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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:40 PM
Original message
I'm now undecided, please help me

Until yesterday, I was pretty much settled on Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards or Lieberman, pretty much in that order. This was mostly due to the Iraq War Resolution and the supprt these foru men gave that resolution.

After being given a lot more information than I've received from standard news media (mostly with the help of Willy Brandt), I now understand how wrong we were to go into that war. I made jokes about the protesters last year, but now I'm ashamed I was not out there with them. We were flat out lied to. We were lead into a war to profit Bush's biggest donors.

There is an old saying, "The truth shall set you free."

I need to add another statement to that, "but first it shall bring about a righteous anger."

With these new found revelations about the truth of our government, I am now completely torn between Dean and Clark. so please help me. Tell me why I should vote for one or the other. I could care leass about why I shouldn't vote for one or the other. Give me the positives about the one you support.

Help me.
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DjTj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. If you were so convinced until yesterday...
...Why don't you allow for the possibility that Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards, and Lieberman were also lied to and convinced?

If a majority of the American public believed we should go to war, why would you make this a litmus test for your candidate?

That being said, the only true anti-war candidate is Kucinich. If you want somebody who stood up against the lies when it counted, Dennis is your man.
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Goof point, but I don't believe Kucinich stands a chance
He just doesn't have enough general support to win the nomination. I feel the same about Sharpton.

I could be convinced the other four are still worthy of my vote, though.
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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
34. Kucinich is not "unelectable"
Clinton came from the back, too. Kucinich is very electable. And, I, personally, am not going to settle for second best. I'm voting my conscience in the primary and let the chips fall where they may. That's what a primary is all about!
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. I'm not voting until March 2
So he's got a chance to show he could win the nomination. I doubt seriously if he poses any serious challenge, though.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Kucinich is the anti-all war canidate. Dean is the anti-Iraq war guy.
At least is that is my interpretation of these two.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Where do you live (when's your primary?)
While I have favorites, I'm determined to stay open as long as possible. Keep reading, keep and open mind, and remain committed: ABB (support the Dem nominee, whoever it might be).
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I'm voting on Super Tuesday
I don't feel comfortable revealing any more information about my geographical location on the internet, at least in a public forum.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'll help: I posted this a few weeks ago.
As some of you are aware, I've only been a citizen of this country for 2 1/2 years, although I have lived here for over 10. This coming November I will cast my very first vote for a candidate for President of the United States of America, arguably the most important elected or appointed office on the face of this planet.

The monumental importance of my casting of this ballot--- yes, monumental importance, because the other 6.2 billion people who populate this planet will be affected by my decision, even though they have no vote--- cannot be overstated, and I approach the exercise of this franchise with all appropriate solemnity. It is my duty to choose wisely, and for the best of reasons, rather than for the 'choosing the lesser of 2 evils.' Who, then, is most worthy of my vote?

Although I can and will support any of the 9 Democratic candidates for President, the process of choosing a candidate is bifurcated, so I must first choose which of those 9 candidates best reflects my deepest values and who best 'resonates' with me. That candidate is Gov. Howard Dean.

I believe in peace, social justice and the rule of law. I oppose the use of military force except in self-defense, or in the enforcement of international law, and so does Howard Dean. I believe that we have a duty to care for our fellow citizens, especially those who are most vulnerable among us--- women, children the poor, the physically- and mentally-challenged, those who are victims of discrimination based on color, creed or sexual orientation--- and so does Howard Dean.

In my 10 years of life in the United States, I have seen the results of 'politics as usual', and I am not impressed; after years and years of 'life' in our nation's capitol, fundamentally decent men and women have lost touch with their own constituents--- the millions of ordinary men, women and children who make up America. They mistake electoral majorities for unconditional approval of their choices, when in fact those majorities often represent little more than an electorate resigned to the acceptance of a somewhat-better mediocrity.

I support Howard Dean because he gives me something no other candidate does--- hope--- hope for a better future in which my voice will be heard and in which my vote will not be taken for granted. He has given voice to my dreams for a nation which not only can, but which must do better, and which must pursue policies and goals worthy of a great nation. He has spoken out clearly against an unjust, immoral and illegal war, as have I. He has spoken out against fiscal incompetence, as have I. He has spoken out for a social-welfare policy that is at one and the same time both fundamentally humane and fiscally-responsible, as have I. Finally, Howard Dean shares my anger at the 2000 coup d'etat that represented the first 'shot across the bow' of the Constitution's recognition of our right as sovereign people to a government of, by and FOR the People.

This is why I will support Howard Dean this primary season. Thank you.

