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Monday, February 04, 2008


The Democrats on war

I've written before about the "antiwar" Obama. In the Los Angeles debate, he again, as he often does, bragged about his antiwar "credentials": "I was opposed to Iraq from the start. (Cheers, applause.)" Later, though, he returns to the question of why he was opposed:
"If we were concerned about Iranian influence, we should not have had this government installed in the first place. (Applause.) We shouldn't have invaded in the first place. It was part of the reason that I think it was such a profound strategic error for us to go into this war in the first place."
As I have before, I'll point out clearly - Barack Obama had not a single principled opposition to the invasion of Iraq. His opposition was entirely tactical in nature; he didn't think it was a "good idea." The question of whether it was immoral, or illegal, never entered his mind.

Not, needless to say, that Clinton is any better:

"Knowing that he was a megalomaniac, knowing he would not want to compete for attention with Osama bin Laden, there were legitimate concerns about what he might do.

So I think I made a reasoned judgment [to vote for the bill that was, in fact, an authorization for war, although she insists to this day, and in this debate, that her vote was to "put those inspectors in, let them do their work."]."
And, when asked why she voted against the Levin amendment, which would have "required President Bush to report to Congress about the UN inspection before taking military action" [not, you know, actually prohibiting Bush from going to war without U.N. authorization, just requiring a "report"], she says:
"The way that amendment was drafted suggested that the United States would subordinate whatever our judgment might be going forward to the United Nations Security Council. I don't think that was a good precedent."
So Clinton explicitly rejects the idea that the U.S. is bound by international law in going to war, and can simply invade countries without authorization from the Security Council. Not, by the way, that I approve of the idea that the Security Council should be able to make such invasions "legal" through a vote; a little more bullying and bribing just might have got them to do so in this case. That still wouldn't make it right, even though it would make it "legal." But Clinton won't even go that far.

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