Wolf Blitzer Quotes John Kerry In Plea for U.S. to 'Accelerate' Withdrawal From Afghanistan
CNN's Wolf Blitzer resorted to using old footage of Democratic Senator John Kerry (Mass.) as a soldier to make his point about how the U.S. needs to speed up its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"And I immediately recalled what Senator John Kerry told Congress when he returned from the Vietnam War four decades ago," Blitzer said Friday of when he got news of the deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan. He aired footage of Kerry's 1971 testimony before Congress given as a soldier returning from Vietnam, where he called the war a "mistake" and challenged Americans to realize that. [Video below the break.]
"But here is the question, why do they have to remain there so long?" Blitzer asked of the troops in Afghanistan. "Will it really make any difference in the long run when American forces leave?"
"My gut tells me it is time to accelerate that withdrawal," he continued his message. "Too many American sons and daughters have already been killed in Afghanistan."
A transcript of the segment, which aired on August 10 on The Situation Room at 6:01 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
WOLF BLITZER: When I heard this morning that at least three more American special forces soldiers had been killed by an Afghan police officer in Southern Afghanistan, my heart sank. I immediately focused in on the men who died. I know that each is someone's father, son or brother. And I immediately recalled what Senator John Kerry told Congress when he returned from the Vietnam War four decades ago.
JOHN KERRY: Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam, somebody has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows. So that we cannot say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first president to lose a war." Now we are asking Americans to think about that. Because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?
(End Video Clip)
BLITZER: There are still some 90,000 American troops serving in Afghanistan, President Obama says they will be withdrawn over the next two and a half years, he says they will all be out by the end of 2014. But here is the question, why do they have to remain there so long? Will it really make any difference in the long run when American forces leave? Afghan police and military personnel, our supposed allies, are now routinely killing American forces. So what is the point? Keeping all those U.S. troops in Afghanistan still costs U.S. taxpayers about two billion – billion – dollars a week, more than 100 billion dollars a year. My gut tells me it is time to accelerate that withdrawal. Too many American sons and daughters have already been killed in Afghanistan.