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Posted at 3:27 PM ET, 02/ 1/2008

Clinton and the Iraq Vote

By Michael Dobbs


Democratic debate, Hollywood, CA, Jan. 31 2008.

"The way [the Levin] amendment was drafted suggested that the United States would subordinate whatever our judgment might be going forward to the United Nations Security Council. I don't think that was a good precedent. Therefore I voted against it.

--Hillary Clinton, Democratic Debate, Jan. 31. 2008.

Howard Schuman, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan, asked me to look at Clinton's response to a question he posed during Thursday's Democratic debate in Hollywood. Here is Schuman's original question to Clinton, which he submitted by e-mail. "Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, you could have voted for the Levin amendment which required President Bush to report to Congress about the U.N. inspection before taking military action. Why did you vote against that amendment?"

Clinton's answer, quoted above, did not satisfy Schuman. In an e-mail to me this morning, soliciting my help, he described the New York senator's reply as "incorrect and disingenuous." He argues that the amendment "simply required the president to report back to Congress after U.N. action or inaction, prior to any invasion."

So who is right?


The Facts

The Levin amendment, available here, went a little further than Schuman suggests in either his question or his e-mail. Section 4 of the amendment granted "authorization for use of United States Armed Forces pursuant to a new United Nations Security Council Resolution." Section 3 of the amendment urged the U.N. Security Council to demand unrestricted access to Iraq by U.N. Weapons inspectors and authorized "necessary and appropriate military force" by U.N. member states if the government of Iraq refused to comply.

Another clause in Section 3 of the amendment (Para 3) "affirms that, under international law and the United Nations Charter, the United States has at all times the inherent right to use military force in self-defense."

Interpreted from legalese, the amendment made the Congressional authorization of the use of force in Iraq contingent on a U.N. Security Council resolution. On the other hand, there was nothing in the resolution that prevented the U.S. government or Congress taking whatever action it felt necessary in Iraq in accordance with the right of self-defense.

The Clinton campaign drew attention today to a speech by Senator Russ Feingold during the Senate debate on the Levin amendment. Feingold opposed the amendment, saying that he could not support "any effort to give the United Nations Security Council Congress's proxy in deciding whether or not to send American men and women into combat in Iraq."

According to the Clinton campaign, "the language of the Levin Amendment would have made it the law of the land that the President could not act without Security Council approval. That is a limitation on national sovereignty which Senator Clinton was unprepared to accept as a matter of principle."

Other senators took a different view at the time. Senator Joseph Biden described the sovereignty argument as "specious," noting that President Bush had already announced his intention to go to the U.N. Security Council without "yielding our sovereignty." Senator Levin also rejected the sovereignty argument, saying that his resolution "doesn't determine that we won't go alone if the United Nations does not promptly act to authorize force."

You can read the whole debate in the Congressional record here. You can find the final vote here. The amendment was defeated 75-24, with Clinton voting against.

UPDATE FRIDAY 5:30 P.M.

Levin's press secretary, Tara Andringa, declined to comment on last night's debate, but sent me an Oct. 2, 2002, quote setting out the senator's position back then:

Our resolution also affirms that the United States has at all times the inherent right to use military force in self-defense. There is no veto given to the United Nations in this resolution of ours. Quite the opposite. We explicitly make it clear we maintain, of course, a right to use self-defense. And we provide that the Congress will not adjourn sine die this year, but will return to session to consider promptly proposals relative to Iraq if, in the judgment of the President, the United Nations fails to adopt or enforce the United Nations resolution for which he and we call.

Not much doubt about where he stands.

The Pinocchio Test

The issue is a little more complicated than Professor Schuman suggested in his question. There are arguments on both sides about whether the Levin amendment ceded authority to the United Nations. But Clinton is also going too far when she claims that passage of the amendment would have had the effect of subordinating "whatever our judgment might be going forward to the United Nations Security Council." There was always an escape clause.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | February 1, 2008; 3:27 PM ET
Categories:  Candidate Watch  
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Comments

I think the whole argument about the 2002 Joint Resolution is disingenuous. Let us recall the time.

In the late summer and early fall of 2002, Bush-Cheney were forging ahead full steam toward a war with Iraq without any consideration at all being given to obtaining a UN Resolution or without any reference at all to the Weapons Inspectors who had been kicked out of Iraq in 1998.

Congress knew that they were dealing with a president who was going to war regardless of what they did in terms of a resolution and they were trying to put some restraint on him. They knew that he would not be deterred from this war, and so they were directing him to the UN as a way station on the way to war.

Once Bush agreed to the resolution, and that was in doubt, then the Democrats tried to load up the resolution with conditions, the inspectors and so forth in order to put some limits on Bush as he rushed to war.

The resolution, and I have read it many times, is not an unconditional grant of Congressional Authority to Bush. Rather, Bush cherry picked the Resolution in a way that no one could have foreseen that a President would because up to that time, Presidents had always followed the law. This President did not and the violation of the conditions of the 2002 Resolution was one of the earlier times that he cherry picked legislation, he since made a habit of it and so we just assume that Congress should have known and appreciated this fact, but that is a judgment rendered in hindsight, not in real time.

And would someone remind the public that at the time of the vote, in 2002, sure Obama made a speech against the war, but he was not then a member of the Senate. He did not vote in the Senate, he did not have access to the intel, to the Pentagon officials, to the Intelligence Community all of which were giving information tailored toward this war in a way that Members of Congress could not have known, and yet there were these credible people making these statements.

The resolution came up in October 2002, weeks before the mid-term elections with the threat of Rovian politics to be played against all who opposed. Now this is not a reason to have voted for the resolution and anyone who based their vote on a political calculation to save their own skin ought to be brought to task for casting such a vote with a political animus. But in 2002, Hillary had just been elected. She took office in 2001. Her seat in the Senate was not on the line, so the implication that she acted to save her seat is subtly there and is a red herring as well. Senators Harkin of Iowa, Kerry of Mass. and Biden of Delaware, all voted with the 75 Senators for passage. Who is more liberal than Harkin, more knowledgable than Joe Biden. They all looked at this thing and voted for it.

What did Obama have besides just his instinct, or maybe a gamble to get up and be against the resolution. It is easy when your vote is not registered to take a stand. We do it all the time on these blogs. But when the roll is called in the Senate and you have to vote, you can't just say "present" and you are in no position to criticize someone who was there and who had the information and had to cast a real vote.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 1, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Nobody lost this debate, let's make that clear." And then the subject shifted to Iraq, that's when this debate turned Obama's way.

Did Iraq question tip the debate to Barack Obama?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1673


.

Posted by: Jeff | February 1, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Hillary's claim that the Levin Amendment would have let the U.N. tie the hands of the U.S. doesn't quite hold water. Here is what Senator Chafee had to say on the subject of U.N. "interference"

quote:
Senator Levin wrote an amendment that was nimble: it affirmed that Congress would stand at the ready to reconsider the use of force if, in the judgment of the president, a United Nations resolution was not "promptly adopted" or enforced. Ceding no rights or sovereignty to an international body, the amendment explicitly avowed America's right to defend itself if threatened....
The Senate had the opportunity to support a more deliberate, multilateral approach, one that still would have empowered the United States to respond to any imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein. We must not sidestep the fact that a sensible alternative did exist, but it was rejected. Candidates -- Democrat and Republican -- should be called to account for their vote on the Levin amendment....
end quote:

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/01/opinion/01chafee.html

There were also serious questions being raised about the Administration's intelligence reports that Senator Clinton should have been aware of before she voted in favor of authorizing the unilateral use of force.

quote:
The rationale for the invasion offered by U.S. President George W. Bush and coalition supporters included the allegation that Iraq possessed and was actively developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in violation of a 1991 agreement. U.S. officials argued that Iraq posed an imminent, urgent, and immediate threat to the United States, its people, allies, and interests. The supporting intelligence was widely criticized, and weapons inspectors found no evidence of WMD.

