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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20 Responses to “The Iraq War: Who voted for it, why you should still care (hint: Iran)”

  1. keystnst says:


  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    Of course he is. All Democrats are. Why ignore the truth.

    Leftists, including socialists and others who are independent of the Democrats and Republicans are the only people who can be considered part of the left.

    Democrats are not part of the left. They’re right centrists. Democrats are one of two right wing parties that administer political programs to peruse wars of aggression, bust unions, cut wages by ignoring depression levels or unemployment and gift the rich with trillions of unearned and mostly used dollars.

    In spite of their protestations that they don’t approve of Obama’s wars, torture, etc. the fact is that that’s exactly what they consciously voted for. They can’t claim ignorance. Obama has always been clear about the fact that he’s a Republican in spirit and an admirer of Reagan. He’s always been clear about union busing and the fact that he’s a mad dog warmonger.

    What really separates the left from Obot ‘fake leftists’ are the questions of Brad Manning and 16 year old US citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlakid. Obots refuse to campaign about these issues because they settle the question of what Obama and the Democrat party really stand for. They’re now engaged in inflicting state terrorism, torture, kidnapping and murder on American citizens as well as Arabs and muslims from Morocco to Indonesia.

    That is what Obots voted for and the Republicans love it.

    Democrats are defined by the right wing party they’re part of. That includes you. Democrats are Republicans in drag.

  3. FLL says:

    Yes, I read that post on Queerty seven years ago when you did. I’m glad to see that people do become better people since Howard Dean led the charge against the Obama DOJ’s pro-DOMA brief in June 2009. I believe my question was about whether you think Dean is an enemy of peace and a mad dog warmonger. I love how you ignore the question in my post, then answer your own question.

  4. benb says:

    Every country in the world thinks that the US is capable of electing any bozo president and said bozo can drag it into declaring war on another country on…I dunno..gossip? It’s gonna be a long time before America is seen as anything other than a Reality Show.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s not cut and paste. I remember, you forget. I, unlike those who remain in the party of war, racism and depressions, can think for myself.

    Here is why socialists and anti-bigots say that Democrats are defined by their party, not vice versa. Howard Dean was chair of the DNC while Leah Daughrty was firing it’s GLBT outreach team for being critical of bigotry in the DNC. Dean also lead when Daughtry’s Democratic National Committee’s Faith In Action paid to publish anti-gay and anti-abortion garbage that would require public schools to offer Bible literacy as part of their curriculum and that life begins at conception and opposed any efforts to redefine marriage or provide the benefits of marriage to a same-sex union just prior to the 2006 election.

    Read more at .

    Democrats are sheeple, whether candidates or shills.

  6. FLL says:

    Thanks for your usual cut and paste. What is Howard Dean if not a Democrat? After all, you did say “all Democratic politicians,” which includes Howard Dean. How would you show our readers that Howard Dean is an enemy of peace and a mad dog warmonger?

  7. fredndallas says:

    Thank you Gaius & AmericaBlog. You are one of a very few keeping us sober and aware of the stunning influence war mongers continue to have on politics and policies. Various war plans are being crafted at this moment, complete with their elaborate, extensive propaganda schemes we can be sure. Thinking Obama, Clinton, Kerry, Reid and Biden aren’t included is stupid. As in other critical aspects of the old USA vs the new, we must confront and bury these old ways. It ain’t gonna’ be easily done.

  8. karmanot says:


  9. karmanot says:


  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    Agreed, with one exception.

    The zionist bunkerstadt – isolated, hated and loyal to the US – was always meant to be the US military base of last resort if most or all of the US bases in the region are lost or endangered by the Arab/muslim revolution.

    The bases are mainly along the routes where oil is exported and are all poised for the impending war against Iran.

  11. Ford Prefect says:

    Well, the ME won’t entirely oppose the US and those who do will be powerless to do much of anything. Indeed, the oil producing nations will see a massive increase in revenue from the spike in oil prices that will kill the global economy.

    Any attack will start with air defenses, command & control sites and so on. That’s thousands of sorties right there. It will be massive and the Strait of Hormuz will be shut for weeks. So the financiers will need another multi-trillion dollar bailout and all sorts of bad things will happen that don’t involve actual things that go Boom.

