Sen. Obama's Great Sense of Humor on Iraq
Senator Obama had the good judgment to oppose the Iraq war in 2002. However, as I mentioned before, even before he got into the U.S. Senate he behaved in ways that politicians do when they are seeking a high national office under a political environment not that conducive to expressing progressive positions. For instance, in July 2004 he said on one occasion that he wasn't sure how he would have voted on the 2002 Iraq resolution if he had been in the U.S. Senate at the time and that his position on Iraq was not that different from George Bush's position. Once he got into the U.S. Senate, he voted virtually in lock-step with Sen. Clinton. As it turns out, those weren't the only occasions during which, he, um, continued his Principled Opposition to the Iraq WarTM, unlike the always triangulating Sen. Clinton.
When Barack Obama was a state legislator running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois in 2003 opposition to the war in Iraq was extremely popular in African American communities and among the progressive voters he needed in order to win. Brother Obama was on the case, doing what he had to do to sew up that vote early, showing up at local antiwar meetings and rallies, and making speeches like the one opposing "a dumb war" which is now trotted out as evidence of his fervent and prescient antiwar stand.
Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003, and by late May declared "mission accomplished" and victory in "the battle of Iraq" from the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. With the president riding high in national polls, this reporter checked Obama's campaign web site and noted that all the evidence of and references to candidate Obama's prior opposition to the invasion of Iraq had been deleted. The visionary Barack Obama appeared to be leaning rightward with the prevailing wind, distancing himself from his prior opposition to the war.
After calls to Obama's campaign office yielded no satisfactory answers, we published an article in the June 5, 2003 issue of Black Commentator effectively calling Barack Obama out. We drew attention to the disappearance of any indication that U.S. Senate candidate Obama opposed the Iraq war at all from his web site and public statements. We noted with consternation that the Democratic Leadership Council, the right wing Trojan Horse inside the Democratic party, had apparently vetted and approved Obama, naming him as one of its "100 to Watch" that season. This is what real journalists are supposed to do --- fact check candidates, investigate the facts, tell the truth to audiences and hold the little clay feet of politicians and corporations to the fire.
Facing the possible erosion of his base among progressive Democrats in Illinois, Obama contacted us. We printed his response in Black Commentator's June 19 issue and queried the candidate on three "bright line" issues that clearly distinguish between corporate-funded DLC Democrats and authentic progressives. We concluded the dialog by printing Obama's response on June 26, 2003. For the convenience of our readers in 2007, all three of these articles can be found here.
Here is how Sen. Obama responded on the website issue (he had his anti-war speech restored to his website and said):
The only reason that my original anti-war speech was removed from my website was a judgment that the speech was dated once the formal phase of the war was over, and my staff's desire to continually provide fresh news clips.
Hilarious! Once again, his staff got thrown under the bus - and it was all about "fresh news clips"! Hey, at least - even though this was a laughably unbelievable explanation - it's original, and shall we say, "Presidential"! BAR continues:
Four years after senatorial candidate Barack Obama had to be summoned back into open opposition to the war in Iraq, scant weeks after his admission that he would not bring the troops home before the end of 2013, and in the face of dozens of public statements between 2003 and the present advocating an extra hundred thousand bodies to the Army and Marines, a higher Pentagon budget than even Bush is asking for, and the bombing of Iran and Pakistan, history has been rewritten to make Obama an early, consistent and principled voice for peace. This history is written, of course, by the same media that sold us the lies which enabled the war to begin with.
Hey guys, didn't you know Saint ObamaTM believes war is peace?