During 2002, Bush repeatedly backed demands for unfettered inspection and disarmament with threats of military force. In accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1441 Iraq reluctantly agreed to new inspections in late 2002. THE RESULTS OF THESE INSPECTIONS WERE MIXED WITH NO DISCOVERY OF WMDS AND SKEPTICISM OF IRAQI WMD PROGRAM DECLARATIONS.

Colin Powell, in his address to the U.N. Security Council just prior to the war, made reference to the aluminum tubes. BUT A REPORT RELEASED BY THE INSTITUE FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY IN 2002 REPORTED THAT IT WAS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT THE TUBES COULD BE USED TO ENRICH URANIUM. Powell later admitted he had presented an inaccurate case to the United Nations on Iraqi weapons, and the intelligence he was relying on was, in some cases, "deliberately misleading."

In March 2003, UN weapons inspector Hans Blix reported that, "No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found," in Iraq, saying that progress was made in inspections which would continue.
end quote:
Source: Wikipedia

Hillary definitely was "present". She was also definitely wrong in her opposition of the Levin Amendment and subsequent support of the War Resolution. Yet she still refuses to admit it, and Bill attacks Obama's opposition of the rush to war as a Fairy Tale.

In my opinion, two Pinocchios in this pivotal matter is being generous.

Posted by: Absolute 0-K | February 1, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Beiruti (February 1, 2008 04:50 PM) is absolutely right. It's easy for anyone
to express one opinion or the other when you're not the decision maker. The public can't crucify the bunch of Democrat senators for their votes when they themselves made the truly poor judgments in Nov, 2000 and 2004.

Posted by: Liup | February 1, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

so Hilary says shes going to bring back the troops form Iraq. Awesome! but experts are saying that the Iraque people need our help more than ever now. so if we did bring the troops back home, whats going to happned if in a few years we need to go back? Hilary never mentioned anything about that...

Posted by: s.schilling | February 1, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Beiruti, I subscribe to your post! The whole debate about this issue seems like a case of collective amnesia.

Posted by: observer | February 1, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

For those that haven't seen it, this is the text of the speech Obama gave in October 2002. I wish Sen. Clinton had the foresight he had in that moment. If she had, perhaps she would have inspired others to stand up against the march to war. She did not, and I find it sad and disappointing that she hasn't yet apologized the way John Edwards has.

Barack Obama
October 2002

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don't oppose all wars.

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.

I don't oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

I don't oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not - we will not - travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.

Posted by: maq1 | February 1, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"That supporting the resolution was the best available option because Bush would have gone to war without a resolution." ~ HRC

Wow!

If she believe that George Bush was going to war anyway, why didn't she do anything to stop him? Why give him the cover of authority? Congress had the opportunity to speak against his run to war--she sided with George Bush. That is the heart of the matter. It's impossible to defend that pattern of behavior.

So I guess the Clinton machine will just continue to attack until there's nothing left of the Democratic party.

Rather than building things up, it appears the Clinton strategy is to burn things to the ground.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 1, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

It's not just the anti-war crowd that disputes her "interpretation"...

It's pretty much anyone who has mastered the English language.There has to be a willful suspension of reading comprehension and of anything one has learned about the UN, its charter, how it functions, etc.. in order to "buy into" Mrs. Clinton's explanations for her enabling the gratuitous murder of many thousands, just so she could be viewed a "a tough cookie".

This should make any true Democrat vomit.

Posted by: Rubiconski | February 1, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

CAN ANYONE LET MCCAIN KNOW THAT BEN LADEN IS NOT IS IRAQ BUT AFGHANISTAN? ANYBODY SERIOUS ABOUT FIGHTING TERRORISM WILL RATHER FOCUS ON AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN.

WHY SHOULD THE US BE PROUD TO SPEND 6 YEARS, ONE TRILLION DOLLARS, THOUSENDS OF LIVES JUST TO GET "BEN LADEN ON THE RUN" AS BUSH AND MCCAIN ARE PLEASED TO REPEAT.

WHILE CLINTON WAS FOR THE WAR HER HUSBAND BUBBA "WAS AGAINST IT", THEY BOTH HAVE ACCESS TO THE SAME INTELLIGENCE.

Posted by: FIERO, washington, Dc | February 1, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

What an admirably wonkish thread. I feel for Hillary wanting to appear tough to offset sexist prejudice but can't abide her catering to the prejudice like Bush has in his foreign policy. Has she learned anything from his failures?

Posted by: jhbyer | February 1, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

HRC's explanation deserved at least three Pinocchios, if for no other reason, her rationale was at best, self-serving and used to again not apologize for her vote.

Posted by: meldupree | February 1, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, don't subordinate a preemptive war to UN resolution but wholly subordinate to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's judgment?!

Is anyone else failing to see, quite apart from the existence of the 'escape clause' which is self-evident from a cursory reading, the complete inanity of her forsaking her constitutionally mandated authority to authorize war to one of the worst Presidents of all time?

Posted by: Jonny five | February 2, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

I just want to point our attention to the momentum when the war issue came up. It was very low and the undecided voters believed her that she was telling the truth. They actually frowned at Obama's hammering on the issue in their vote because it was low on that issue. This to me simply means that people have moved on from that issue and now focus more on healthcare, jobs, the economy, immigration and other issues that will put food on my table, keep my roof over my head, assure me of affordable health care and prevent swimmers or wall climbers from insulting America's immigration intelligence.
I also have this link for those who still need to know more on Hillary's experience issue....hope it helps.... http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h2044.html

Posted by: Gabby | February 2, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

I saw this at a news paper site and thought I should share it with you. enjoy it !!!