    So it won’t just be a few powerless countries that will be pissed off. It will be most of the world.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    Please do, she’s running and it’s time to start reminding folks about what the Clintons really are like and what they stand for – NAFTA, deregulation, wars of aggression, kidnapping and torture, (evolved) homophobia, political racism and all the rest.

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    “What I find most infuriating is how many of the Iraq war supporters and war criminals are now trying to claim that the top reason we went to war was to “liberate” the Iraqi people.”

    They ‘evolving’. It’s the thing to do these days.

  14. karmanot says:

    If America attacks Iran, it will go down fast. The entire middle east will oppose American colonialism.

  15. GaiusPublius says:

    Thanks for adding that. I’m tempted to do a second post around just Hillary. Not sure. But this is an excellent watch.


  16. Ford Prefect says:

    Excellent post, GP. Can’t be said enough.

    What’s especially noteworthy, now that we’re heading into Syria (quite likely) and eventually Iran is these Yes votes didn’t carry any political price from Democratic voters who opposed the war. They kept rewarding these Dems to the point where HRC was promoted to State, Kerry is now SECSTATE and so on. They’ve profited from all this.

    The current BS on “chemical weapons” in Syria may not do the trick this week. But clearly they’re going to find an excuse that works for them and soon. And since Damascus is the last stop on the road to Tehran…. and Obama himself contradicted his own CIA and DOD’s position on Iranian nukes by saying, “Iran is about a year away and we don’t want to cut it too close.” The aforementioned entities assert 5-7 years, not one and they’re the ones writing the intelligence assessments.

    But apparently BO knows better than everyone else, just like his predecessor.

    Honestly, I don’t think any of this can be stopped. There aren’t enough critics within the polity to make even a dent in all this. The latest CBS poll shows 51% approve of taking military action against Iran–yes, it’s a bullshit question but that hardly matters at this point. Democrats make up a huge block of that 51%. And that’s a lot more support than Bush had in 2003 prior to the invasion. Once it started, opinion flipped of course. But prior to that, roughly 65% were opposed and that stopped nothing.

    Once the missiles are flying, public opinion will support BO and the military, no matter what happens. The crackdown on dissent will be much worse this time and probably much more violent, given the economic consequences for the planet will make a lot of people very miserable indeed.

    Given that the ruling elites know all this, there’s no conceivable downside to their insanity in their own addled “minds.”

  17. BeccaM says:

    What I find most infuriating is how many of the Iraq war supporters and war criminals are now trying to claim that the top reason we went to war was to “liberate” the Iraqi people. Some of them, like that monster Dick Cheney, will continue to claim we also went because there were Al Qaeda ties and presence, total BS.

    No, you bastards. It was wall to wall coverage of the “smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud”. The WMDs you were positive there near Tikrit and Baghdad — east, west, south, and north somewhat, according to Rumsfeld. The mobile chemical labs. The biological weapons labs producing that white powder that Colin Powell assured us the U.S. and the UK had proof existed.

    The imminent threat that simply DID NOT EXIST. And here we are, with thousands of American troops dead and an estimated more than 100,000 Iraqis, and at least $2 trillion squandered — and for what?

    Now they’re trying to gin up war with Iran. With many of the same claims. Not that the Iranian people are being repressed, but with supposed proof of “aspirations” to develop WMDs. History once more repeating itself because people are too stupid to pay attention.

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    Excellent post and I’d add this:

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrat politicians (and their Republican cousins) are supporters of wars whose sole intent is to increase the wealth of the rich, the MIC and themselves by trading votes for bribes, aka, campaign contributions.

    All Democrat politicians (and their Republican cousins) are enemies of piece and mad dog warmongers. They all defined by their party. not the other way around.

    People who vote for Democrat politicians (and their Republican cousins) vote for war, union busting, austerity, racism, homophobia, misogyny, immigrant bashing and all the rest. There are no exceptions to that rule.

  20. FLL says:

    Setting a better standard, Howard Dean condemned the 2003 Iraq invasion and asked other Democrats to oppose Bush’s invasion. Howard Dean also ran for president in 2004, and it’s a shame the country didn’t go with his candidacy.

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