I heard today some audio clips from John Kerry's Faneuil Hall speech last Saturday, commemorating the 35th anniversary of his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which launched his political career. The same words I heard on the radio appeared in the Boston Globe's report:
It was the 35th anniversary of the day Kerry, as a young Navy veteran returning from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, famously asking, ''How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
Kerry's case yesterday was much the same: that Americans have a duty to speak out against a war that is sacrificing lives on the ''altar of stubborn pride." (Emphasis added.)
In other words, American soldiers in Iraq are risking and losing their lives for nothing.
Let me say that again: In the view of Kerry and most liberals, American soldiers in Iraq are risking and losing their lives for nothing. When I make that statement to liberal acquaintances, they almost always become irate. I think that's because the point is at once so painfully obvious and so hard for them to admit. They angrily accuse me of questioning their patriotism.
No, I'm not. I'm simply calling on anti-war liberals to have the courage of their convictions. If they think the war is wrong, then American lives are being wasted "for a mistake," just as Kerry said back in 1971. Liberals ought simply to come right out and say that, and argue their point with some intellectual honesty. Instead, most of them are cowards and will not admit the logical conclusions that flow from their position.
Think about it: If the war is worth fighting, then our soldiers' deaths are tragic but meaningful, and the soldiers are heroes. If, however, the soldiers are dying only for "stubborn pride," then their loss is a meaningless travesty, not a tragedy; and the soldiers are victims, not heroes.
You can't have it both ways. Yes, you can be a patriot and a dove, but you can't "oppose the war and support the troops." The two positions are inherently inconsistent.
Many on the left think Kerry is at last taking a consistent position on the war; they applaud his apparent decision to be "the real John Kerry." Tom Bevan has a different view, one that I think sticks to the facts, and expresses the real reasons so many Americans are uncomfortable (to say the least) about Kerry's approach to defense policy. I'd call that approach consistent, all right-- consistently dovish, but not intellectually or morally honest.