Let me just start out by saying that neither Hillary nor Obama are my preferred choice for President. That would be Al Gore. My second choice would be Wesley Clark, failing that I am currently leaning toward John Edwards.
The only good thing about having Hillary in the White House IMO is the fact that she would bring Bill back with her. That fact alone is worth the price of admission, especially without Gore in the race.
Speaking of Bill I feel that I have to point out that he was absolutely correct when he said...
there was a stark difference between those who voted for the Iraq resolution and those who wanted to go to war.
First, I'm going to have to completely disagree with Kos on this...
Look, everyone knew exactly what they were voting for when they cast that vote authorizing force in Iraq. And if they didn't, they're too stupid to be president.
The problem wasn't with the resolution, the problem was with the President. HJ 141, the Iraq Force Authorization required the President to ensure to the Congress that "all diplomatic means" were completely exausted before force would be used.
Sec 3. (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.
In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq
It is a legitimate position to support the idea of a President using the threat of force to achieve diplomatic ends. Bill Clinton did exactly that when he authorized an attack on Haiti while President Carter and Colin Powell were on the ground in the midst of negotiations. It was only after they were able to say "the planes are in the air" that a settlement was reached. A very similar scenario was repeated under Clinton in Bosnia which resulted in the Dayton accords.
When John Kerry voted for the IFR he stated the following.
Kerry (Oct. 9, 2002) Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him (Saddam) by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.
In this Youtube Video Hillary explained her vote at the time. She points out that she doesn't beleive that "Saddam will ever disarm" and that although they've found some al-Samoud missles.
There is no accounting for the Chemical and Biological Stocks.
And at that point in time, she was absolutely correct. It wasn't until after the completion of Duelfer report that it finally become widely understood that Saddam had ordered those stockpiles destroyed in 1991.
This was not common knowledge, and Saddam had taken great pains to ensure that it wasn't. It had first been reveal to the IAEA by Gen Hussein Kamel in 1995. It was later supported by a report from Iraqi Foreign Minister Sabri. This information - just like the doubts about the aliminum tubes, the yellowcake forgeries, Curveball and al-Libi were not openly shared with Congress.
Hlllary from Youtube.
It is unfortunate that we are at the point of a potential military action to enforce the resolution. That is not my preference and it would be far preferable if we had legitimate cooperation from Saddam Hussein
Arguably she was correct, and it was only because of the HJ 141 and the adjacent UN resolution that brought the inspectors back into the country that we finally started to get some cooperation from Hussein.
Just as Bill said Hillary didn't want to go to war, but she did support disarming Saddam.
The problem was that the President broke his promise. Rather than persue legitimate diplomatic talks to resolve the issue, he ignored Saddam's UN required declaration claiming that it was a "pack of lies" because for one thing - Saddam didn't explain what he did with the Yellowcake!
The fact is that the Bush administration was lying to the American people and lying to Congress.
We had IAEA and UNSCOM inspectors on the ground telling us our WMD information was garbage, but Bush wasn't listening.
The facts were being made to fit the policy.
Doubts from the State Dept and Energy Dept about Iraqi WMD were hidden from most of Congress by being locked away in the classified section of the NIH.
Curveball and Ibn Sheik al-Libi's unreliability were hidden by Rumsfled and the DIA. Joe Wilson's report on Niger was buried.
The resolution as written was never the problem.
It is NOT an absolute call for war, but what it did do - was allow the Inspectors to Return in Dec '02!
The problem was that Bush broke the resolution. Saddam was already in compliance with all relevant UN sanctions, all we needed to do was to complete the inspections as Charles Duelfer eventually did, except that Bush had already called for the attack by that time.
Voting for that resolution as it was written was not wrong or a mistake, trusting George W. Bush was!