During a Friday interview in Muscatine, Iowa, former Secretary of State John Kerry put a huge cape on for former vice president Joe Biden in defending the Democratic candidate’s Iraq war vote, NBC News reported.
The reporter asked Kerry how he would respond to attacks by one of Biden’s opponents, who has seen a recent surge in the polls in the race for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Joe Biden voted and helped lead the effort for the war in Iraq, the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN earlier this month.
Kerry’s response was a pretty simple, “Nah son, this is all Bush’s fault” saying that the George W. Bush administration “broke their word with respect to how they would proceed” in Iraq.
“The fact is that we were promised by a president, by an administration, that they were going to do it as a last resort after exhausting diplomacy, that if they have to go to war it would be with a coalition that they built broadly, and that they would do it only in conjunction with our allies,” Kerry said. “It didn’t have to happen; it was a war of choice.”
“It was a mistake to have trusted them, I guess, and we paid a high price for it,” Kerry added. “But that was not voting for the war.”
But, wasn’t it though?
I mean, what we’re talking about here is the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution. Does that not sound aggressive enough that, if you were asked to vote in favor of it, you would understand it as an essential green light to go to war whenever and for whatever reason? If it were called the Just In Case Authorization for Use of Military Force, But Only if We Really Need To Resolution, then maaaaybe Kerry’s answer would be plausible, but, as it stands, he’s making Biden sound naive at best; not a good look for a presidential hopeful. You’d have to consider that this vote came on the heels of the 9/11 terrorist attacks which, while there was never any evidence found of Saddam Hussein’s involvement, was clearly being leveraged to justify going to war in Iraq.
Kerry, of course, would disagree. He responded to Sanders’ attacks saying, “I think he knows full well, as a lot of other people do, that there was a difference in people who felt they needed to give a president the leverage to be able to get Saddam Hussein back to the table, without having to go to war, and that that vote was unfortunately structured in a way that it was sort of either-or. But that didn’t mean you were in favor when the administration made the decision of actually going to war.”
So basically, they weren’t voting to go to war, they were just voting to give the president all the authorization he needed to go to war; but, I mean, that’s different. Sure, John.
Jeff Weaver, senior adviser on the Sanders campaign, responded Saturday saying that Biden “tried to distort his record on the Iraq War.”
“It is appalling that after 18 years Joe Biden still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq War, the worst foreign policy blunder in modern American history,” he said in a statement. “Bernie Sanders saw the same information and had the judgment to vote against the Iraq War.”
Perhaps the smarter move for Kerry would’ve been a by proxy fall on the sword, that is, simply saying, “Joe f**ked up.”