

posted by Aziz P. | 8:00 AM

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Kerry vacation scandal! 

Nedra Pickler does it again - I actually found myself laughing out loud:

Kerry is a rich man who promotes the Democratic ideal that government should do more to help the poor. He moves between both worlds, spending the past week traveling to downtrodden places like South-side Columbus, Ohio, and the affluent island playground of Nantucket.

Not since President Kennedy have Democrats been prepared to nominate a man of such riches.
Like Kerry, President Bush is a Yale graduate who has benefited from his wealth and family connections. But Bush spends his down time as more of an everyman, preferring to spend vacations at his Texas ranch clearing brush.

"Most Americans don't sit in Martha's Vineyard, swilling white wine," he said at the ranch two years ago.

I'm in awe of this woman's Hackdom. I could fisk this, but what's the point, really? The AP should be outraged.

posted by Aziz P. | 3:33 PM

Thursday, June 10, 2004


President Bush's campaign staffers believe that pushing their own guy isn't a particularly good political strategy and that bashing Kerry or grasping on to Reagan nostalgia is far preferable?

Now to a related point. I've got a number of notes from people (few of them Bush supporters in the first case, of course) who are outraged by the Bush campaign's unabashed exploitation of Reagan's passing as part of their reelection campaign effort --- the morphing of the Bush website into the Reagan tribute website being a key example.

Yes, it's crass and cynical. But it's also a tad desperate.

Josh Marshall's analysis here is quite cogent - Bush's problem is that he is a weak leader. There's simply nothing that his supporters can point to to make a case to the undecided moderate - it's a purely base-driven campaign, to whom adoring photos of Bush with halos around his head and Reagan-worship are simply red meat.

Case in point - allowing his foreign policy to be dictated by the very group of advisors who Reagan was wise enough to ignore. The neo-conservatives are now licking the wounds, having had their agenda nearly completely discredited:

Fourteen months ago, Kenneth Adelman was one of the prominent neoconservatives who took part in a now-storied victory celebration at the home of Vice President Dick Cheney that was described in Bob Woodward's book "Plan of Attack."

Since then, Adelman acknowledged, the group's influence has declined, because "Iraq didn't turn out to be as promising as it was billed."

Adelman, a former Reagan administration official, said that although he supported the rationale for the war, he was torn about what had happened since. "I still have to sort it all out. I'm just not settled yet," he said.

...."Bush could end up looking like the worst president since Jimmy Carter because of Iraq, and people are going to say, 'You got us into this mess,' " said one Washington source who considered himself a neoconservative and spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It's going to be nasty and bitter and brutal."

You almost have to feel sorry for Bush - a weak leader who bought into the plans and promises of these zealots - and when it all fell apart, is blamed by them for the failure of those policies. Well, Bush deserves blame, because the buck stops there (and Reagan was wise enough to steer clear - a fact to his immense credit that isn't mentioned on the Bush campaign website-shrine-diversion).

Bush is bleeding away any moderate support, leaving him only with his base. They alone cannot win him re-election.

posted by Aziz P. | 6:24 AM

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Kerry's statement on the death of Ronald Reagan 

"Ronald Reagan's love of country was infectious. Even when he was breaking Democrats' hearts, he did so with a smile and in the spirit of honest and open debate. Despite the disagreements, he lived by that noble ideal that at 5pm we weren't Democrats or Republicans, we were Americans and friends. President Reagan and Tip O'Neill fought hard and honorably on many issues, and sat down together to happily swap jokes and the stories of their lives. The differences were real, but because of the way President Reagan led, he taught us that there is a big difference between strong beliefs and bitter partisanship.

"He was the voice of America in good times and in grief. When we lost the brave astronauts in the Challenger tragedy, he reminded us that, `Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.'

"Now, his own journey has ended-a long and storied trip that spanned most of the American century-and shaped one of the greatest victories of freedom. Today in the face of new challenges, his example reminds us that we must move forward with optimism and resolve. He was our oldest president, but he made America young again.

"Our prayers are with his family, and the wife he loved in a way all the world could see. And to the end, she loved him with courage and complete devotion. She helped all of us better understand the cruel disease that took him away before it took his life, and what we must do to prevent and cure it.

