Iraq Update

It’s past noon EST, and according to the most recent news stories neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton have taken sides on the Iraq funding bill. This is from the Associated Press:

Democratic presidential contenders on Capitol Hill are vying for the anti-war vote, but at the same time do not want to appear as though they are turning their backs on the military.

“I believe as long as we have troops in the front line, we’re going to have to protect them,” said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del. “We’re going to have to fund them.”

Biden was alone among the potential Democratic candidates in immediately pledging his support for the bill.

Two front-runners, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, declined to say how they intended to vote on the measure.

Both have voted against binding timetables for troop withdrawals in the past, before public sentiment against the war hardened or they became presidential contenders. Last week, the two voted to advance legislation that would have cut off money for U.S. combat operations by March 31, 2008, cutoff.

Challengers Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio said they would oppose the measure because in their view it issued a blank check to President Bush on the Iraq war.

John Edwards has released a strongly worded statement against it. But I found nothing one way or another on the official sites of Obama, Clinton, or Bill Richardson. There’s nothing on Mike Gravel’s site, either, but I don’t think it’s been updated for a couple of days.

IMO Barack Obama in particular really needs to make a strong statement today or it’s going to hurt him badly. He’s the one branding himself as the New Breath of Fresh Air. If he’s cautious now he’s going to become the new Hillary Clinton. Clinton herself is the “return to normalcy” candidate; she’s expected to be cautious. Being vague right now won’t help her, but it probably won’t cost her among her supporters. Not that I ever meet any Clinton supporters, but I understand they’re out there. And Bill Richardson, who seems likable, needs to step it up if he’s serious.

9 thoughts on “Iraq Update

  1. Arthur Silber is on fire about this. Take it with your excellent thoughts below on moral clarity. Excerpt:

    “If you have ever wondered how a serial murderer — a murderer who is sane and fully aware of the acts he has committed — can remain steadfastly convinced of his own moral superiority and show not even the slightest glimmer of remorse, you should not wonder any longer.”

    “The United States government is such a murderer. It conducts its murders in full view of the entire world. It even boasts of them. Our government, and all our leading commentators, still maintain that the end justifies the means — and that even the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents is of no moral consequence, provided a sufficient number of people can delude themselves into believing the final result is a “success.”

    “We are a nation that has voluntarily renounced all its most crucial values, and all its founding principles. We can appeal all we want to “American exceptionalism,” but any “exceptionalism” that remains ours is that of a mass murderer without a soul, and without a conscience. We have destroyed the most basic foundation of liberty — and the nature and meaning of our act has already, in less than a couple of weeks, almost entirely vanished from public discussion. It is useless to appeal to any “American” sense of morality: we have none. It does not matter how immense the pile of corpses grows: we will not surrender or even question our delusion that we are right, and that nothing we do can be profoundly, unforgivably wrong.”

  2. It is obvious to me given this latest retreat on the “war” bill, and the apparent sellout of the middle-class to the chamber of commerce crowd with this “immigration bill” that their aint much difference between the two parties anymore. Just a couple of social wedge issue’s, otherwise pretty much the same bullshit coming from either side of the aisle. I am officially burning my Pelosi in “07” t-shirt that I bought from this fine website. We have been duped again by phony bullshit campaign rhetoric.

  3. ..there aint much difference between the two parties anymore…

    Al Gore, in an EJ Dionne column Why Gore Won’t Run:

    “They’re good people [the people running for President] trapped in a bad system,” he says, “and I think it’s the system that needs to be changed and I don’t see them changing it.” The campaign dialogue so far, he says, has not been “very enriching or illuminating” in “either party.”

    Me, I’m keeping my Pelosi 07 shirt, and am going to work harder and smarter both to evict the Vichycrats and for systemic change. I’m not smart enough about what happened to outright condemn Reid or Pelosi (apparently unlike Keith Olbermann who struck me as being a bit unfair to the leadership), as I don’t know what they have to work with. I do know that the Democratic party has a lot of deadwood that has to go.

    I will say that the Dems in general got spooked by the fact that Memorial Day is almost upon us, and Bush will surely use this to his PR advantage. I wonder how this game of chicken would’ve gone down were Memorial Day months away instead. Sad.

  4. We’ll I don’t condemn Reid or Pelosi..I know they did the best with what they had to work with..How does that saying go?..It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are working with turkeys. I know in my heart that both Pelosi and Reid are not being political animals..they feel for the injustice of Bush’s senseless war.

  5. OMG, Biden is a complete idiot.
    Let me think, the LAST time I was on a fed. funded job that got de-funded, the feds DID NOT come to the jobsite and say we must remain there and make do with the best we can until the funding comes through., Nope, they laid everyone off and sent them home. These guys make it sound like “the troops” will have to forage the desert for food and throw sand bags at the enemy.

    Here’s a novel idea, someone in the congress, oops, I mean SOMEONE IN CONGRESS THAT STILL HAS BALLS, should insist that if by September, things in Eye-Rak are not much better, both houses will man up for a deployment “on the fucking ground”, In cammo, with real guns and 50 lb ruck sacks, and show those gol durned Eye-rakies how it’s done. The war would be de-funded in days.

    When I was in high school and Vietnam was fully involved, one of my friend’s dad ( who happened to be from Iraq) told me that wicked old men will always get innocent young men to fight their wars. Damned if he wasn’t right.

  6. Mike Gravel Talking Point – United States Armed Forces Withdrawal from Iraq Act
    Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel has a plan that will end the war in Iraq by September 2007 with all US troops home by Christmas. This plan recognizes that under the United States Constitution the power of the Congress is superior to the power of the Presidency.

    Mike’s plan is to pass a law in the Congress making the war in Iraq illegal. Failure to comply with the law would be punishable by 5 years in jail without possibility of parole. Understand that the President of the United States is required to follow the law just as is any other American citizen.

    Of course, once the law is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is likely that President Bush will veto it. Mike Gravel’s plan would call for the Senate and House Democratic leadership, Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to bring the bill to a vote day after day, 7 days a week, 30 minutes per day, forcing the media spotlight to shine on those Senators and Congressman who are prolonging the war until pressure from their constituents produces a two-thirds majority sufficient to override the Presidential veto. (If the law is filibustered in the Senate initially, the same procedure would apply.)

    What is important to understand is that Mike served two terms in the US Senate fighting for “unpopular” causes and winning against the odds. Mike is a legislative strategist and you will see that his plan for ending the war will work, if adopted. Most other options for ending the war fall into the “do the right thing” category or involve timelines that extend far off into the future. Rather than wait, let’s force our elected representatives to listen to the will of the American people by introducing Mike Gravel’s draft legislation, the United States Armed Forces Withdrawal from Iraq Act, and end this destructive and unnecessary war now.

  7. Maybe we can get a Gravel/Paul ticket, or a Paul/Gravel ticket.The rest are pretty putrid………..

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