Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Setting Democrats straight on Dean's version of Iraq
I’m so glad the candidates in the debate last night stood up and corrected Dean’s version of the war. Clark was right that Dean has made supporting the resolution a litmus test for the other candidates on whether they “supported” the war. The problem with Dean is that he said at the time he supported the Biden-Lugar amendment.
This presents a real problem for him. The Biden-Lugar authorized the use of force after a new UN resolution requiring Iraqi disarmament and compliance with past resolutions. Well guess what, the actual resolution which 99% of Dean supporters have never read is almost identical to the Biden-Lugar amendment. By the way, Bush used the actual resolution to get a 15-0 vote in the Security Council which he then leveraged to get the inspectors back in. Well, even if Biden-Lugar had passed that new resolution would have been enough for this administration to go to war. In other words, Dean is misstating his stance of the Iraq war and misstating his opponent’s stances in a flagrant and disgusting attempt to win the nomination. There is nothing more disgusting than a candidate like Bush or Dean misusing matters of life and death to their advantage.
Both Bush and Dean preach a simplified version of the facts that leaves no room for the actual complexities of the situation. How can criticize George Bush for simplistic foreign policy of good versus evil and then nominee a candidate to represent our party with a different direction, but equally as simplistic. While Dean misuse of the war is certainly much less frightening and milder than Bush’s misuse, both show a certain level of opportunism and an unrelenting willingness to win power even at the cost of destroying their opponents through distortion.
Only Kucinich to my knowledge argued that Congress had to officially declare war. While I personally think there can be other alternatives like congressional resolutions under international authority, Kucinich’s position is perfectly consistent. Dean’s position is a sham.
Yes, I also was angry how Bush rushed to war and I too protested in February since we had already leveraged the resolution to get the inspectors back in to Iraq. Saddam was in full containment at that point. Yes, Bush should be held accountable for rushing to war, for not getting international support, for not letting the inspectors work, for not having a plan for the peace and for intentional overstating American intelligence reports. Unfortunately, the angry little demagogue has told the American people that Congress gave the President a blank check in the form of the Resolution and in effect will let him off the hook. By Dean intentionally misconstruing the Resolution, it has severely damaged the Democrats chances of holding this President responsible for his lies.
A Dean versus Bush match-up in 2004 will polarize our nation like never before. Both sides will have no reservations about attacking, distorting, destroying or lying about the other side. The ultimate contest of leadership will be translated into a clash between the shrillest voices in society. Democrats need to step back and decide to give the voters of this country a leader to fill the void currently in the White House, or try to fill it with their own hack.
Iraq War Heroes