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Fair point, but she has the excuse of having been misled by the Bush Administration's assertion of conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction being in Saddam's hands. Also, as you may recall, many progressives wanted to see the back of Saddam for his dictatorial ways, torturing opponents and using poison gas on his own people. If the USA had simply toppled Saddam, organised democratic elections, and left, the invasion might have been morally defensible, if politically naive.

I think the bigger problem with Clinton and most mainstream Democrats is that they are determined never to be blind-sided by Republicans on National Security.  Remember, it was JFK and LBJ who escalated the Vietnam war. Given that the Invasion of Iraq was happening anyway, Clinton probably felt that voting for it would change nothing in practice but would secure her right flank from accusations of a lack of Patriotism whilst US Troops were under enemy fire.

It was, of course, the biggest mistake of her career and the main reason Obama beat her last time around and one of the main reasons Sanders has been so successful this year. I can also see why it has resulted in many (most?) progressives seeing her as (at best) unprincipled in her approach to politics. She provided aid and comfort to the Bush regime at a time when progressives opposed to the war were at their most beleaguered.

In her world view, a vote against the war at that stage ran the risk of marginalising her in US politics for ever more for no tangible benefit in terms of stopping the invasion.  She clearly didn't anticipate the monumental fuck-up the Bush regime would make of the war, and most progressives have doubted her judgement ever since.   But (in my view), it is not progressives who will determine the result of the next Presidential Election: they will however determine the margin of her victory, the degree to which Democrats can control Congress, and the general policy direction of her administration. That is, if they can hold their noses and vote for her in the first place.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:49:41 PM EST
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