H.J.Res. 114 - Why did they do it?


The 2002 resolution for which Hillary Clinton and a majority of her congressional colleagues voted gave the president the authority to go to war in Iraq.


It was not, as it has often disingenuously been misrepresented, a congressional declaration of war or a directive to the president to launch an invasion. But, seriously now folks, who are we kidding here?

Hillary Clinton should have known better; the majority of her congressional colleagues who voted along with her to support the resolution should have known better.

As a matter of fact, they all did know better. Yet, they did it anyway.

Although acknowledging that the vote for the resolution could "lead to war," Hillary Clinton insisted that vote for the resolution was not a vote "for" the war, and said that she expected the White House to push for "complete, unlimited inspections" and that she did not view her support for the measure as "a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption or for unilateralism."

Right! And she also still believed, are we to suppose, that it is the Tooth Fairy who leaves money under children's pillows in exchange of their baby teeth.

Hillary knew better (link), yet, out of domestic political calculation perhaps (what she thought was better politically for herself - not for the country), she still did the wrong thing! At least the members of the GOP who voted for the resolution voted in favor of something they sincerely believed in (some of them did). That's the problem with politicians: Hillary, no doubt, like many of her colleagues, was afraid of how a vote against the resolution would be exploited by her political opponents. Also, she thought maybe that she could have it both ways. Be for it and against it. Or, like, senator Kerry lamely put it during his 2004 presidential campaign (on a different unrelated matter) "vote for it before voting against it."

Voting for that resolution, under the political climate of the time, could only mean one thing and one thing only. Many, many good people in America knew what it meant at the time and what it would lead to. The congressmen and women who voted for it KNEW what they were really voting for. How could they not? And what if they didn’t; is that really the kind of clueless men and women we want representing us in congress?

Where was the hurry? Where was the need for that resolution? There was certainly no clear and imminent danger justifying the need for such a resolution. The response of the Democrats should have been clear-cut. Missouri Representative Willard Van Diver's simple common sense in his self-deprecating 1899 speech comes to mind: "I come from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me." Just two simple words: SHOW ME! Allow for the continuation of "complete, unlimited inspections." Show me "probable cause." What happened instead is that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was forced to order all U.N. inspectors to evacuate Iraq, after George W. Bush, using his new powers given to him by congress, eventually issued a final ultimatum for Saddam Hussein to step down or face war. (Clearly not what the resolution was supposed to be about.)

Not only was it a mistake for this country and for the world, but it was also a political mistake for those who voted for it -- a mistake for which they have paid direly. (Remember Kerry's disastrous campaign, as his political opponents gleefully pointed out, again and again, at how he and his fellow Democrats "had the same information" they had and how they had voted just as they did "in support of the war.")

While in the Senate, all Republicans (except Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island) voted for the passage of the resolution. The vote was sharply divided among Democrats, with 29 voting for the measure and 21 against.

(In the House, six Republicans, among which, Ron Paul of Texas, joined 126 Democrats in voting against the resolution.)

This is a link to Ron Paul speech on the floor of the house on 8 October 2002: link

And here is Representative Dennis Kucinich statement before the House on October 3, 2002: link

Famously, among those who were against the resolution was Senator Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, who attempted to mount a filibuster but was cut off on a 75 to 25 vote.

Senator Byrd argued that the resolution - AS EVERYBODY KNEW - amounted to a "blank check" for the White House.

"This is the Tonkin Gulf resolution all over again," the senator said. "Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution."

After the election in 2004, former Senator John Edwards wrote an op-ed piece for The Washington Post in which he acknowledged his vote for the resolution and called it a mistake; the first sentence was: "I was wrong."

Senator Barack Obama, was not in the Senate yet in 2002, but as an Illinois state legislator, he is among those who spoke out publicly against the invasion of Iraq before it even began. This is part of a speech he delivered on 26 October 2002 at an anti-war rally in Chicago:

... I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.

So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

Now, Hillary Clinton's rationale for her vote in 2002 authorizing the use of force against Iraq (a pleasant Newspeak euphemism for "go to war with Iraq") is that she was misled by President Bush, that he lied about WMD but that she believed him.

I am not so sure.

Her speech on the floor of the Senate on October 10, 2002 (link), make it clear that she had a much better understanding of what was really going on, and that she understood that "some people favor[ed] attacking" Iraq because, I quote, "deposing Saddam...would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform."

