President Clinton’s Calculated and Lukewarm Iraq War Position


Bill Clinton's positions on the Iraq War

Former President Bill Clinton had an opportunity to speak out against the war in Iraq and three interviews give some insight into the way in which he approached his at best lukewarm opposition or his calculated position on the situation in Iraq. There were points at which he was quoted at supporting the war. These exclusive interviews give insight into Clinton’s position on the Iraq War.

On July 7, 2004 Jim Lehrer of the News Hour interviewed Bill Clinton at length about the war in Iraq, Monica Lewinsky, the Starr investigation and many other subjects. President Clinton was careful in his answers regarding the Iraq war. He even bolsters Obama’s election by saying that a first term Senator from North Carolina was more experienced than President George W. Bush when he ran for president.: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/july-dec04/clinton_7-07.html

In June of 2004 President Clinton gave an interview to Dan Rather of 60 Minutes in which he again talked about some of the problems of the war and the fact that we rushed getting in there, but never once telling Dan Rather anything that would amount to a moral stance against the war in Iraq. In fact he stated he supported some of Bush’s action on the war: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/01/60minutes/main620619.shtml

And this is a good one, he talks to Fox News’ Chris Wallace at length about Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism and the Iraq War, but instead of giving anything substantial about the War in Iraq and hundreds of US soldiers dying he defends his record on terrorism and talked about the “Global Initiative”. This interview, some would argue, is classic Bill Clinton because he accentuates all of the Clinton personality traits: http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/24/clinton-video/ .

The question is why now on the campaign stump. If it is important now many years after the fact to say he is in opposition, why not then at a time when it could have changed some things. A strong rebuke of the administration could’ve gotten John Kerry elected at the time when he was writing his book and that could’ve put an older Senator Clinton’s chances at president at around 2012.

eNews References:

Jim Lehrer News Hour Interview (Full Text):

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/july-dec04/clinton_7-07.html

CBS News Dan Rather Interview (Video):

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/01/60minutes/main620619.shtml

Fox News Chris Wallace Interview (Video):

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/24/clinton-video/

eNewsReference.com:

http://www.enewsreference.com/enr/hillary_clinton.shtml
http://www.enewsreference.com/enr/rudolph_giuliani.shtml
http://www.enewsreference.com/barack_obama.shtml

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