[Marxism] Democrats and the war

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 21 08:16:25 MST 2005


A 'Loyal Opposition' Won't End the War
By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet
Posted on November 21, 2005, Printed on November 21, 2005

As bloody and deadly as the occupation has been, it was Bill Clinton who 
refined the art of killing innocent Iraqis following the Gulf War. One of 
his first acts as president was to bomb Iraq, following the alleged 
assassination plot against George HW Bush. Clinton's missiles killed the 
famed Iraqi painter Leila al Attar as they smashed into her home. Clinton 
presided enthusiastically over the most deadly and repressive regime of 
economic sanctions in history -- his UN ambassador Madeline Albright 
calling the reported deaths of half a million children "worth the price." 
Clinton initiated the longest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam with 
his illegal no-fly zone bombings, attacking Iraq once every three days for 
the final years of his presidency. It was under Clinton that Ahmed Chalabi 
was given tens of millions of dollars and made a key player in shaping 
Washington's Iraq policy. It was Clinton that mercilessly attacked Iraq in 
December of 1998, destroying dozens of Baghdad buildings and killing scores 
of civilians. It was Clinton that codified regime change in Iraq as US 
policy. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq but he could not have done it 
without the years of groundwork laid by Clinton and the Democrats. How 
ironic it was recently to hear Clinton call the war "a big mistake."

It's easy to resist war with a president like Bush in the White House. 
Where were these Democrats when it was Clinton's bombs raining down on 
Iraq, when it was Clinton's economic sanctions targeting the most 
vulnerable? Many of them were right behind him and his deadly policies the 
same way they were behind Bush when he asked their consent to use force 
against Iraq. As the veteran Iraq activist and Nobel Prize nominee Kathy 
Kelly said often during the Clinton years, "It's easy to be a vegetarian 
between meals." The fact is that one of the great crimes of our times was 
committed by the Clinton administration with the support of many of the 
politicians now attacking Bush.

Herein lies the real political crisis in this country: the Democrats are 
not an opposition party, nor are they an antiwar party"never were. At best, 
they are a loyal opposition. The Democrats ran a pro-war campaign in 2004 
with Kerry struggling to convince people that Dems do occupation and war 
better. The current head of the DNC, Howard Dean, never met a war he didn't 
adore until he realized he could exploit the energy and sincere hopes of 
millions of peace-loving Americans. Dean wasn't ever antiwar. In fact, 
during the 2004 campaign he attacked Kerry for opposing the Gulf War while 
laying out his own pro-war record.

"In 1991, I supported Gulf War. I supported the first President Bush," 
declared Dean. "Senator Kerry who criticizes my foreign policy, he voted 
against that war. I supported the Afghanistan war, because I felt it was 
about our national defense -- 3,000 of our people were killed. I supported 
President Clinton going into Bosnia and Kosovo."

(clip)

full: http://www.alternet.org/story/28491/

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