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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Thank you, Padraig
That was beautiful and will have an impact on my decision.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Glad to help.
PM me, if I can help you more. :)
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. Dean said Saddam had chem/bio weapons
He said that in February 2003. Clark has made his own statements about the threat of Saddam too. Kucinich said weapons inspectors MUST go back into Iraq and that weapons sales to Iraq should be seriously restricted, he supported diplomacy only to achieve that goal. NOBODY KNEW. There is no pure anti-war candidate who was calling Bush a liar in Sept 2002. It's complete unadulturated bullshit. The war vote is political grandstanding.

Vote for the person who will take this country where you think it ought to go and who has the ability to get us there. That's what I think.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. I understand that Dean said the same convention that we all thought
now he also said that is why we should have the inspectors back in.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. The inspectors were in
At the time of the convention. That's what that war vote accomplished. And Dean was supporting war if Saddam didn't comply at the time.
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Cat M. Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
41. Kucinich and Sharpton
Were the only two truly anti-war candidates, I believe. But I also believe democrats are shooting themselves in the foot by making this a huge issue.

Dean and Clark both said that we should pursue a diplomatic path first, and Clark said he would not support war unless all other alternatives were exhausted. This is a whole lot of alternatives, and I believe Kerry also believed that things could be solved diplomatically.

It really doesn't matter how Kerry voted. The resolution would have passed regardless because Bush has enough democratic senators in his pocket, like Miller and Breaux, and then there were the outright pro-war democrats like Clinton and Lieberman.

Kerry had concerns about supporting the resolution and he met with Powell and Powell reassured him that the resolution was only intended to secure the peace and that not passing it would make war more likely not less.

But let's truly analyze this. Bush had said he didn't need congressional authorization to go to war anyway (and he's right; he didn't; congressional authorization is only needed to formally declare war). The president can send troops to battle at any time and is only required to report to congress. Congress can of course deny funding, which would effectively kill the war effort, but this has never been done.

Bush would have sent the troops to war no matter how ANYONE voted. Most of America supported this war because the president and FOX were lying to them. Maybe some of these people who voted for the resolution took a political gamble. It will hurt them with some people, help them with others.

But I don't think we should let it define who these men are or whether they are qualified to be president because of this vote on the resolution. It's silly to me.

Not one of these men except Lieberman would have sent our troops to war in Iraq at that time had they been president. And I think we all know this, and that is what really matters when we're evaluating the candidates.
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DancingBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. Wesley Clark
(Please excuse the repost, but it will hopefully begin to explain why I support Wes Clark)


Emotions are wonderful things. They can take you to heights unknown, yet drop you to depths undreamed, without warning. In politics, they can make you stand in the cold until you extremities scream, or they can make you cry until your eyes refuse to give another drop. Political love is the cruelest of animals, for it can often cover your eyes and ask why you can't see. To paraphrase an old song - "Love can make you happy, or love can rob you blind."

We sit now on the threshold of one of the most important elections I have seen in my 50 years on this earth. The direction of this nation lies in the balance - not for four years, but for twenty, or thirty. Where will we go, and who can take us there?

I look at America not in anger, but with respect. Am I angry - oh, yes, as Mary would say to Rhoda, oh yes. I want my America back, but with the caveat that must come with the respect that I hold her in. I know that many feel as I do, yet many do not. My anger is felt full throttle by some, yet not by others. Others look for hope clothed in strength, for courage wrapped in liberty, and for honesty wrapped in honor.

My America bleeds today, not just from the left, but from the middle, from the right, and from the not sure. It looks for someone who can heal the wounds, and that man, without question, is Wesley Clark.

As our country hangs in the balance, look at the soon-to-be Senate candidates in the south, and ask about coat tails. Ask the minority leader in SD, fighting for his political life, about coat tails. Ask the House members up for re-election who they would feel more comfortable behind. It is the lady or the tiger, for politics is business.

This can not be a decision made of emotion, for that will not win the day. One must look across the entire political landscape and ask without reservation who can and will reach out to all. When I think of Clark, I think of someone who can reach those who are leaning in the Carolinas, and who are leaning in New Mexico. He can reach those in uniform in Newport News, and those on John Deeres in Oklahoma. These at one time were our people, and we need them back. For the sake of womens rights, for the sake of environmental preservation, for the sake of what makes us who we are, we need them back.

With Wes Clark, we'll get them.
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. That was very well written
Thank you, I will take it into consideration.
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DancingBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. You're welcome

We believe in him.
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jjmalonejr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
13. I would also add that...
...the vote in Congress was not a referendum on war, it was a vote authorizing the President to use force if diplomatic efforts failed to assure us that WMD's in Iraq were not a problem.

