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Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Refuse to Commit to Ending the Iraq War

Original post made by Sean, Midtown, on Sep 27, 2007

Did anybody watch the last Democratic debate? I can't believe it. We elected Democrats to get us OUT of war. Now there is this hedging. The top two candidates have been co-opted by the military industrial complex! The only way out of war is to cut and run. Some people ridicule this statement, but it is so truthful, that it is not worthwhile becoming defensive about it. We MUST cut and run.

I will be voting for Bill Richardson. He WILL cut and run, and I support him for taking that stand.

Comments (22)

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Posted by no way
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 27, 2007 at 1:40 pm

The reason why these two canidates are not cutting and running is because they understand that it is a stupid answer to this war. If we cut and run there will be major reprecussions on the Iraqi people and the American people. And to say that these two have been "co-opted by the military industrial complex" is completely unfactual and moronic. I would hope that any canidate whos position is cutting and running would not get elected. It is a unthoughtout plan that will be a mistake if anyone takes action on it.


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Posted by Word
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 27, 2007 at 3:01 pm


Conservatives, right-wingers, and zionists hold sway in mass media, elite universities, top think tanks, State Department, Pentagon, judiciary, corporations, and finance.

So even if a Democrat is in the White House or even if Democrats maintain shakey control of Congress, the vast Republican machine still calls the shots.


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Posted by War = $$$
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Bottom line:

Modern Warfare = $$$ for insiders = death and debt for everybody else.

We're talking about the future of OIL here; forget the moralistic niceties spewed by the politicos. They're all taking money from special interests - every last one of them.

Why do you think America has the crappiest (and most expensive to consumers) telecommunications system in the developed world?

Why do you think Americans are only one of two developed nations without national health care?

Why do you think Americans have more credit card debt than Gross National Wages?

Why do you think that Americans work longer hours than even the Japanese, and have a declining % increase of the value ofo their labor, relative to the % increase in the value of capital, to show for it?

Why do you think that the scum bankers, hedge fund managers, and others who invent financial instruments to progit their wealthy clients - and "damn what happens downstream!" - get saved by the Fed, time in and time out?

It will take a few more political generations before Americans begin to wash this stuff out of their political culture. We're still thinking like we were 50 years ago - waiting for the next hero to come along and save us from our excess. That's a myth, and will soon be seen as such.






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Posted by joe
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 27, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Never again am I voting for the lesser of two evils for President. If enough of us vote for someone decent and can keep the voting process from being corrupted, we can stop this, but that's the only way.


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Posted by Pati
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 27, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Wow - both extremes up there. First I want out of this was ASAP - that is NOT the same as cut and run. I expect - if the decision was made today to exit Iraq, it would take upwards of 18 months to get our troops AND weapons, tanks, armored vehicles, all our "war stuff" out of there safely. Don't EVER forget - after we went into Afganistan during the Carter administration to train IN COOPERATION WITH THE TALIBAN to help the get rid of the Soviet Union. We gave them weapons, taught them how to use them, they got rid of the Soviets, we left are weapons and came home. Among those we trained was Bin Laden. We left Afghanistan a mess after years of was, had empowered the taliban during that period to coordinate the training so we left the weapons with them when we exited. Big shock - the taliban took over after we left - among them OSAMA BIN LADEN.

This war in Iraq is wrong, immoral and inexcusable from the start. We MUST get out of it. But if we leave Iraq with a similar kind of wrong-headedness, single-minded blindness and stupidity as we entered with - we could make a bad situation much worse. This isn't vietnam folks.

If a democrat is elected we will end this war.


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Posted by Reality Check
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2007 at 4:35 pm

These comments are hilarious.

Of course, NO responsible person will commit to getting out of Iraq on any timetable other than when we can do so without condemning millions of people to death. They will be exactly the same as now, and Congress will suddenly magically stop proposing bills that are simply to score political points and convince the gullible that anyone is actually serious about getting out of Iraq before it is time.

All the Democrat candidates are simply playing the anti-war game because they are beholden to the moveon.org crowd, their "base", but the truth is they don't really want to condemn Iraqis. Or else they would be forever responsible for the killing fields that would result.


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Posted by Reality Check
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Patti, do you honestly believe that it isn't exactly what Bush et al have been saying ALL ALONG??? Of course we want out, Republican OR Democrat, as soon as it is safe for the Iraqis! It is irrelevant who is in charge, that decision is a foregone conclusion.

The problem is that with a Dem in charge, because of all the anti-war leaders in the Dem party, and because of the rhetoric of the candidates now, and because of our history under Democrat presidents who don't fight back, Syria, Iran and Taliban will believe that all they have to do is fight harder and we will quit. Then, let the real war begin.

Of COURSE we learned from Vietnam.


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Posted by Pati
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 27, 2007 at 4:41 pm

and furthermore they BOTH committed to ending this war. Stop buying into the sound bites so popular with the press. I wasn't particulaly happy with either the question or the answers; I actually think Biden is the best choice for getting us out - but seems unlikely he can win. I wish money wasn't the single most important factor in electability in our country.


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Posted by Pati
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 27, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Reality check,

This in NOT was Bush has been saying all along. Bush wants to run out the clock to turf it to the next pres. I'm saying begin an exit stategy immediately - but HAVE a plan - don't just start drop the weapons and fly home the troops. The people of Iraq won't be safe till they quit fighting each other and make a government they support. They haven't done it in 1000 years so I'm not holding my breath. It's thier problem. But Osama must be Bush's biggest fan, since the mess in Iraq has given al queda more weapons, manpower, and money. And he is our mortal enemy and we have to be sensible about leaving.

