Saturday, April 30, 2016

Why Hillary voted for the Iraq war

Let's get something straight. When people (mostly Bernie Sanders supporters) complain that Hillary Clinton "voted for the war in Iraq" they're missing the larger context.

The vote was to "authorize the use of force" against Saddam Hussein if he didn't open up Iraq to UN weapons inspectors and comply with American demands that he destroy any weapons of mass destruction he was believed to possess. The Bush Administration sold it to Congress as a way to use the threat of force to get Saddam to comply. And it worked! The mere threat of force did indeed compel Saddam to readmit the UN weapon inspectors who found absolutely nothing.

It should have stopped there. But Bush didn't accept the inspectors' findings and started the war anyway. I don't know how Hillary reacted, but many members of Congress who voted for the authorization for its threat value felt betrayed by Bush.

Remember, in early 2003 Bush did not yet have the reputation of being a lying weasel, so Congress took Bush at his word that he would use force "only as a last resort."

A lot of good people in Congress were deceived by Bush, not just Hillary. A lot of good Democrats among the public at large were also deceived. Hillary is not responsible for the mess that followed. The blame rests entirely on George W. Bush. Period.

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