I think that had Bush not skirted the UN and the weapons inspections process, the truth would have come out. Since we now know that there were no WMD's, the war would not have occurred.

Had there actually been WMD's, other countries would have been at our side in issuing an ultimatum to Saddam.

It would be irresponsible not to find out one way or the other whether our intelligence was correct. Gephard, Kerry and Edwards knew this.

Lieberman would have supported the war regardless because he believes in pre-emption.

Dean's bashing of the other canididates on this issue is dishonest. He had the same concerns about Saddam and WMD's that they did, and all his rhetoric leading up to the vote supports this. He only started railing against them AFTER the vote when he saw how politically expedient it was.

Clark is thoughtful on the issue and feels much the same way as the others about Bush's mishandling of the situation, but even he has confessed that he might have voted for the resolution, too.

It's not as black and white as Dean makes it sound. If you feel that way, I'd recommend you support Kucinich, since he has been staunchly and unequivically against the war since Day One.
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kerry-is-my-prez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. Clark has the experience to deal with foreign policy. What drew me to
him was the details that he provides when he speaks about what is going on in Iraq and what his plan is there. Clark clearly has a lot of inside info. from his contacts at the Pentagon and elsewhere.

He sounds completely credible when he speaks about Iraq - and I don't feel that Dean does.

Clark also has our allies rooting for him to win - the Europeans love him. He has a great deal of respect from the rest of the world adn is a known quantity. He's a diplomat. I do beleive that he could get our allies to back us. Clark convinced dozens of allies to get together with us to fight the humanitarian war in Kosovo and we won with no casualties.

In addition, like Clinton, he is a Rhodes Scholar, graduated first in his class at West Point and speak four languages. Many people say that he is the most brilliant person they've ever met.
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drfemoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Kosovo is not a victory
I am really sorry that Clark keeps insisting that he won this war and especially that there were NO casualties. I guess he means, no "American" casualties? Or minorities don't count?

Monday, 28 April, 2003, 20:08 GMT 21:08 UK
Kosovo minorities 'under threat' - BBC

Serbs and other ethnic minorities in Kosovo remain at serious risk of death or injury despite almost four years of peace and the presence of UN and Nato peacekeepers, a new report by Amnesty International says.

Tuesday's report, titled Prisoners in our own homes, says beatings, stabbings, abductions, drive-by shootings and the use of hand grenades to intimidate and kill members of these minorities are common in the province.

As the vast majority of these crimes remain unsolved, perpetrators are free to commit further attacks contributing to a climate of fear and the denial of basic human rights, it adds. ... {bolding added}

Proceed with caution ***
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Cat M. Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #22
39. Kosovo Was a Victory
1. Clark never said no casualties. He always said without losing a soldier's life in combat.

2. The number of civilian casualties in the Kosovo was low--even less than the number in the Iraq war, which was a war of shorter duration (as far as the march to Baghdad). It is impossible to have a war without casualties.

3. Clark wanted to use ground troops, which would have increased the risk of American casualties but would have been more successful in avoiding civilian casualties, something that seriously concerned him.

4. The situation in Kosovo was dire, whether you want to believe that or not. The serbs had turned an industrial furnace into a makeshift crematorium and were burning the bodies of Albanians they had killed--women, children, men. A few ranking officers said that they would have killed every Albanian if we had not interfered and that when we leave, they will still kill them all.

5. The NATO operation did not turn Kosovo into paradise but it accomplished a few things. It set the country on the road to democracy. It ended the program of ethnic cleansing set into place by Milosevic. It eliminated Al Qaida's attempts to get a foothold in Kosovo.

6. Peacekeeping is always very difficult in a place rife with tension. Americans do not make up the majority of troops there and Kosovo stopped being Clark's responsibility when he left as saceur, which was something like a year after the war. Things had been improving but lately have been getting worse.

7. Kosovo and the whole region has been in ethnic turmoil for hundreds of years. Does that mean we simply should have done nothing and allowed the Serbs to kill all the Albanians because you don't think we should ever go to war and risk the death of innocent civilians? Better to let the Serbs murder millions or drive them into refugee camps instead? Makes no sense to me.

8. Your use of graphic pictures merely intends to sensationalize and invoke emotion and outrage where cool logic should prevail. It's not too different from people who protest at abortion clinics with signs featuring aborted babies.

I believe intervention in Kosovo was the right thing. I believe the Pentagon and allies should have allowed Clark to use ground troops to limit civilian casualties. I believe NATO could currently be doing a better job trying to restore stability to the country, but I also believe it can take generations to overcome the anger and bitterness that immediately follow a war.
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drfemoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. Still no "Win"
Edited on Sat Jan-17-04 09:46 PM by drfemoe
I'm not convinced Clark earned the right to claim he won that war. I didn't offer an opinion on anything about the situation other than that point.

