Iraq In Iowa

Update II: As a comment from Kostner points out (quoting Citizen53) today Obama “dismissed his Democratic rivals’ change of heart on the Iraq war as too little too late.” But in November 2006, when Obama was not running for president, in a New Yorker Magazine article Obama said something quite different: “You know, I think very highly of Hillary. The more I get to know her, the more I admire her. I think she’s the most disciplined–one of the most disciplined people–I’ve ever met. She’s one of the toughest. She’s got an extraordinary intelligence. And she is, she’s somebody who’s in this stuff for the right reasons. She’s passionate about moving the country forward on issues like health care and children. So it’s not clear to me what differences we’ve had since I’ve been in the Senate. I think what people might point to is our different assessments of the war in Iraq, although I’m always careful to say that I was not in the Senate, so perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was that I didn’t have the benefit of U.S. intelligence. And, for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices. So that might be something that sort of is obvious. But, again, we were in different circumstances at that time: I was running for the U.S. Senate, she had to take a vote, and casting votes is always a difficult test.”

Update: The desperate Obama campaign, falling apart even in his home state of Illinois, shows its hypocrisy once again. Obama’s flowery words say we should put “politics aside” even as his actions (For instance, following Hillary to Iowa and purposefully scheduling a speech a few blocks away from hers, days after Hillary announced her speech. We are sure he will say this is another “staff mistake”) once again demonstrate his true intent to divide Democrats in their attempts to stop the Iraq War. As Admin stated in the comments, Obama’s record in the Senate is clear. Obama has voted identically to Hillary in the Senate and has not attempted to block war funding until he decided to run for President. We thought Obama wanted to be a uniter not a divider. He is dividing Democrats on this critical issue for his desperate political needs.
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We noted way back in May in an article called Hillary On Iraq, Part II a central point about Hillary’s position on Iraq. Here is what we wrote then:

Hillary also understood that Bush was not to be fully trusted. Hillary tried to legislate restraints on Bush. Hillary voted and advocated for the Byrd Amendment. The Byrd Amendment would have revoked the war authority after 1 year. Senators such as John Edwards, opposed her. Senator John Edwards at the time was pushing the Iraq Resolution as a co-sponsor. Edwards rejected restraints on Bush and any amendments to the Iraq Resolution. Because of this opposition the Byrd Amendment failed.[See, Byrd Amdt. No. 4869, As Amended; To provide a termination date for the authorization of the use of the Armed Forces of the United States, together with procedures for the extension of such date unless Congress disapproves the extension.]

Yesterday, under Hillary Headlines, we noted this story in the Quad-City Times:

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will hold simultaneous campaign events on Tuesday just blocks apart in Iowa’s capital city. Each is considered a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton is scheduled to deliver a 10 a.m. speech on the Iraq war at the Temple for the Performing Arts. At the exact same time, Obama will hold a town hall meting on the economy at Des Moines Area Community College’s urban campus.

Clinton announced Saturday that she would speak in Des Moines. Obama’s trip was announced this morning.

It appeared yesterday that Senator Clinton would have something of importance to say regarding the Iraq War and her continuing efforts to restrain Bush from the very beginning. We hope that this time all Senators, even Senator Clinton’s opponents for the Democratic nomination, support her plan to end the war. Stephanie Bjornson, a Hillary campaign spokeswoman told the Des Moines Register that in the speech “She’ll go through the details of her current plan and elaborate a little bit more.”

Until we get the full details of what happened in Iowa today we do have Senator Clinton and Senator Byrd discussing their proposal in today’s New York Daily News.

Here are some excerpts of the plan all Democratic Senators should support:

The American people have waited long enough for progress in Iraq. They have waited long enough for the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. Today, more than 150,000 members of our armed forces are caught in a civil war. According to the Pentagon, overall levels of violence in Iraq have not decreased since the surge began. The last three months have been the deadliest period for American troops since the start of the war. It is time for the waiting to end and for our troops to start to come home.

That is why we propose to end the authorization for the war in Iraq. The civil war we have on our hands in Iraq is not our fight and it is not the fight Congress authorized. Iraq is at war with itself and American troops are caught in the middle.

….

The 2008 defense authorization bill is now before the U.S. Senate. This legislation presents a vital opportunity for Congress to step up and force the President to change course in Iraq. Amending the bill to deauthorize the war would do exactly that. We intend to lead that effort.

If the Bush administration believes that the current war, as it is being executed, is critical to America’s future, then it should make the case and let the people decide. Explain to the public why our young men and women should be sent into the middle of a fight between religious factions. Explain why we should continue to devote $10 billion each month to this fight.

Prior to the vote on the original authorization of force in 2002, we worked to limit that authority to one year. Unfortunately, the amendment failed — a fact rendered all the more distressing in hindsight.

….

As Bush admitted in his State of the Union address in January, “This is not the fight we entered in Iraq.” We could not agree more. This is not the fight Congress authorized, Mr. President. If you want to continue to wage this fight, come to Congress and make your case. Otherwise, bring our troops home.

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