Obama vs. Obama on War Justification
Posted by iusbvision on March 21, 2011
Photo caption via Bob Schneider.
But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.
More at Verum Serum.
UPDATE – Human Events has some fun:
UPDATE II – Mona Charen Blasts Obama’s Hypocrisy
In the Democratic primary campaign of 2008, candidate Barack Obama scored points because he, unlike many Democrats, had opposed the Iraq War from the start. Though a state senator at the time of the 2002 congressional vote authorizing military action, Obama had delivered a speech to an anti-war rally in Chicago.
He said, “I don’t oppose all wars … What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”
Regarding the justifications for war with Iraq, state Sen. Obama was unpersuaded: “I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity … But … Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors …”
As American forces join the war against Moammar Gadhafi, the nation is entitled to an explanation. How is the case for war against Gadhafi smarter (remember, Obama is only against “dumb” wars) or less “ideological” or more prudent than that for war against Saddam Hussein?
Certainly, with an army of only 50,000, Gadhafi represents far less of a threat to his neighbors or to us than did Saddam, who commanded an army estimated at 350,000. As for humanitarian concerns, what Gadhafi is doing to the rebels in Libya is exactly what Saddam did to his domestic enemies, but on a reduced scale. As Obama himself said, Saddam was “a ruthless man … who butchers his own people to secure his power.” Yet that didn’t justify a war, state Sen. Obama told us.
Sen. Obama did not believe that Saddam posed a danger to the United States or to his neighbors — though he had attacked or invaded three of his neighbors: Iran, Kuwait, and Israel. Yet Gadhafi has hardly ranged beyond his own borders.