In an interview broadcast Wednesday morning, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry defended terrorist Shiite imam Moqtada al-Sadr as a “legitimate voice” in Iraq, despite that fact that he’s led an uprising that has killed nearly 20 American GIs in the last two days.
Speaking of al-Sadr’s newspaper, which was shut down by coalition forces last week after it urged violence against U.S. troops, Kerry complained to National Public Radio, “They shut a newspaper that belongs to a legitimate voice in Iraq.”
In the next breath, however, the White House hopeful caught himself and quickly changed direction, adding, “Well, let me . . . change the term legitimate. It belongs to a voice — because he has clearly taken on a far more radical tone in recent days and aligned himself with both Hamas and Hezbollah, which is a sort of terrorist alignment.”
Terrorists are the good guys…no wait, they’re the bad guys sorry!
OK. I just heard the interview. You can hear on NPR’s website and the comment is very early in the interview - the first two and half minutes.
He uses the words “legitimate voice” and automatically realizes that this is not the phrase he wants to use. He wasn’t pushed to change it or asked why he used the word. He misspoke, changed his terminology and continued as the above exchange indicates.
That said, it’s not a particularly strong interview and Kerry still doesn’t seem to be sure what his position on Iraq is.
But the “legitimate voice” comment? That’s just fluff.
Which is why there are no other press links to it yet.
I’m not aware of anyone as vitriolic and fundamentalist as Sadr on the council nor of any other organized militias, aside from Saddam’s fedayeen, involved in armed uprisings against the occupational authority.
I think it’s fair to say Sadr is a ‘legitimate voice’ in that reporting shows he has a following of around 2.5 million Shiia (I think this is the figure I heard on CNN last night - feel free to correct me) in addition to his 10,000 man militia. However he is very much a minority figure in the Shiia heirarchy and can’t legitimately claim to be speaking for all Shiia much less the people of Iraq as a whole. Yet. The latest reporting shows his resistance, while passively opposed by many Iraqis, seems to be enhancing his influence among a public frustrated with an incompetant foriegn occupation.
The main thrust seems to be ambivalence. To paint in broad strokes, many folks fear disorder and dislike Sadr’s radicalism and troublemaking. The very same people are starting to also admire the mulla for his gumption in taking on the occupation forces. How this thing plays out is anyone’s guess. Could blow over, it really could, depending on what Sistani does. Right now he seems as ambivalent as the general public. He calls for calm one day. The next he and Sadr are trading cordial pleasantries in public.
Hey Bob, I heard Kerry coughed, then he didn’t cough. Yep, serious coughing flip-flop if you ask me.
Pretty sad Bob, that you try and run with this Kerry flip flop thing, and then you don’t even really understand a simple concept like that. Eventually you will be left posting how Kerry is a doodie head.