"Teresa and I and our family extend our deepest sympathies to Nancy Reagan and the Reagan family. Today, from California to Maine - `from sea to shining sea' - Americans will bow their heads in prayer and gratitude that President Reagan left such an indelible stamp on the nation he loved."

posted by Aziz P. | 4:28 PM

Friday, May 28, 2004

National Security Week 

This is a great start:

As president, on my first day in office, I will send a message to every man and woman in our armed forces: This commander-in-chief will ensure that you are the best-led, best-equipped and most respected fighting force in the world. You will be armed with the right weapons, schooled in the right skills, and fully prepared to win on the battlefield. But you will never be sent into harm’s way without enough troops for the task, or asked to fight a war without a plan to win the peace.

And you will never be given assignments which have not been clearly defined and for which you are not professionally trained.

This Administration has disregarded the advice, wisdom, and experience of our professional military officers. And often ended the careers of those who dared to give their honest assessments. That is not the way to make the most solemn decisions of war and peace. As president, I will listen to and respect the views of our experienced military leaders – and never let ideology trump the truth

Kerry also had some tough love for the Saudi regime:

If we are serious about energy independence, then we can finally be serious about confronting the role of Saudi Arabia in financing and providing ideological support of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. We cannot continue this Administration’s kid-glove approach to the supply and laundering of terrorist money. As President, I will impose tough financial sanctions against nations or banks that engage in money laundering or fail to act against it. I will launch a “name and shame” campaign against those that are financing terror. And if they do not respond, they will be shut out of the U.S. financial system.

The same goes for Saudi sponsorship of clerics who promote the ideology of Islamic terror. To put it simply, we will not do business as usual with Saudi Arabia. They must take concrete steps to stop their clerics from fueling the fires of Islamic extremism.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, he closed with a true unifying message that is probably beyond the comprehension of the ruling party in power:

I have spoken today about the architecture of a new national security policy. But at issue here is not just a set of prescriptions; at stake is a vision of an America truly stronger and truly respected in the world. This is not a partisan cause. Patriotism doesn’t belong to any one Party or President. And if I am President, I will enlist the best among us, regardless of party, to protect the security of this nation.

I am beginning to feel a sense of optimism I haven't felt in years about the future.

posted by Aziz P. | 6:49 AM

Thursday, May 06, 2004

"As president, I will not be the last to know what is going on in my command" 

"When I was in the Navy, the captain of the boat was in charge and the captain always took responsibility," Kerry told teachers and students at Colton High School. "Today I have a message for the men and women of our Armed forces ... I will take responsibility for the bad as well as the good."
Kerry also accused Bush of being out of the loop on the Iraqi prisoner abuse. Bush expressed annoyance at Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld because he was not told the severity of the abuse until he saw on television last week the photographs of U.S. soldiers mocking naked prisoners.

"As president, I will not be the last to know what is going on in my command," Kerry said.

Will Rumsfeld be fired? Josh Marshall - optimistically predicting that Rumsfeld is finished - still observes that Accountability takes a back seat to something much higher priority in this Administration: re-election.

Confirmation hearings for a new Sec Def would, I think, inevitably turn into a national forum for discussing the management of the Pentagon, the planning for the war and the lack of planning for the occupation. The new nominee would be drawn into all sorts of uncomfortble public second-guessing of what's happened up until this point. Sure, that's stuff under Rumsfeld. But, really, it's stuff under Bush -- the civilian head of the United States military.

That, I have to imagine, is something the White House would like to avoid at any cost.

posted by Aziz P. | 1:49 PM

demand more 

I hate disagreeing with Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis, but I think it would be suicidal to vote against the $25b request for Iraq and Afghanistan. First of all, the money is badly needed for body armor, etc. Second, the war in Afghanistan is underfunded as it is. Third, there's still a Homeland Defense Credibility gap to cross with swing undecided voters, and voting against this money gives all too easy a soundbite to the opposition (Tom Delay already invoked the Support Our Troops meme).

What Kerry has to do is demand more money - about $40b. Make the discrepancy large enough that it becomes a wedge between Bush and the fiscal conservatives. Kerry needs to emphasise that this war has been fought on the cheap with poor planning, and that the troops still don't have the body armor they need. Given that the Senate will grill Rumsfeld on the failures of training and discipline, Kerry's message that the troops are not being supported by the Administration will resonate.

I don't see a flaw in asking for more money - either Bush refuses, and erodes his own credibility, or concedes in which case Kerry gets the credit and Bush inherits the consequences from within the GOP.

posted by Aziz P. | 11:47 AM