During the 1976 presidential campaign, Republican President Gerald Ford’s running mate, Sen. Bob Dole (R.-Kan.), got into some trouble when during a debate with Jimmy Carter’s running mate, Sen. Walter Mondale (D.-Minn.), he denounced World War I and World War II, along with Vietnam and Korea as “Democrat wars.”
Could Dole been ahead of time back in 1976? It seems that might be the case with all the denunciation by congressional Democrats about President Bush’s handling of war in Iraq and the war against terrorism. One has to wonder: Do Democrats only like fighting wars that are led only by Democratic presidents?
Throughout history, the Democrats have been America’s war party. Most of America’s foreign wars began with Democrats occupying the White House. You can also add the Mexican War, the War of 1812 and even the Cold War happening on the watch of Democratic presidents.
There was a saying going around America in the 20th Century: “Vote for a Republican and you get a depression. Vote for a Democrat and you get a war.”
I can remember during my Capitol Hill reporting days, when several Democratic congressmen thought we should go to war over Kosovo. In particular, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia denounced the Yugoslavian leader Slobodan Milosevic as a “thug” who had to be removed from power.
What threat was Kosovo to the United States? None. But because the congressional Democrats and their President Bill Clinton thought it was, we sent troops to that part of the world. Of course, I think Clinton was trying to divert the headlines from his sexual escapades in the oval office.
Now these Democrats are saying President George W. Bush lied about Iraq. He lied about weapons of mass destruction. Next, we will probably hear these Democrats accuse Bush of planning with Osama Bin Laden to attack New York on 9/11 because New York didn’t vote for him (Bush).
Many Senate Democrats criticizing President Bush over his handling of the war in Iraq actually believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) before Bush arrived in Washington.
When the Democrats are in power, it is different. I offer these comments, courtesy of several websites from America’s Democratic leaders when Saddam was in power in Iraq and the Clinton administration ran America.
Bill Clinton: "If Saddam rejects peace, and we have to use force, our purpose is clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program."
Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."
Clinton National Security Adviser and who later gained fame as a classified document thief Sandy Berger: "[Saddam will] use those weapons of mass destruction again as he has ten times since 1983."
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada: "The problem is not nuclear testing; it is nuclear weapons. … The number of Third World countries with nuclear capabilities seems to grow daily. Saddam Hussein’s near success with developing a nuclear weapon should be an eye-opener for us all."
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois: "One of the most compelling threats we in this country face today is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Threat assessments regularly warn us of the possibility that…Iraq…may acquire or develop nuclear weapons."
Senator John Francois Kerry: "If you don’t believe … Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn’t vote for me."
Kerry’s 2004 running mate and now former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina: "Serving on the Intelligence Committee and seeing day after day, week after week, briefings on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and his plans on using those weapons, he cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons, it’s just that simple. The whole world changes if Saddam ever has nuclear weapons."
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons-inspection process."
Senators Carl Levin (D.-Mich.), Joe Lieberman (D.-Conn.), Frank Lautenberg (D.-N.J.), Chris Dodd (D.-Conn.), Bob Kerrey (D.-Neb.), Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.), Barbara Mikulski (D.-Md.), Tom Daschle (D.-S.D.), John Breaux (D.-La.), Tim Johnson (D.-S.D.), Daniel Inouye (D.-Hawaii), Mary Landrieu (D.-La.), and Kerry in a letter to President Bill Clinton: "We urge you, after consulting with Congress and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions, including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
In the weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq, Democrats with access to the same intelligence, much of it compiled by the Clinton administration and used by the Bush administration knew all about the threat of Iraq’s WMD capability.
Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Senator John Kerry: "I will be voting to give the president of the U.S. the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security… Without question we need to disarm Saddam Hussein."
Senator Carl Levin of Michigan: "We begin with a common belief that Saddam Hussein…is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Former Vice President Al Gore: "We know that he has stored nuclear supplies, secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Senator Hillary Clinton of New York: "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock. His missile-delivery capability, his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists including al-Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida: "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has and has had for a number of years a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
It was under Clinton’s watch that opportunities to take out Osama bin Laden were screwed up and the 9/11 attacks occurred because Clinton did not take action against bin Laden’s terrorist cells.
President Bush got handed eight years worth of intelligence analysis and policy positions from the Clinton administration. Now these same Democrats who backed Clinton against Saddam and other terrorists are denouncing Bush.
The old saying used to be that when it came to foreign policy, politics stops at the waters edge. House and Senate Democrats don’t want to fight a war against terrorism because Republican President Bush is leading it. Modern-day Democrats seem to only want to fight “Democrat wars.” Senator Dole may have been clairvoyant about Democrats in 1976 and he didn’t know it.
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