Kerry's Views on Iraq, Vietnam 'Virtually Identical,' Critic Charges

July 7, 2008 - 7:30 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A leading critic of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry Monday asserted that Kerry's latest speech denouncing the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq was "virtually identical" to the speech he delivered as an anti-war protester before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee 33 years ago.

Kerry on April 22, 1971 voiced his opposition to the Vietnam War in a speech before the committee chaired by Democratic Sen. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Fulbright also opposed the war. Monday, Kerry addressed the present day war in Iraq in a speech at New York University.

"It's basically the same throw your hands up, ask the international community to come in and surrender speech that [Kerry] gave before in 1971," said Jerome Corsi, co-author of the best-selling book "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry."

"On Monday, Kerry said it was basically a civil war in Iraq, just like he said about Vietnam in 1971," Corsi told CNSNews.com . "Kerry said we need an international solution in Vietnam (in 1971), and he said we need an international solution in Iraq."

"Kerry said we didn't have a strategy for getting out of Vietnam. Today he said we don't have a strategy for getting out of Iraq," Corsi added.

But the similarities do not end there, he insisted. "When he talked to the Fulbright committee, the only thing he basically suggested regarding the Vietnam War is, we get out of there and hand it over to someone else. He wouldn't acknowledge it was a war against communism, just like he is not acknowledging that the [Iraq War] is a war against terrorism," Corsi said.

Kerry's speech Monday differed from the 1971 speech in one key area, Corsi added.

"The only thing that was missing from the speech is [Kerry] didn't blame American troops in Iraq of war crimes and atrocities and I guess that is because his advisors told him it would be impolitic to go after Abu Ghraib," Corsi said. "You add that element in and you got the identical speech that he gave before the Senate in 1971."

Kerry's speech to New York University was a wholesale denunciation of President Bush's polices surrounding the Iraq War.

"Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions and, if we do not change course, there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight," Kerry said. The Massachusetts Democrat called for more United Nations involvement in Iraq and said the Iraqi people were much worse off because of the war.

"The administration told us we'd be greeted as liberators. They were wrong," Kerry said. "Security is deteriorating, for us and for the Iraqis. Basic living conditions are also deteriorating.

"Unemployment is over 50 percent. Insurgents are able to find plenty of people willing to take $150 for tossing grenades at passing U.S. convoys," Kerry added.

Bush has "made a series of catastrophic decisions" regarding the Iraq war, Kerry charged. "At every fork in the road, [Bush] has taken the wrong turn and led us in the wrong direction," he said.

Kerry also made his own reference to his 1971 anti-war activism. "After serving in war, I returned home to offer my own personal voice of dissent. I did so because I believed strongly that we owed it those risking their lives to speak truth to power. We still do," he said.

"It is never easy to discuss what has gone wrong while our troops are in constant danger. But it's essential if we want to correct our course and do what's right for our troops instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over again," Kerry said.

Kerry also claimed that the Iraqi people are undecided about whether to support the insurgents currently battling U.S. troops in Iraq. "[M]ost Iraqis have lost faith in our ability to deliver meaningful improvements to their lives. So they're sitting on the fence ... instead of siding with us against the insurgents," Kerry explained.

See Earlier Articles:

Navy Contradicts Kerry on Release of Military Records

Kerry Blamed for Viet Vets Being Dubbed 'Atrocity Committing Monsters' POW Says

Kerry, in 1971, Admitted Writing Combat Reports

E-mail a news tip to Marc Morano.


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