One may agree with such kind of interventionism in a sovereign nation’s internal affairs. Or not. Personally, I don’t.

There is a name for this. It's called regime change. Or "nation building."

This is the kind of ambitions promoted by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

On September 20, 2001, (nine days after the September 11, 2001 attacks) the PNAC had sent a letter to President George W. Bush, advocating "a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq" "...even if evidence [did] not link Iraq directly to the attack".

In September 2000, the PNAC had released a report titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century." Specifically citing the Persian Gulf, the report notes that "the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has."

What's wrong about this picture, what's so terribly wrong about it, is not whether or not conducting regime changes throughout the globe is the right thing (ethically or geopolitically) to do for the US, it's not the exhortations of the PNAC or the recommendations of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq - a more recent group staffed entirely by PNAC members (this is a free country, anyone is entitled to their own opinion), and it is not what people are saying now about "the flaws in the conception and horrendously bad execution" of the "liberation" of Iraq, or the "incompetence of the Bush administration," or whether or not the "surge" is working.

What's wrong with this picture is that, for better or for worse, what Hillary Clinton alluded to in her speech (the creation of "the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East"), what the PNAC envisioned (regime change, or "a substantial American force presence in the Gulf"), are NOT what H.J.Res. 114 spoke of: This is not the mandate this president was given to execute. It is not what congress was told. It is not what the American people were told at the onset of the invasion. What America was told was that Saddam Hussein's possession or imminent development of nuclear and biological weapons and his purported ties to al-Qaeda made his regime a "grave and growing" threat to the United States and the world community.

The rest is history:

No such weapons were found. In January 2005, the Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its WMD programs in 1991 and had no WMD at the time of the invasion; although some misplaced or abandoned remnants of pre-1991 production were found, U.S. government spokespeople confirmed that these were not the weapons for which the U.S. "went to war".

Similarly, alleged links between Iraq and al-Qaeda were called into question during the lead up to the war, and were largely discredited by an October 21, 2004 report from U.S. Senator Carl Levin, which was later corroborated by an April 2006 report from the Defense Department’s inspector general. These reports further alleged that Bush Administration officials, particularly former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith, manipulated evidence to support links between al-Qaeda and Iraq.

No weapons were found, but the harm is done, or – depending on one’s viewpoint - it is a “mission accomplished”: Part A of the PNAC’s grand vision for the Persian Gulf is now realized! The occupation of Iraq is a fait accompli. On March 2007, Hillary Clinton stated in an interview with the New York Times that if elected president, she would keep a reduced military force in Iraq to fight Al Qaeda, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and support the Iraqi military.

Hillary Clinton and her fellow democrats, who voted with her in support of H.J.Res. 114, claimed that they were duped.

Perhaps it was so. Everyone makes mistakes.

A bigger question, then, might be who has been duping whom, here, and to what degree were people really duped?

And what about all those who voted against the war?

How did they find the wherewithal to avoid being duped when Hillary didn’t?

11 comments:

Maggie Bremmer said...

I heard some of the speeches of which Tom speaks - I was there (or almost - I was following some of the debates, including Senator Byrd 's filibuster, on the radio. I was on a road trip, at the time - a captive audience so to speak.) And I realize that although I have been trying hard to repress the memory of it (denial is as much a part of abuse as abuse itself), I haven't succeeded, and I still haven't forgiven Hillary Clinton for her vote on resolution 114 in 2002.

Perhaps "abuse" is too strong a word. One could call it "betrayal," but betrayal is not the right word for it either. Some people do not betray, they merely disappoint. There were many very courageous voices which spoke for what's right on that most important day, and Hillary was not one of them - not in how she ultimately chose to cast her vote, when she, out of all people, knew, KNEW what that vote meant.

She did it out of political calculation, of course. She is usually pretty good at it. Not that time, though. She would have benefited greatly today had she had the courage to vote her convictions in 2002 instead of going for what she though was politically expedient. There are times for political craftiness and there are times to speak for what is right! And, sadly, it looks like Hillary can no longer tell the difference between the two. She has become so calculating, so fearful of how anything she says or does will be spun by the media or by her political opponents, that, in fact, she has allowed the opposition to define her. She has become DUKAKISed. The fire is gone. And it shows.

