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Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:09 PM


Past As Prologue? How Senators Voted On Iraq And Kosovo

The shadows of the 2002 vote to authorize military action in Iraq has certainly made many senators more hesitant as they debate whether to authorize use of force against Syria, but many of those same members ultimately voted for military action, believing the country had weapons of mass destruction. That vote has haunted several Senators for years, and many have said they wish they would have voted differently.

And before that, in 1999 when President Bill Clinton wanted authorization to attack the Serbian military in Kosovo, he got Senate approval, but launched strikes anyway before the House ultimately voted it down.

Now, several senators who even supported both strikes are more hesitant or even already against action in Syria. Some have couched their support — the normally hawkish John McCain has said he disagrees with the current Senate language because it is too limited. McCain voted for both Iraq and Kosovo operations.

Others already opposed, according to a whip count by the Washington Post, also supported past actions, in part. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) both voted for Iraq but opposed Kosovo.
Among those leaning no, two of those in the Senate then also split on both campaigns — Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) voted for Iraq but against Kosovo, while only Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who’s leaning no, voted in favor of both.

Some Democrats who have all indicated they would support military action once opposed one or both actions in Iraq and Kosovo. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) opposed Iraq intervention but voted to authorize Kosovo. The reverse was true for Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who voted against Iraq but against Kosovo. And both Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calilf.), who have indicated they’ll support Syria, voted for both Iraq and Kosovo.



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Reply Past As Prologue? How Senators Voted On Iraq And Kosovo (Original post)
Purveyor Sep 2013 OP
frazzled Sep 2013 #1

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:22 PM

1. Since each of these geopolitical situations is/was different ...

the variation of voting patterns for each should not surprise us. Sure, there are those who always oppose any kind of intervention (from the far libertarian right, for reasons of isolationism, to the far antiwar left, because they oppose any military action). But most elected officials take the analysis of situations in which military force is used in its own right, and judge on the merits. (Well, a few do it for political reasons.)

What is distressing to me is that very few of us are really discussing this particular situation. Mostly, we're just re-arguing Iraq. But this certainly is not in any way Iraq, and no decision that is made this time--for or against a military strike--will make Iraq go away or change what was wrongly done then. It's time to look at the particulars of acting or not acting in this very different situation, with very different motivations and very different actors. We shouldn't be looking at Iraq or Kosovo.

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