John, please please please don't endorse Obama.
susank in Diaries
1/30/2008 at 9:52 PM EST
The media has been saying all day that you will be endorsing Obama. In an awful month of betrayals by Ted Kennedy, Feingold, Leahy, et al all going for a candidate who is so not what he presented himself to be, this appears the ultimate betrayal.
I was one of those originally taken in by the Obama mystique and promise. I was even hoping for an Edwards-Obama ticket. Seemed the perfect way to defeat Clinton. After all, he was against the war, wasn't he? And progressIve?
Well, actually not. That was the first of many misrepresentations of who he is, a very smart one since it may win him the election. And the truth is just what Bill Clinton said it is - "a fairy tale."
Yes, he made an anti-war speech in 2002. But he did not vote against it. How could he, he wasn't in Congress. Then in 2004, when the war was still in, he said that he didn't know how he would have voted if he'd been in Congress. He took the speech off his website. When it came to funding the war he voted for it.
The worst thing is, this is part of a pattern. He pretends to be one thing, but he never takes a real stand on anything. He's an opportunist, going with what he thinks will get him votes. Also a liar.
I believe he was a major cause of you dropping out today. It started in Iowa. First he attacked those Union ads, not because of any principles, but because it would get votes for you instead of him. Then there was the issue of all those Obama voters who appeared at all those precincts with no ID, unfamiliar to many precinct captains who knew by sight almost all local people. According to reports on this blog, all these people caucused, not for Edwards, not for Clinton, but for Obama.
There was no talk about this in the media because it was not Hillary voters or Edwards voters. Just as there was no talk of voter intimidation in Nevada. (By Obama people). Only of supposed voter suppression.
Which brings me to the strongest reason.
The Media. This is the same media that has been making such a point of ignoring you, distorting you. Unless of course they're talking about your haircut. Or your house.
Yes, that media.
That media loves Obama. Every news show is like an hour long commercial for Obama. Okay, maybe it's only forty-five minutes. Three pundits and one commentator. Every single one for Obama.
They don't even try to hide it any more, are not even embarrassed. All of our letters and phone calls have not shamed them.
The only time I can remember them going on and on like this and this excited was when they were selling the Iraq war.
That's why I've decided that if they like it it's not a good thing.
This is the Obama who said the Republican party was the party of ideas. And that Reagan was transformative. And then lied on national television about that he said. Which is on tape. And never confronted. Except by Bill, and look what happened to him.
This is the Obama who voted present 130 times, who attacked Clinton for the Iran vote, but then didn't vote at all.
This is the same Obama who plays the race card except when it won't work for him. And then yells racism.
This is the Obama who will probably embarrass the Democratic party when the Rezco scandal comes out. He already lied about it during the debate. It's not a little thing, it seems to indicate he can be bought. By a really bad guy who took a hundred million dollars for housing for poor African-Americans from Illinois taxpayers, then did not use it for construction, and allowed the properties to go into foreclosure, never paying back the loans. I believe the organized crime guys in the Sopranos did this same thing. Apparently it is a common way to steal large amounts of money. Now Rezco has been rearrested for being a flight risk after lying and receiving $3.5 million from some Iraqi billionaire who was in prison in France. The Rezco who was a good friend for seventeen years. Who helped him buy his $1.6 million house.
If Obama's association with Rezco is not enough, the abandoned properties were in Obama's district. He knew about this, allowed it to happen, and lied. This does not seem a man who caresl about the poor.
Again the media totally ignores this whole thing.
Look at all the time spent on the haircut, your house, etc. Then they ignore Rezco totally. Not a word.
What is up with that?!!!!
And then people like Kennedy endorse him. It's all surreal.
And let's not forget Obama's health care plan, his support of nuclear energy and coal.
All the truly progressive writers I know do not like Obama - Krugman, Sirota, Paul Street, the BlackAgenda writer, Belafonte. Obama says he doesn't take money from lobbies but he has taken hundreds of thousands from Goldman-Sacks, Morgan Stanley, Exelon (nuclear energy), insurance companies. I loved seeing you confront him on that in the last debate. One of the peak moments. He is not a progressive candidate. All he does is talk the talk. And talk and talk and talk.
I know most of your handlers support Obama. In fact I have wondered if they could have been sabotaging your campaign with this. Sometimes I think he has everyone in a hypnotic trance. Or drinking the Koolaid.
I know Clinton has many issues, is far from an ideal candidate. Now that you are out I will vote for her, reluctantly, but as a vote against Obama, to mess with the media, and to finally have a woman in charge. At least with her you know what you are getting and that she is a Democrat. Also, Bill helped to undo the terrible hits the economy took under those great Repubs with all those ideas. But my point is not to talk up Clinton. It is to appeal to you to please check out the real Obama. And, hopefully, not endorse him.
With one caveat, I have to add.
If endorsing him will give you power in the next administration, if there is a good deal made that will allow you to further your work for the American people, I will understand your decision to support Obama. But I am hoping you will be able to do that with Senator Clinton.
And, finally, thank you for everything you have done so far. I am trusting you will make the right decision - and also that you will continue to be our leader in some way or other. I cannot stand to think that you will be out of our lives.

Posted by: Gabby | February 2, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Richard Wolffe pretty much summed it up for me today when he said that War is the supreme test for the Presidency.

He's right... of all the other aspects can correlate to other jobs and offices that many people hold. Whether one acts and decides judiciously and appropriately in regards to War is one of if not the most important reason why our votes are considered carefully and seriously.

Posted by: mishte | February 2, 2008 4:08 AM | Report abuse

I have been a Republican all my life, and live a better than middle class lifestyle; and for the first time I am voting for a Democrat - because it is Obama.

Hillary is a liar on many levels, and to think she and her husband want to sit in the White House after all the BS they created in the nineties. Let Obama, a better man, have is try.

If the Clintons had any integrity they would have said in the very beginning that they would take a backseat to this history. The Clintons are up to no good, and are going to get richer by association of the position and will do nothing for us, and what is crazy is that the media in DC alone, knows this.

Why patronize these two idiots unless you are apart of their scheme? We are more than ever watching, lets see what the heck you will do to assist a great man to succeed in the coming days.

I am doing my part, for a white male who never thought he would.

Posted by: Brad - Newport Beach, CA | February 2, 2008 4:50 AM | Report abuse

I am no big fan of Bush at all, but come on now. Back in 2002, everyone was hot on getting someone, anyone to pay for 9/11. It's really nice now that we're in 2008 and everyone suddenly knew that Iraq was a bad idea. And Brad I hate to burst your bubble but ALL politicians ARE liars. If they weren't they'll be no chance in hell that we'll vote for any of them. That includes Barack Hussein Obama. And yes that's he's real full name check Wikipedia. This is all our fault because we don't let them admit to mistakes and let them know that it's ok to make mistakes. Politicians are just people like you and me. We need to forgive people for these mistakes because we all make them. Footnote though, Obama couldn't have voted NO on Iraq because he was not on the senate back in 2002.

Posted by: Rhejie | February 2, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

gabby wrote:"Then they ignore Rezco totally. Not a word.
What is up with that?!!!!"

They really are trying to snooker this guy straight into the presidncy without any scrutiny whatsoever. The Chicago newspapers are covering all this but the rest of the public will be in for a shock when they find out what the press wouldn't tell them.

We have to make clear what Rezko did for Obama two years ago when he was elected to the Senate. Not the stuff about campaign contributions, that doesn't mean anything.

Rezko donated to a wide range of politicians, including Bush, but not to the Clintons. Not that that's particularly important, because bad contributions are identified all the time and given away, but because the picture with the Clintons is from the Chicago Democratic Convention and not from being close to the Clintons, which is important.

No, what you have to make crystal clear to people is that when Obama was voted to the Senate, he wanted to buy an expensive house in Chicago that he couldn't afford. The house he paid 1.65 million for, which was in ballpark of an earlier book advance, so that's not an issue. It's an adjoining $625,000 piece of property that's the issue. Obama asked Rezko to help him out, and Rezko bought the property, which allowed Obama to buy the house next to it for $300,000 less than the 1.95 million price. That $300,000 alone is serious money, but it is positioned as a "discount" while Rezko paid full price (or possibly picked it up for Obama with property purchase - a $625,000 parcel next to a 1.65 million mansion is a seriously expensive piece of land - seems disproportionate to me).

