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Obama Versus Clinton on Iraq

I must admit that the 'race' that interests me is Obama's attempt to close the distance between himself and Hillary (46 to 23). Obama to me, seems very personable, and is not afraid to say what he thinks and cares for, whatever the audience. The contrast could not be sharper with his chief opponent, Hillary. I thought Obama gave an excellent glimpse into his personality and manner, in last night's 'Tonight show' with Jay Leno. Here is his entire interview (at the bottom) and some of his best lines.

My problem with Barack is that he (and commentators) only talk about Hillary's Senate war authorization vote on October 11, 2002. The Senate voted, 77 to 23, to authorize the Bush administration's war against Iraq. I could almost understand that vote, but what I can't accept is her vote against the Lewin amendment a day earlier.

From Hillary's War,

the amendment called, first, for the U.N. to pass a new resolution explicitly approving the use of force against Iraq. It also required the president to return to Congress if his U.N. efforts failed and, in Senator Levin's words, "urge us to authorize a going-it-alone, unilateral resolution. That resolution would allow the president to wage war as a last option...(Clinton voted against it)..If Clinton had done that, she subsequently could have far more persuasively argued, perhaps, that she had supported a multilateral diplomatic approach....

In November 2003, six months after Bush announced that "major combat operations" in Iraq had "ended," Clinton traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq for the first time. Soon after her trip, and coincidentally two days after Saddam Hussein's capture, she delivered a major foreign-policy speech about the two countries at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. There, she sounded a lot like President Bush, even as she offered up some criticism of postwar reconstruction. She called for a "tough-minded, muscular foreign and defense policy." She urged "patience" and worried about the political will "to stay the course." "Failure is not an option" in Iraq and Afghanistan, she declared. "We have no option but to stay involved and committed" in Iraq, she said, calling her decision to authorize the President to invade Iraq "the right vote," one "I stand by."...

And in Febrauary 2005, well after the Bush-Kerry election, Clinton took a second trip to Iraq and delivered a somewhat upbeat assessment about the progress being made and the chances for peace, despite mounting evidence that the insurgency was gaining momentum. She said Iraq was "functioning quite well." Her remarks echoed many of President Bush's statements at the time about the supposed progress being made in Iraq.

She reiterated then that she was still comfortable with her stance on Iraq.

Then evidently, not because of having gone to Iraq twice or having read news accounts or blogs, it was her husband who convinced that she was batting for a losing side, and she changed her tune finally, about three years after the war began.

What Obama needs to do is confront Hillary with her full history of backing the war, and her calculated strategy of withdrawing some troops but really staying the course; permanent bases, with the dream, ( I say) pipedream of friendly oil, war resource and defence contracts.

64% of Americans would like to see U.S. troops brought home from Iraq within a year and I think virtually all of Democract voters would agree to that. It could be done if Obama gets to the White House but will never be done if Hillary returns.


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Comments (5)

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Obama's opponents were able to capitalize on a few early missteps of his early on, and the lack of a solid 3rd choice made the move to Hill-ville easy.

I still think Obama is the best Veep the Dems could run, but Hill may not agree.

What I'd like to see is Obama use his primary 'war chest' to run against the Republicans, as he clearly has plenty to spend and it would be a waste imho for him to spend it attacking Hillary. This would put him in a better position for the Veep nod in '08.

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

There is only a little over 3 months to go..It should definitely be over by the First Tuesday in February, if not before. I'm sure Obama will give it his best shot until then. I think Bill Clinton will be Hillary's real vice president, whoever accepts if she is the nominee.

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Capitalize is the operative word. Sorry if I'm a little cynical, Lee but I must question a political system where Chinese (illiterate in English) dishwashers are cohereced into raising a thousand dollars each, to give to the self- proclimed 'progressive' Hillary while her husband rakes in millions giving speeeches on his public service, a practice that Hillary is sure to emulate when she becomes ex-president, if she enters the White House again.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I don't believe for a second that Hillary was aware of that or would condone the coercion of Chinese dishwashers into donating money - but then maybe I'm just naive...

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I'm probably being too hard on Hillary, Lee. She's probably pretty removed from all this...These are almost professional fund raisers that are more intersted in getting results period, that are in charge of most or all of the candidates' efforts I'm sure.

As a sidebar, I remember going for an interview a few years ago in London (the hook was that you would be working for Grenpeace) for the one 'pr' company that solicited funds exclusively for Greenpeace. Greenpeace was dissastisfied with their own fundraising efforts so they delegated the job to a professional firm who anticipated that for every person that get signing up to make a contribution around a London tube, he or she would end up donating an average of 800 pounds about $1,4000 dollars from their bank account (the trick was to get 'the punters' to get their permisssion for one monthly donation and then they felt the donors would not take the trouble to sign off the procedure from their bank). At least for political campaign donors it seems a "one-off".


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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