Kerry Decoder

William Saletan sleuths out an actual answer to the question “Would Kerry Vote Today for the Iraq War?” That answer is “No.”

Saletan arrives at this answer, which I believe to be correct, by carefully parsing the various statements Kerry has made on the matter in various interviews. While Kerry refuses to answer the question directly, and indeed seems to be trying to communicate that he would, the preconditions that Kerry always sets — “United Nations, WMD, compliance, process” — would have precluded going to war.

The fact that Kerry wants to have it both ways on such a critical issue–quite simply, the key issue in the campaign–is telling. Regardless of whether one agrees with President Bush on the war, we at least know where he stands. That’s a rather important thing when choosing a commander in chief. Especially during an ongoing war.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004, Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.