I'm saying we need a plan, we take our stuff with us, and we don't create a worse situation for the united states. that's all.

I'm not a military person (obviously) but it seems to me if we took our troops and closed all the borders (REALLY closed) to keep out anybody invested in keeping things stirred up - things might settle down; one way or another.


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Posted by War = $$$
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2007 at 5:19 pm

"All the Democrat candidates are simply playing the anti-war game because they are beholden to the moveon.org crowd, their "base", but the truth is they don't really want to condemn Iraqis. Or else they would be forever responsible for the killing fields that would result."

The killing fields are with us now. We cannot leave "just like that". BUT, we can make SERIOUS inroads into changign how much oil we use. Why aren't the politicos FORCING environmental standards that save oil? They're not.

It's maddening to see us in a situation that we can't get out of with honor. George Bush and his henchmen and henchwomen are war criminals, period. You may see that as extremist, but the evidence is there that the Iraqi campiagn was going to happen, no matter the evidence.

That we are in this mess now is the DIRECT result of lies and out-of-context prompting. Someone shuold pay for this. Who is accountable? so far, NOBODY!

I've been a long-time Dem, but have had it with both parties. Our culture is tempting fate by "going along" with the perceived so-called "wisdom" of people who are themselves trapped in a system of influence-peddling that seems never to end.

Of course, this is politics, and war has always been with us, but I'm now officially tired of listening to those who claim to know how this or that will turn out, because they're ALWAYS wrong. It's time for new thinking.


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Posted by your wrong
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 27, 2007 at 5:24 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
The terrorists will use this as propganda against the us which will cause more problems for us. I think we need to leave but we need to leave but leave behind a safe under control country that wont come and bit us in the ass 10 or 15 years down the road.


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Posted by Sean
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2007 at 7:30 pm

"It's thier problem"

Absolutely correct. If they want to kill themselves, let them. We left Vietnam and millions died (both there and in Cambodia). So what? They did it to themselves.

We CAN and SHOULD cut and run. Nothing wrong with it. Just blow up the facilities, and weapons (that belong to the U.S.), then head south, and out through Kuwait. Then leave Kuwait, too. And quit playing footsy with Saudi Arabia. And quit supporting Israel. Just get out of the Mid East althogether. We have no real interests there. They will continue to sell oil, and we can buy it on the open market.

We should get out of South Korea and Japan and Europe, while we're at it.

We need to focus on single payer health care.


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Posted by wrong idea
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 27, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Sean if we cut and run we will hurt ourselves more than if we stay and see this thing through. If we leave with Iraq in shambles, like it is now, then we are giving propoganda to our enemies which will brew more hate towards us. By keeping troops in other countries we our helping ourselves by keeping our interests in tact. Leaving every country we have troops in will hurt us a lot.[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by soemone else
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 27, 2007 at 11:04 pm


It's been my impression for the longest time that both Republicans and Democrats are parties of the establishment and big business. They are more alike than they are different when it comes down governing, aside from a couple minor social issues such as abortion.

They are both funded by big business and thus in debt to big business. I long ago gave up on the Democrats REALLY doing things differently from Republicans.

I vote Green.


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Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm

What's changed since spring time, when all the Democratic candidates were very forceful about getting out in 2009?

The change in strategy, the "surge", and the progress that General Petraeus has made so far. It's still a work in progress, but if the trend continues, then the Democratic candidates want to be on the side of "success". Their position now, is much closer to what Bush has.


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Posted by c'mon
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2007 at 8:02 am

Pati, From the BEGINNING Bush has said we leave when the job is done..not one day sooner,then defined "done" as stable democracy capable of defending itself. How can you possibly deny that this hasn't been the goal all along?

The democrats are simply now adopting it because they realize they have been fighting on the side of terrorists, and that they will lose in '08 if they don't spin it, and quickly.

most people will buy into it, like you have, because of all those great friends of the dems, the vast majority of the media, who will help them spin like crazy.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2007 at 8:08 am

Based on statements made by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at the last debate, both haved switched their position on the war. I will not support anyone who plays games like this with the lives of American soldiers. I feel betrayed by both of them and will not vote for either.


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Posted by curious
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2007 at 10:46 am

I am curious, what do you mean by play games with the lives of the American soldier?


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Posted by eyes on the prize
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2007 at 11:06 am

"The reason why these two canidates are not cutting and running is because they understand that it is a stupid answer to this war."
No, the reason is because they understand that it's a stupid way to get elected. Right now their goal is to gather as many votes as possible, not to express their best (or most accurate) policy ideas.


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Posted by hmmm
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Sep 28, 2007 at 2:11 pm

so, you are admitting that you believe they are lying to the public?

You are right, I think that is the real thing happening, too. Lying to us to get elected, then cut and run anyway and destroy all the progress we have made.

people who change and change and change have no credibility.


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Posted by eyes on the prize
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2007 at 3:03 pm

"Admitting"?? I'm new to the conversation - what are you referring to? I read the first comment and then added my own.

I'm stating that I believe ALL politicians - every darn one of them - spin their words to the public in order to get elected. This is Politics 101. First you get elected, then you serve. In a tight race, saying things that you know will cost votes is stupid.


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Posted by eyes on the prize
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2007 at 3:11 pm

My point is that the first challenge is getting elected. Strategizing how to serve is inconsequential if you don't get elected.

The original question was why Clinton and Obama are hedging on their Iraq exit strategy. Their hedging has very little to do with war strategy - at this point it's all about how to get the votes. This is a basic observation, not a partisan view.


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