Kerry Says Knowing What He Knows Today, He Wouldn't Have Gone To War In Iraq
Sen. John Kerry last night gave his only interview of the week to ABC's Dianne Sawyer, in which he again laid out his position on the Iraq war, and also charged President Bush is changing his policy positions. In segments of the interview that ran on the ABC Evening News, when asked if the war in Iraq was "worth it," Kerry said, "We should not have gone to war, knowing the information we know today." Asked if "it turns out okay, it was worth it?" Kerry said, "We have to succeed now that we've done it. We have to succeed. There are more terrorists in Iraq today than there were before. And you can't allow it to become an unstable regime that's a haven for terrorism. I've laid out a plan for success. I'm not the president today. But each step of the way, I've laid out a plan for success. And each step of the way, the President has always been following. Always later. Never the one that's initiated the things that will make it successful. He's gotten us into this mess." Asked about poll results that show a majority think he changes his mind too often, Kerry said, "I think they're advertising, and their effort over the last months, to use that word, have been particularly successful. I give them credit for it. But it doesn't reflect the truth. Nor does it reflect the truth in George Bush's record."
Democrats Think Kerry's New Iraq Argument A Winner.
The Washington Times reports Democrats "say they think" John Kerry "has settled on the winning argument" in Iraq, "but, so far, the polls don't show the Democratic presidential nominee gaining any ground on President Bush on the issue." Nonetheless, the Washington Post reports that for "all their squabbling on the campaign stump, both presidential candidates actually share a common commitment to Iraq and have many of the same long-term goals."
National Security "Career Professionals" Pessimistic About Iraq, Critical Of Bush.
In an indication of how the Iraq war is dividing the national security establishment and pitting some "career professionals" against the Bush Administration the Washington Post reports a "growing number of career professionals within national security agencies believe that the situation in Iraq is much worse, and the path to success much more tenuous, than is being expressed in public by top Bush administration officials." However, the Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that CIA "dissenters have taken their objections to the public, albeit usually through calculated and anonymous leaks that are always spun to make the agency look good and the Bush Administration look bad." The editorial notes the proximity of the leaks to Thursday's debate.
Kerry Campaign Said To Be Playing To Voters' Fears About War, Terrorism.
In another front-page "analysis" piece, the Washington Post notes that in a "dramatic strategic shift that two of his top advisers called 'high-risk,'" John Kerry and his supporters "are adopting President Bush's strategy of playing on the public's security fears and sometimes using incendiary charges to stoke them." Kerry, the Democratic National Committee "and party officials have warned voters in recent weeks, sometimes without evidence, that a second Bush term could lead to greater casualties and another Vietnam in Iraq, a military draft, a secret call-up of reservists and even a nuclear attack on U.S. soil."