Friday, November 11, 2005

John Edwards Finally Gets It
I've been saying here for a long time that until prominent Democrats who want to be president start saying they were wrong about their vote to authorize the Iraq war, they're going to be neutered on the issue. So hats off to John Edwards for standing up, as The Nation reports.
[In September 2002] Edwards wrote an op-ed headlined "Congress Must Be Clear," staking himself out as the Democrat most gung-ho to sic the troops on Saddam Hussein. Swallowing the WMD story hook, line and sinker, Edwards commanded his fellow senators to "send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction." Though he made obligatory noises about "an effort to rally the international community" and "real steps to win the peace" before invading, Edwards threw himself fully behind the Congressional resolution to authorize Bush's go-it-alone invasion of Iraq.

"Either he was a hawk, or he didn't know what he was talking about, or he was guilty of the worst kind of political pandering," Kromm says. [Chris Kromm is executive director of the progressive Institute for Southern Studies.] "I thought, 'You're trying to appeal to progressives, but you've already lost them.' I'm not sure he ever recovered from that."

In an interview after the UNC speech, Edwards finally utters the words he'd assiduously avoided during the last campaign: "I voted for the resolution," he says. "It was a mistake." So far, so good. But he goes on, "The hard question is, What do you do now? Looking back, it's easy to say that it was wrong and based on false information. Anybody who doesn't admit that isn't honest, and that's the truth." So what now? "I myself feel conflicted about it," Edwards replies. "But we have to find ways--and I don't mean just yanking all the troops tomorrow--but we have to find ways to start bringing our troops home. Our presence there is clearly contributing to the problem." So does he agree with Senator Russ Feingold that Washington should set a withdrawal deadline? "No. Even if we're going to say that internally, that we're gonna have our troops out by X date, there's no reason to announce that to the world. I think that's probably a mistake." He doesn't agree, either, with Senator Clinton's call for more US troops to finish the job? "No sir!" Edwards says, sitting straight up in his chair. "Did she really say that?"
She did. And until she comes off that foolish, foolish idea and admits she was wrong to vote for the goddamn war in the first place, I can't support her--and you shouldn't, either.

Iraq is not really the focus of the Nation article, however. It's about Edwards' work directing the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC-Chapel Hill's law school--and how that might play into the 2008 presidential campaign.

Amazing, but True: Percent of Americans who think their country is headed in the right direction: 26. Percent of Iraqis who think their country is headed in the right direction: 47. Read that again and think about what it means, what with shit blowing up on a regular basis over there and all. (Think Progress has links to the polls.)

Also Amazing, but Also True:
Here's the newest accessory for your iPod--and a suggestion for some tunes to listen to while you're wearing it.

Not True, Not Nice:
This is so wrong. I'm ashamed of myself for even linking to it. And of how much I laughed.

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