What Hillary Learned About Iraq–From John Kerry

Hotline On Call reports that Hillary Clinton is sounding a lot more like John Kerry on Iraq in trying to justify her IWR vote:

Clinton Advisor Said Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) Vote For Use Of Force Was Vote For Negotiations:

Clinton Advisor Terry McAuliffe: “She voted to give the President the authority to negotiate and to have a stick to go over there and negotiate with Saddam Hussein.” (NBC’s “Today Show,” 1/22/07)

Sound Familiar? Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) Kicked Off Campaign Claiming Use Of Force Was Not A Vote For Force, Either:

Sen. Kerry Announcement Of Candidacy In 2003. Sen. Kerry: “I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Announcement Of Candidacy, Patriot’s Point, S.C., 9/2/03)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) Claims Kerry Believed “Use Of Force” Vote Was A “Use Of Negotiations” Vote. “Levin said Kerry believed the resolution would help President Bush negotiate with Iraq but didn’t think Bush would use it to go to war.” (Dee-Ann Durbin, “Levin, Stabenow Endorsing Kerry,” The Associated Press, 2/5/04)

There is a substantial difference between Kerry’s and Clinton’s postions on Iraq. It is not the IWR vote that is important as the vote was never really a vote on whether or not to go to war. Chuck Hagel says the same thing in an interview in GQ:

Do you wish you’d voted differently in October of 2002, when Congress had a chance to authorize or not authorize the invasion?
Have you read that resolution?

I have.
It’s not quite the way it’s been framed by a lot of people, as a resolution to go to war. That’s not quite what the resolution said.

It said, “to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.”
In the event that all other options failed. So it’s not as simple as “I voted for the war.” That wasn’t the resolution.

It is not the vote on the resolution that is important but the candidate’s actual position on going to war. It is one thing for Clinton to say this now. Kerry was explaining his vote in this manner from the start as I discussed in several posts available here. Kerry made his opposition to going to war clear in his Senate floor statement at the time of the IWR vote, in op-eds in the New York Times and Foreign Affairs, in his pre-war Georgetown Speech, and when he protested going to war by calling for regime change in the United States at the onset of the war.

John Kerry spoke out against going to war before the war started. Hillary Clinton has just recently begun opposing the war to position herself for the Democratic primaries. For Clinton to quote Kerry in 2007 does not alter the fact that Kerry was the one who got it right from the start, while Clinton was on the wrong side.

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