Clinton and Iraq; Again

Okay. In October of 2003 I went to the New American Strategies for Peace and Security Conference. A widish range of views was represented there, but it was a basically anti-war group." Great damage was done to America's own security and to the fabric of multilateral cooperation by the manner in which the United States pursued virtually unilateral war in Iraq," said the mission statement, "While the immediate war aim of overthrowing Saddam Hussein succeeded, the collateral damage was immense, and it continues." In short, a speech before this group would have been a good time for a US Senator who'd seemingly voted in favor of the war a year ealier to clarify that she thought invading Iraq had been a mistake.

If you read the speech Senator Hillary Clinton actually gave, I think you'll see that's not what happened. She criticized many aspects of the Bush administration's conduct of the war, voiced support for the basic mission ("we seek to build democratic institutions in Iraq"), and certainly didn't say anything that would tend to contradict one's basic intuition that the pro-war vote was a pro-war vote. And on some level, I think she deserves credit for all that. It's easy to go into a room and tell people what they want to hear, but she didn't.