What the Democratic party needs right now is not another Dukakis but another Kennedy! My eyes are on Barack Obama.

Nausicaa said...

Just the facts, ma'm:

On October 31, 1998, US President Bill Clinton signed into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act." The Act appropriated funds to Iraqi opposition groups in the hope of removing Saddam Hussein from power and replacing his regime with a democracy.

On October 16, 2002, H.J.Res. 114 was signed into law (Public Law 107–243) by US President George W. Bush. The resolution listed many factors to justify the use of military force against Iraq, among them, citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, resolution 114 explicitly reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement.

On October 11, 2002, Senator Hillary Clinton, the wife of former US President Bill Clinton, and 28 Democrats along with her, voted in support of H.J.Res. 114.

The resolution passed the House by a vote of 296-133, and the Senate by a vote of 77-23.

You know what they say: if the shoe fits, wear it.

Senator Hillary Clinton claims that her intent was just to support negotiation, but the resolution says nothing about negotiation.

She claims that she had been given incorrect intelligence, but cites no details.

Senator Hillary Clinton currently opposes any timetable for withdrawal and advocates more troops and permanent U.S. bases in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

I think this is what we call a catch 22: Heads they win (i.e. John McCain or Rudy Giuliani for President), tails you lose (i.e. Hillary Clinton for President).

Same difference?

Either Hillary Clinton is sincere, and she is just as hawkish as either John McCain or Rudy Giuliani, and as warlike as the current Bush administration has ever been – she just thinks that she would have done it better or can do it better – or her voting record and all her rhetoric is just a show, a front she is putting on, to out-AIPAC the AIPAC whose support she needs both as a New York senator and as a presidential candidate.

In either case, I do not see anything to rejoice about. If you can't get a straight answer out of Senator Hillary Clinton now, what reason is there to believe that we will get any better out of President Hillary Clinton (with all these newfound Presidential powers that her predecessor has been accumulating for the Presidency)?

Due to the increasing unpopularity of the war, the Senator has had to dissociate herself from the occupation of Iraq and is walking a thin line, positioning herself - depending on who her audience happens to be - as either a hawk or an "anti-war candidate," or both at the same time.

Can she do it?

"Men judge more by their eyes than by their hands, because everyone can see but few can feel. Everyone can see how you appear, few can feel what you are, and these few will not dare to oppose the opinion of the multitude when it is defended by the majesty of the state. In actions of all men, especially princes, where there is no recourse to justice, the end is all that counts. A prince should only be concerned with conquering or maintaining a state, for the means will always be judged to be honorable and praiseworthy by each and every person, because the masses always follow appearances and the outcomes of affairs, and the world is nothing other than the masses. The few do not find a place wherever the masses are supported."
---Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince


If the New Hampshire results are to be believed, apparently she can.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain are presently the two front-runners of the Primaries. At a time when the dissatisfaction with the conduct of the occupation of Iraq is at its highest and supposedly a majority of people in the country wants to withdraw from Iraq, the two front-runners are both pro-war candidates. What does it tell you about the system? Or, for that matter, what does it tell you about this country? Maybe Machiavelli’s got a point here, ultimately it seems that when it comes to the situation in Iraq, and foreign policy in general, all in all, people care less about “what’s right” (e.g., Were people deceived? Is it a just war?) than they care about “winning.”

Since her New Hampshire moment, a lot has been made about Hillary Clinton being a woman.

It is interesting then perhaps to note that being a woman doesn’t seem to have made presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, any less warlike than any of the men, Republicans and Democrats alike, in this Presidential campaign.

Everything Hillary Clinton has done or said so far as a Senator, all seems to indicate that insofar as foreign policy is concerned she will follow in the footsteps of the Bush administration… and probably up it one.

The Senator’s anti-Iranian rhetoric is exemplary to that regard.

Last September 26, Senator Clinton voted for a Senate resolution (proposed by Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent of Connecticut who votes with Republicans on war issues) urging Bush to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a major branch of the Iranian armed forces, as a foreign terrorist organization.

What was the meaning of this vote? A wink to AIPAC? A bid to outflank the GOP on the right? A “non-binding,” “symbolic” gesture as she claimed.

She said that the resolution simply gives the president authority to impose penalties.