8. Your use of graphic pictures merely intends to sensationalize and invoke emotion and outrage where cool logic should prevail. It's not too different from people who protest at abortion clinics with signs featuring aborted babies.

They aren't my pictures. They are from the "Official Website of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizen". (First link on for "Kosovo".) If Amnesty International's projects are based on emotion and outrage, count me in. Cool logic can be used to excuse all kinds of atrocities.

There is also the fact that two out of three of the criminals involved escaped and are still at large. I'm not debating Kosovo, right or wrong. I'm saying Wesley Clark did not "win" that war. And I'm sorry that he says he did because some people are going to believe him.
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. My endorsement for Wesley K. Clark
The New Endorsement

I endorse Wesley Clark because he is the first candidate to move me to participate by giving money and time. I first started noticing Wesley Clark on CNN. I really liked his commentary on the Iraq war. From the start he said that we shouldn't have gone to war without support of the UN. He didn't like the unilateral moves GWB made. He discussed the problems the US would have in the international community with GWB's foreign policy.

After that my father and I both discussed Wesley Clark and we both wanted him to run for President. Then I ran across Al Franken's book Lies, and the Lying Liars that tell them. WOW! There is a chapter in his book that really sold me on Clark. Clark he said, wanted to send troops to Rwanda to stop the genocidal murder of over 100,000 and the mass exodus of 100,000 more who risked death and disease in camps.

Later, I learned a lot more about how Wesley Clark led NATO forces in the Balkans to end the genocide of the Albanians. There are plenty of Democrats who want to accuse General Clark of being part of the Military Industrial Complex because of his work including his work with NATO. They want to say that what Clark did as NATO Supreme Commander in the Balkans was wrong. I challenge those people to go and talk to the Albanians. I challenge those people to do research and look at the pictures of the dead men, women, and children. I challenge those people to hear the stories of rape, mass graves, and other horrible tragedies in that region. Then, I challenge them to ask themselves how we as Americans and a part of NATO could not act. Then compare that to the horribly run Iraq war and know that Wesley Clark brought our entire armed forces home. There were no US armed forces lost to Clark's efforts with NATO. With that said, isn't Clark the man and President you want to end the Iraq war? Isn't Wesley Clark the man you want to bring our young soldiers, pilots, marines, and sailors home?

We all know how smart Wesley Clark is, first in his class at West Point, Rhodes Scholar, 34 years in the military, and his Glowing Reviews through Democratic and Rethuglican administrations.

What a lot of us don't know is that he is a very compassionate man. Wesley Clark CARES and he loves his country. Wesley Clark also cares for people and life. People who believe that Wesley Clark is a War Monger are misguided. It appears to be difficult for those folks to understand that he is more reluctant to go to war than most. Why? He's been shot four times. He knows what it is to be injured during battle. He knows what it is to lose friends in battle. Why would someone like that want to pass that tragic circumstance on to other young men and women of our armed forces?

I am a Democrat and a liberal. I know what being a Democrat and Liberal means to me. Luckily, I have years of experience on which to place my understanding. Am I bothered that Wesley Clark voted for Rethugligans in the past. No. Why? Because millions of Democrats have voted Rethuglican in their lives. As, many Rethuglicans have voted for Democratic candidates. I will not be a hypocrite and accept votes from Rethugs and shun Democrats who cross lines. This is America and that is what Freedom is all about. That is what Wesley Clark fought for and that is why I respect him.

We all have a choice to make during this primary season. We could choose a doctor to lead our country, we could elect senators and Representatives, we could elect our first Black Man, or re-elect GWB. We could also chose a TRUE LEADER and a BRILLIANT man who has better more even handed foreign policy experience that our current Administration. Clark also has more foreign policy experience than our entire Democratic Candidate field. Clark is the only candidate to repair our international reputation, he is the only candidate to over haul our foreign policy, and he is the only candidate to bring us out of the Iraq war with strength and stability in the Middle East. Clark is the only candidate with the style and guidance to finally obtain peace in Israel and Palestine.

Clark is the only candidate who can build enough support from both left and center plus conservatives who want to show GWB the BOOT!

