Bill Clinton's stealth opposition to Iraq war

NY Times:

During a campaign swing for his wife, former President Bill Clinton said flatly yesterday that he opposed the war in Iraq “from the beginning” — a statement that is more absolute than his comments before the invasion in March 2003.

Before the invasion, Mr. Clinton did not precisely declare that he opposed the war. A week before military action began, however, he did say that he preferred to give weapons inspections more time and that an invasion was not necessary to topple Saddam Hussein.

At the same time, he also spoke supportively about the 2002 Senate resolution that authorized military action against Iraq.

Advisers to Mr. Clinton said yesterday that he did oppose the war, but that it would have been inappropriate at the time for him, a former president, to oppose — in a direct, full-throated manner — the sitting president’s military decision.

Mr. Clinton has said several times since the war began that he would not have attacked Iraq in the manner that President Bush had done. As early as June 2004, he said, “I would not have done it until after Hans Blix finished the job,” referring to the weapons inspections there before the war.

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Bill Clinton always favored removing the WMD through a bluff. That is exactly what he did in the 1998 confrontation where he did make war against the Iraqi janitors who were working late in some of the facilities. But if he really opposed the war in 2003, it was certainly muted and there are many on the web who have found statements to the contrary. Don Surber has some specifics, as does Captain Ed.

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