This article was originally published on January 31st, 2007 at americanchronicle.com
Back in 2002 Valentine, my coworker and friend, and I would often have discussions about whether or not the United States should invade Iraq. Valentine was against any action in Iraq and I was on the fence. Valentine explained to me that he felt there was no reason to invade Iraq. He felt that Saddam Hussein was afraid of us. After all, we had the most powerful military in the world. We had already beaten the snot out of his military in an earlier war. He was allowing weapons inspectors into his country. We had effectively defanged and declawed the tiger. Valentine would often argue that he felt Saddam had already gotten rid of all his weapons of mass destruction due to his fear of the U.S. There was no evidence he had weapons of mass destruction, he would argue, and he would do so fairly vehemently and with much certainty. When talking about the threat Iraq posed to the U.S. Valentine would often tell me with a chuckle that Iraq’s navy was a huge threat to ours and that he was certain their military was raising an invasion force that would soon attack us. Those two men in a rowboat could – without a doubt – cause great upheaval in these United States and change our way of life. When I would argue that the U.S. military should go into Iraq simply to liberate its people, he would argue that the citizens of Iraq would fight our soldiers. He explained that we would do the same if some foreign power was to invade us to force a regime change. Time proved he was right on all counts.
A couple of days ago, Hillary Clinton came out and said if she had known how badly the war would go, she would have never voted for it. Makes one wonder what we’re paying her for. If an eighty two year old man sitting in the Midwest far away from the pulse of the U.S. and other world governments knew months ahead of time that there were no weapons of mass destruction, why didn’t Senator Hillary Clinton? If he could see how ludicrous the allegation that Iraq posed a threat to the U.S., why couldn’t Hillary? If he could deduce the obvious using nothing but his common sense, why wasn’t Hillary able to do the same? Perhaps Valentine would make a better presidential candidate than Hillary. After all, don’t we want our leaders to have foresight? Isn’t it a good thing for a high office holder to be able to weigh his actions and determine the potential negative repercussions as well as the positive? Shouldn’t a leader be able to apply common sense to a given situation? It seems to me that perhaps Hillary is lacking in these qualities.
Many people may think I’m being unfair to Hillary, that I’m singling her out. To be fair, George Bush did fool a great many people with his rhetoric and perhaps Hillary was one of these. Certainly, a great majority of her Democratic brethren were, as evidenced by their voting record since Sept. 11th, 2001. They almost unanimously along with their Republican fellows voted to take away the rights guaranteed us by our Creator and codified in our constitution by passing draconian laws in a spirit of fear and anger after that terrifying day. They gave the president emergency powers beyond the scope the constitution outlines for the executive branch. They voted to allow him to invade Iraq and then they kept voting to keep funding the war even after the vast majority of the people in the U.S. could see the folly of the Iraq occupation. Congress, both the Democrats and the Republicans, gave Bush nearly dictatorial powers and abdicated their oversight duty.
On the surface it may seem I’m being unfair to Hillary, but she now wants to be president and so she gives a campaign speech in Iowa. That is why she is now singled out. I can forgive the past, but we all must now worry about the future. Hillary tells us that the war in Iraq is President Bush’s responsibility. She tells us he should extricate our troops from this perilous situation. She informs us that her hindsight is 20/20 and that if she had known then what she knows now she would have voted differently. That’s a convenient thing to say. She has conveniently excused herself for shirking her own responsibility, a responsibility the people of New York hired her to exercise. Will she give us the same excuses next year when we’re at war with Iran? Will she say she never saw it coming even though many experts see it happening? What this country needs now is action. What this country needs now is leadership. All Hillary has given us thus far is excuses and lip service. Enough of the rhetoric. The war is as much the responsibility of congress, both the house and the senate, as it is of the executive. They are equal branches of the government. Hillary says that it is Bush’s responsibility, yet there are substantial actions these governmental bodies can take to stop this madness. Show us your leadership skills, Hillary. Demand the early termination of the Bush presidency. Demand that your Democratic brethren in the lower house draw up articles of impeachment. Demand that your fellows in the senate find him guilty. That shouldn’t be too hard to do considering President Bush’s lies and blatant disregard for the constitution he took an oath to uphold. Show your leadership. Demand that the Republicans listen to their constituents screaming in the streets for our soldiers to come home now. Demand that they work with you in the spirit of bipartisanship you seem to hold so highly and support the impeachment of this president so that we can but a halt to the insanity in the Middle East before it spreads. Show us what a uniting force you can be. If the president insists on continuing his fool hardy attempt to stay the course, then demand that congress stop the funding. The U.S. is bleeding green ink and at the very least a tourniquet is needed. Stand up to the war profiteers as only a truly brave leader can and tell them they are no longer welcome to dine on our tax dollars. Stand up to any who would lobby for this war and tell them you can no longer accept their blood money. Prove your leadership and strong arm your colleagues into repealing the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act. Show us that you care about the freedom and liberty of the American people. Prove that you do not fear the free speech rights of those who would dissent. These times are extraordinary, Senator Clinton, and as such the ordinary is no longer good enough. It is no longer acceptable to simply cry foul and point. Now is the time to let your voice be heard not by shouting the loudest, but by doing what is necessary to not only stop the current war, but prevent the future one.