So, let's make the obvious choice, let's choose a leader who has what it takes to KICK the Commander-n-Thief and his gang of bandits out of the White House in 2004.
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kerry-is-my-prez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
16. Kukla - watch the American Son video at Clark '04 - that will help...
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kerry-is-my-prez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. More videos of Clark - one about Iraq
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
19. My endorsement.
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Buffy Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
20. I chose Clark
I was initially interested in him because of his defense of anti-war activist Michael Moore. Clark was on CNN right after Michael Moore had been interviewed, and the anchor said something like "What do you thik of THIS guy?" and Clark said something like "He has a right to dissent." At that time, all I knew of Clark was that he was a CNN military analyst and had been against the war in Iraq. This seemed like such a paradox, that I decided to look further. I learned about how he ultimately lost his army career because he advocated going into Kosovo to save 1.5. million people from genocide. I learned about his steadfast determination that the U.S. only use force as a last (last, last) resort. I learned that he is above all a diplomat who believes in working with our allies because that is the best way to ensure a secure world. And then I watched over the last couple of months as he developed an armload of position papers on everything from GLBT issues, to the environment, african-americans, women, cities, senior prescription care, manufacturing jobs, the economy, etc. etc. All of his papers have met my criteria for selecting a candidate (disclosure: I'm a progressive democrat who voted for Gore in the last election, but have voted for the Green party in local elections).

On the war, he has actually been very consistent (despite flubbing one question and having his views misrepresented lately by the mainstream press). Since you're interested in the war, he has 2 books out that completely explain his foreign policy philosophy: "Waging Modern War" and "Winning Modern War."

Good luck deciding!
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
23. Give me the Kerry, Gephardt, and Edwards reasons, too.
I think it's reasonable to conclude these three men were lied to and were unaware of the lies. In fact, it says something of their character that their concern for the nation was greater than their mistrust of Bush.

I suppose Lieberman could still be supported, however, his support of pre-emptive war in light of some of the things I've found out is dubious and disturbing.
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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. The IWR

It was in many ways an attempt to rein in Bush. Clinton had already gone to war without congressional approval in the Balkans so the precedent was there for Bush to use. Although the resolution did give Bush authority to act, it also attempted to impose some restraints, such as limiting the scope to Iraq, and although I agree the resolution was too weak, it did include the Presidential Determination clause which, Bush did not fulfill, because even if he sent a letter to Congress stating:

"(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and (2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

as is required in the resolution, that statement would be a lie. Iraq actually was complying and allowing inspections when Bush launched the war. So Bush is in clear violation of the resolution. This leaves Bush vulnerable to prosecution once out of office? Will we get to see him in handcuffs like Micheal Jackson? I think Kerry was just doing his best to wield whatever power he had as a Senator in the minority party. To tell you the truth, in hindsight I'm pretty sure Bush would've gone to war even without the resolution. And the other thing is that Kerry has been pretty hawkish on disarming Saddam all along. I think he urged Clinton to take a more aggressive stance back in '98. Well, it turns out Saddam had absolutely no WMD whatsoever, it was basically a suicidal bluff -- I didn't expect that - did you? I mean I thought they'd have a test tube or two of mustard gas or something!

I also think it is a false argument to accuse Kerry of political expediency on this vote for the simple reason that as someone who has been in politics most of his adult life, Kerry was fully aware that in both the liberal, activist community that votes most heavily in the primaries, and in liberal MA where he'll have to run for reelection someday if he doesn't become Prez, the popular vote would be against the resolution. I don't buy the idea that Kerry thought the primaries would be a walk and he only had to worry about the GE -- to me it seems like elementary political calculus that any supposed advantage gained in the GE by voting for IWR would be heavily outweighed by the disadvantage in the primaries. And not only do I think Kerry is smart enough to realize that, I think it does him a disservice to assume only the basest motives prompted him on something that I'm sure was an enormously conflicted and difficult decision for him.

What did John Kerry have to say about his vote on October 9, 2002? I will quote a small portion here:

" Let me be clear: I am voting to give this authority to the President for one reason and one reason only: to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction if we cannot accomplish that objective through new tough weapons inspections. In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days - to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out "tough, immediate" inspections requirements and to "act with our allies at our side" if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force.

If he fails to do so, I will be the first to speak out. If we do go to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so in concert with others in the international community. The Administration has come to recognize this as has our closet ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair in Britain. The Administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do - and it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region and breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots - and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed. Let there be no doubt or confusion as to where I stand: I will support a multilateral effort to disarm Iraq by force, if we have exhausted all other options. But I cannot - and will not - support a unilateral, US war against Iraq unless the threat is imminent and no multilateral effort is possible.

