He Would Have Fought The Wrong War Right

I don't have any problem inherently with Kerry's more nuanced view of the world. I think that nuance is a positive thing in a decision maker, as long as seeing nuance leads to making a decision.

A month ago Kerry said that "even if he had known in October 2002 that US intelligence was flawed, that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, and that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001," he would have voted to give president Bush authority to go to war with Iraq. ''Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it was the right authority for a president to have." Now, this is all perfectly consistent with Kerry's main challenge to Bush on Iraq: his handling of the war. It's saying that from a constitutional basis the power to decide when, where and how (with a coalition, number of troops etc.) to go to war ultimately rests with the president. This is a defensible stance, and it's consistent with Kerry saying that as commander in chief, he would have chosen to go to war at a different time, with a different plan etc.

Now Kerry has passed over the line of plausible coherence on the Iraq issue by saying that this was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” If Iraq was the "wrong war," then of course he shouldn't have voted to give the president the authority to wage war. Also, if the war is "the wrong war," the argument that he would have "handled the war better" is sort of a moot point, contradicted by the fact that he wouldn't have started it at all.

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