|Courtesy Scott Olson/Getty Images...|
"I've been very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple..." - Iowa, October, 2015
Over the course of the 2016 campaign season, much has been made over the Iraq War vote in 2002 (H.J.Res. 114 (107th): Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002)
- Bernie Sanders, along with 23% of the Senate, voted "no" on the war; Hillary Clinton, as a new senator, voted "yes".
When questioned about the "Yes" vote now, as a presidential candidate, Clinton says, "I made a mistake, plain and simple..."
She wasn't the only senator to "make a mistake," by voting for regime change in a country that had not committed an act of aggression against the United States; That put nearly 5,000 American soldiers in the ground; That put tens of thousands of young men and women in the military, from our nation and other nations, into harms way, leaving them scarred and battered - many with life-long physical, psychological and moral injuries that will never, ever be resolved; That brought death and destruction to a nation of innocents to include the destruction of the entire infrastructure of water, electricity, gas, roads, buildings and basic human services, as well as poisoning of land, water and air that has had debilitating effects from Fallujah to India caused by depleted uranium, white phosphorus and a host of toxic chemicals and poisons left in our wake; That created the rise of ISIS and created the bed of anger and resentment that feeds the movement against this nation; AND that created the now assured perpetual war fought for no reason other than greed and imperialism.
She IS the only senator running for president under a banner of "progressive,"and claiming to be a "peace-broker"" that, not only put the War on Iraq in motion, helped secure civil war throughout northern Africa and the Middle East, and continued to support and assist in plans for regime change in Libya and Syria. (How's that working out for us, hmmm?)
Hillary "made a mistake"".... A mistake she should never have made...."
Hillary touts her history as Bill Clinton's 1st lady; all the big political contacts she has; and her friends to include Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Madelyn Albright, George Schultz, Warren Christopher.
Her "work" with Bill (yep, Bill Clinton, lest we forget that she and she alone is qualified above all others because... well, Bill) to gain peace in the Middle East, her knowledge of foreign affairs and her quick thinking and strong leadership skills....
She, as senator, was charged with knowing. She, along with a full staff and advisers that could have paid attention.
23% of the Senate seemed to know better.
Even I, a lowly working class schmuck trying to hold it together in Denver, paid attention to the political drum beating by neo-conservative politicos trying to force a regime change since the early 1990's; wanting to bring Saddam Hussein to "heel" as if he was one of her infamous "superpredators."
If she had not known it before 1998, she should have known IN 1998:
PNAC letters sent to President Bill Clinton
January 26, 1998
The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.
The policy of “containment” of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam’s secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.
Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East. It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.
Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.
We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.
We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.
Richard L. Armitage
William J. Bennett
Peter W. Rodman
William Schneider, Jr.
R. James Woolsey
Robert B. Zoellick
[Please note: Project for a New American Century was a think tank - well, a war tank - created by the nation's leading Neo-Conservatives, many of whom, became GW Bush's closest advisers to include Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA, Head of the World Bank... The group included his brother, Jeb Bush and Dan Quayle. Their policy documents include a document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," advocating total global military domination by the US - a peace-through-imperialism-and-militarism plan]
The results of that unprovoked attack on Iraq and neighboring Afghanistan (as well as the manipulated regime change in Pakistan) have been horrific.
So, Hillary Clinton, when it comes to throwing support behind one of the most blatant and devastating imperialist actions we, as a nation, have ever committed; when it comes to ignoring our history of failure time and time and time again, manipulating regime change (China, Iran, Pakistsan, Afghanistan - both times, and Somalia) there are no mulligans.
One cannot undo the damage with, "I made a mistake," when one should never have made the mistake - a mistake that would never have been "made" if one had any awareness, any sense of history, any sense of decency, and any sense of humanity...
And this is why I will never, ever, ever support Hillary Clinton for any public office.