T Nation

Democrats, Before & After



Bill Clinton: "If Saddam rejects peace, and we have to use force, our
purpose is clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."

Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State: "We must stop Saddam
from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his
neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."

Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Advisor and Classified Document
Thief: "[Saddam will] use those weapons of mass destruction again as he
has ten times since 1983."

Harry Reid: "The problem is not nuclear testing; it is nuclear weapons.
... The number of Third World countries with nuclear capabilities seems
to grow daily. Saddam Hussein's near success with developing a nuclear
weapon should be an eye-opener for us all."

Dick Durbin: "One of the most compelling threats we in this country face
today is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Threat
assessments regularly warn us of the possibility that...Iraq...may
acquire or develop nuclear weapons."

John Kerry: "If you don't believe...Saddam Hussein is a threat with
nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me."

John Edwards: "Serving on the Intelligence Committee and seeing day
after day, week after week, briefings on Saddam's weapons of mass
destruction and his plans on using those weapons, he cannot be allowed
to have nuclear weapons, it's just that simple. The whole world changes
if Saddam ever has nuclear weapons."

Nancy Pelosi: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of
weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries
in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons-inspection

Sens. Levin, Lieberman, Lautenberg, Dodd, Kerrey, Feinstein, Mikulski,
Daschle, Breaux, Johnson, Inouye, Landrieu, Ford and Kerry in a letter
to Bill Clinton: "We urge you, after consulting with Congress and
consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary
actions, including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect
Iraqi sites to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal
to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."

Ted Kennedy: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is
seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."

John Kerry: "I will be voting to give the president of the U.S. the
authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam because I believe
that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a
real and grave threat to our security. ... Without question we need to
disarm Saddam Hussein."

Hillary Clinton: "In the four years since the inspectors left,
intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his
chemical and biological weapons stock. His missile-delivery capability,
his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to
terrorists including al-Qa'ida members. It is clear, however, that if
left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to
wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop
nuclear weapons."

There is more but you get the point.

Now, a little turn-around...

Sens. Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin;

"The Bush administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence
to justify a war that America should never have fought." Ted Kennedy

"We all know the Vice President's office was the nerve center of an
operation designed to sell the war and discredit those who challenged
it. ... The manipulation of intelligence to sell the war in Iraq...the
Vice President is behind that." Harry Reid

"I seconded the motion Sen. Harry Reid made last week. Republicans in
Congress have refused, despite repeated promises, to investigate the
Bush administration's misuse of pre-war intelligence, so Senate
Democrats are standing up and demanding the truth." Dick Durbin, who
recently compared U.S. troops to the Nazis and Pol Pot.

I'd like to see very simple explainations of the reversals here. We can do without name-calling. Please just comment on the quotes. I have NOT stated my political view here. And I'm not picking on Dems. Did these folks believe there was a threat of WMD from Iraq and now they believe there were none? Just looking to clear this up if possible.


Not getting many takers on this one, are you?

Well, allow me to be the first to offer myself to the slaughter.

Obviously, the prior administration believed Saddam to have WMD. I mean he gassed the Kurds with something, right? Their only problem was one of indecision, or reluctance, to actually commit this country to a war. Maybe that was because there was some lingering doubt about the quality of our intel, who knows?
I think the underlying problem is that either bad or manipulated intelligence was used to assess the current threat from Iraq. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors in Washington, but in the aftermath of 9/11, our country(politicians included) was whipped into a frenzy. If an attack on another nation could be even marginally justified, it was given a green light. Maybe, these democrats are simply acknowledging that they acted hastily regarding Iraq. I'm sure much of it also has to do with political manuevering too, to avoid being held to the fire later.

In retrospect, we know the WMD situation was blown way out of proportion. We know that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. We know that soldiers are dying over there daily. People are upset that we managed to get ourselves into yet another quagmire where we don't belong, and they think they've been duped. I don't feel there's anything unjustified about that.

-If nothing else, W. is decisive. I'll give him that. However, that doesn't excuse him when his decisions are wrong.


I've had no takers I would assume because a fitting explaination is not to be had.

The fewer replies the better. Just proves the point.

Saddam was concidered a threat by all. Bush acted, Bush gets crucified while the aforementioned Democrats escape scrutiny by the media outlets. Wow! What a surprise!


It's called politics. If the democrats actually stood up and claimed that they all agreed with Bush originally, then it wouldn't be politics anymore.

However, keep in mind under similar circumstances the republicans would do the same thing!


