Obama and Iran. Homey Don't Play That


(cross-posted to Jack and Jill Politics)

I almost let this story slip through the cracks and hadn't seen much coverage here in the Afrosphere outside of JP Smith over at black...MYstory, so here goes. Last Thursday, Obama dropped one hell of an op ed in the Union Leader about the Lieberman-Kyl bill labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Titled "Five years after Iraq war vote, we're still foolishly rattling our sabers" Obama writes:

an amendment passed last month by the Senate could be used by the President as justification to strike Iran under the authority granted to him by the 2002 Iraq war resolution.
<snip>
Why is this so dangerous? The Bush administration could use language like this to justify a continued troop presence in Iraq as long as it perceives a threat from Iran. Even worse, the Bush administration could use the language in Lieberman-Kyl to justify an attack on Iran as a part of the ongoing war in Iraq.

So far so good. Unfortunately, Obama didn't make the vote himself as he was campaigning in New Hampshire. His absence is essentially a nay, bit Hillary was present and voted hip hop hooray. Check out another excerpt from Obama's piece:

I strongly differ with Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the only Democratic presidential candidate to support this reckless amendment.
<snip>
Sen. Clinton says she was merely voting for more diplomacy, not war with Iran. If this has a familiar ring, it should. Five years after the original vote for war in Iraq, Sen. Clinton has argued that her vote was not for war -- it was for diplomacy, or inspections. But all of us knew what the Senate was debating in 2002. John Edwards has renounced his own vote for the war, and he should be applauded for his candor. After all, we didn't need to authorize a war in order to have United Nations weapons inspections. No one thought Congress was debating diplomacy. No newspaper headlines ran on Oct. 12, 2002, reading, "Congress authorizes diplomacy." This was a vote to authorize war, and without that vote, there would have been no war.

Booyah! That's what I'm talkin' bout. It's one thing for Obama to continually draw distinctions with Clinton over the 2002 vote and "focus on the past." It's another thing entirely to see that him raising that point is still very relevant today and into the future.

After that 2002 vote, I was utterly disappointed in the Democrats for granting Bush any authority whatsoever. Here was a man who was as incompetent as he was illegitimate, and we hand over the keys to the armed forces in a fit of misguided, so-called patriotism. After what we've seen go down in Iraq, I figured we would all refuse such acquiescence in the future. I was wrong. I'm especially annoyed with Clinton whose militarism scares me and who should know better the second time around.

I can't believe I'm about to invoke Nancy Reagan, but in this case, the Dems should have just said, "No."