Now on to way worse stuff. The property was in Rezko's name (his wife's name), but just sitting there. I read quite a bit a few days ago on it, and will try to finish figuring this out this weekend. But from posts on the news sites investigating this, ABC and the Chicago papers, one person said the property has no access from the street and that Obama pays for landscaping because no one else would be able to get to it. But I also saw one reference that it was in front of his house, so I don't know yet.

But what is clear is that Obamna wanted a large mansion and grounds that cost approximately 2.5 million, and he went to his long time business associate Rezko - at least I would describe a 17 year association of carrying the legal and political load for a professional con job of milking taxpayers for tens of millions of dollars for renovating apartment buildings for the poor - and doing such a poor job of it as you skim off everything for you and your cronies that little was left to do any constuction. Heck, Rezko even quit paying the heat but at the same time gave $1,000 to Obama who was the state rep for the district containing these poor freezing people, people who surely pleaded with Obama's office for help - but it is to this long term crook relationship financier of his state and Senate runs that he went to to buy his backyard for him.

Surely that would have been bad enough, but Rezko had also just been publically indicted by the Federal government. But Obama wanted his $625,000 backyard, and who else did he have chits on when it came time to milk someone down but good.

So the property was sitting there, essentially part of Obama's mansion grounds, but then Rezko starts getting wires of millions of dollars from the middle east, Rezko's a Syrian and the wires were coming from an Iraqi billionare who fled Iraq, undoubtedly where some of our countless billions have gone that we "can't find", and this all quietly comes out in bail paperwork filed with the court on Rezko's assets. And all of a sudden, we're now told that Rezko "has since sold it", it being Obama's back (or front, or something he can get to but the owner can't because there's no easement or access from the street to it), and oh never mind, Rezko just went away.

Except that I read another post that the person who bought it was a crony of Rezko's and Obama's, one of Rezko's lawyers. If someone want to try to tell me that a Rezko crony paid half a million dollars of his own money for Obama's backyard that he can't get to, I'll eat crushed glass and nails. No, this is standard deviant behavior and they shuffled ownership of Obama's backyard to a someone not named Rezko because Rezko is going to federal trial in February on corruption charges. Oh, except since he's been caught illegally receiving wire transfers from the middle east against his bail restrictions, he's jailed now as a flight risk awaiting trial this month.

So in addition to what you wote about Obama lying about "oh that was just some guy that I did five hours of clerk work for" early in his career, which by the way, isn't going from law clerk work in 1995 where you're described as too junior to have any decision making responsibilities in these tens of millions of doallars of organized taxpayer theft - Rezko walked away from all 17 properties, Obama was involved with him in nine of them, and the city of Chicago, and the poor people in what's left of those 17 buildings are left holding the bag - but isn't that a long way to come from junior no responsibility law clerk in 1995 to presidential cult leader 13 years later? I think so, but hey, as long as he can preach.

So that's how clear cut you have to make it for people because once they start understanding that this is the first thing Obama did when elected Senator two years ago, and he had the audacity to demand Senate ethics reform, someone would surely ask isn't Obama's whole career with Rezko culminating in Obama's $625,000 back yard one huge pile of ethics violations?

I can't even see Obama weathering a Senate ethics investigation once the stuff hits the fan, but you can betcha the conservatives are ready to take Obama apart on this. And they can get all they need just from reading the Chicago papers.

rd

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | February 2, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Iraq was switching to the Euro which was going to seriously harm the USA in World Trade economy, because we are the largest importers of oil and have little of value to export. Best way to fix the problem tell the people "we are going in to look for Weapons of Mass Destruction" and later, Ms. Clinton will say "We acted on faulty intelligence" not being woman enough to take responsibility for her own vote.

In violating the UN Charter we became guilty of a "war of aggression" or war criminals. That inspired global hatred of the US from citizens round the globe. We are seen as greedy, lazy, selfish people~not just our leaders, us as individuals.

I learned all of the above long before I ever heard about a cat named Obama. I would be more suspicous of the Clinton's Conflict of Interest with Dubai, because Hillary pointed out GWB's conflict of interest with the same country.

I see a bit of correlation with the destruction of Iraq and build up of Dubai.

Posted by: alyceclover | February 2, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Funny..

All of you Clinton Lovers don't find any of Billary's $200,000,000 donation from that Kahzackstan trip suspicious?

Billary will never win against the GOP Machine... Have you forgotten about the impeachment proceedings file against Bubba?

Wake Up.. Obama has been the best thing to happen to America in a long time.

See you all on wednesday..

Posted by: IM4BARACK | February 2, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

So what's the big deal in how she/he voted for/against the war. Bush was going to war, anyway. He had scouts in Iraq for a year assessing how plentiful they (the administration) would grease their palms.

And let us not forget nor forgive our Secretary of State, Colin P?? For shame!

I am a Hillary supporter but will support whoever will get the Democratic nod to run for President.

After these 8 years, how can anyone not feel the same as I do.

We need to let it go........the "he said, she said" twist of blame.

And it seems to me that most of our American citizens were pro-war, anyway. I would try to make conversation with anyone I could, to appeal to the Bush irrationale, and mercy of mercies, I found few takers, few listeners.

And let us not forget the "Jesus" factor.....the George Bush SELF-ANOINTMENT factor.

Just let us not forget these last lying, killing years! This factors in our economy, loss of homes, jobs, rise in cost of living. Can this get any worse?

JUST LET US NOT FORGET.....2000-2008.

Regards in Whitehall, MI

Posted by: pat knopf | February 2, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

obama, agianst the war while running for office

for the war once in office

against thewar when running for the higher office.


The man doesn't know how to take a stand,but he sure knows who to call when he wants a huge discount on his house.

Posted by: troy | February 2, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Barrack Hussein Obama. This man born into a muslim family, who now says it took him 25 years to become a christian, a man admitted to heavy drug use, a man related and who currently supports radical muslims like Odinaga or muslim criminals like Rezcko, a man not even raised in the United States, a man who supports killing babies, a man who supports treating women as second class citizens, a man who attends a racist church that despises all other races but black and supports a radical black muslim who has spouted hatred for 25 years, a man who cannot make his mind up on how to vote until he wets his finger and puts it in the air to see how the wind is blowing, a man who has never managed a business, never served in the military, frankly never even had a real job, a man who took money from a slumlord while poor blacks froze in the winter without any heat, a man who finally admitted last week that he is half-white while standing in Kansas of course, a man who supports gun owners rights while standing in front of crowd in Idaho, a man who says he supports drivers licenses for illegal aliens while standing in California, a man who supports legalizing marijuana while talking to groups like move-on.org, a man who can make comments about black men need to know how to dance and get away with it, a man who says he will even learn Spanish. But in reality a man who dishonors his father, his mother, his heritage, and who does not have the guts or the honor to wear a flag on his lapel while we are at war........This man, not a good patriot, not a good son, not a good person, not a good man.

