For all of Hillary's endless complaining about a "vast right-wing conspiracy", when it matters, she has often foolishly given it the benefit of the doubt in her brief career in elective office.
The most glaring example was Senator Clinton's war authorization vote on October 11, 2002. The Senate voted, 77 to 23, authorizing the Bush administration to prosecute war on Iraq.
The one brave Republican senator who voted against the bill was former Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island who has written a memoir about this time; the book, titled 'Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President,' is due in bookstores, April 1. From an interview this week at Brown University, Providence, where he is a visiting scholar, Chafee:
They (the experienced Democrat enablers like Senator Clinton), argue that the president duped them into war, but getting duped does not exactly recommend their leadership. Helping a rogue president start an unnecessary war should be a career-ending lapse of judgment."
"The top Democrats were at their weakest when trying to show how tough they were," writes Chafee. "They were afraid that Republicans would label them soft in the post-September 11 world, and when they acted in political self-interest, they helped the president send thousands of Americans and uncounted innocent Iraqis to their doom" (probably over a million).
"Instead of talking tough or meekly raising one's hand to support the tough talk, it is far more muscular, I think, to find out what is really happening in the world and have a debate about what we really need to accomplish," writes Chafee. "That is the hard work of governing, but it was swept aside once the fear, the war rhetoric and the political conniving took over."..
As Mr. Bush pressed insistently for war, Chafee requested a meeting with CIA brass to examine the evidence against Saddam Hussein's regime. "Sooner or later, I have to vote on this war, show me everything you have," Chafee requests of the CIA.
"What they had, I discovered as the meeting stretched into an hour, was next to nothing," recalls Chafee. "They showed me what they had with little comment and no enthusiasm. Someone handed me one of the infamous aluminum tubes, the kind we were told Saddam was using to enrich weapons-grade uranium while plotting mushroom clouds over America, the 'smoking gun' that Condoleezza Rice warned about.
"I looked at the aluminum tube, looked at the analysts and thought, I can go buy one of these at Adler's Hardware," the Providence hardware emporium, writes Chafee.
"Few members of Congress were willing to stand up to the schoolyard tough [Mr. Bush] and in the early morning hours of Oct. 11, 2002, weeks before the crucial midterm elections, he bullied them into declaring Saddam an imminent threat."
Of course, this wasn't an anomaly for Hillary, given "her years long-support for the Iraq war and her general support for Bush's war -loving policies", including,
"refusing to support an international treaty to ban land mines, which are responsible for killing and maiming thousands of civilians worldwide..and( in Feb, 2007) she voted down a Democratic-sponsored resolution restricting U.S. exports of cluster bombs to countries using them against civilian-populated areas".
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