The Iraq War: Who voted for it, why you should still care (hint: Iran)

March 19 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq War. On that day the bombs started falling.

This is the war no one wants to remember, since, as the Professor says, almost everyone in media position to talk about it today, screwed up big time back then (my emphasis):

[T]here’s a very big anniversary coming up next week — the start of the Iraq war. So why does there seem to be so little coverage?

Well, it’s not hard to think of a reason: a lot of people behaved badly in the runup to that war, and many though not all people in the news media behaved especially badly. … To come out against the war, let alone to suggest that the Bush administration was deliberately misleading the nation into war, looked all too likely to be a career-ending stance. And there were all too few profiles in courage.

The war, then, was a big test — a test of your ability to cut through a fog of propaganda, but also a test of your moral and to some extent personal courage. And a lot of people in the media failed.

But if the action in the press was bad, the action in Congress was worse. After all, that war needed authorization, and it was hotly debated. In the interest of accountability, here’s the Democratic Yes vote in the Senate.

A hint in reading these votes. A vote for the winning side in a lopsided vote is generally — but not always — a sincere vote. (Some people jump on a winner after it’s won for cosmetic purposes, but most are sincere.) A vote on the losing side of a lopsided vote can be highly suspect. Many voters are clearly sincere — we find Paul Wellstone and Bernie Sanders voting No — but once the whip count is in and the outcome is predetermined, a vote for the losing side can be cosmetic only, all appearances.

That’s a general statement, not one I’m making about this vote. But do keep the point in mind. There are a lot of instances where a senator or House member will go to his or her leader and ask, “Look, this one is in the bag. Mind if I vote against? I have a tough election coming up.” The leader can then say, “Sure,” or “Sure, but you owe me.” It’s how this stuff works.

Senate Democratic votes for the Iraq War

If you remember that day, it was a day of speeches. And at least out among the Littles, the final count wasn’t known until the roll was called. Here are your brave warrior Dems, those who voted Yes, covered in testosterone (or confusion) and glory. I’ve highlighted a few names to note:

YEAs — 77
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Breaux (D-LA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carnahan (D-MO)
Carper (D-DE)
Cleland (D-GA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Daschle (D-SD)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Edwards (D-NC)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hollings (D-SC)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Miller (D-GA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Schumer (D-NY)
Torricelli (D-NJ)

Dodd’s not around today, nor is Edwards, and Harkin is retiring. But the rest are still there — or in the case of Biden and Clinton, in position to do even greater damage.

Would you like to help them remember that you remember? After all, these fine people could be asked to vote on a greater disaster, the Israel-promoted war against Iran. The propaganda’s already in place, has been for over a year.

Just in case you want to remind them — “Don’t do it again!” — here are some nice phone numbers:

Joe Biden — 202-456-1111 (VP comment line)
Maria Cantwell — 202-224-3441
Hillary Clinton — personal website (according to Wikipedia)
Tom Harkin — 202-224-3254
John Kerry — 202-647-5291 (according to the U.S. Dept of State phone list; pdf)
Harry Reid — 202-224-3542
Chuck Schumer — 202-224-6542

My suspicion is that concentrating on Biden, Cantwell, Clinton, Kerry and Reid will do the most good. Kerry’s vote is especially ironic, given his place in anti-war history:

Happy calling!

(Update: Re Clinton, don’t miss this excellent video catch by commenter Bill Perdue.)


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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