- Peace Garden: Follow through

Follow through

Monday, February 18, 2008

Clinton Bought Bush’s War Talk, Obama Didn’t

In determining which of the two leading Democratic candidates would make the most competent and credible commander in chief, it is revealing to compare the public statements of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during October 2002, when Congress voted to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Former President Bill Clinton insisted recently that Clinton and Obama had had virtually identical records on the Iraq war and that Obama’s claim that he “had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning” was “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”
The record from that month, however, shows that there were indeed major differences between the two future presidential contenders, with Clinton supporting the Bush administration’s push for war and its exaggerated claims about Iraq’s alleged military prowess while Obama was opposing a U.S. invasion of that oil-rich country and openly challenging the administration’s exaggerated claims of an Iraqi threat so urgent it required a march to war.
Though under no obligation as an Illinois state senator to make any public statements on foreign policy, Obama spoke out against the prospects of war at an anti-war rally in Chicago.
That kind of judgment shows itself today in their respective choices as senior foreign policy advisers, many of whom would likely take top policy-making positions if the candidate does become president. Obama has assembled a foreign policy team whose members overwhelmingly opposed the war, in contrast to Clinton’s, whose members overwhelmingly supported it.
Just keep to your words and follow through.

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