The Buck Stops There (Hillary Clinton on Iraq Edition)


Talking to Iowans, presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) makes it clear that, despite voting for a resolution clearly understood by all as the equivalent of a declaration of war (why can't we actually follow the Constitution even on this?), Iraq is all George W. Bush's fault:

"This was his decision to go to war with an ill-conceived plan and an incompetently executed strategy."

The second half of that statement is completely true, methinks. More here.

In another account of the same event, Clinton is quoted thus:

"I have said on numerous occasions that if we knew then what we know now…the congress never would have voted to give the president authority and I would have not voted to give the president authority," Clinton said. "I think that I've taken responsibility for my vote, but there are no do-overs in life. I wish there were. You know, I acted on the best judgement that I had at the time, and at the time I said that this was not a vote for pre-emptive war."

Skip the typos and zero in on the logic here, especially for a would-be commander-in-chief. What does it means to say "if we knew then what we know now"? That Iraq would be a clusterfuck once Saddam Hussein was deposed? That there weren't weapons of mass destruction? That two-thirds of Americans don't want the war anymore? And how wasn't the resolution authorizing whatever Bush wanted not a vote for preemptive war, especially given his theorizing on precisely that subject? Not a great performance in terms of presidential leadership, though I suspect it will be the basic template for all candidates with the exception of John McCain, who will argue for doubling down in Iraq. More here.