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Why Bill Clinton and the Democrats Are Spavined on Iraq

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Yesterday I got a fundraising letter from Bill Clinton, on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. It’s three pages long and begins, thumpingly, by saying “The next five weeks are critical for America and the world. We’ve got to stop projecting distrust and arrogance to the world…”

Couldn’t agree more. But the entire document does not use the word Iraq. Not once. And according to polls, all but 124 people in America now think it was a mistake to invade Iraq. The letter demonstrates that Democrats still do not know how to capture the antiwar vote—i.e., they have no plan that is different from Bush’s, really, as Chris Matthews points out so often—and also that Democrats are, from a financial standpoint, a war party. Most of the Dem Sen.s of course voted for the war, and they did so as a real reflection of their constituency. And many of the people who would be giving money to the Dems are for the war, or at least somewhat for it. I can imagine a few reasons that the Blue-State rich would feel this way; the identification of our interests with Israel’s, at a time when many fear that Israel faces an existential threat from Iran, cannot be left out (underscoring the point that the domestic opposition to this war has to flow from a different source from the opposiition to Vietnam).

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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