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Clinton Pretends Anti-War Stance

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    Ex-President leads the critics Clinton: The big mistake of the Iraq war By Rupert Cornwell in Washington Published: 18 November 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2006
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      Ex-President leads the critics

      Clinton: The big mistake of the Iraq war

      By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
      Published: 18 November 2005
      http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article327773.ece


      The dam has burst. Former president Bill Clinton's verdict that the
      war in Iraq was "a big mistake" is echoing around the world.

      [What a hypocrite! Clinton is responsible for something like 1.2
      million Iraqi deaths, mainly children, from his refusal to let them
      import chlorine to fix their drinking water. I guess he prefers this
      type of warfare to the kind that makes news headlines. Clinton's
      embargo made it possible for Saddam to have absolute power, since
      everyone depended on him for food rations. Clinton also ordered the
      bombing of Africa's only pharamceutical company, which was supplying
      Iraq with animal vaccines and medicines to treat the mysterious
      American parasite worm which was killing Iraqi cows. -WVNS]


      The unease, the misgivings, and downright opposition can be contained
      no longer. From Senate Republicans, to one of the most influential
      Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill yesterday, the message has been
      the same. The Iraq war has been a disaster, and the sooner American
      troops leave the better. The alarm was sounded on Capitol Hill on
      Tuesday when Senate Republicans and Democrats joined forces to demand
      the White House explain every three months how it intends to "complete
      the mission" in Iraq.

      The next day, Mr Clinton weighed in from the Middle East, saying the
      war as it unfolded was "a big mistake". It was a good thing Saddam
      Hussein had gone, the former president said, "but I don't agree with
      what was done". The administration underestimated "how easy it would
      be to overthrow Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country".

      He said President George Bush had made "several errors, including the
      total dismantlement of the authority structure of Iraq". He added: "We
      never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or
      seal the borders." Across those porous borders, "the terrorists came
      in. That was the central mistake, and we're still living with that".

      As passions have run higher here this week, the venerable traditions
      that foreign policy arguments "stopped at the water's edge", seems to
      have been conclusively discarded. The most recent Democratic president
      was in Dubai, in the heart of the Arab world, when he delivered his
      verdict on the war that was launched by his successor in the White House.

      On Tuesday, US senators voted 79-19 to endorse a Republican amendment
      demanding a regular accounting for the war from the Bush
      administration. Not only was it a bilateral statement that things
      could not go on as they were, it came at the moment Mr Bush was in
      Asia, thanking Japan, South Korea and Mongolia for their contributions
      to coalition forces in Iraq.

      From foreign soil, Mr Bush fired back at his Democratic critics,
      accusing them of "playing politics in America", with their charges
      that his administration had distorted pre-war WMD intelligence. In
      short, a foreign trip by a sitting president no longer guarantees a
      cessation of hostilities at home; indeed this time it has only served
      to stoke them.

      Vice-President Dick Cheney, arguably the driving force behind the
      invasion, delivered a vitriolic retort to a conservative audience here
      on Wednesday, accusing Democrats of levelling "one of the most
      dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city". These
      critics, he suggested, had lost "either their memory or their
      backbone". They were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to
      gain political advantage while US soldiers died in Iraq, at least 51
      of them so far this month, bringing the overall toll to 2,080 since
      the March 2003 invasion.

      But Democrats scornfully dismissed the "tired rhetoric" of a
      discredited vice-president. John Kerry, who was defeated by Mr Bush in
      2004, said "few people have less credibility" than Mr Cheney, who said
      before the war that Saddam was "reconstituting" nuclear weapons, and
      the US invaders would be greeted with garlands. But the most
      significant developments have come on Capitol Hill, as both parties
      signal that enough is enough.

      Chuck Hagel, a widely respected Republican senator from Nebraska, said
      that the bipartisan vote was a "historic turning point", with Congress
      reasserting its constitutional duty to oversee foreign policy.

      And in another stunning development, John Murtha, an old-school
      Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania of 30 years' standing,
      demanded an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, "because they
      have become the target".

      A decorated marine veteran and ranking Democrat on the House defence
      appropriations subcommittee, Mr Murtha has been a hawk on military
      matters, and voted for the 2003 invasion. But close to tears at times
      in a press conference, he said he had changed his mind.

