Friday, July 25, 2003
Dean on the War http://www.sunspot.net/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.witcover25jul25,0,3170193.column?coll=bal-home-columnists
"The premise on which the country went to war turned out not to have been true," he says. "Saddam Hussein was never a danger to the United States. We're in more danger now than we were before the president went into Iraq."
"The job of president means you have to really make tough decisions and clear-eyed decisions. So I think the four guys who supported the war have got some explaining to do, because they basically swallowed all the evidence that the president was dishing them up, the major proportion of which turned out to be exaggerated or simply not true."
Mr. Lieberman, who was in support of the invasion from the start, may have an easier task defending himself, Mr. Dean says, but "the guys who sort of backed into it [support of the war], 'On the one hand I only did it to send it to the United Nations,' that kind of stuff, or they denounced the president while they were voting for the resolution, those guys are going to have a little more trouble."
"It isn't just Kerry. Gephardt, Edwards and Lieberman all voted for the war. [But] I truly believe that if you make a decision and it's based on the best information you have, that you ought to defend it all the way through."
"If I can figure out the case the president was making wasn't accurate, and wasn't a good one, and these guys, these campaigns, are all spinning that I don't have foreign policy experience," he says, "then how come my team could figure it out and the other teams couldn't?"
As for those in his party who suggest Mr. Dean may be getting too strident in his remarks about the still-popular president on the war, he says: "I think the strength of the whole campaign is how strongly we come out against the president's far-right policies. I think people will listen to both arguments on the war and they'll make up their minds about that. I don't worry that I'm opposed to the war because it's a principled position. There'll be an open debate about that, and I'll be glad to have that open debate."
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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.