Friday, October 01, 2004
Transcript: What is Kerry's position on pre-emptive war?
KERRY: The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for pre-emptive strike. That was a great doctrine throughout the Cold War. And it was always one of the things we argued about with respect to arms control.I suppose harboring the world's most dangerous terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi isn't a legitimate reason. Directly harboring Al Qaeda doesn't pass the "Global Test."
No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to pre-empt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.
But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.