Cal  Thomas

The Republican National Committee has released a "documentary" to counter Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11." The film (available for viewing at chronicles John Kerry's statements about Iraq and proves to all but the most partisan that this is a man who is a political opportunist and a vacillator who cannot be trusted with the power of the presidency.

Opening with Kerry's pledge at the Democratic National Convention last month to "never mislead us into war," the film shows how Kerry consistently favored using force to oust Saddam Hussein until it proved politically advantageous for him to reverse course.

Kerry, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee and had access to pre-war Iraq intelligence (when he bothered to show up for meetings), said on "Face the Nation" on Sept. 23, 2001, "It is something that we know -- for instance, Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, and there is some evidence of their efforts to try to secure these kinds of weapons and even test them."

On Dec. 11, 2001, Kerry said on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," "I think we need to put pressure on (Saddam Hussein) no matter what the evidence is about September 11. . . ."

Only July 29, 2002, Kerry spoke to the moderate Democratic Leadership Council and said, "I agree completely with (the Bush) administration's goal of a regime change in Iraq. . . . Saddam Hussein is a renegade and outlaw who turned his back on tough conditions of surrender put in place by the United Nations in 1991."

In an op-ed in the Sept. 6, 2002, New York Times, Kerry wrote: "If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act."

How can Kerry now say that the Bush administration did not exhaust diplomatic efforts and went into Iraq without international approval and sufficient (in his mind) international cooperation?

During a May 3, 2003, debate among Democratic presidential candidates, Kerry said President Bush made "the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him." What's changed? Only Kerry.

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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