Right! And in 2002, when she voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, she did so only ON HER OWN UNDERSTANDING that the president would first get approval from the United Nations (and yet she voted at the time against an amendment - moved by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan - that would have required the president to do precisely that.)

She has refused to rule out presidential use of nuclear weapons, notwithstanding the 1996 World Court ruling that use of the weapons violates international humanitarian law because they blindly strike civilians and military targets alike. And she voted to end restrictions on countries violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Senator Clinton, a woman, has opposed bans on land mines and cluster-bomb exports, and advocated (along with Senator Joseph I. Lieberman) even more military spending than Bush requested. (Remember the United States Army Relief Act?)

Is it any surprise that more contributions from war contractors have reached Hillary for President than any competing campaign?

Nausicaa said...

FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS:

Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.

FPIF is a "Think Tank Without Walls" that brings together over 600 writers, scholars, academics, artists and activists to connect research and action on United States foreign policy.

The foundation of FPIF's work is rooted in believing that "U.S. security and world stability are best advanced through a commitment to peace, justice and environmental protection as well as economic, political, and social rights."

This is how FPIF feels about this:

Perhaps the most terrible legacy of the administration of President George W. Bush has been its utter disregard for such basic international legal norms as the ban against aggressive war, respect for the UN Charter, and acceptance of international judicial review. Furthermore, under Bush’s leadership, the United States has cultivated a disrespect for basic human rights, a disdain for reputable international human rights monitoring groups, and a lack of concern for international humanitarian law.

Ironically, [Hillary Clinton] the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president shares much of President Bush’s dangerous attitudes toward international law and human rights.


The complete commentary, Hillary Clinton on International Law, was published on December 11, 2007, and deserves, I think, to be read from beginning to end. One may agree or disagree with Stephen Zunes on any of the points the author brings up in this essay. But regardless of how one might feel about Hillary Clinton one way or another, the article raises questions about many issues that are often overlooked in terms of where it is people feel this country stands in terms of foreign policy and whether it is or not up to the people to decide what the right course is for their nation or for mankind at large, individually and collectively.

There are some who claim that people "can't handle the truth," and that this is why the conduct of such matters as Foreign Policy should be left to those "who know," tough-minded people like G.W. Bush or Dick Cheney, people of "experience" like Hillary Clinton, people who have access to "intelligence" provided by agencies such as the CIA, intelligence which they cannot share with the common people. They contend that Foreign policy is so complex and so far reaching that it goes way above the head of the average folks and should therefore be left to those who “know better,” people who will do all the thinking for us, people who will do the right thing for the best interest of the people and, as they see it, humanity at large.

If this is the world you live in and you are happy with it. This is fine. For one's own peace of mind, this is evidently best.

After all what can anyone do? Isn't it the way the world has always been?

There are those who believe a better world is possible.

In "The One Percent Doctrine" Ron Suskind reminds us of the "awesome power" that rises from the ‘informed consent’ of the governed, and asks what should inform that consent. He suggests that consent is traditionally informed by facts, but that the reality is that people’s consent is manipulated by appeals to faith, fear, or fictions.

Stephen Zunes echoes a similar concern:

Though an overwhelming majority of Americans, according to public opinion polls, believe that human rights should be a cornerstone of American foreign policy, Senator Clinton has repeatedly prioritized the profits of American arms manufacturers and the extension of Washington’s hegemonic reach in parts of the world. Similarly, a Hillary Clinton presidency would simply be a continuation of the efforts by the Bush administration to undermine the UN Charter and the basic international legal framework in place for much of the past century. Historically, it has been the right wing of the Republican Party that has opposed international legal restrictions on the activities of the United States and its allies to advance America’s hegemonic agenda. Now, however, the front runner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination also shares this view, indicating a clear break with the internationalist and law-based principles espoused by such previous Democratic leaders as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. Indeed, Senator Clinton’s notions of what constitutes the legitimate use of force by the United States are so extreme, she would – if elected – likely become the most aggressive-minded Democratic president since James K. Polk.

The coming primaries and caucuses will test whether the Democratic Party can make a firm break with the hegemonic, unilateralist, and militaristic agenda of the Bush administration, or simply pursues an only somewhat nuanced version of the current dismissive attitudes toward human rights and international law that amounts to little better than Bush Lite.

Nausicaa said...

Stephen Zunes, an associate professor of Politics and chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, is the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism.

Anonymous said...

You make that sound like a bad thing?

