Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hillary Clinton and the Iraq War

David Corn has a good blog post at The Nation Online 04/17/07 on Hillary and the Antiwar Congressman, the latter being Massachusetts Democrat Jim McGovern.

I've often used a quote from an article by him and George McGovern (no relation):

"Wars are easy to get into, but hard as hell to get out of." -
Withdraw from Iraq Boston Globe 06/06/05.

As Corn reports:

In November 2005, he introduced legislation that would end the war by prohibiting the president from using any taxpayer dollars for the deployment of US troops in Iraq (except for the "safe and orderly withdrawal" of troops).
But McGovern has endorsed Clinton, saying that she is the "best candidate to end war in Iraq". Corn writes:

Hillary Clinton has been slammed by anti-war activists for voting to grant George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq and for not apologizing for that vote. Her anti-war detractors have hounded her, protesting at her office and campaign events. Though she recently proposed cutting off money for Bush's so-called surge in Iraq and voted with her party to tie troop withdrawals to ongoing funding for the war, she had previously been critical only of the execution of the war, not of the idea of the war. She had seemed more supportive of the endeavor than her two key Democratic rivals: Obama, who spoke against the war before its start, and former Senator John Edwards, who (like Clinton) voted for the war but later apologized for having done so. On the campaign trail, Clinton now declares she will end the war should she return to the White House. Still, her past stance suggests she and McGovern might be odd foxhole-fellows.
McGovern likes her on other issues like health care, as well. But he seems to be serious about his view of her stance on the Iraq War:

"I believe her when she says that if it's not over when she takes office, she will end this war. If this war is still going on then, you're going to need somebody withskill and experience to bring everyone together here in the United States and within an international coalition. On the war, there's not a dime's worth of difference among the leading Democratic candidates. They're all voting for or supporting timetables and withdrawals. It's not as quickly as I want. My bill would start a safe and immediate withdrawal. If I were president, this war would be over now. But I can't get 218 people [in the House] to agree with me....People say, 'How could you do this when Hillary voted for the war.' John Kerry, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden voted for the war. I can't change the past. I can only try to shape the future."
And on whether Clinton should explicitly "apologize" for voting for the October 2002 war resolution, the one that Cheney and Bush violated when they invaded Iraq:

"Jesus Christ," he exclaims, "I'm not interested in an apology. I'm interested in the strategy. People are saying she has to get down on her knees and beg for forgiveness. This war is such a tragedy. Insisting upon an apology is an issue that trivializes the war. The war is the biggest moral, political, diplomatic, and military catastrophe in our history. I hate this war. I want to end it before the next presidency. And every Democratic candidate wants to end this war." McGovern contends that Clinton is best equipped to do so, citing her ability to work with Republicans in the Senate and her efforts and missions overseas during her husband's presidency. "She has the international statue," [sic] he says, adding, "the Bill connection helps."
I'm still hoping for Al Gore to get in the race. But Bob Somerby is right: the sloppy and often stupid reporting on Clinton will get redirected to anyone else who wins the Democratic nomination in 2008. So we need to be dealing with it now, in relation to her and all the other leading Dems.

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