Before I even start, since Sanders supporters tend to accuse people who support Hillary Clinton of duplicity to distract from whatever points they are making, note the two links to previous articles of mine at the bottom of this page where I make the same points back in 2006 and 2009.
In the lead up to today’s first Presidential debate of the 2016 Democratic primary, indications have come from the Sanders camp that Bernie intends to bring up Hillary Clinton’s 2002 vote on the Iraq War Resolution to try to hurt her during the debate.
There is so much revisionist history pushed regarding that vote that I bet most folks don’t even know they are engaging in revisionism.
The Iraq War Resolution vote, like UN Security CouncilResolution 1441 that occurred within a few weeks of each other were efforts to pressure Iraq to allow UN Weapons Inspectors back into the country. Allowing UN Weapons Inspectors into the country for a continuous inspection regime was part of a deal that Iraq struck in order for a cease fire to be put into effect at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991. This deal was enshrined in several UN Security Council Resolutions and were imposed on Iraq because Iraq had engaged in an unprovoked war of aggression against Kuwait and attempted to annex that small country.
In case anyone is unaware, engaging in an unprovoked war of aggression is a war crime.
So the Iraq War Resolution and UN Security Council 1441 were part of enforcing international law against a dictator and country that had engaged in a serious war crime.
There are literally hundreds of media articles backing up what I am saying here. Practically all you heard from June 2002 until December of 2003 in the media were articles and TV segments about efforts to force Iraq and Saddam Hussein to readmit the UN Weapons Inspectors.
Shortly after the Iraq War Resolution and UN Security Council 1441 were passed, Iraq did just that under the pressure of both of those measures. Iraq agreed to start obeying international law. Being that this is the case, I am alternatively amused and galled by the efforts of some to demagogue the vote on the Iraq War Resolution. It accomplished what it was designed to do.
That President George W. Bush misused the Iraq War Resolution several months later and invaded Iraq without justification for doing so doesn’t make the IWR vote bad, it makes George W. Bush a criminal. Congress cannot be afraid to act to support the effort to have countries obey international law because of concerns the President might do something bad one day. The President alone is responsible for Presidential bad acts.
I’d love to hear Hillary Clinton respond to any question about her vote by asking Bernie Sanders, why didn’t you vote to put pressure on Iraq to start obeying international law as it had agreed to do at the end of the first gulf war. What would Sanders have been willing to do to uphold international law in this situation?
Let's turn this around a bit to make this even more clear. If the Iraq War Resolution vote was never held, or had it failed, Iraq would not have allowed weapons inspectors back into the country. That alone would have been justification for war per existing UN Resolutions. The ceasefire terms of the various 1991 UN Resolutions would have been violated by Iraq and thus the ceasefire would no longer exist.
My previous articles on the subject that I mentioned earlier are linked below and provide additional background. It’s time for folks to stop engaging in revisionist history on this subject, and that includes Bernie Sanders and his surrogates.
12-19-2006: Iraq War - When the Wrong Path Was Taken and What to Do Now http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_steven_l_061219_iraq_war__96_when_the_.htm
3-4-2009: Iraq War - Six Year Anniversary of what Should have Prevented it http://www.opednews.com/articles/Iraq-War--Six-Year-Annive-by-Steven-Leser-090304-145.html