Amanda has just joined the Edwards bandwagon in the most blatant way possible: by running his campaign blog. I noted in the comments that Edwards supported a military strike against Iran. As Lindsay notes, he’s just rehashing the conventional wisdom about Iraq that was proven so devastatingly wrong after the American invasion.
On Pandagon, I made a comment about Obama’s being possibly the only anti-war candidate in the race. It wasn’t long before Drew set me straight: Obama is in fact only against the Iraq war, like the rest of the field. Back in 2004, he came out in support of attacking Iran:
Obama said the United States must first address Iran’s attempt to gain nuclear capabilities by going before the United Nations Security Council and lobbying the international community to apply more pressure on Iran to cease nuclear activities. That pressure should come in the form of economic sanctions, he said.
But if those measures fall short, the United States should not rule out military strikes to destroy nuclear production sites in Iran, Obama said.
In the comments to my post about Edwards’ pro-war statements, SLC snarked, “There can be no doubt that Edwards is a conscious Zionist conspirator, and a tool of the international Zionist conspiracy.” Actually, what Obama did is worse than what Edwards did. Edwards spoke to a pro-Israeli group, which makes it possible that in fact he’s just lying to it to get its people’s money and votes. Obama has no such excuse.
This, of course, leaves Hillary Clinton as the one serious Democratic contender who hasn’t explicitly backed an attack on Iran that I know of. However, it’s extremely unlikely she’ll be anything but a war hawk; given her vote for the Iraq war and her record on American-Israeli relations, she is to be assumed pro-war until proven otherwise.
Oh well. In a comment on her own top-notch post about Edwards and Iran, Lindsay laments,
It’s the conventional wisdom factor that I’m scared of. In the run-up to the Iraq war, I began to wonder whether I was crazy because no one was asking really basic questions like “Is war the best solution to this problem?” and “Are we sure that there’s a problem?” and “You know there’s a difference between a potential threat and an imminent threat, right?” and “How is deposing Saddam Hussein supposed to reduce terrorism?”
At the time, I didn’t speak out. I mean, I went to anti-war protests and wrote to my elected officials and signed a lot of petitions. But I didn’t publicly voice the basic questions that were reverberating in my head because even so called liberals were playing along with the Saddam Threat script, even if they didn’t want to authorize the president to use force just yet.
The right wing managed to marginalize anyone who spoke out too strongly against the war. “Serious” liberals couldn’t say “This war is just a crazy idea, I don’t understand what this is supposed to accomplish.”
I keep joking with myself that liberal bloggers would do a far better job at governing than the current crop of politicians. It’s really too bad Lindsay’s too young to run (not that she could win if she did – atheists don’t generally win elections in the US – but still). Drafting a more established politician of the same nominal religion as Lindsay and was a possible candidate at one point would have a better chance, but I honestly don’t see such a politician pull an upset victory at this stage.
Why John Edwards? Well, look again at that list of political obsessions and you have your answer. John Edwards is the only Democrat in the field of potential nominees who is interested in pursuing the right policies in all these areas. Especially important to me is that he is interested in fighting poverty in America and putting that middle class dream in the hands of all Americans.
I don’t want to snark too much at someone who opposes wars of aggression, but Amanda’s focusing on the wrong people. Yes, if you want two or three million Americans to be lifted out of poverty, you should support Edwards. But if you want two or three hundred thousand Iranians not to be bombed to death, and Iranian women to have a decent chance at achieving legal equality, you should do whatever you can to derail his candidacy, as well as these of all other war hawks.