Veni. Vidi. Veto.

John Kerry believes in the efficacy and legitimacy of the United Nations more than he believes in the distinction and pre-eminence of the United States. He believes that America goes to war illegitimately without the sanction of the United Nations.

Which begs the question: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for an international committee?

"If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no."

Make no mistake, John Kerry will give France the ultimate veto over how and when we conduct the war on terror, the war in Iraq, or any US military intervention anywhere. Despite his insistence that he is prepared to go to war without UN permission, if necessary, the history of his position utterly contradicts that.

But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.

Obviously Kerry thinks the invasion of Iraq failed that test. So was it done for illegitimate reasons? No. The reasons to authorize the use of force against Iraq seemed legitimate enough for him to vote for at the time. So, it's not merely that everyone should understand what and why you're doing it but the world should also agree and approve before you take any action. So how many nations should agree? A plurality. A majority? He doesn't say.

Kerry has talked about this before in relation to going to war. He voted against the Gulf War to remove Saddam from Kuwait because it was a rush to war, we hadn't given sanctions enough time, and our coalition was insufficient. All the same reasons, in fact, he says the invasion of Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time.

In his lengthy speech . . . he repeatedly criticized Bush and his "unilateral" rush to war. "We are in this position today because the president of the United States made a series of decisions that have put us in this position." With economic sanctions tightening their grip on Iraq, "there is no one who suggests that Saddam Hussein is winning anything today," Kerry said.

In other words, if the President of the United States makes decisions about war without sufficient UN involvement, it must be opposed. It's unilateral, and that's bad. In fact, he's actually referring to the First Gulf war in that quote. So what happens if we determine something must be done and the UN disagrees?

Chris Matthews asked Kerry this exact question in October of 2003. Chris Matthews asks, "Were we right to go into Iraq?" Kerry responds, "Not the way the President did it..." he explained, there was 'no plan to win the peace, and not a sufficient coalition'. Then Kerry said: "He promised he would respect the U.N."

When asked if he would have gone to war if the UN supported it he has no problem saying yes. When asked if he would have gone to war if the UN did not support he says: He would have made a decision.

MATTHEWS: Would you have gone to war with Iraq if the U.N. had supported it?

KERRY: Well, we...


KERRY: The answer-the answer is very simply yes. If the U.N. had supported it, there was a very...

MATTHEWS: Would you have gone to war if the U.N. had not supported it?

KERRY: If I were president at the time?

MATTHEWS: Right. Right.

KERRY: I would have made the judgment of whether or not to go to war, which is what a president is supposed to do.

The United States of America should never be perceived as or never should go to war because we want to. We should go to war because we have to.

MATTHEWS: Did we have to go to Iraq?


MATTHEWS: Did we have to go?

KERRY: ....until youíve exhausted the remedies of....


MATTHEWS: Let me ask you. Howard Dean is opposed to going to Iraq.

Heís simple. Absolutely, bottom line, against the war.

KERRY: Well, heís not, actually.... hardball 10-20-03

Apparently, the way we determine whether we just want to go to war and when we have to is by consulting the UN, they'll tell us if it's necessary.

MATTHEWS: ...Had you been president earlier this year when they went up against the blank-the stonewall at the U.N.. and the U.N., and the Security Council, the Russians and the French, did not go along with the war, what would you have done differently than the president did? At that point, would you have said another two months Iíll argue with you guys? Iíll try to hold a carrot or a stick out to you and the French and try to get them to board? Or would you have finally said, Iím tired of waiting for the French. Weíre going alone in our national interest.

What would you have done?

KERRY: I would have done exactly what I said at the time, which is we should have pursued more diplomacy at the time to exhaust the remedies. And Chris...

MATTHEWS: Itís now October. How-would you still be exhausting the remedies now?

KERRY: Why not?

MATTHEWS: OK. Thatís a position. I didnít know you would go this long.

KERRY: Why not?

MATTHEWS: Would you have gone all these months?

KERRY: Why not? Absolutely. Itís cool in the fall as much as it is in the spring.

MATTHEWS: So you would have waited at least a year.

KERRY: I would have done--no, Chris, I would have done what was necessary to know that you had exhausted the available remedies with the French and the Russians.

MATTHEWS: The French said this week they will not send troop or spend a dollar in Iraq. Itís clear the French donít go along with this war.

KERRY: And I understand why they wonít right now. And Iím not going to give them a veto, Chris. And I wouldnít have given them a veto then.
meet the press

Sure sounds like a veto to me.

What concerns me most about Kerry is that he knows what his real position is. He certainly knows what he means by 'exhausting the available remedies,' he also knows that a majority of Americans would not agree with him if he were upfront about it. So he has done his best to camouflage his real positions.

Posted by Eric Simonson at October 31, 2004 1:20 AM