And in voting to grant the President the authority to use force, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses - or may pose - a potential threat to the United States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively if it faces an imminent and grave threat. But the threat we face, today, with Iraq fails the test. Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal and the very high probability that he will use these weapons one day if he is not disarmed. But it is not imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that Saddam Hussein is about to launch any kind of attack against us or countries in the region. The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that Iraq disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and only Iraq, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq "and" enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions. The definition of purpose circumscribes the authority given to the President to the use of force to disarm Iraq because only Iraq's weapons of mass destruction meet the two criteria laid out in this resolution.

Mr. President, Congressional action on this resolution is not the end of our national debate on how best to disarm Iraq. Nor does it mean that we have exhausted all our peaceful options to achieve this goal. There is much more to be done.

The Administration must continue its efforts to build support at the United Nations for a new, unfettered, unconditional weapons inspection regime. If we can eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs through inspections whenever, wherever, and however we want them - including in presidential palaces -- and I am highly skeptical we can given the Iraqi regime's record of thwarting U.N. inspectors in the past - then we have an obligation to try that course of action first, before we expend American lives and treasure on a war with Iraq.

American success in the Persian Gulf War was enhanced by the creation of a multinational coalition. Our coalition partners -- I'd add -- picked up the overwhelming burden of the costs of that war. It is imperative that the Administration continue to work to multilateralize its current effort against Iraq. If the Administration's initiatives at the United Nations are real and sincere, other nations are more likely to stand behind our efforts to force Iraq to disarm, be it through a new, rigorous, no-nonsense inspection regime, or if necessary through the use of force. The United States without question has the military power to enter this conflict unilaterally, but we need logistical support such as bases, command and control centers, and overflight rights from allies in the region. That support will come only if they are convinced of the credibility of our arguments and the legitimacy of our mission. The United Nations never has veto power to stop the United States from doing what it must to protect its citizens, but it is in our interests to act with our allies if that is at all possible - and it should be: the burden of eliminating the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein's hands is not ours alone. "

You can read the whole thing at

And the real bottom line on why I support Kerry even though I would have voted against the resolution? I think that all too often these congressional votes are treated as nothing but competing ways to frame the debate for the next election and create wedge issues. I have absolutely no doubt that with John Kerry as President we would not have pursued this reckless, illegal misadventure in Iraq, that Kerry is not going to be willing to spend American blood for low prices at the gas pump, that Kerry understands from his own bitter experience, from the loss of a close friend in Vietnam, from his own horror at the cost of war to the innocent, he understands how true it is that war must be an absolute last resort. But at the same time he is no pacifist. To tell you the truth I don't know if I could take a gun and chase down and kill somebody, even if they tried to fire a grenade at me. But I really like the idea of having somebody who is up to that task unequivocally on my side. John Kerry is unequivocally on my side. John Kerry has been unequivocally on my side fighting on the floor of the senate. He was on my side when he was on Nixon's enemies list for his anti-war efforts. He has spent his life fighting on my side of the issues, and I'm not going to ignore a lifetime of service over one symbolic Congressional vote, no matter how politically charged.

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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
24. Go here
Edited on Sat Jan-17-04 07:28 PM by burrowowl
take quizz, it might help you decide:

The quiz at this post gives quotes from the candidates on 14 issues. You choose the ones you agree with and the results show which candidate said it. It is at PBS

By the way, welcome to DU
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ClarkGraham2004 Donating Member (337 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
25. General Wesley K. Clark
Edited on Sat Jan-17-04 07:31 PM by ClarkGraham2004
He has eloquently and passionately stated why he thinks the Iraq action was misguided and did nothing more than serve as a distraction to the real threat to the United States, al-qaeda and OBL. Many of his fantastic positions can be found at his website,

Plus, the best thing about him is.... HE CAN BEAT BUSH!!
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
26. Go for the military guy....
John Kerry damnit! Hey did Gep serve in the military too? If so, he lost his extra boost of manhood in the Rose Garden with Shrub anyhow ;)
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. LOL
Edited on Sat Jan-17-04 07:47 PM by Walt Starr
Kerry is definitely military to me.

He's my second choice right now, right behind Dean. Gephardt is down on my list after that stunt with the bin Laden ad.
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Could you tell me why you support Dean?
I haven't seen anything from the Dean supporters about why Dean is the right choice.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
Monte Carlo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
27. This is what I think, get ready...
Kerry did not vote for the IWR out of a sudden, Bush-fueled push to save the world from Saddam Hussein. The concern about Saddam and the threat he presented to the people on this planet has been ongoing, and it has not been limited to either U.S. political party. Bush may have abused the fact tremendously, but Saddam was really a very, very bad guy. He had his own personal army besides the one of Iraq, and he has shown that he would jump upon an opportunity to acquire new weapons and gain power in the world. He is unphased by killings. You heard of the type of sons that he raised.

