I'm supporting Senator Obama for many reasons, but what put me over the top is his stand against and continued leadership in the US Senate regarding the Iraq War. I believe that the Iraq War is the greatest atrocity of a generation, in terms of what it has done to our military and their families, and, just as importantly, to the Iraqi people. I believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney fit the textbook definition of "war criminal," and many Democrats, fearing for their political lives four years ago, signed on as enablers of this awful, shambolic misadventure in American foreign policy. Among these enablers, unfortunately, were Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
It's easy to dismiss Senator Clinton, because she's the consummate "finger-to-the-wind" politician, even more so than her husband, and she just joined the anti-war movement a few months ago. She expects us to forget what she has done---she didn't just vote for the resolution late in 2002, she was one of the staunchest hawks in a Congress that enabled Republicans to lay waste to our military and cause the deaths and maimings of over 30,000 American soldiers and tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of Iraqis.
Edwards is a little more difficult, but I must ultimately put him gently to the side as well. While he's still my "#2," assuming Gore doesn't take the plunge, saying you're sorry isn't enough. Edwards and Clinton are running all over the country saying things like "I'm accountable for my vote," or "I take responsibility for my vote." This is code language for "thanks for bringing that up, but let me dismiss that issue in one sentence."
True responsibility and true accountability often means that you face the rewards or consequences for your actions. And the consequence, for Sens Edwards and Clinton, is that they won't get my vote for President of the United States. When you see the carnage and waste (what EVIL profiteering we are seeing while Iraq burns and our own soldiers don't even have the boots and toiletries they need, much less body armor!), you have to remember that when these folks had their time in the hotseat, they wilted, either due to political calculation (Clinton) or just plain getting it wrong (Edwards, as he admits). While I admit that we can't know for sure how Obama would have voted as a US Senator had he been one at the time, we do know how Clinton and Edwards cast their respective lots.
So, while all the Dems would be a million times better than Bush, my choice is simple. While they all have great plans and records on the environment, healthcare, and helping the disenfranchised, not to mention women's reproductive rights and civil rights in general one, and only one, has an unblemished record of leadership on the number one issue in the realm of war and peace in our time---Barack Obama.
Even still, I love Edwards (and I really love the details of his plans for America), and I'll forgive him and give him my support if Obama fails in his run . But for now, I can forgive him and support somebody who's gotten this one right from the start. As angry as I've become about the war (see Anglico's blog about how Republicans treat the troops), I just can't support anybody in the primary who's got blood on his or her hands, even if it's just a small amount (Edwards) or covered with it (Clinton). I'm not trying to be vindictive---I love Edwards and can even bring myself to like Sen Clinton quite a bit sometimes, it's just how I'm making my choice.