Obama’s First Gaffe

Hillary Clinton should be denied the presidency for voting like a neo-fascist: for the Iraq war, for the Afghan war, for the USA-Patriot Act (twice). Barack Obama, on the other hand, should be denied for being a pussy.

During a campaign stop in Iowa over the weekend, the Illinois senator told a crowd: “We now have spent 400 billion dollars and have seen over 3,000 of the bravest young Americans wasted.”

Fair enough. Except it’s more than $400 billion. And he forgot the Iraqis.

Then he apologized for his “slip of the tongue.”

Here, let me help: Those lives were wasted. Every last one of them. They all died for nothing. Well, they died for lies. Their mission made things worse, not better–both for America and for Iraq. And it’s a national outrage.

The sooner people start accepting the truth, that these sacrifices are all in vain, the sooner we’ll stop throwing even more lives away on an illegal, immoral and unwinnable endeavor.

16 Responses to “”

  1. J. A. Ludtke Says:

    Comments were turned on? When did that happen?

    This apology by Sen. Obama for saying the truth is rather frustrating. While he is the best of the “big name” Democratic candidates who have thus far started their run, IMHO he still is too centrist to be much appealing to any true progressives in this country.

  2. onetwothree Says:


    To paraphrase Nixon, “If the executive, legislative, and judicial does it, that means that it’s not illegal


    Maybe. What’s your moral framework anyway? Play by ear? Exigency? The sermon on the mound? Nihilism?

    “and unwinnable”

    Well, that’s more interesting. Let’s say you have a race, and all the runners have heart attacks before the finish line. No winners, right? Well, the concession stands still won. And the media people still won. And the audience were probably duly entertained. So there are your winners.

    In the case of Iraq, consider:

    1. News wholesalers like the NYTimes got all sorts of meaty headlines out of it.

    2. The usual suspects did okay, and Exxon is now top of the pops:


    3. Israel lost its main competitor with regards to conventional warfare–The Iraqi army is no more.

    4. The Kurds are certainly winners.

    5. In a larger sense, we now control a huge chunk of the world’s oil supply–and just in time for the coming crunch. Don’t discount this. Without a steady supply of oil, the economy will collapse.

  3. False Prophet Says:

    1. News wholesalers like the NYTimes got all sorts of meaty headlines out of it.

    In the midst of scandals like Judy Miller. And print journalism continues to decline, both in readership and quality.

    2. The usual suspects did okay, and Exxon is now top of the pops:


    They better live it up now, because the sun can’t shine forever.

    3. Israel lost its main competitor with regards to conventional warfare–The Iraqi army is no more.

    As the Lebanon War showed us, and the Iraqi occupation is showing us, “conventional” warfare has its limits. Go read Martin Van Creveld and William S. Lind and learn about this thing called fourth-generation warfare.

    4. The Kurds are certainly winners.

    Until the day they finally declare an independent Kurdistan. Then we’ll see what Turkey (and possibly Iran and Syria) does.

    5. In a larger sense, we now control a huge chunk of the world’s oil supply–and just in time for the coming crunch. Don’t discount this. Without a steady supply of oil, the economy will collapse.

    Who can claim to control anything in a nation where massive car bombings are a daily occurrence? Are the oil facilities even up to pre-invasion levels yet? Can they even function in the current environment?

    The USA was shelling out four times as much in spending to maintain a military prescence in the Middle East than the value of the oil the USA imported from the Middle East. Now add in the cost of the Iraq war and occupation. How large do you think the discrepancy is now? “Securing” the region’s oil has nothing to do with meeting America’s energy needs and everything to do with putting energy pressures on Europe, Russia (until they became more self-sufficient), East Asia and India, who all depend more heavily on MidEast oil. Basically, your tax dollars are being spent not to serve the domestic interest, but so your government can throw its weight around on the world stage. For no real good reason except that it can.

  4. Jordan Says:

    ^ do you really think we “control” anything in Iraq? What exactly is the oil output of Iraq again? How is the 400++ billion spent on the war good for the US economy?

    Last time I checked Irael cant even handle the Hezbollah, a force with NO tanks, planes or ..well anything ,let alone the Iranian, Egyptian, Syrian militaries. A Shia/Iranian controlled Iraq hardly sounds like an improvement for Israel in my books. What books are you reading??

    The race analogy is seriously broken, you realise the US is one of those runners that had a heart attack right? But hey, maybe there will be a trophy for trying.

    And anyone who thinks the Kurds have “won” anything has not kept up on the reality of the situation. Even if they didnt have the Turkish govt eyeing their terrority they are now faced with increased isolation from a central govt (if it can be called a government) in Iraq. In fact I foresee disgruntled Kurds being the source of “terrorist” activies over the next decade, using our weapons and funding to back their fight. Sounds familiar…

  5. Ryan Says:

    Why is everyone down on Hillary? She’s said a number of times that she wouldn’t have voted for the war if she knew than what she knows now. No one can see the future. She was in the White House in the 90s when Saddam was throwing inspectors out every other month and her husband was bombing Baghdad and calling for regime change in Iraq. EVERYONE thought there were WMDs in Iraq. Lets not let hatred for Bush blind us to that. Give her a break.

