This is the first in a series of thoughts on the war from John Kerry, the man who is running for President based on his actions in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly an Abu Ghraib and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.
We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Iraqis.
We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against “insurgents” with quotation marks around that. We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater or let us say a non-third-world people theater.
Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Iraq someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn’t have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can’t say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to dies so that President Bush won’t be, and these are his words, the second President to lose a war.”
We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to dies in Iraq? How do ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? But we are trying to do that, and we are doing it with thousands of rationalizations, and if you read carefully the President’s last speech to the people of this country, you can see that he says, and says clearly:
But the issue, gentlemen, the issue is terrorism, and the question is whether or not we will leave that country to the terrorists or whether or not we will try to give it hope to be a free people.
But the point is they are not a free people now under us. They are not a free people, and we cannot fight terrorism all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now.Reference.
TV fans may remember the series Quantum Leap staring Scott Bakula and Richard Stockwell. Bakula’s character “leaps” into the bodies of people throughout history (generally from the last half of the 20th century) and tries to save them from some mysterious bad fate. That’s the best explanation for what I’m trying to do her, though I do have the leap direction reversed. The public life of John Kerry is documented well enough that as a writer I can fill his past with words from today and vice versa.