Senator Hillary Clinton’s Explanation of Iraq Prowar Position

The senator from New York voted “with conviction” to authorise the president to go to war on October 11, 2002. She did so with the near certain knowledge that the president was indeed planning to invade Iraq.


The junior senator from New York: Hillary Rodham Clinton

She voted for the war {S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq}:

She sounded just like Mr Bush and in fact her position on the war was identical. Like the disgraced Secretary of State Colin Powell who claimed indisputable, irrefutable evidence in his big lie before the United Nations, Mrs. Clinton says there can be no debate that Saddam possessed W.M.D., was associated with Al Qaeda and was a growing and gathering threat. This person is running for president despite such egregious and major flaws in assessing intelligence and American strategic interests:

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

“It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

“Now this much is undisputed. The open questions are: what should we do about it? How, when, and with whom?”

She also stated in her prowar speech on October 10, 2002 to authorise war, she was NOT for preemption although that is exactly what the resolution permitted. It did not require U.N. authorisation–she explicitly rejected it as well–or even proof that Iraq had W.M.D.

“My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for uni-lateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose — all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world.”

I think there were other reasons for her vote to go to war:

1) To appease the Israel lobby and many New Yorkers who ethnically identify with Israel and their subjugation of the Palestinians. Any New York senator who even remotely might appear to be “weak” on the “Jewish Question” might be vulnerable politically. At that time, part of the lust for war was the sense that Israel would benefit from an American-occupied Iraq.

2) As a politician planning to run for President in 2008. she needed to get her bona fides in order. Like Senator John Kerry who voted for war, Democratic presidential aspirants could not dare give the impression that they were antiwar, or soft on “vital interests” or reluctant to use American force. They would be vulnerable to right-wing attacks from the xenophobic radicals who desire a “muscular” foreign policy. It was a political vote intended to shield her from being “soft on defence” or vulnerable to conservative attacks on her “patriotism.”

3) I believe there is simply a character flaw with this individual and I know this can be construed as being ad hominem and provocative. Yet I believe, if this pleases the reader, that the majority of the Democrats in the Senate who voted for war, share this flaw to some extent: an ignorance of the horror of war, or a calculation that personal political ambition has a priority over calculating the consequences of state terrorism and the impact of war on international peace and security. I believe the New York senator is too far removed psychologically and personally from the sense of tragedy, sadness and destructiveness that war inevitably produces to be president.

Her position has been this recently. She claims she voted for war thinking that war would not occur or that diplomacy would ensue. She asserts if everyone had known that the war would have evolved into a strategic disaster, there would have been no vote, and she could never have voted for war. This Kerryian doublespeak and vacillation is troublesome. There were many who predicted that the war would become another Vietnam quagmire. There were many who predicted there were no weapons of mass destruction. There were many who believed that Iraq was not a strategic threat and that a decision to go to war was beyond any reasonable expectation of imminent attack or a legitimate claim of self-defence.

A majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against the war, and dozens of (twenty-three) Senate Democrats such as Senator Edward Kennedy, Mass. and Christopher Dodd, Conn., also voted against the war. Even former Senator John Edwards, North Carolina, who was a vice-presidential candidate, has openly stated his vote was wrong, that it was an error and that he regretted it. Senator Clinton is afraid she will get the Kerry treatment for waffling and changing views on the war; she deserves it. It is too late for her to oppose the surge, to request withdrawal by the end of Mr Bush’s term, as a means of feigning her putative antiwar credentials.

This person cannot be trusted as commander in chief. She is too prone to send our soldiers to kill for political ambition. She is utterly without moral scruples in making decisions that will lead to the deaths of so many from American military action and those Americans who are combatants. May her bid for the presidency be thwarted and defeated and the nation be spared a hyprocrite and needlessly indifferent leader to the sufferings and aspirations of so many.

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