A shameful vote
indicate that most Democrats believe that the war in Iraq is a mistake.
This creates a problem for Hillary Clinton. She enthusiastically
endorsed the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq
Resolution of 2002.” Barack Obama opposed the resolution.
Clinton made her position clear in the Senate debate before the vote.
She said, “So it is with conviction that I support the resolution as
being in the best interest of our nation … And it is a vote that says
clearly to Saddam Hussein, this is your last chance. Disarm or be
The resolution passed in the Senate 77-23, with 21 Democrats voting nay.
In a speech before the vote, while he was still a member of the
Illinois Senate and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Obama said: “I
know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S.
occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with
undetermined consequences. I know that 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 the
best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of
al-Qaida. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”
Respected Democratic members of the Senate were concerned about the
jingoism in the administration. Dick Durbin of Illinois proposed an
amendment to restrict the use of force to an immediate threat. That was
defeated 70-30. Carl Levin of Michigan proposed an amendment to
authorize the use of force only if Iraq refused to admit weapons
inspectors after a demand from the U.N. That lost 75-24.
The resolution was approved on Oct. 16, 2002. The attack on Iraq began only five months later on March 20, 2003.
Democratic Sens. Joseph Biden, Christopher Dodd and John Edwards all
voted for the resolution. After seeing that they had helped to
facilitate a preemptive strike against Iraq, they readily acknowledged
that their vote was a mistake. Clinton is the only Democratic
presidential candidate refusing to concede that she made a mistake. Her
explanation is essentially that she was conned by the White House.
If that is so, she should have been more skeptical about future
deception from the hawks of Capitol Hill. Clinton was the only
Democratic senator in the presidential race to vote on Sept. 26 for a
Senate amendment instructing the president to designate Iran’s
Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization.
Under Executive Order 13224, the president has the authority to take
punitive action against terrorist organizations. However, these are
customarily stateless militants. The Revolutionary Guard Corps is part
of the Iranian military, similar to the U.S. Marines. Consequently, the
amendment provided the president with constitutional cover to pursue
elements of the Iranian government.
The amendment passed. Fortunately, other circumstances made it
unfeasible for the president to take hostile action against the Iranian
government at the time. But the question remains: was Clinton once
again tricked into giving the president a quasi-declaration of war,
this time against Iran?
After such involvement in saber-rattling, how can Clinton or her
surrogates assert that Obama’s stance on the war is the same as hers?
Obama merely voted for funding bills so that our troops would not be
abandoned on the battlefield.
So much for the value of experience touted by Clinton.
It appears that Clinton was conned by the White House once again. As
the old saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame
“I guess she’s going to talk with peaceniks tonight.”