Posted by: Colonel Ray | February 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I personally would like to know who I am voting for very well as in all the cobwebs in his or her life, the dirt, lies, mistakes, lessons learnt, achievements, EXPERIENCE in all aspects of life (as in public service and family matters) is key for me, popularity at home and abroad, exposure to world politics and diplomacy, number of countries visited, international affairs, transparency, trust, truthfulness and much more. I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with me making a demand on all of this from my leader, DO YOU? So lets just get all the closets open and see what we gat in there.....THERE IS SOMETHING CREEPY ABOUT OBAMA THAT I AM YET TO LAY MY HANDS ON AND I AM STILL SEARCHING......the ORATORY is a mask and it's just not doing me any good.....I need more than ORATORY, I need substance, I DO NOT NEED POLITICS AT ALL.....I am a 44year old single lady, who needs a president that will have something to offer me, my husband when I get married and my family as a whole.

I know a lot of people who voted for Bush and started regretting the moment they got home that day. I asked them why and they said they just remembered that he lied about a lot of things and they forgot about them till after they left the pooling booth and discussed with friends and those things were pointed out and they wish they could undo what had been don, but that was after the milk had been spilled and the egg dropped on the floor.....can't put it together again, but can prevent it from happening again.

What is at stake in this election is not THE WAR OR RACE AS OBAMA WANTS PEOPLE TO THINK, BUT THE DILAPITATING STANDARD OF LIVING IN AMERICA THE LAND OF PLENTY. IT IS THE ECONOMY, HEALTHCARE, RESPECT AT HOME AND ABROAD, FOOD, SHELTER, BGE, PEPCO, CREDIT CARD RATE THAT GOES UP AS IF YOU SIGNED UP TO BE A SLAVE FOR LIFE, GOOD TEACHERS FOR OUR CHILDREN, WORLD RECORD BREAKING STUDENT PERFORMANCES, IMMIGRATION AND HOW TO HELP PEOPLE LEARN ENGLISH, JOY, HAPPINESS, LAUGHTER BACK IN HOMES, GANG VIOLENCE, CHILD MOLESTERS, RESPECT AND BETTER LIVING CONDITION FOR OUR VETERANS, UNITY and above all THE RESTORATION OF DIGNITY TO THE AMERICAN FLAG AND NAME ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Finally on the issue of Hillary voting for the war or not, it has become a slogan for the Obama camp so much that they don't know they are shooting themselves with it. Obama was not in the senate when the voting was done and he has said it over and over that he would have voted the same way she did if he had been there too. Yes he made a speech in 2002, does that now count as a vote in the senate, and I am yet to hear of such a vote though. Where he had opportunities to vote more than 120 times for God's sake, and you just keep voting present, present, present? What a slimy, sneaky and evasive way to protect the people who voted you in there. I can understand you voting present maybe ten times or a dozen times, but then one hundred and twenty times and you give an excuse it was a tactic to help you think and decide on the issue before you vote the right way, and then you say you are ready the FIRST DAY YOU GET INTO THE OVAL OFFICE? .....Maybe I am by my self here, because I am lost ...I just want to know what the truth is any more or maybe I need a new definition of TRUTHFULNESS......A president should have a vision on where we are, where we are going, how to get there and how long it will take.....if it is taking so much time for him to decide on just 120 voted, how long will it take to decide on matters of national urgency to the NATION......I rest my case for now....

Posted by: Gabby | February 2, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

This Man Wants to President of the United States of America

Speaking in Idaho Barrack Hussein Obama expressed his support for gun ownership.

Speaking to Move-On.org Barrack Hussein Obama expressed his support for legalizing marijuana.

Speaking in California Barrack Hussein Obama expressed his support for drivers licenses for illegal aliens.

Speaking to his friend and reported cousin running for the Presidency of Kenya , Barrack Hussein Obama expressed his support for his friend, who also supports strict Muslim Sharia law, including putting women in vails.

Speaking to his friend Rezcko, a muslim immigrant from Syria, Barrack Hussein Obama expressed his support for not revealing too much about him to the federal investigators.

Speaking in the Illinois State Senate, Barrack Hussein Obama expressed his opposition to a law that would have stopped the killing of full-term healthy babies.

Speaking to a crowd of Hispanics, Barrack Hussein Obama said he would learn Spanish.

Speaking in Kansas, Barrack Hussein Obama admitted he was actually half-white.

Speaking in front of a national audience on television, Barrack Hussein Obama said that he would have to see how well Bill Clinton could dance before he could consider him a "brother".

Speaking to national audience, Barrack Hussein Obama said he voted against the war, (or actually would have) and then voted to fund the war when he actually could vote.

Speaking in the Illinois State Senate, Barrack Hussein Obama expressed his opposition, no actually his support, well actually his "I don't know" 130 times on votes on important legislation.

Speaking in the Illinois State Senate, Barrack Hussein Obama explained that sometimes he hit the wrong button during votes on important legislation.

Speaking in front of crowds in California, Barrack Hussein Obama said I am not a crazy muslim, I am a Christian and I attend a Christian church. (That just gave Louis Farrankhan, radical racist black Muslim, a lifetime achievement award).

Speaking in his own words in the books he wrote Barrack Hussein Obama said:
- We were always playing on the white man's court, by the white man's rules. - Obama once described the white race as "that ghostly figure that haunted black dreams." - During college, Obama disapproved of what he called other "half-breeds" who gravitated toward whites instead of blacks. - At age 33, he wrote in "Dreams from My Father, that " he found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against his mother's race.

Posted by: Colonel Ray | February 2, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

colonol ray~~ didn't you just mean to say:

"he's black." did I mention, his middle name is "HUSSEIN". let's just be honest about the pervasive racism that underlies your disgusting posts. And call you what you would call any bigot who posts such filth under a psuedoname: a coward and a worthless piece of human trash. it's a bit long but it would make for a suitable middle name.

by the way folks. Being against a war before it has started is completely different than voting to continue an effort in which American blood, treasure, and prestige had been invested by those who had zero common sense and/or spine before you.

let's just be clear about that. The argument that someone is voting in support of a war by voting to ensure troops are well equipped and have paychecks once they are told fight, in same way negates or contradicts one's prior opposition to said war is completely ridiculous. These are totally different votes.

No, once lives are committed to a conflict I am sorry but people have an obligation so that those who sacrifice do not lose their lives unnecessarily, even if the cause itself is unnecessary. If you lack the votes to end it, you best make sure that as few lives are lost as possible in the meantime.

To argue in anyway that that is flip-flopping is to frankly subscribe to an absurd position which is frankly idiotic.

Posted by: Jonny five | February 2, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

pat knopf wrote:

"So what's the big deal in how she/he voted for/against the war."

I dunno pat, maybe a few hundred thousand innocent people's lost their lives FOR NO REASON. Sure would have been nice to have had a few Democrat's with spines who stood up for those people and their families, who I can assure would with much rather be unemployed than to have lost a loved one.

Maybe one's vote to end the lives of innocent people should be a reflection on their character as a human being. I don't know but maybe that's a stretch. I mean if you vote to kill people simply because you are afraid of being politically unpopular it sure suggests to me that you have no right EVER to lead this country.

At least Bush went to war out of conviction. To me that's the better than voting to kill people out of shear political convenience. At least maybe if Clinton 44 learned something about the experience, but she hasn't as she is unwilling to renounce her vote.