When you have a gangster as powerful as Saddam, powerful enough to dominate a nation, powerful enough to boast of intimate military and political connections to the United States government, the only way to keep them restrained in their action, or contained is if they are convinced of a threat of overwhemling military force. This was Bill Clinton's policy for his terms, and by most accounts, it worked in keeping Saddam contained in Iraq, and gradually weakened his control of Iraq. By the time Bush's little Iraqi adventure had happened, his control of the nation crumbled like a cookie.

Bush had made the nature of Saddam's threat a pressing issue. He had lots of help in the media. Like it or not, when the process had reached Congress, it was made necessary to re-assert our resolve to Saddam Hussein. War is not made by Congress, but the sabre-rattling is. We cannot simply drop this concern because Presidents have changed. This is what I got from Kerry's speech on the Senate floor when the IWR was being debated.


Other than that, I think Kerry history of work since even before his Senate service shows he has many fine qualities. He is driven, intelligent, and honorable.

Issue-wise, he would make many, many Democrats proud. He is as green as they come on the environment. He is experienced and knowledgeable of legal, economic, and business concerns, plus being a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, he has had years of experience crafting U.S. foreign policy. He has done good work in many Senate investigations, including Iran-Contra. His voting record on bread-and-butter issues like education, healthcare and prescription drugs, Social Security, abortion has been very good. He's not known as a great legislative Senator - few bills have had his name in the title - but he has done a great deal of the behind-the-scenes work.

He has fought wars and fought against wars, he has gone to prison for what he believed in, he has been in tough election battles before and won, and he plays hockey and the guitar. He's a clear speaker, a good conversationalist and a great debater. He's a blue-blood and always has been, but so was FDR.

You're welcome.
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Hoppin_Mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
28. Why not Kucinich ? -nt-
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Kucinich just doesn't seem to have a chance
It's not that he's a bad guy, but since he's polling so low and doesn't appear to have any chance whatsoever in Iowa or New Hampshire, I sort of discount him. If he turned things around between now and March second, I would definitely reconsider.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #31
40. Be prepared for an Iowa suprise
He's polling neck-and-neck with Edwards in Iowa right now, which means he will finish in the top four.

And besides, voting in the primary is not about picking the "evil of two lessers", it's about voting for the person who best represents your views, and will best represent them when s/he is president.

I, too, and voting on Super Tuesday, and I'm voting for Kucinich. Why? He has opposed the Iraq invasion since day one. He voted against the Patriot Act. He has the only true universal healthcare coverage plan that will insure that ALL Americans receive health care. He will work to reign in corporate power and abuses, and give the rest of us a fighting chance to get ahead in this corporate-dominated economy.

Bush is extremely vulnerable this year. This election is for the Dems to lose, despite the right wing media blather. In that case, we should elect the BEST Democrat we can: the one who stands up for Democratic values, like fair trade, justice for everybody, and an end to fear.

We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Dennis Kucinich. We can elect another FDR-style Democrat to office; one who will work hard to restore this country. Or, we can elect a "get along, go along" Dem who's more into letting the corporations and powers-that-be run the country.

The choice is ours.
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diamondsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. You should consider him now, and here's why-
the ONLY reason people think Kucinich doesn't stand a chance is because that's what we've all been told over and over. Kucinich supporters won't be found by polling of any sort because most of us are not around TO be polled.

I've spoken often to hundreds (I'd make it thousands if I had more time!) of Kucinch supporters all over the country. NOT ONE has ever been contacted for one of these national polls.

The very fact that people SAY "I like him, but he doesn't stand a chance." is WHY he doesn't stand a chance. I am not exaggerating when I say if every single person who has ever said that would commit to supporting him he couldn't possibly lose.
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Killarney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
35. They are both great men
and I would be proud to have either as my president, but I believe that Clark has the best chance to beat Bush.

A few reasons:
1) foreign policy experience -- many Americans will vote for who they feel "safe" under. Clark has the experience and knowledge to keep us safe.
2) the tax plan -- no Democrat has ever won using a platform of raising taxes on the middle class. Unfortunately, this is Dean's platform. I believe that it will hurt him in the GE. Clark's tax plan will lower taxes on middle class. That is a platform that will win in the GE.
3) Clark appeals to the demographic that the Democrats have lost. The young people love Dean, but they will vote Democratic anyway. The people the Democrats have lost are the white male Southerners and the older people. Clark can win them over. He is a war hero and highly respected. His numbers are showing a lot of strength with men and especially older people.
4) Clark is from the South. We need a Southerner on the ticket. Sure, Dean could put Edwards on as a VP, but I still don't think the South and MidWest will go for it.

