On September 13, 2002, just as Congress was debating whether to approve a resolution providing President Bush the authority to use force against Iraq, former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
The real choice is between sustaining a military effort designed to contain Saddam Hussein and a military effort designed to replace him. In my mind the case for the second choice is overwhelming. … Regime change is the only way we can safely reduce our military commitment to the region.
In calling for regime change, Kerrey displayed an inability to comprehend the predictable chaos that would ensue. The intelligence community warned the Bush administration in January 2003 that regime change “would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal conflict.”
In December 2003, an undeterred Kerrey claimed that he had been vindicated and Iraq war critics would ultimately be proven wrong. “Twenty years from now, we’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who says it wasn’t worth the effort,” he wrote.
Today, Bob Kerrey (D-NE), unrepentant over his failed Iraq war predictions, returns to the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to blast “American liberals.” In making his argument that democracy can indeed be imposed by military force (apparently by overlooking the Iraq war), Kerrey writes:
American liberals need to face these truths … [A] unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.
Perhaps he should have thought about that before advocating regime change as “the only way” to “safely reduce our military commitment to the region.” By staying in Iraq as an occupying force, the U.S. is helping inflame the terrorist movement. But Bob Kerrey has never understood that from the beginning, so why would he understand that now?
UPDATE: The National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez heralds Kerrey as “my favorite Democrat.”
UPDATE II: Rush Limbaugh says “Bob Kerrey is right on Iraq.”