Hillary, the Bush brothers and the decision to invade Iraq

HillaryClintonJebBush990_2-1

If Jeb Bush had been president, he too would led the country into an invasion of Iraq, he told Fox News over the weekend.

“I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” Bush said.

That latter statement is demonstrably untrue, of course. The record shows that a lot of people who were “confronted with the intelligence” decided to vote against the Iraq war resolution, including Bob Graham, the well-respected chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He was joined in that “no” vote by 20 other Senate Democrats, and a strong majority of House Democrats voted against the war resolution as well.

But Hillary Clinton, as Bush reminds us, did vote in favor of the war resolution, a decision that probably and properly cost her the Democratic nomination in 2008. Other leading Democrats, including John Kerry, Joe Biden and Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, also voted for the resolution. They allowed themselves to get swept up in the contagion for war created by the administration, and they made the biggest mistake of their public careers by doing so.

However, Bush may push the evidence too hard by suggesting that Clinton’s vote in favor of the war resolution means that as president, she would have driven us into war with the single-minded determination of a George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. If you’re interested,  go read Clinton’s 2002 floor speech in which she explains why she was about to vote in favor of the resolution, and judge for yourself whether an executive decision to go to war can be inferred from a legislative decision to allow war as an option.

In his comments over the weekend, Jeb Bush did acknowledge the obvious, that mistakes had been made in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. “By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush,” Jeb said. “Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”

There’s no sign of regret in Jeb’s statements about the decision to invade, no sense of hard lessons learned or second thoughts pondered. There’s no recognition that the decision itself was fundamentally flawed, and not just poorly executed. Put into the same or similar situation as president, Jeb seems to be telling us, he would follow much the same path that his brother took. That sense is compounded by the fact that Jeb has surrounded himself with many of the same foreign-policy advisers who dominated his brother’s administration.

Clinton, in contrast, claims to have been chastened by her decision and its aftermath. In her memoir published last year, she wrote:

“[M]any Senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution. I was one of them. As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake became more painful.”

“I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

That doesn’t by any means wipe away the reality of Clinton’s support for what became the biggest foreign-policy blunder in this nation’s history, a mistake with major repercussions to this day.  But it does suggest a difference in approach between Clinton and her prospective Republican challengers, and that difference could be important given the decisions that will face our next president, from Iran to Ukraine to who knows where.

 

 

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1676 comments
JayBook
JayBook moderator

 "Lordy, progs sure do rack up a lotta faux victories. Can't no one fight a windmill quite like a prog."

You are the walking, talking, blogging refutation of your own argument.

JamVet
JamVet

The first step, of course, is to prosecute and imprison as necessary all of the tens of thousands of American businessmen who used and illegally profited from illegal laborers.

Only then will Republicans begin to respect American law and order...

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

"Santorum proposed a crackdown on legal immigration of unskilled workers."


Of course the Republican audience was too stupid to catch on to the implication--they're too stupid to fill anything other than unskilled worker jobs.  That must be why Santorum did not propose a crackdown on legal immigration of skilled workers.  Bwah hahahahaha!

td1234
td1234

So according to Hersh, the only, the only real foreign policy accomplishment of the Obama administration was really another lie to the American people. 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 how is killing a terrorist a foreign policy accomplishment?


in this instance, i guess he kept Pakistan in the fight, so you should be happy. but you're  not. imagine that.

JamVet
JamVet

@td1234 

And the swine lick up the ODS flavored slop.

Maybe you should get Joe Biden's opinion!

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@td1234 To me it's not so much the lying part.  We all understand that, basically, all politicians spin the truth to their benefit.  The problem with lying about something so insignificant is...IF you'll lie about the "little" stuff, you'll damn well lie about the BIG stuff!

td1234
td1234

@consumedconsumer @td1234 I could careless about how it was really done, although, if Hersh story is true then it is just more proof of how much Obama has lied to the American people his whole administration. 

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

@DownInAlbany @td1234 Republicans do get caught telling a whole lot of lies about little stuff.  Thanks for the reminder.  Not that I needed it though.

td1234
td1234

@JamVet Biden and Obama sure laid waste to your who delusional opinion about who won the Iraq war. LOL

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I wasn't going to ask but the time has come when I must.

What is it with the Obama lied about OBL story? Is Hersh saying OBL's not dead or that he was physically incapacitated when shot? If it's the latter, I've got no problem with that.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@FIGMO2 Seems to be that the Pakistani authorities were much more involved than the White House has admitted.


Don't know what to think about it, but Sy Hersh is a noted and experienced investigative feature writer.  He's not some hack.


LeninTime
LeninTime

@FIGMO2 

Is Hersh saying OBL's not dead or that he was physically incapacitated when shot?

**
He's saying that the Seals basically came upon a cripple at close range and blew him to bits. 

End of story. 

They rounded up the remaining limbs and chunks of meat and dropped them in the mountains from the plane on the way home.

Not exactly gripping stuff for Seal hero legends and Hollywood story lines, is the point.

