Helen Thomas, the veteran journalist who admits she asks herself “Who do I hate today?” is now blasting Sen. John Kerry for his continued support of what she calls “the disastrous war against Iraq.”
In her latest column for Hearst Newspapers, Thomas, 84, writes that voters have little choice for president this November when considering the military action.
Kerry has made a colossal mistake by continuing to defend his October 2002 vote authorizing President Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
Last week at the Grand Canyon, Kerry said he would have “voted to give the president the authority to go to war” even if he had known there were no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction – Bush’s original justification for war on Iraq.
Kerry explained that he believes a president should have the “authority” to go to war, and he voted accordingly. But he insisted that Bush subsequently misused the authority by rushing headlong into combat based on faulty intelligence about Saddam’s weapons arsenal.
Kerry is mistaken on a key point. Under the U.S. Constitution, the president does not have that sole right to declare war. Despite its mindless default, that right still belongs to Congress.
Kerry has passed up several chances to distance himself from the Iraqi debacle. But instead he has left himself wide open to Bush’s ridicule. What’s he got left – stem-cell research?
Thomas, who formerly was the White House correspondent for United Press International, points out that President Bush has since had a field day mocking the Democrat for his similar position on the war.
“After months of questioning my motives and even my credibility, Sen. Kerry now agrees with me,” Bush said.
Thomas went on to say Kerry should have called Bush’s hand months ago after “so much official deception.”
How could he say he would have voted for the 2002 war resolution after he and the whole world learned the rationale for the war was based on falsehoods?
Does Kerry realize that the U.S. invasion of Iraq without provocation violates the U.N. Charter and the Nuremberg Tribunal principles?
Kerry has a weak fallback position – that he would have planned things differently before going to war and would have lined up more European allies. Knowing what they know now about the Bush fiasco, France and Germany are congratulating themselves for having the good sense to stay out of Iraq.
So Kerry has blown it big time, rising to Bush’s bait and throwing away his ace in the hole – Bush’s shaky credibility on the profound question of war and peace.
Thomas has been a frequent critic of President Bush since he took office.
Two years ago, she told a crowd at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, ‘Who do I hate today?”’
“I have never covered a president who actually wanted to go to war,” she continued. “Bush’s policy of pre-emptive war is immoral – such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. It’s as if they learned none of the lessons of Vietnam.”