What would be so terribly wrong about another James K. Polk?

James K. Polk by They Might Be Giants. hope you enjoy!

In 1844, the Democrats were split
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Louis Cass, a general and expansionist
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear
The factions soon agreed
He's just the man we need
To bring about victory
Fulfill our manifest destiny
And annex the land the Mexicans command
And when the votes were cast the winner was
Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

In four short years he met his every goal
He seized the whole southwest from Mexico
Made sure the tarriffs fell
And made the English sell the Oregon territory
He built an independent treasury
Having done all this he sought no second term
But precious few have mourned the passing of
Mister James K. Polk, our eleventh president
Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump

jazzolog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jazzolog said...

The horror to this American is the body count of the men, women, and children all around the world whose death or maiming has been the direct result of this resolution. How many of us even allow ourselves to feel the shame of it? Who dares to speak of it every day to friends and neighbors? And yet that monkey tours the palaces of Dubai and Arabia in our name, peddling smart bombs for his pals. There should be a candidate today who will deliver a speech to rival the Gettysburg Address...and it would be simply to stand before the world and weep bitterly.

Anonymous said...

Elementary my dear Watson.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

And the truth is that the project of the PNAC (Project for the New American Century) must go on!

The AIPAC wants it.

The PNAC spelled it out.

And the show must go on.

Dear Mr. President,

[The letter was originally written to George W. Bush on September 20, 2001 by the members of the PNAC, but the prime directive has not changed very much, just fill in the blank:

Dear Rudy Giuliani or dear John McCain (whoever ends-up the war nominee for the much coveted 911 Presidency in the Republican party)

Or Dear Hillary Clinton (for the Democrats)

We write to endorse your admirable commitment to “lead the world to victory” in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for “a broad and sustained campaign” against the “terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them.”
(…)
We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth….”
(…)
…the administration should consider appropriate measures of retaliation against these known state [Iran and Syria] sponsors of terrorism.

Israel has been and remains America’s staunchest ally against international terrorism, especially in the Middle East. The United States should fully support our fellow democracy in its fight against terrorism. We should insist that the Palestinian Authority put a stop to terrorism emanating from territories under its control and imprison those planning terrorist attacks against Israel. Until the Palestinian Authority moves against terror, the United States should provide it no further assistance.
(…)
A serious and victorious war on terrorism will require a large increase in defense spending… We urge that there be no hesitation in requesting whatever funds for defense are needed to allow us to win this war.


Amen!

As Gail Collins (while not being Sherlock Holmes, Gail Collins sometimes has some solid good sense about her) plainly observed on November 1, 2007 already, in an op-ed published in the New York times, Hillary Clinton is relying on her Democratic audience to understand that all her peculiar positions and triple-waffles have to do with a fear of being demagogued by the Republicans in the general election. But you would have to be a very, very committed Hillaryite to be comfortable listening to two solid hours of dodging and weaving on everything from her vote on the Iran resolution to her husband’s attempt to keep records of their White House communications secret until after 2012. (“... Certainly we’ll move as quickly as our circumstances and the processes of the National Archives permits.”)

But, but, what of the will of the people, will you say?

Aren’t people tired of the war?

I’ll answer with another question.

Who has been supporting the most warmongering candidates in this election?

Who elected George W. Bush for a second term?

Who is supporting Hillary Clinton in this primary?

Although, Hillary Clinton has been making some noise to appease the growing anti-war sentiments in her base, I think everyone knows better.

But people just “don’t want to know.” A large segment of the people don’t want to know. Just as they did not want to know about George W. Bush in 2004.

Gail Collins, again:
“Well, first of all, I am against a rush to war,” [Hillary Clinton] said. That would have been disturbing even if she had not attacked the idea of "rushing to war" twice more in the next 60 seconds. Being against a rush to another war in the Middle East seems to be setting the bar a tad low. How does she feel about a measured march to war? A leisurely stroll? And how could she have voted for an Iran resolution that was sponsored by Joseph Lieberman, who was basically drummed out of his party in Connecticut because of his hyperhawk stance on Iraq?

The rallying cry of 2004 was anyone but Bush.

And who did we get?

The rallying cry of 2008 is anyone but a warmonger.

And who will we get?

The names on the Billboard are changing but the show must go on, and the production remain the same.

And the names have a lot of star appeal.