Wena Mow Masipa How
Wena Mow Masipa How

@FIGMO2 Seems to me like they are saying OBL was up schnirt's creek when the 'Mericans arrived.


schnirt  

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@LeninTime @FIGMO2 they're also saying that it wasn't some super-secret spy mission that found  him, but some guy walking in and saying hey I know where OBL is - the Pakistanis are holding him, I'll tell you were, you can set up the hit with them and we'll all be rich. btw, please keep the aid going if we agree to do this . . .


and, if true, torture didn't do squat in his killin' . . . which is why the GOP is so quiet about this 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @FIGMO2

the Seals basically came upon a cripple at close range and blew him to bits. 

Honestly, that's more or less how I imagined it to have been all along. I thought there had to have been more than a little embellishment to make that particular phase of the mission to seem more risky than it likely was.

And I found the orgasmic national response to this execution to have been more than a little revolting at the time, however understandable it might have been.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@Visual_Cortex well, you know, Jane's Addiction did point out that sex is violent so the orgasmic response is only natural to the greatest fighting nation the world has ever known

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Captain-Obvious @FIGMO2 

Well, you may be talking about his expose of the claims of responsibility of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad for the gassing of citizens near Homs in 2013. But to my mind, his account has not been definitively refuted, but the mainstream continues to ignore it (Jay Bookman pooh-poohed it here when I brought it up once, for example.)

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @Numbers_R_Us

well maybe... this?


The moderator, pollster Frank Luntz, handed the microphone to a woman from the audience. He asked her what she wanted from the candidates. She said she had once been a Democrat but had seen the light and switched parties. “People are coming in this country across the borders like rats and roaches in the woodpile,” she fumed. The audience applauded. She complained that states were registering people to vote and failing to “check them out.” “We’ve got to get control,” she demanded. When she was done, Luntz asked the crowd: “How many of you would vote for her for president?” The room erupted in cheers.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 @Visual_Cortex i find it more offensive that the room erupted in cheers when they were asked if they'd vote for her for president . . .pretty low bar they're setting it seems

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex So you do not like the analogy? Over the top, yes, but some of the things said about Republicans on this very blog is as bad if not worse and I have not heard a peep out of you. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@td1234 @Visual_Cortex

So you do not like the analogy

White people getting up in front of other white people and referring to fellow human beings as vermin never ends well.

And if these white folks are all Southrons, well you can double that..

some of the things said about Republicans on this very blog is as bad if not worse 

Hey, I defended for GHW Bush against charges of public drunkenness; what's that, chopped liver?

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@LeninTime  Why they sound like Republicans here at home . . . "He said Obama is seen within the region as impersonal compared to his predecessors. He also noted that recent comments to The New York Times in which Obama warned that dissatisfaction at home was perhaps a bigger threat than Iran came across as unnecessary “lecturing.”"

LeninTime
LeninTime

@consumedconsumer 

Which is why I'm still not 100% convinced that there's anything more than standard theater and public pressure. It will take a lot more to convince me of a genuine rift in the relations.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@LeninTime yeah, talk about ungrateful


"At the summit, leaders of Gulf nations will be looking for assurances that they have Obama’s support at a time when the region feels under siege from Islamic extremists and by Iran’s rising influence. "


Yeah, you in the US going to keep fighting out battles for us?

LeninTime
LeninTime

@consumedconsumer 

Why they sound like Republicans here at home

**
Exactly. Which is another reason I'm inclined to take the whole thing with a grain of salt.

straker
straker

Lenin - "you wouldn't hesitate to condemn the Soviet Union for propaganda"


The Soviet Union no longer officially exists.


However, if Putin had taken out Osama Bin Ladin, I personally wouldn't much care how he described it,

Cupofjoe
Cupofjoe

There is so many stories like "Obama lied about OBL".  One is attracted to the headline and then reads and it is truly a "I heard it from a lady in line at McD- she sure looked Pakistani and therefore know"


The other thing media does to us is simply get mad.  MSNBC went months on the Christe bridgegate and now Fox is hellbent on getting every bit of juice out of Michelle Obama graduation comments as if it has macro US implications. 


Drudge is productive at least at putting the proverbial sh$t on the wall and letting the readier decide.  The failure is a go to source that simply lays out the story with an opinion.  The opinion of the blog host is not important if he or she at least attempts to provide comprehensive facts. 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Cupofjoe "There is so many stories like "Obama lied about OBL". 


FWIW, so what if he did?


So long as OBL's dead or locked up incommunicado someplace horrible, what's the problem?


Does it really matter *how* the operation went down, as long as OBL's pushing up daisies?


LeninTime
LeninTime

@Tuna Meowt

FWIW, so what if he did?

**

Lol. You wouldn't hesitate to condemn the Soviet Union for propaganda, but when it's Washington, you're fine with it. 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@Tuna Meowt well, in the case of Hersh's story, if true, for starters then they're covering up for the torturers . . . 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@LeninTime @Tuna Meowt :Lol. You wouldn't hesitate to condemn the Soviet Union for propaganda, but when it's Washington, you're fine with it. "


There's a big difference in *degree* here.  As regards the US 'propaganda,' OBL is dead either way.


As regards the Russian propaganda you yourself have verbally supported here, Russia and Putin were *entitled* to invade and occupy Ukraine.


There's a WORLD of difference between those two positions, LT.