Hillary’s Iraq Vote, Five Years Later: HuffPost

The fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war provides an appropriate moment to revisit Hillary Clinton’s argument in favor of authorizing Bush’s use of force, and to contrast it with the case made at the time by Bush’s opponents.

In the last few years, Clinton has defended her vote by arguing that “if I knew then what I know now, I would never have given President Bush the authority” to attack Iraq.But a majority of Democrats in the House knew enough “then” to vote against the resolution – as did 21 out of 50 Democratic senators.

In Clinton’s Senate speech, still posted on her senate website, she began by accepting Bush’s premise that “if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”The question, she said, was whether war was the appropriate means of stopping those developments.

In supporting Bush, Clinton claimed to be taking a middle path between two extremes – on the one hand, those who believed we should go to war only if the UN Security Council approved it, which she considered absurd, and on the other, those who favored “attacking Saddam Hussein now.”But not even Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld favored an immediate attack at the point the Senate debate occurred — October 2002 – so she was rejecting an argument no one was making.

. . . continued at the Huffington Post