      "It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering, the
      future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present
      course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in
      the best interests of the US, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf
      region." His call for an "immediate redeployment" not only flies in
      the face of the refusal of the White House to set any date for a
      draw-down of American forces. Mr Murtha went further even than liberal
      Democrats, who mostly go no further than seeking a timetable for a
      phased pull-out of the 160,000 US troops in Iraq.

      The latest polls show that up to two-thirds of Americans now oppose
      the war.

      The dam has burst. Former President Bill Clinton's verdict that the
      war in Iraq was "a big mistake" is echoing around the world.

      The unease, the misgivings, and downright opposition can be contained
      no longer. From Senate Republicans, to one of the most influential
      Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill yesterday, the message has been
      the same. The Iraq War has been a disaster, and the sooner American
      troops leave the better. The alarm was sounded on Capitol Hill on
      Tuesday when Senate Republicans and Democrats joined forces to demand
      the White House explain every three months how it intends to "complete
      the mission" in Iraq.

      The next day, Mr Clinton weighed in from the Middle East, saying the
      War as it unfolded was "a big mistake". It was a good thing Saddam
      Hussein had gone, the Former President said, "but I don't agree with
      what was done". The Administration underestimated "how easy it would
      be to overthrow Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the Country".

      He said President George Bush had made "several errors, including the
      total dismantlement of the Authority Structure of Iraq". He added: "We
      never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or
      seal the borders." Across those porous borders, "the Terrorists came
      in. That was the central mistake, and we're still living with that".

      As passions have run higher here this week, the venerable traditions
      that Foreign Policy arguments "stopped at the water's edge", seems to
      have been conclusively discarded. The most recent Democratic President
      was in Dubai, in the heart of the Arab World, when he delivered his
      verdict on the War that was launched by his successor in the White House.

      On Tuesday, US Senators voted 79-19 to endorse a Republican amendment
      demanding a regular accounting for the War from the Bush
      Administration. Not only was it a bilateral statement that things
      could not go on as they were, it came at the moment Mr Bush was in
      Asia, thanking Japan, South Korea and Mongolia for their contributions
      to Coalition Forces in Iraq.

      From foreign soil, Mr Bush fired back at his Democratic critics,
      accusing them of "playing politics in America", with their charges
      that his Administration had distorted pre-war WMD Intelligence. In
      short, a foreign trip by a sitting President no longer guarantees a
      cessation of hostilities at home; indeed this time it has only served
      to stoke them.

      Vice-President Dick Cheney, arguably the driving force behind the
      Invasion, delivered a vitriolic retort to a conservative audience here
      on Wednesday, accusing Democrats of levelling "one of the most
      dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city". These
      critics, he suggested, had lost "either their memory or their
      backbone". They were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to
      gain political advantage while US soldiers died in Iraq, at least 51
      of them so far this month, bringing the overall toll to 2,080 since
      the March 2003 Invasion.

      But Democrats scornfully dismissed the "tired rhetoric" of a
      discredited Vice-President. John Kerry, who was defeated by Mr Bush in
      2004, said "few people have less credibility" than Mr Cheney, who said
      before the War that Saddam was "reconstituting" Nuclear Weapons, and
      the US Invaders would be greeted with garlands. But the most
      significant developments have come on Capitol Hill, as both parties
      signal that enough is enough.

      Chuck Hagel, a widely respected Republican Senator from Nebraska, said
      that the bipartisan vote was a "historic turning point", with Congress
      reasserting its constitutional duty to oversee Foreign Policy.

      And in another stunning development, John Murtha, an old-school
      Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania of 30 years' standing,
      demanded an immediate withdrawal of US Troops from Iraq, "because they
      have become the target".

      A decorated marine veteran and ranking Democrat on the House defence
      appropriations subcommittee, Mr Murtha has been a hawk on military
      matters, and voted for the 2003 Invasion. But close to tears at times
      in a press conference, he said he had changed his mind.

      "It is time for a change in direction. Our Military is suffering, the
      future of our Country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present
      course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in
      the best interests of the US, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf
      Region." His call for an "immediate redeployment" not only flies in
      the face of the refusal of the White House to set any date for a
      draw-down of American Forces. Mr Murtha went further even than liberal
      Democrats, who mostly go no further than seeking a timetable for a
      phased pull-out of the 160,000 US Troops in Iraq.

      The latest polls show that up to two-thirds of Americans now oppose
      the War.

      *********************************************************************

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