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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, March 04, 2003


Dean clarifies war stance... again

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, March 04, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dr. Dean's "anti-war" stance is already garnering criticism from his opponents, some who accuse him of splitting hairs and wondering exactly what is Dean's stance on Iraq. Let's revisit this for a moment, since some people out there still don't get it.

First of all, Dean does not support attacking Iraq unilaterally unless Iraq is proven to be an immediate threat to our national security. Some things which would prove an immediate threat include Iraq supplying WMD to terrorists (not proven) or for Iraq to have an active nuclear arsenal (not proven). Dr. Dean sensibly recognises that the use of force would be an option if our national security were threatened. Bottom line is that Dr. Dean (and many of us) don't believe Iraq is an immediate threat to our security, and therefore we should give the inspectors more time to do their jobs. That seems to be a very sensible and logical position, and one that rankles many a war-hawk.

He differs from the other candidates in that he would not have voted to give GWB a "blank check" to attack Iraq. That is essentially what Congress did when they voted for the Iraq resolution. I personally don't believe the candidates who voted for that resolution have ANY room to wiggle on this one. Basically, if they were uncomfortable with the resolution, or they did not believe that we should attack Iraq, then they should have stood up for their principals and not voted to hand over that authority to the President (and really, that's what they did: they abdicated their authority on the matter). As it stands, all of them are scrambling to defend their indefensible vote (okay, except Liebermann) while Dean, Kucinich, Braun, and Sharpton rightfully take them to task.

Essentially what his detractors are saying is that Dean isn't really the anti-war candidate, or he is and he wouldn't defend us with force. But anyone who's taken the time to follow his campaign has known the truth from the get-go. Howard has always stated that he'd use force to defend the United States. But right now there is no need to defend ourselves from Iraq because there is no threat. Dr. Dean recognises that the real threats to our security originate with Al-Quaeda and North Korea. Go read his stances on national and homeland security.

Think about it. It's all about priorities, and as Dr. Dean says, right now we are focused on wrong crisis.

*thanks to Chris Curtis for the last two links


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.