Posted by: Jonny five | February 2, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, I hope Hillary just keeps thrashing around in this mudhole. Everybody else but her knows that she voted to give Bush authority to go to war in Iraq if he chose to. And he did. She screwed up period. She was trying to play both sides of the issue. Like trying to put your feet in the pool and say you never got in. Like trying to saying you smoked pot but didn't inhale. Like trying to say you never had sex with that woman, you just got a blow job.Another is/is Clintonism.

Posted by: majorteddy | February 2, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"And would someone remind the public that at the time of the vote, in 2002, sure Obama made a speech against the war, but he was not then a member of the Senate. He did not vote in the Senate, he did not have access to the intel, to the Pentagon officials, to the Intelligence Community all of which were giving information tailored toward this war in a way that Members of Congress could not have known, and yet there were these credible people making these statements."

That entire post was extremely well written, but for all it's literary perfection, it is "disingenuous" and misleading. Whether Barrack Obama was a United States Senator or not (he was an Illinois State Senator at the time) and whether he had access to all the reports that United States Senators had access to or not, Barrack Obama got it right! How assinine is it to excuse the man's insight and judgement simply because he had not yet been elected to the United States Senate and therefore his "vote" was NOT counted. Right is still right and wrong is still wrong! Obama got it right and Hillary got it wrong. Even though Illinois Senator Obama did not have access to all of the resourses that the United States Senator from New York Clinton did not, his judgement has still proven to be far superior to Hillary's.

The proposal that Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War Resolution in some attempt to "put restraint on Bush" sounds just like the convoluted logic that the Clintons try to use to excuse all of their screw ups, and I'm afraid that I just won't buy it. Even if YOU buy Hillary's ludicrous claim to "35 years experience", which I do NOT - what good is experience without judgement?

Judgement, integrity, and the ability to work with people from all sides of the political spectrum should trump mere experience every time - even if the claims of experience are real. I wish Clinton supporters would get off their duffs and research Hillary Clinton's hostory as First Lady of Arkansas and First Lady of the United States. The truth of the matter is that Hillary has experience the way Al Capone had "experience". I hope that voters will get smart and elect the President who will do what's best for the greatest number of Americans, and not what is best for the President, the President's family, the President's friends, the President's political allies, and those wealthy individuals and corporations who are willing to make the President and her family richer by the selling of special favors. Send the corrupt, carpetbagging Clintons packing and restore honor and integrity to the White House.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 3, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Hillary seeks to dodge responsibility for her vote licensing Bush-Cheney to go to war on Iraq by taking a cheap shot at the United Nations, whoever that may be.

Posted by: ET | February 3, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

It is bordering on the absurd to consider in infinite detail the possibilities of finding some dull glimmer of truth at the depths of blatantly disingenuous claims by candidate Clinton. Even exposing the depth of the deceit lends credence to knowing falsehoods.
She is ready from "day one" to slither from the truth, to not have the honor to take responsibility for her votes, and the audacity to claim legislative and diplomatic victories for which she had at best some kind of marginal rapport, seven degrees of separation. Next she will be claiming that she authored the Declaration of Independence while Obama was in his madrassa. I have never in my life seen quite like it, the whole thing is just a fairy tale.

Posted by: Rarignac | February 3, 2008 3:53 AM | Report abuse

Truly, iIt is bordering on the absurd to consider in infinite detail the possibilities of finding some dull glimmer of truth at the depths of blatantly disingenuous claims by candidate Clinton. Even exposing the depth of the deceit lends credence to knowing falsehoods.
She is ready from "day one" to slither from the truth, to not have the honor to take responsibility for her votes, BUT the audacity to claim legislative and diplomatic victories for which she had at best some kind of marginal rapport, seven degrees of separation. Next she will be claiming that she authored the Declaration of Independence while Obama was in his madrassa. I have never in my life seen ANYTHING quite like it, the whole thing is just a fairy tale.

Posted by: Rarignac | February 3, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

MY FACTCHECKER -
HILLARY and COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM

During the debate Hillary Clinton stated that she co-sponsored a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2004 before Obama was even in the Senate.

I decided to investigate this further..

What I found was that Clinton co-sponsored in 2004:

S. 2444 [107th]: Immigration, Reform, Accountability, and Security Enhancement Act of 2002

A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to improve the administration and enforcement of the immigration laws, to enhance the security of the United States, and to establish the Office of Children's Services within the Department of Justice, and for other purposes.

Overview
Sponsor: Sen. Edward Kennedy [D-MA]
Cosponsors=
Brownback [R-KS]
Hillary Clinton [D-NY] in 2004
Daschle [D-SD]
DeWine [R-OH]
Dodd [D-CT]
Durbin [D-IL]
Edwards [D-NC]
Feinstein [D-CA]
Graham [D-FL]
Hagel [R-NE]
Hatch [R-UT]
Helms [R-NC]


S. 2444
Immigration Reform, Accountability, and Security Enhancement Act of 2002:

Introduced by Senators Kennedy (D-MA) and Brownback (R-KS) on May 2, 2002,

S. 2444 would dismantle the INS and separate the service and enforcement functions into two distinct Bureaus. The legislation would provide for coordination between the two entities, however, by placing at the helm of the new Agency a Director with the authority to develop and administer immigration policy for the entire Agency.

----------------------
* 3 PINOCCHIOS *
----------------------
subtract 1 pinocchio because it does have something to do with immigration.

This was NOT Comprehensive Immigration Reform but a reorganization of the INS. She did not helped to DRAFT this bill.

SHE LIED --- and she did it so well .....

Conclusion:
She gave a great response but it just does not hold up to further scrutiny. She just signed the thing before the end of the 107th session of Congress. And this bill does nothing to address the disposition of current illegal immigrants at all or enhance border security.

WaPo PLEASE INVESTIGATE FURTHER.

Posted by: SkyPete | February 3, 2008 5:33 AM | Report abuse

I thought this election was about the future?

But, as long as we're stuck in the past votes on Iraq, how does Obama explain his aye votes for continuing to fund the war. He's a hypocrite.

Posted by: politicalpuck | February 3, 2008 6:19 AM | Report abuse

WaPo also please investigate Obama's ties to Tony Rezko, who is now under indictment in Chicago and who Obama did legal work for and even sought his counsel on a home purchase (which turned out very sweet for Obama).

Please also investigate Obama's past cocaine use and his claim that he never shared it or sold it to anyone.

WaPo, please drill down and investigate why Obama voted dozens of times to vote "Present" in the Illinois Senate and whether Obama and his apologists claim "everyone was doing it" in the Illinois Senate.

WaPo, please investigate Obama's verbal and public endorsement of G.W. Bush's position on the Iraq War. Obama made these comments during the election cycle of 2004.

Thank you.

"People who hate Hillary Clinton really hate themselves."
-Bill Maher

Posted by: Politicalpuck | February 3, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad many posters can see through all of Hillary's lies about Iraq. Hillary now claims that our MORON President fooled her,(or more likely Hillary was willing to send thousands to their deaths just to protect her political viability in future elections by showing she was "tough on terrorism"etc.) Either way such a despicable person doesn't belong in the White House.

Posted by: miked | February 3, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

IF Americans would just bother to read the UN Charter, they'd see that this whole argument is moot.

There is no way that accepting the UN's sole authority to authorise ATTACK compromises any country's right to self-defence.

It says so in black and white in the UN Charter.
Article 51: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations..."

Why didn't the US need a resolution to invade Afghanistan? Because the US had come under armed attack from a group harboured by the Afghan govt.

