Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Bill Clinton: Invading Iraq Was A Big Mistake
Okay, Hillary, Bill's paved the way -- now it's your turn.
He has the perfect answer to Bush: that he, Bill, believed that Saddam had WMDs, but he didn't have the level of evidence that would justify putting most of America's combat force in harm's way. He was also fortunate enough to have had a hostile Congress that would never have allowed him to make the Iraq mistake they let Bush make.
Now, there are limits that traditionally limit what former presidents may say. But there are ways to respect those limits without trying to have it both ways.
From his work as an aide to Senator Fulbright, Bill Clinton knew that Vietnam was wrong, yet he also longed to go to war so that he could claim to be a veteran. I think that's probably the real explanation of his strange relationship with Colonel Holmes, and the reason that Holmes resented him so deeply. I see the same straddle, probably with the same motives, on the Iraq issue.
All of us suffer "the lust of the eye": the desire to have it all. But beginning with Bill's aid to Dubya in mitigating the political damage of Katrina, I have begun to think he will never learn. The Bushes tried to destroy him. He doesn't have to hate them, but neither does he need to hug them.
At some level, Bill Clinton wants to be seen as a heroic figure. He wants, too much, to be loved. Ironically, he could achieve the status of national hero if he would turn his energy to exposing just how corrupt the Bushes are.
Furthermore, with Clinton and Edwards both coming out now and saying that the invasion was wrong, the media can't successfully continue to pretend that only weirdo hippie guys like Dean, Kucinich and Feingold think the invasion was wrong. And that makes it easier to rally public support behind a candidate willing to do the right thing and get us out of Iraq, bases or no bases.
Biden wants to keep Hillary with him on the "Iraq hawk" plantation. But Bill's statement today paves the way for her to say something on the order of what Edwards said last week.
Although I fully endorse the campaign platform of George Leroy Tirebiter did as a candidate: Not insane.
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