Monday, February 26, 2007

Why I Care About Hillary's "Mistake"

When people talk about Hillary refusing to admit she made a mistake regarding the Iraq Authorization for the President to go to war, it often sounds like an argument about semantics. Her stump line is "If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have supported the resolution.", she goes on to lay the responsibility at Bush's feet and expresses remorse.

This might sound like a sufficient mea culpa. I don't know about others, but I don't want her to apologize as some act of contrition. I opposed invading Iraq because I didn't think there was sufficient cause to buck the entire international community and do it on her own. What's more, we created a dangerous precedent with preemption. When I say I want Hillary to admit a mistake, it is because without admitting a mistake, how am I to know she learned from this?

Her 'apology' makes it clear she wouldn't support another preemptive war by President Bush. But what about the next President. The mistake here wasn't believing the President, the mistake was supporting a war without international support or the kind of evidence needed to justify it. The mistake wasn't that she was misled, the mistake is that she believes in a vision of the US where preemption is justified on very little evidence. The other outcomes are entirely predictable when gambling on a policy of preemption.

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