As Kofi Annan said, the US had no need to ask the UN for permission to invade Afghanistan, because it could be seen as an act of self-defence under Article 51.

You only need UN permission to attack countries WHO HAVEN'T ATTACKED YOU. Is that such an unbearable surrender of sovereignty? Then the US shouldn't have signed the UN Charter.

In fact, the rules against aggressive war are in the Charter at America's insistence, because it was the Americans who demanded that the Nuremberg criminals be tried for "making aggressive war." Before that, it wasn't considered a crime in international law.

The UN has no rules against national self-defence - in fact it has an explicit guarantee of the right to self-defence. So it is a transparent lie to suggest that recognising UN authority could have weakened America's future ability to react when attacked.

The only reason this false debate is even occurring is that Washington is full of people who want to smash the UN, shatter its laws, and set the US up in its place.

Indeed, doing so was one of the real motives behind the Iraq war.

Posted by: OD | February 3, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Just as Mussolini broke the League of Nations with his invasion of Abyssinia, so the militarists who run Washington hoped to break the United Nations with their invasion of Iraq.

Benito Mussolini was their model and inspiration.

Posted by: OD | February 3, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Clinton's view about avoiding the United Nations Security Council is too similar to Pres. Bush's for my comfort. One of Bush's many versions of why he attacked Iraq was to enforce a U.N. resolution on WMD, but he didn't want to give the UN an opportunity to object.

What is often overlooked regarding the start of Bush's war on Iraq is what was happening with the UN Weapons Inspectors at that time. Although Saddam Hussein had kicked them out of Iraq in 1998, in early 2003 he was saying he would give them free access within his country. (He had changed his mind because Bush had stationed a large military force in the region. Saddam didn't want to be invaded.) The Weapons Inspectors had already made one visit back but with restrictions on what they could see. They had returned again with Saddam's promise that he was willing to give them the total unrestricted access called for in the IAEA's "Additional Safeguards Protocol." [http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/SV/Safeguards/sg_protocol.html] That Protocol in effect requires signers to give up some of their sovereignty. The Inspectors were to report to the UN whether or not Saddam did what he said. Bush attacked before the IAEA Inspectors could send their report to the UN.

Posted by: BTMPost | February 3, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This is for Johnny five......

I don't have a problem with Obama being black, I have a problem with him denouncing the fact he is half-white. That is of course until he went to Kansas to visit his white heritage that he has ignored and ridiculed in his own words for the last 20 years.

For all of you Obama cult members who call me racist read again the words of your savior:

Speaking in his own words in the books he wrote Barrack Hussein Obama said:
- We were always playing on the white man's court, by the white man's rules. - Obama once described the white race as "that ghostly figure that haunted black dreams." - During college, Obama disapproved of what he called other "half-breeds" who gravitated toward whites instead of blacks. - At age 33, he wrote in "Dreams from My Father, that " he found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against his mother's race.

So Johnny five and the rest of you I ask you the following questions?
Are those the words of a racist above?
Do you support legalizing marijuana?
Do you support drivers licenses for illegals?
Do you support Louis Farrankhan?
Do you support sharia law and women in vails?
Do you support killing full-term health babies?

But to all of you none of this really matters, because in the words of the man on the street, when asked why vote for Obama, he said, "lets just give the brother a chance".

Hidden under the radar in America is the fact there are two Americas. In white america there is lots of problems. In black america those problems are much, much more severe, and that is really, really a shame, and I wish it were not so. 80% of young black girls have children out of wedlock. The percentages of drug use, welfare and criminal records are off the charts as are the high school drop out rates. When I was younger I thought we would fix these problems but we did not. Now we whites ignore it and just accept it as part of society. Young blacks accept it, you either figure out how to bounce a ball or deal drugs and that is sad. Many young black men used to join the military where I was proud to serve with them , but now black leaders say they should not join. But of course if I say any of this I am racist.....So lets keep it all hidden and out of sight out of mind.........

Now that being said, do you think that Barrack Obama is going to help change anything. Except for the black community the rest of Obamas support comes from rich white folk, like the Kennedys, who of course brag that they are the friend of black america.........and you all beleive it........You know why there is all the noise about this Rezcko guy? It is because this man actually stole money that Chicago gave him to fix up beat up apartment buildings in the pooorest black section of the city. A few years ago on a very cold day, the very day that Rezcko was holding a Obama fundraiser, the heat in many of those apartments had been turned off.

But y'all keep supporting this man Obama who cannot admit he is half-white, cannot admit he ever met a muslim in his life, cannot admit he believes in killing full-term health babies, because in the end you might not like the result............

Posted by: Colonel Ray | February 3, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Let me remind some of those who choose to question how Obama can criticize Hillary for her vote on this. Obama was running for his Senate seat in Ill. when he made this speech and at the time it was very unpopular to speak out against the pending war.

Just as most of the world could see, the case had not been made for Bush's war.

If Hillary, who as she says did the investigations, why didn't she read the NIE report? And if her judgement was good than, what about the most recent vote for the Iranian Guard being a terrorist organization, once again giving Bush a blank check to start another war.
Where is the judgement?

Posted by: TJ | February 3, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

All of these posts about the vote of Hillary is Academic since we have no idea how Barack Obama would have actually voted. Barack Obama is a follower at best. He doesn't propose any legislation, has no position, he made one speech and we are a nation of ARM CHAIR QUARTER BACKS ON THIS THE MOST FAMOUS DAY OF ALL FOR FOOTBALL PUNDITS.

GIVE IT A REST BARACK, YOU ARE A COWARD STILL HIDING BEHIND WOMENS SKIRTS AND OLD MEN LIKE YOUR GRANDFATHER. You hid behind you rich white grandfather and grandmother, turned your back on them and stepped all over the black inner city people when you took your deals with Rezko as he stole money from the poor blacks who were desperate to get decent housing.

We have only just begun to see your sins! You are a back stabber from the get go and we see you for who you are! Selfish, self centered little man!

Posted by: UWBizKid | February 3, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

colonol ray:

oh how you prove yourself to be ignorant, quote: "That is of course until he went to Kansas to visit his white heritage that he has ignored and ridiculed in his own words for the last 20 years."

Unless you've been living in a shed in the hills of Appalachia in between drinking fresh batches of moonshine for the last 10 years Mr. Obama, has not exactly been hiding his racial identity colonol "coward" ray. You pull quotes from his bio as if you were proving something. That what? someone who grew up half white and half black in this country had issues confronting his identity in what can at best be described a conflicting heritage?

please let us bury him for being human?!, as for you colonol I wouldn't dare make the presumption.

colonol 'coward, bigot' ray

Posted by: jonny five | February 3, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

colonol "coward, bigot" ray wrote:

"I don't have a problem with Obama being black, I have a problem with him denouncing the fact he is half-white."

Unless you've been living in a shed, drinking moonshine, somewhere in Appalachia for the last 10 years, Mr. Obama has never 'denounced the fact he is half-white.'


Your cites of Obama's bio are idiotic. Like ohmigod, someone who was born half white, half black in amerikkka had a confusing and conflicting sense of identity when they were younger?! HOLD THE PRESSES! Obama is a human being. Please spare us.

as far as the rest of your 'questions'... if you weren't a complete racist I might find it worthwhile to waste my time with a reply, but seeing that you are worthless piece of trash I think I'll spare everyone.

