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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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Sunday, December 14, 2003


Dean's Statement on Saddam

posted by Christopher at Sunday, December 14, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I just watched Gov. Dean's statement on the capture of Saddam Hussein on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous. First, Dean made a gracious statement congratulating our troops and intelligence agencies on a job well done - and congratulating President Bush on bringing Saddam Hussein to justice.

Something nags, however, and I wonder if the press will raise this issue: doesn't this just prove that Iraq was a third rate power with a third rate dictator who we could have contained indefinitely? Does the preemption policy and our success in Iraq now mean we have an obligation to invade every country we deem not in accord with our principles? When you look at the pictures of Hussein he looks like a broken man who was in charge of a broken army in a broken country.

Given the lack of WMD's and any way to deliver them, could we have spent less in lives and dollars on containment and inspections and spent the billions of dollars we're spending overseas either at home or paying down the deficit? In a strange way, it seems to me that the swift fall of Iraq and the capture of Hussein only proves Gov. Dean's original point that the Bush Administration's "preemption policy" is unnecessary - and has only served to alienate our (former?) allies. What do others think?

UPDATE (Aziz): Here's the full text of Dean's statement:

"This is a great day for the Iraqi people, the US, and the international community.

"Our troops are to be congratulated on carrying out this mission with the skill and dedication we have come to know of them.

"This development provides an enormous opportunity to set a new course and take the American label off the war. We must do everything possible to bring the UN, NATO, and other members of the international community back into this effort.

"Now that the dictator is captured, we must also accelerate the transition from occupation to full Iraqi sovereignty."


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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.