Singing of Werner Van Braun in the 1960s, satirist Tom Lehrer dubbed him "a man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience." Those words come wafting through time now because they fit the Democratic nominee for president so perfectly.
Clearly Kerry entered the primary season convinced that his vote in favor of the Iraq war would position him well for the general election. He had been sounding hawkish themes since 2001. On "The O'Reilly Factor" in December 2001, Kerry said "I think we ought to put the heat on Saddam Hussein. ... I criticized the Clinton administration for backing off of the inspections, when Ambassador Butler was giving us strong evidence that we needed to continue. I think we need to put the pressure on no matter what the evidence is about Sept. 11."
A few days later, he told Larry King: "This doesn't end with Afghanistan by any imagination. And I think the president has made that clear. I think we have made that clear. Terrorism is a global menace ... and it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, Saddam Hussein."
In 2002, John Kerry declared that "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."
Kerry also denied that the entire issue was WMDs. On "Face the Nation" (these citations all come from a superb video compiled by the Republican National Committee www.kerryoniraq.com) in September 2002, Kerry said: "I would disagree with John McCain that it's the actual weapons of mass destruction he may use against us. It's what he may do in another invasion of Kuwait or in a miscalculation about the Kurds, or a miscalculation about Iran or particularly Israel. ... He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups. ..."
Kerry voted in favor of giving President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq to compel Saddam to disarm, and on the campaign trail he could scarcely take a breath without mentioning his service in Vietnam.