Have you ever listened to politicians like Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry and wished you had the perfect retort to really put them in their place? Or maybe you’ve come up with a great response to one of their inane rants but had no place to air it.
I’ve had the same frustrations. That’s why I love it when I get to see someone else do it — especially when it’s not a conservative Republican or someone else with a potential political axe to grind.
So today I want to share with you a glorious example of our beloved Lefties Kennedy and Kerry as the victims of a verbal two-point-takedown and pin by an Iraqi official discussing last weekend’s better-than-expected elections.
On January 27, three days before the Iraq elections, Sen. Kennedy performed for the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Kennedy went on and on about how horrible the Bush Administration is, how poorly things are going in Iraq, how our military is now part of the problem in Iraq, and how Iraq is a quagmire — just like Vietnam. (He, of course, went on to NOT mention Presidents Kennedy and Johnson’s involvement in that war.)
Here is a portion of what Kennedy said:
- “In the name of a misguided cause, we continued the [Vietnam] war too long. We failed to comprehend the events around us. We did not understand that our very presence was creating new enemies and defeating the very goals we set out to achieve. We cannot allow that history to repeat itself in Iraq.
“We must learn from our mistakes. We must recognize what a large and growing number of Iraqis now believe. The war in Iraq has become a war against the American occupation.
“We have reached the point that a prolonged American military presence in Iraq is no longer productive for either Iraq or the United States. The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
Not to be outdone by Kennedy’s bloviation, Sen. Kerry went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on January 30, the very day of the Iraq elections, and, while reminding everyone in the country why we should be glad he was not elected president, told Tim Russert:
- “No one in the United States should try to over-hype this election. […]
“[I]t’s hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can’t vote and doesn’t vote. I think this election was important. I was for the election taking place. You may recall that back in–well, there’s no reason you would–but back in Fulton, Missouri, during the campaign, I laid out four steps, and I said at the time, ‘This may be the president’s last chance to get it right.’
“The four steps were, number one, massive rapid training. Number two, you’ve got to do reconstruction, and you’ve got to get the services to the Iraqis. Number three, you’ve got to bring the international community in the effort. Number four, you’ve got to have the elections.
“Well, today we did number four, we had the elections. But the other three are almost–I mean, they’re lagging so significantly that the task has been made that much harder. And I will say unequivocally today that what the administration does in these next few days will decide the outcome of Iraq, and this is–not maybe–this is the last chance for the president to get it right.”
Now for the good part. On the afternoon of the 30th, CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer” had as one of its guests Feisal Istrabadi, the Iraqi Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, a man whom Blitzer described as “one man who helped plan the road Iraq hopes to take toward democracy.” Asked for his response to Kennedy’s remarks on the U.S. Military, Istrabadi stated:
- “Well, obviously the senator from Massachusetts is free to say whatever he wants to for and on behalf of his constituents and as an American.
“But I would appreciate his not arrogating to himself the right to speak on behalf of Iraqis. We have a sovereign government that can do that, and it is at the invitation of that sovereign government that American forces are in Iraq now.
“And I expect that American forces will continue to be in Iraq after the transitional government emerges.
“The fact of the matter is, we need American forces to keep the peace and to secure our borders. And until we are capable of handling those two tasks ourselves, the Americans and the multinational force will likely stay at the invitation of our government.”
And in response to Kerry’s criticism of the administration’s handling of Iraq, Mr. Istrabadi offered this thought:
- “Well, with all respect again, of course the — look, without the United States and without this administration, we would not have been liberated, we would not today be talking about an election and who may or may not emerge as possible contenders for whatever position.
“We will always be grateful to the United States. We will always be grateful to the government of the United States and the United Kingdom and their various allies in the multinational force. But the people who are going to make a difference toward the success or failure, God forbid, of this project are the people of Iraq, the people who today defied bombs and terrorists and explosions and possible death so that they could vote in a free election.
“These are the people who today emerged to regain control of their own futures, as any free peoples do, and it is we who will make the difference to the outcome of our country.”
Thank you, Mr. Istrabadi. From all of us who didn’t get to tell the world what we thought of Kennedy and Kerry’s blowhard-ness.
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