Posted by: jonny five | February 4, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

politicalpuck:

see prior post by myself, and confirm, that yes in fact you are an idiot.

Posted by: jonny five | February 4, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama was against the war from the beginning whether he was in the Senate or not. He has also explained that at the 2004 Democratic convention he didn't want to "hurt" or embarass Kerry. The point is, he never said he was for the war, period!

Obama also explained that he continued to vote for funding the Iraq war because he didn't want the troops to go without, now that they were already there. That's a huge difference than Hillary's stance.

The thing I do not like is that Hillary cannot even admit she made a mistake. Even Edwards admitted that it was a mistake to go to war.

I like Obama because at least he's more honest about things than Hillary. You can be against the war and still help the troops once they are over there. That's not the same thing as being against the war and you know it.

All you Hillary supporters, why won't Billary release documents that millions of people (including the government) want to see about her time in the white house? What about Whitewater? There is so much scandal behind the Clintons.

If that's all the "dirt" you have on Obama, I'll take those few issues anyday over the Clintons.

GO OBAMA!

Posted by: Veronica Ward | February 4, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton has lately been loudly proclaiming her fealty to the Democratic Party's best traditions on human rights.

However, just two years ago, Hillary--the purported "expert" on international relations--said there should be "lawful authority" for torture in some cases.

(See, for example, www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0907/Hillary_and_torture_audio_version.html )

Her stand, still held by Bill Clinton today, was opposite to that of every other major Democratic presidential candidate in 2007-2008, and the heat she took for it caused her to make one of her famous "flip flops."

Posted by: MARTIN EDWIN ANDERSEN | February 4, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

If a person is best judged by the company they keep, what do the posters here who favor Clinton say about her?

Posted by: steve boyington | February 4, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"If a person is best judged by the company they keep, what do the posters here who favor Clinton say about her?"

I was just about to post the same thing, but in not such a witty way! Man, some of these folks are getting nasty...I smell defeat for them.

Posted by: Mike from Toledo | February 4, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hillary for Prez! May the "mainstream" media continue to hide the following Hillary Clinton statement, and countless others, as we head to victory in November! Whoo hoo, thank you "mainstream" media!


"Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price."

Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
During an interview on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
September 13, 2001

http://freedomagenda.com/iraq/wmd_quotes.html


Posted by: Bill | February 4, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting how many people criticize Hilary for her support of the war resolution now; I didn't hear too many people complaining about it at the time. Perhaps that's because the war resolution had the general support of the American people. I for one was against the war, but I supported the war resolution because I believed it was vital that we get the weapons inspectors back into Iraq and all the other attempts to get those inspectors back in had failed - which is why Hilary and the other democratic senators who voted for the resolution supported it. We can discount the WMD risk now because we know President Clinton's Operation Desert Fox was successful in eliminating the WMD, but we didn't know that then. We also didn't know that Bush would abuse the authority he was given and head straight into a preemptive war. But a vote for a war resolution is not a vote for war, and when Obama meshes the two he is not being honest - he's not being the "new kind of" leader he is holding himself out to be.

As to the Levin amendment, the statement: "there are arguments on both sides about whether [it] ceded authority to the UN.." disposes of the issue. A responsible legislature does not enact a law that is subject to an interpretation that is unacceptable. My guess is there aren't a lot of lawyers in this crowd.

Obama is good man and I am personally offended by the racial attacks that I have read above. I voted for Obama for Senator and I would gladly vote for him for VP. But frankly, I was astonished that he would run for president with as little experience that he has. He has served less than one term in the Senate and most of that time he has been running for president. He has spent his entire career working on issues facing inner city Chicago and representing inner city Chicago in the State senate. He has virtually no national or international experience. Is it possible that we would nominate someone so unqualified? What does that say about Obama's judgment that he would chose to run now?

By contrast Hilary has been in the thick of national and international issues for the past 15 years, she has served as US Senator for the past seven. She's met with heads of state, dignitaries, military personnel; she has first hand knowledge of the political situations facing almost every nation on this planet. She knows the inner workings of Washington, how to organize and run an effective administration, how to organize her NSC, NEC, and more. And when it comes to domestic issues, no one is more knowledgeable and compassionate than she is. Hilary will not have to rely on unelected, unknown advisors like Bush has had to (think Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfolwitz, Card, Libby...), or as Obama will have to, in order to understand and confront the issues. She will draw from personal knowledge.

All one has to do is look to Hilary's positions on the issues and her strategies for solving the multitude of problems facing the nation to appreciate the depth of her knowledge, the extent of her preparation and the level of her competence to be president. Obama's positions are vague and contradictory; he has shifted his positions numerous times - not because he's a "liar" but because he doesn't have the knowledge, experience or the time to formulate his positions. He is running on hope and wishful thinking, which is fine if you are running for the Senate or for VP. But president?

I understand that Hilary is polarizing. She's been in the trenches for a long time and she bears the political scars that come from that. That's one of the reasons I like her. She's a fighter. But that doesn't mean she can't work with Republicans. She's worked with Newt for god's sakes and many others. Truth is, Republicans don't like Hilary because she fights for things that matter, like health insurance for children, universal health insurance, bringing our troops home from Iraq, green energy and so many other things. The Republicans aren't going to roll over on these issues because Barrack hopes they will. We need some one who is going to fight for them.

Right now Barack Obama is a blank slate, he's never been in a political battle, he's never run in a contested race, he's avoided taking hard stances on divisive issues. In short, Obama doesn't carry a lot of political baggage and his skeletons are still safely in his closet. And that seems to be what makes him so appealing. But is that what it takes to be president? Someone with no history? Someone who avoids the political fight? Since when is being a fighter, a bad thing? All I know is when I voted for Obama I was very excited about him. I was angry about the situation in Washington and I wanted a strong voice. But after he was elected, I didn't hear anything from him till I heard he was running for president. The only voice I heard was Hilary's.

Posted by: susanna kintz | February 4, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The link below is the floor speech Senator Clinton have in October 2002. Draw your own conclusions:

http://clinton.senate.gov/speeches/iraq_101002.html

The way I see it, Clinton did not favor military action, but still made a couple of judgmental errors:

1. She thought that this resolution would compel Saddam Hussein to give up the Nuclear program and development of WMD's.

2. She did not think that President Bush would actually go to war. Perhaps she thought that this would turn out similar to Bill Clinton's situation with Haiti, when we had the planes in the air ready to attack but their government caved in.

There are lessons to be learned about judging others intentions and motivations. Many of us made the same mistake Hillary made.

I can therefore "forgive" Hillary for her 2002 vote. It would not be a factor in my vote in Maryland next week.

But I believe she has made the same bad judgment in her support for Kyle-Lieberman.

I want to see a new approach with Iran. Less belligerency, more direct communication (for example, in the latest "speedboat" incident, we had to communicate indirectly with the Swiss to register our complaint. I want a hot-line to Iran). I personally know Iranians (I am Jewish) who want better relations, they do not buy their leaders' propoganda. So we need to be careful to make sure they do not really turn against us. I believe this is doable without sanctions. The most "naive" approach is threats and war, this already has been tried and has failed.

So I'm voting for Obama.

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