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imperialism & war selection 2004

Democrats need antiwar platform

In the latest USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll, taken June 21-23, 82 percent of Democrats surveyed said they thought the war in Iraq was a mistake.
Common Dreams
Published on Monday, July 12, 2004 by the Capital Times / Madison, Wisconsin


While Democrats are more anti-war than Republicans and independents, most polls show that most Americans now believe that the decision of the Bush administration to invade Iraq was wrongheaded. Most polls also show the majority of Americans wants U.S. forces to get out of the quagmire as quickly as a reasonable and honorable exit can be arranged.

Yet, the Democratic Party's platform writing committee, which meets today in Florida to finalize the manifesto on which the ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards will campaign this fall, appears likely to issue a document that fails to take a position on whether the war in Iraq was justified.

This is an unwise approach to what may turn out to be the central issue of the 2004 election campaign.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney intend to run for re-election on a platform that defends the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a necessary act.

If Democrats want to identify themselves as a genuine alternative, they ought to challenge that claim. They have plenty of evidence to make their case. Despite Bush and Cheney's claims, no connection between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was ever established. Nor were any significant stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction ever discovered.

By the same token, the concerns expressed by foes of the administration's scheming with regards to Iraq have, consistently, proved to have been well founded. The occupation has proved to be every bit as deadly and difficult to manage as anti-war members of the House and Senate suggested it would be. And, as predicted, the cost of maintaining the occupation has robbed the U.S. treasury of funds that should have been used to address domestic needs.

The case against the Bush administration's decision to go to war is compelling, as is the case against the administration's continued management of the war. And the case against the administration's approach to the reconstruction of Iraq - handing out no-bid contracts to firms that are closely tied to members of the administration - is overwhelming.

Democrats should not go into the fall campaign without clearly stating that the war with Iraq was unjustified and that a long-term U.S. military occupation of that country is untenable.
Isn't it obvious by now 14.Jul.2004 00:25

that

the Democrats are NOT anti-war?

Democrat presidents brought the US into... 14.Jul.2004 01:03

GRINGO STARS

...WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Democrat presidents nuked Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and risked nuclear war with Russia in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Democrats have ALWAYS been pro-war.

The Democrats and War:
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/26/democrats_war.shtml

Democrats: The Other War Party:
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/33/dems&war.shtml

Military budgets under Clinton and Gore actually spent more than President Bush had planned had he won the 1992 election. The budget for training, readiness, and maintenance is actually 40 percent higher per person in uniform than it was under Bush. Six of Clinton's eight budgets called for increases in military spending.

Clinton-Gore dispatched troops around the world far more than any other modern administration. Before launching the 1999 war against Yugoslavia, Clinton sent U.S. forces into combat situations 46 times. This compares to only 26 times for Presidents Ford (4), Carter (1), Reagan (14) and Bush (7) combined. ** Clinton, the one-time anti—Vietnam War protester, continued Bush's 1992 invasion of Somalia, invaded Haiti in 1994, bombed Serbia in 1995 and 1999, Sudan and Afghanistan in 1997, and Iraq almost continuously throughout his administration. To force North Korea into negotiations, Clinton threatened in 1994 a war that could have provoked a nuclear conflict. In 1995, the U.S. aided its Croatian ally in the ethnic cleansing of more than 170,000 Serbs. And it has remained the main enforcer of genocidal sanctions on Iraq, which have killed more than 1 million Iraqis since 1990. In June 2000, the Congress passed the administration's request for $1.3 billion in aid to the Colombian military.


** Robert L. Borosage, "Money Talks: The Implications of U.S. Budget Priorities," in Martha Honey and Tom Barry, eds., Global Focus (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000), p. 12. These figures count the number of times presidents are required, under the 1973 War Powers Act, to notify Congress when they send troops abroad to face "imminent hostilities."