This is a first... I agree with ZEB completely.


Let's also keep in mind that democrats on a whole are political opportunists. They waver in their beliefs on a consistant basis as to what the popular consensus of the public is.


The prior administration also thought that Iraq was manufacturing WMDs...but they did not rush into a war. Clinton, in his governing policies if not his personal life, made well-informed, thoroughly researched decisions. He believed in diplomacy first, and I am confident that either Clinton or Gore would have allowed the weapons inspectors to complete their job. Whereas Clinton welcomed the opinion of policy dissenters, Bush categorizes such people as disloyal, and dismisses them. Instead he surrounds himself with people like Richard Perle, who said that the war would pay for itself, Rumsfield, and Cheney, all of whom, as members of the PNAC, had been aching to go into Iraq for years.

As far as political opportunistic flip-flops, here is GWB giving comfort to the enemy during the Kosovo conflict. Funny how giving a timetable in Iraq he now calls a tactical error, one that would aid the terrorists. I guess that he is just saying whatever he considers politically expedient.

Bush, 4/99 - "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

Bush, 6/99 - "I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn."


Like Somalia...And info to China....

And that's why he bombed an area where he thought there were terrorists hiding out. Or, did he do that to distract from his impeechemt hearings? Ah..we'll never know...


Oh please, it's tiring to read all the "democrats are evil opinion chasers" when both parties generally play the same game anyway.

Don't try to convince me the Miers withdrawal didn't happen because of public opinion within the constituent base.

Anyway, many felt there were different ways to contain Saddam. It turns out, since there were actually no weapons of mass destruction, that they were right.

Having to do something about Saddam does not mean agreement with the need to invade Iraq at the time it happened. You have to be careful to realize what the statements were supporting, and at exactly what time they were made.

Finally, when the statements were made based on intelligence after 9/11, you have to wonder if the doubts made known to the administration were made known to anyone else. All we saw on the media was a presentation of fact, we didn't hear Bush, Rice, Powell or Cheney admitting to any doubt concerning the evidence -- though in fact they should have been briefed on concerns.

So, with all that, looking at it outside of a political lens, it is actually difficult to know what happened with respect to information and opinions, and what the statements quoted represent.

However, feel free to conduct tons of mental masturbation and decry those evil liberals who want nothing more than to be overrun by communist, islamic, fanatic terrorists instead of looking after the nation.

Evil liberals are the cause of all evil aren't they?

They are applying principles to the situations as well, however they are often differing principles not based on simple "might makes right" and "fuck everyone else".


Bush built a time machine and went back and doctored the Cllinton era intelligence.


Pleeeeaaase don't tell us that "we" rushed to war. How many resolutions did Saddam thwart?


Hans Blix and the inspectors were on the ground, and we pulled them out, fearing an imminent "mushroom cloud".


I believed the WH but I was duped.

The same thing happened with the contract with america but we did not need to send our soldiers to war so this is worse.


Yeah, THAT and the fact that he was accomplishing absolutely NOTHING!


nice post Zeb.

And c'mon now, get real. Anyone can take anything out of context, I have no idea what followed those quotes. For all I know, Ted Kennedy could have said, "We should pursue a containment policy" right after saying your quote. Gimme a break. I didn't hear war cries from the Dems until George II proposed it.

If the Democrats really wanted to go to war, don't you think they would have done it before? Republicans dig wars; it gets the economy going and puts money in their pockets. So why didn't we do this before?

This is a dumb post, anyone can take a few quotes and throw them together to try and inflame things.


"This is a dumb post."

"Republicans dig wars; it gets the economy going and puts money in their pockets."

Please, please, please tell us that you are joking.

If you aren't, please post video of your mommy waving to you as the short bus drives away. Being morally superior caring type people, we want to know that you are OK.

Lets see, the GOP got us into the world to end all wars, then plunged us into the war that we were going to keep our boys out of, then stayed out of the Korean Pennisula, then saw what a clusterfuck Vietnam would become under the management of the best and the brightest and steered clear of that one too.

BTW- there is was some obscure economist by the last name of Eulenberg. See if you overdeveloped frontal lobe can digest what he had to say about a war economy. Unless someone has been offering you a new and for many very raw deal, going to war is at best a minor economic drag, and at worst economic suicide.

Again, if you are joking, hey, you got me bro. If not, then congrats, you just may get the Ivin for the most stupidity packed into the least amount of space. The Jackass Party could surely use you as a staff economist with that kind of resource efficiency.