Hillary's Iraq vote is disqualifying: It's not enough to have experience if the judgment is wrong

The Bernie/Hillary "qualification" debate really is important. It's essential to keep in mind the actual records


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H.A. Goodman
April 8, 2016 10:33PM (UTC)

Before addressing the differences in their Iraq votes and favorability ratings, Democrats should take a trip down memory lane and revisit the 2008 Democratic primary. Now that Bill Clinton has displayed his true feelings towards Black Lives Matter, months after Southern states helped Hillary take an early lead, it’s important to remember that the Clintons utilized racism against Barack Obama. In 2008, Bob Herbert wrote a New York Times piece titled Of Hope and Politics documenting Hillary Clinton’s use of race and Islamophobia:

I could also sense how hard the Clinton camp was working to undermine Senator Obama’s main theme, that a campaign based on hope and healing could unify, rather than further polarize, the country.

So there was the former president chastising the press for the way it was covering the Obama campaign and saying of Mr. Obama’s effort: “The whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

And there was Mrs. Clinton telling the country we don’t need “false hopes,” and taking cheap shots at, of all people, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We’d already seen Clinton surrogates trying to implant the false idea that Mr. Obama might be a Muslim, and perhaps a drug dealer to boot.

Not long ago, as Mr. Herbert pointed out, Clinton even took “cheap shots” at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; another forgotten fact of her 2008 campaign. The former New York senator did everything possible to portray Barack Obama as unrealistic and undermine Obama’s theme of hope and change.

Sound familiar?

Who’s drawing young people this election, offering hope and change, and appealing to the ideals of the average American?

It’s certainly not the person under FBI investigation. In terms of trying to crush hopes, dreams, and any genuine attempt at altering the status quo, Hillary Clinton is doing to Bernie Sanders what she and Bill tried to do against Barack Obama. The same complaints about tone (CNN reported “Bill Clinton complains about Obama’s attacks”) and attempts at vilifying Obama in 2008 are today being witnessed by Bernie Sanders. Ultimately, aside from the racism and Islamophobia, Hillary Clinton has used the same playbook against Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Hillary Clinton has always tried to embody pragmatism, despite the fact most Americans (67% of Americans, 30% of Democrats, 74% of Independents, and 64% of women according to Quinnipiac) find her “not honest and trustworthy.”

Hillary Clinton has negative favorability ratings nationally, with negative ratings in every major national poll.

In contrast, Quinnipiac writes “Sanders has the highest favorability rating of any candidate and the highest scores for honesty and integrity, for caring about voters’ needs and problems and for sharing voters’ values.”

Bernie’s interview with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks highlights exactly why Sanders has the highest scores for honesty and integrity in 2016: Experience, without trust, is worthless.

In terms of Iraq, Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq War, using the same intelligence that Hillary Clinton used to vote for the tragic invasion. Also, her view of Iraq in 2004 speaks volumes. A CNN piece in 2004 titled Hillary Clinton: No regret on Iraq vote highlights her thoughts of Saddam and weapons of mass destruction:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she is not sorry she voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq despite the recent problems there...

“Obviously, I’ve thought about that a lot in the months since,” she said. “No, I don’t regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade.”

“The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration,” she said. “It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared.

Interestingly, Bernie Sanders vehemently opposed the Iraq War, even though “the consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.”

To all the revisionists who’d vote for Clinton, knowing that Bush’s neoconservatives might advise her if she wins, Clinton stated “No, I don’t regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction.”

Clinton, like Dick Cheney, utilized the weapons of mass destruction defense.

In fact, Hillary Clinton used the same myths perpetuated by the Bush administration to justify her vote. A 2007 New York Times piece titled Hillary’s War explains how Clinton helped perpetuate the myth of Saddam Hussein being linked to Al Qaeda:

...Clinton continued, accusing Iraq’s leader of giving ‘’aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members.’’ This statement fit squarely within the ominous warning she issued the day after Sept. 11.

Clinton’s linking of Iraq’s leader and Al Qaeda, however, was unsupported by the conclusions of the N.I.E. and other secret intelligence reports that were available to senators before the vote...

Nevertheless, on the sensitive issue of collaboration between Al Qaeda and Iraq, Senator Clinton found herself adopting the same argument that was being aggressively pushed by the administration...

Yes, Hillary Clinton adopted Bush’s talking point and continued to perpetuate this myth.

As stated in the 2007 New York Times piece, “Senator Clinton found herself adopting the same argument that was being aggressively pushed by the administration.”

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, voted against the Iraq War, and possessed enough wisdom and foreign policy knowledge to foreshadow every deadly consequence of the invasion.

Experience must correlate to wisdom and good judgement, if qualifications warrant becoming the most powerful person on the planet.

 


H.A. Goodman

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