In 2000, it was Bush - the son of the 41th President!

And Bush again in 2004.

Now what? Clinton 2008 - the spouse of the 42nd President!!!

Can Mr Smith go to Washington?

Could he ever?

I can’t wait for the 2016 Billboard:

Chelsea Clinton vs. Jeb Bush ???

Nausicaa said...

Well, there are a lot of people actually who do want to know.

It is going to be interesting to see whether the internet is of any help to that regard. While a lot has been made about the amount of garbage there is floating around on the Internet, the world Wide Web is still a free for all environment where dissent is hard to suppress, for now - and if you don't live in China, that is.

The internet is, let's face it, a place of DISINFORMATION, but it also is and remains, for now, a place of INFORMATION. The challenge is of course, the ability to tell the difference between the two.

One cannot necessarily believe what one reads on the Internet. Some disinformation is accidental, and some, is unfortunately intentional. But, that’s the way it has always been, and the way it was long before the Internet.

Someone once told me that they loath blogs because most of the time it looks like ”some unqualified, blithering, teenager yapping endlessly about what they think about George Bush or waxing philosophical on such intellectual matters as whether to scratch their behind with the left or right hand.

I don’t know. I think such “unqualified blithering” – even the so called “philosophical waxing” – is actually what makes the internet the force for change that it is. First and foremost it is about engagement: all that “philosophical waxing” (even where it involves little more than just some cut and paste) takes time, it reflect a certain level of commitment and it is pro-active, and most of all it is bottom-up. When it comes to “blithering,” I’ll take the unqualified blithering” of many of the people “yapping” on the internet over the professional “yapping” of those whose “unqualified blithering” on TV, like Ann Coulter for example, has become an institution of the disinformation age.

There are a lot of people who have been feeling like jazzolog do. A lot of people who have been posting from the heart. And some are very passionate too – as they should – about the issues.

At a time when FREE SPEECH equals MONEY. In a Mediacracy where it is the media who decides who gets to speak on TV and who doesn’t. And at a time when the least bit of time for a clip on TV cost a fortune. The Internet is offering free-speech that is truly free, and accessible to all, and offer people the possibility to speak about what’s truly on their heart regardless of whether or not it is politically correct or whether or not it espouses the partly line at the time of a Presidential election.

While I am personally not affiliated with any political candidate, I find the following videoclip (regardless of who produced it or for what reasons) very liberating. For one thing it is not afraid of asking the tough questions.

Hillary sounding a lot like Bush/Cheney

Youtube has proven an amazing medium to that regard. The various editing and the soundtrack of the one clip above are reflective of how the director feels about the issue and the conclusion is somewhat guided. It is a powerful nonetheless. More interesting though are the pure raw, unedited footages available everywhere online and which remain behind like so many time capsules.

This unedited piece – Hillary Clinton statements, in her own words – says a lot.

The clip is dated March 6, 2003.

Hillary Clinton's views on going to war, Saddam & WMD

In the above clip Hillary Clinton is seen talking about her vote to go to war, Saddam, and WMDs, 2 weeks before war in a meeting w/ women, men, National Organization for Women and Code Pink.

I personally find her comparison, toward the end of the meeting, of the situation the Bush administration and congress were faced with in Iraq with what the Bosnia-Kosovo situation was, particularly inappropriate and disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

An article in the latest edition of Newsweek reported that Senator Hillary Clinton’s surrogates have been floating the word that Barack Obama has a shaky commitment to Israel, despite accounts to the contrary from progressive American Jewish leaders.

As it turns out, Obama attended a meeting with about 100 Jewish community leaders in Cleveland three days ago. Apparently he did very well. As an observer put it:

"I don't agree with Obama on every point here, but this dissertation is clearly serious, honest, brave, well-informed, and thoroughly deserving of respect. And not a teleprompter in sight.

There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel.

This is not only a courageous comment in these circumstances, it's also hitting the nail on the head. Likud is not now the governing party in Israel, it's in opposition as often as in government, it never gets anywhere near 50% of the vote.

Obama is absolutely right that the public debate on these matters in Israel is often much more nuanced and intelligent than in the US. Yet Likudniks utterly dominate the discourse in America. Listening to Israel means listening to all Israelis, not just the far right.
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This the link to the article by Alec MacGillis: Obama's Ohio Grilling