Sometimes lately I remember just what it was like leading up to the vote on Iraq, and what it was like when they started bombing.  I was stunned by the attitudes I had encountered when I called the offices of our Democrats.  I knew most of us active online at the time could see all kinds of things showing it was a tragic unnecessary invasion.  

But the offices I called were so casually accepting of the fact that Bush said it was necessary.  He had been in office long enough by that time for them to know better than to trust him.

Do you remember when Bill Clinton said:

“I want it to have been worth it, even though I didn’t agree with the timing of the attack,” Clinton said

I realize that he really did pretty much go along with it. I guess that is why Hillary is having so much trouble speaking out about it.

Bill Clinton and Iraq, 2004

CNN — Former President Clinton has revealed that he continues to support President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq but chastised the administration over the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

“I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over,” Clinton said in a Time magazine interview that will hit newsstands Monday, a day before the publication of his book “My Life.”

Clinton, who was interviewed Thursday, said he did not believe that Bush went to war in Iraq over oil or for imperialist reasons but out of a genuine belief that large quantities of weapons of mass destruction remained unaccounted for.

Noting that Bush had to be “reeling” in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush’s first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining “chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material.”

What I find even more devastating is that three of our major Democrats were told by former Clinton WH advisors that they should go along with it.  Two of them did not, and they spoke out. One went along, has since said he was wrong, it was a mistake.

The advisors of our former Democratic president, and possibly the former president himself advising to vote for an unnecessary war….that seems so wrong. Brief snippets from what Howard Dean, Russ Feingold, and John Edwards said about the advice they got.

In 2003 Dean said once that Saddam should be disarmed, though in the rest of the interview he said Bush had not made the case yet. Jeremy Scahill later asked him about the “disarming” Saddam statement.

From Huffington Post in November 2005:

During the New Hampshire primary in January 2004, which I covered for Democracy Now!, I confronted Dean about that statement. I asked him on what intelligence he based that allegation. “Talks with people who were knowledgeable,” Dean told me. “Including a series of folks that work in the Clinton administration.

And Feingold’s reference about his advice.  From David Sirota’s blog this month. Audio clip included.

Us versus the Washington consultants

After the election we had on November 7th and after polls have registered the public’s deep anger at the President for trying to escalate the war, you would think Democrats would be pushing legislation with real teeth and not just non-binding nothingness, especially if the GOP was going to filibuster anyway. Well, you’d be wrong. In the audio excerpt, I asked Feingold if this is because of Ben Nelson-ism – that is, because of conservative Democrats who are willing to use a brinkmanship progressive senators rarely use. As you can hear, Feingold says it’s even deeper – he says this is a battle between Democrats’ Washington consultant class and the rest of the country – and he specifically targets the D.C. elites from the Clinton administration, who he accurately notes largely supported the war from the get-go.

Dean and Feingold did not support the war, Edwards did.  Here is what he says about advice he got.

MR. RUSSERT: Why were you so wrong?

SEN. EDWARDS: For the same reason a lot of people were wrong. You know, we–the intelligence information that we got was wrong. I mean, tragically wrong. On top of that I’d–beyond that, I went back to former Clinton
administration officials who gave me sort ofindependent information about what they believed about what was happening with Saddam’s weapon–weapons
programs. They were also wrong. /

I hate to tell Bill Clinton this, but it does not appear to “have been worth it.”  Not one little bit.  And I fear this may be part of the reason Hillary can not speak clearly on this.  

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