Good luck with your decision! :)
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Cat M. Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
36. Why I Will Vote for Clark
While I am to the left of Wesley Clark as far as ideology, I will be voting for him. The primary reason is because I believe he is an honest man whose first concern is not for himself but rather for making America better for all people.

Why do I believe he is honest? Because a true politician running for the democratic ticket never would have revealed that he voted for Nixon, Reagan and Bush Sr. It doesn't bother me that he voted for those individuals, because I believe him when he says his primary concern was voting for whomever appeared strongest on defense; but as he grew older he realized that democrats were more in line with his social concerns. Further, I think we can all acknowledge that the republican party is far more 'rightward' than it has ever been.

I will vote for Clark because he is an extremely experienced diplomat, who has won praise and accolades worldwide for his skill in negotiating the Dayton Peace accords and keeping a 19-country coalition unified as commander of NATO.

He is a brilliant man who has always strived to achieve as much as he can. He has never offered less than 100 percent of himself to anything he has set out to do, and I believe he will bring that determination and ambition to the presidency.

He will be a far-reaching president and has already detailed a 20-year vision for America that seeks to broaden our technicological horizons and restore our position as world leader, instead of world bully.

Finally, and most importantly, he is compassionate for all people. He wanted to intervene in Rwanda when few else did; the people there were poor Africans who had nothing to offer us--no oil, no lucrative trade. But he felt saving their lives was important. He will bring this same compassion to America as he works to give people jobs, to increase the standard of living by offering college grants, decreasing taxes on the working poor, providing child care, healthcare, and preschool as well as helping out the states so we can have property tax relief. He also believes in affirmative action and practices what he preaches.

And he does this only by raising taxes on the top .01 percent of Americans and only raising their taxes on what they earn above $1,000,000 as well as repealing Bush's tax cuts only on those earning over $200,000 and closing corporate loopholes.

I support Clark because of his strong belief in unilateralism--his realization it's not "Us" and "them" and he recognizes the importance of organizations like the UN and NATO.

Clark is a true statesman. He's eloquent, he's reasoned, he can exhibit righteous anger but not petty namecalling or childish indignation. He's disciplined--he won't be taking month-long vacations in Arkansas.

If Clark wanted fortune and prestige, he would have quit the military long ago because he could have made millions in the private sector--and did when his career was up. But he chose to serve his country because he so strongly believed in making America and the world better.

Finally I will vote for Clark because of this quote:

"If you can do good, you should."
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
38. Dennis Kucinich has a plan to get us out of Iraq -- read it and

you may decide to support him. As far as I know, no other candidate wants to get out of Iraq immediately. A Cliff's Notes view of Dennis's plan includes getting UN troops in as peacekeepers, paying "for what we broke" and surrendering all the money-making deals to the Iraqi people, and getting our men and women out of danger. The longer we stay, the more Americans and Iraqis die, and the more resentment and actual deep hatred toward us is built up.

Bush lied and then screwed up the war so that we're in an ongoing guerilla war. The US-sponsored Iraqi Council has just imposed sha'ria, the harsh Islamic law used in Afghanistan. For 40 years, Iraqi women had been the freest of all Arab or all Muslim women, now, thanks to US, they've lost their rights. They're not happy and that may lead to greater unrest among Muslim men, too.

We have troops occupying two Muslim countries now and Bush has just announced a new man-on-the-moon initiative. If you're old enough, you know that traditional Muslims did not look kindly upon our earlier visits to the moon, considering that we defiled that symbolic satellite. God only knows what Osama thinks about this new plan, but we should all know that we need a peacemaker in the White House.

In the event Dennis is not nominated, delegates committed to Kucinich in the primaries can influence the nominee's policy on ending the Iraqi occupation, repealing the PATRIOT Act, ending NAFTA, etc., so I fully intend to vote for him on Super Tuesday. We need to offer a clear alternative to Bush and Kucinich is the best man to do that.

Check out Dennis Kucinich at the link in my sig line; you'll be glad you did!
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-17-04 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
44. Kukla, please consider Howard Dean
He has consistently opposed the Iraqi Resolution and has been standing up against the Bush policies with vigor. He is a fighter and that is what we will need to prevail in November.
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Kukla Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-18-04 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
45. Okay, I've made up my mind
Edited on Sun Jan-18-04 12:15 AM by Kukla
I've seen the stars and they point to Wes Clark.

Thanks for the input. Come March 2, I'll be voting Clark.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-18-04 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. March the second is more than a month away
You might change you mind.


Or maybe not. It doesn't matter.

Welcome to DU!

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