  6. Ted Rall Says:

    Hillary had more than enough information to make the correct call on Iraq at the time. She knew there was no evidence Iraq still had WMDs; she pandered to the right because she thought voting for the war would be popular. So did almost everyone else–and they were all wrong, wrong, wrong.

    What’s the point of electing leaders unless they have the judgement and foresight to understand the likely consequences of their actions?

    It also doesn’t help that she refuses to simply apologize for being misled. How hard is it to say: “Bush lied to me, he lied to all of us, and I’m sorry I believed him”?

  7. Ryan Says:

    That doesn’t add up. If, as you say, Hillary “knew there was no evidence Iraq still had WMDs”, isn’t she a liar too for claiming there were?? Kerry, Edwards, Kennedy, Biden, Reid, Clinton; they all were talking pretty tough in early 2003 about the neccessity of removing Saddam. Edwards called him “an eminate threat”, and he was on the Senate Intelligence committee. Seems to me that if Bush lied, they ALL lied. Isn’t it more likely that they were all just WRONG?

  8. Ted Rall Says:

    Well, yes. Hillary’s vote was a lie based on lies. She knew better, and people died as a result.

    There was no escuse for being wrong in 2003. The truth was in the newspaper for anyone who cared to listen. Even if these characters were all wrong, as you say, they hardly deserve to be forgiven. Politicians, like stockbrokers, are paid to call things correctly in advance–not to pander to the polls and pundits. If Iraq was an unfortunate error in judgement, it’s an unforgiveable one.

    At least Edwards admits he was wrong. Acknowledging wrongdoing is the first step on the long road to redemption.

  9. Anders Says:

    Some of us never believed the laughable “proof” (rather than writing ‘lies’) about Iraq’s WMDs.
    And it wasn’t for lack of media coverage. Perhaps it’s because we don’t get the USAnian CNN or Fox News here. Or it might be because we’re nnot as guillible and uncritical of their leaders as a lot of the USAnians appear to be.
    Obama’s apology reminds me of Kerry’s apology for his anti-Vietnam-war campaigning.

  10. Ryan Says:

    I have to disagree with you, if only because your conclusions dictate that EVERYONE lied. Everyone who voted for the war knew there were no WMDs and voted for it anyway? And if they didn’t know, they should have because “the newspaper” said so? That’s an awfully hard pill to swallow Ted. Every intelligence agency in the world thought Saddam had those weapons. That obviously doesn’t mean going to war was the way to handle it, but calling them all liars is not practical.

  11. Ted Rall Says:

    Actually, every intelligence agency did NOT think Iraq had WMDs.

    The Central Intelligence Agency explicitly stated that it did not possess significant evidence that Saddam had WMDs after 1991. Several of their analysts went to the mat for that position, even getting fired for telling the truth. The CIA was on the side of the angels here, and it’s an amazing triumph of Bushie propaganda that they got blamed for providing bad pro-war intelligence.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    How does unnecessarily alienating the middle 20% of the electorate advance progressivism?

    You need supermajority support to enact lasting public policy reforms. If, like the GOP, the only goal is to block reform, one is free to alienate as many people as one likes, so long as they can scrape together 50.1 % of the vote on election day.

  13. osisbs Says:

    The oil companies elected Bush to destroy the Iraqi oil fields and drive the price of oil to $70/barrel. Mission Accomplished.

    The oil companies are keeping us there so that the wells never, ever come back on line, power is never restored and the war never ends. Support the Troops. Support the Tools of The Man. Support the Fodder for the Meat Grinder!

    If we pull out tomorrow, there will be 4 months of “instability” and then the oil will start flowing. We cannot have that!

  14. matt Says:

    All I have to say is… it would take the Bush/Cheney administration to make the CIA look like the good guys.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Agreed Hillary, is not the choice. It’s hard to believe someone with access to her husbands contacts could have thought what bush was saying about Iraq was accurate. Even a backwoods hick like me could see thru those lies. Our good friends in Europe tried to help us see with mass demonstrations. Here at home people who protested were shot with rubber bullets and pepper spray. Where were our Congressonal protectorats while this was going down? It’s all been a lie. R. Clarke said we could of had Osama, and the rest had we put boots on the ground in Afaghanistan. Instead it was shock and awe on one of the poorest countries in the world! A waste of arms who turned a profit on that one?

  16. Anonymous Says:

    “Everyone” did not know Iraq had wmds. I remember watching Powell present his case to the UN and thinking, “what a bunch of crap!” Try reading “Ignorant armies : sliding into war in Iraq” by Gwynne Dyer. The Democrats just didn’t (and still don’t) have the guts to stand up to the Republicans and the sophists who represent them.

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