Before too much time passes, and memories are forgotten, it’s important to recall the names and comments of leading Democrats opposed to the liberation of millions of Iraqi citizens.
Bill Bradley (Washington Post, op-ed, February 2, 2003)
Commenting on President Bush’s State of the Union address:
… The president minimized the importance of allies in a war against Iraq, as he has in many other areas. The major foreign policy job of the American president is to maintain healthy relations with the great powers — Europe, Russia, China and Japan. If the United States conveys a vision in which power can find the realization of its own interests, the job is easier. At the moment, China, Russia and the core states of Europe (Germany and France) oppose a unilateral U.S. invasion of Iraq, and, given U.S. positions on the Kyoto protocol, arms control treaties and the world court, they increasingly see America’s world vision as diverging from their own. The administration ignores this opposition at America’s peril. Those who preach American hegemony might well be trapped in the swamp of American hubris.
Bill Clinton (CNN, interview, February 2003)
Maybe in the end, the rest of the world just has no will to carry out the U.N.’s decisions that’s 12 years old now that [Saddam Hussein] has to be disarmed. But we don’t know that yet, and I always tell people, when you got the only real super military in the world, you can kill people next week or the week after that, or the week after that, but you can’t bring them back. So I don’t see that it hurts our country any to give Mr. Blix a little more time if that’s what he wants….
.…I don’t believe as a matter of law, international law, that President Bush is required to go back to the United Nations and get another resolution because there have been several resolutions since 1991 saying he would disarm. Now, just because he doesn’t have to go back militarily doesn’t mean he shouldn’t to it politically.
Jimmy Carter (New York Times, op-ed, March 9, 2003)
Profound changes have been taking place in American foreign policy, reversing consistent bipartisan commitments that for more than two centuries have earned our nation greatness. These commitments have been predicated on basic religious principles, respect for international law, and alliances that resulted in wise decisions and mutual restraint. Our apparent determination to launch a war against Iraq, without international support, is a violation of these premises….
.…The peace it establishes must be a clear improvement over what exists. Although there are visions of peace and democracy in Iraq, it is quite possible that the aftermath of a military invasion will destabilize the region and prompt terrorists to further jeopardize our security at home. Also, by defying overwhelming world opposition, the United States will undermine the United Nations as a viable institution for world peace.
Gary Hart (Washington Post, op-ed, March 9, 2003)
The urgent necessity to disband terrorist networks abroad and to secure the American homeland has been replaced by the Bush administration’s puzzling preoccupation with Saddam Hussein. He has become George Bush’s White Whale, an obsession that has cost us international solidarity in eradicating terrorism, the goodwill of tens of millions of people worldwide and the role of benign democratic world leader.
Tom Daschle (speech, AFSCME, March 17, 2003)
“I’m saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we’re now forced to war.”
Charles Rangel (Hannity & Colmes, March 27, 2003)
“I just don’t believe that you bomb women and children in order to enforce [the U.N. resolution on Iraq.] …”
“With all due respect to the president, I don’t think he has the experience for me to be listening to him on how the war’s going or what we should be doing. It would be a tremendous stretch to say that I have an appreciation for the president’s knowledge of international politics.”
George McGovern (Associated Press, March 27, 2003)
This is clearly an American invasion. The chance of Iraq attacking the U.S. is about the same as an attack from Mars. Everybody knows Osama bin Laden was the man who conceived the 9-11 attack, but by harping on this, [the Bush administration] has gradually convinced 51 percent of the American people that Saddam was behind it.
The Japanese tried to put out that line, they thought America was going to attack them, and this was a pre-emptive strike. That didn’t sell at the war crimes trial [after World War II].
Noting Japan’s military strategists were charged with war crimes, McGovern added: “It’s quite possible an action of that kind [by the World Court] would be brought against Bush if there are a lot of people killed in a country we’ve invaded.
Nancy Pelosi (CNBC, interview, April 1, 2003)
“There are other ways to go about [this war] than to have thousands of people killed on both sides.”
John Kerry (Boston Globe, April 3, 2003)
What we need now is not just regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need regime change in the United States….
….I don’t think [world leaders] are going to trust this president, no matter what. I believe it deeply, that it will take a new president of the United States, declaring a new day for our relationship with the world, to clear the air and turn a new page on American history.
So, when you witness the jubilant Iraqis thanking Americans for their freedom, their gratitude isn’t owed to everyone.