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Friday, September 19, 2003


Clark Would Have Voted for Bush's War

posted by Christopher at Friday, September 19, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The first gaffe of the Clark campaign...

Dean has been steadfast and consistent in his opposition to Bush and his war. Here, Clark seems to be saying: "I would have voted for it, but I disapprove of the way the President is executing it..." I'm glad we know this now, before serious VP talks were underway. This is going to be a problem for Clark - along with his statement that he voted for Ronald Reagan.

I think Gen. Clark is a good man, and will be a formidable candidate, but here's the perfect foil for Bush and his war, and he comes out saying he would have voted for it. What gives? This is good news for Dean, and should reinforce to all of us the need to help get him nominated and elected. Not only does Clark lack the fire that Dean has, but he's now down one on the issues as well.

An excerpt from today's Boston Globe:

"Retired Army General Wesley K. Clark said yesterday that he probably would have voted for the congressional resolution that authorized President Bush to wage war in Iraq, taking a position on a key campaign issue closer to that of Senator John F. Kerry than Howard Dean's strong antiwar stance.

"On balance, I probably would have voted for it," Clark said. "The simple truth is this: When the president of the United States comes to you and makes the linkages and lays the power of the office on you, and you're in a crisis, the balance of the judgment probably goes to the president of the United States."

A former supreme allied commander of NATO, Clark has long been a vocal critic of the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, at various times calling it an "elective war" and questioning whether it drew resources away from the war on terror. "There was no imminent threat," he told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday. "There was no reason to do this."

But Clark offered a more nuanced view to reporters yesterday as he discussed his positions on issues from domestic policy to national security aboard a flight from Little Rock, Ark., to Florida for his first campaign stop since his Wednesday launch.

Clark said yesterday that he was "against the war as it emerged" because more could have been done to build international support: "There was no reason to start it when we did."

He added that he also would have sought assurances that the president would consult with Congress again before taking action, and now that troops have been committed, they should be given the resources they need to be successful.

Asked about Dean's criticism of the war, he said, "I think that he's right that, in retrospect, we should never have gone in there."'

... Nice to see the General lauding Dean's foreign policy opinions.


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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.