March 10, 2008

That Iraq War Vote and the Judgment Factor

Who do we know who would have said this about Hillary ?
"She’s one of the toughest.  She’s got an extraordinary intelligence. And she is, she’s somebody who’s in this stuff for the right reasons.  She’s passionate about moving the country forward on issues like health care and children.  So it’s not clear to me what differences we’ve had since I’ve been in the Senate.

"I think what people might point to is our different assessments of the war in Iraq, although I’m always careful to say that I was not in the Senate, so perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was that I didn’t have the benefit of U.S. intelligence.  And, for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices.  So that might be something that sort of  is obvious.  But, again, we were in different circumstances at that time:  I was running for the U.S. Senate, she had to take a vote, and casting votes is always a difficult test."

- Barack Obama
The New Yorker, November 6, 2006

Who said the following, in a speech before the 2002 AUMF Iraq Resolution vote?

"My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for uni-lateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world."
Yes.  Clinton's full text made clear that she felt the Resolution before them was the one they could get at that point for avoiding war (if we had an honest president) because it threatened Iraq with war only IF Iraq would not allow inspectors.

To that end the Resolution worked and Iraq was allowing them, but Bush ignored the limitations of that Resolution and went to war despite not having the authority to do that within the language of that Resolution.

As most know now, Obama wasn't a U.S. senator yet, and in 2004 told Tim Russert (in defense of votes by Kerry and Edwards) that he himself could not be sure how he would have voted, not being privy to the papers they were given in the Senate.

His eloquent anti-war speech was made as a state senator of a very liberal anti-war district and at an anti-war rally. He now says it was a risky speech in 2002 because he was running for U.S. Senator, but that didn't happen until 2003-2004.

Since being in the U. S. Senate, he's voted in lockstep with Hillary Clinton on all things Iraq except that he voted for the confirmation of General Casey while she voted against it.  See concerns about his actual U.S. Senate voting record.

ASIDES: Re recent Iran vote (which Obama, alone among the presidential candidates, missed), I read that The "Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007," which Obama co-sponsored on April 24, 2007, states that:
"The Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) and the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 186; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism)."
The videoclip of Obama's Iraq war speech segment was not actual but a re-enactment by Obama for a tv ad for his campaign. Axelrod explains that there is no tape of that speech.  The unrecorded speech was given 3 months before he announced he would run for the U.S. Senate.

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