Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Vote For War

A vote for Obama is a vote for war.

That is very plain and clear at this point, and backed up on two fronts. The first is the record of the last four years where we've seen...

  • Obama carry through precisely the Iraq strategy outlined by Bush and Rumsfeld.
  • Obama twice "surge" the Afghan war and triple the number of US troops there.
  • Obama start a war in Libya, and do so in way more un-constitutional than anything Bush and Cheney ever tried.
  • Plus all the other little wars that have continued and started during Obama's years.
The second is the clear statements from the Obama administration that they will go to war with Iran after the 2012 elections.  They are currently conducting negotiations with Iran in a very provocative way, by raising their demands even before negotiations begin to now include the complete elimination of Iran's civilian nuclear power program.  If only the US would offer to match them in that.

This is actually rather rare in American history. There have been very few elections where it was well known that electing a candidate as President would lead to a war, or the willing continuation and expansion of ongoing wars.

Honestly, a vote for Obama or McCain in 2008 was a vote for war.  In 2004, a vote for Bush was a vote of confirmation of his policies of voting for war as well as a vote to continue those wars.  But in 2004 a vote for Kerry was also a vote to continue those wars.  So, the recent trend is to have candidates about whom it can be clearly said that a vote for them was a vote for war.

You probably have to go back to 1972 to find another such case. In 1972, a vote for Nixon was a vote for war.  But even then, this sitting President talked far more about how he was the man to end the war than anything else.  His opponent, George McGovern was clearly a vote against the war.  In 1968, a vote for Humphrey was a vote to continue the war in Vietnam started by Kennedy and Johnson, but a vote for Nixon was also likely a vote for war.  But again, in stark contrast to today, both sides talked about how they would end the war, with Nixon touting his secret plan to end the war.

1952 was as much a vote on how to end the Korean War than anything else.  In 1944, war was a given, and the vote was more of a choice as to who should best conduct it.  But then you have to go back pretty much to Lincoln.  The 1940 election was before Pearl Harbor, and President Roosevelt's foreign policy that was leading to that attack wasn't much up for debate.  America's involvement in World War One happened between the elections, and in 1916 Democrat Woodrow Wilson ran promising to keep America out of that war.

In 1860, a vote for Lincoln was a vote for liberating the slaves, and also largely a vote for a war to make that happen.  The choice on the ballot was to vote for a Democrat who would prevent a war by defending the practice of slavery. The Mexican War happened in Polk's third year, and was wrapping up by the time of the 1848 elections, when people like Abraham Lincoln started to make a name for themselves by speaking out against it.  Before that, the US didn't really start wars, so a vote for President wasn't really a vote for starting a war one way or the other.

So, we are in a rather unique historical place.  Its very rare for the US public to get such an open vote on a President who all but promises to start another war, this time with Iran, right after the election.  Its even equally rare to get a chance to vote on a sitting War President who is openly proclaiming his support for continuing these Terror Wars that Dubya began.  

How will you vote?  Are you going to vote for war?  If you vote for Romney or Obama, you most certainly are voting for a war with Iran.  But there will be other names on the ballot.  And you do have a choice.  Are you in favor of yet another war?  Do you want blood on your hands?  In this fall's elections, you will have a very clear choice in your vote for President.  And probably at other offices down the ballot where you will also find Independent and 3rd Party candidates who would oppose a war with Iran.

How will you vote in 2012? Will you vote for war?

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