The Democrats' War
Source Dave Anderson
Date 10/09/15/23:29
Iraq: The Democrats' War
by: Stephen Zunes

THE ONGOING presence of over 50,000 US troops, many thousands of
civilian employees and tens of thousands of US-backed mercenaries
raises serious questions over the significance of the partial
withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. The August 31 deadline marking the
"end of US combat operations in Iraq" is not as real or significant a
milestone as President Obama implied in his speech. Indeed, hearing
for the umpteenth time that the US has "turned a corner" in Iraq, it
makes one think that the country must be some kind of dodecahedron.

Nevertheless, with all the attention on the supposed withdrawal of US
combat forces, it is important to acknowledge the forces that got us
into this tragic conflict in the first place.

It was not just George W. Bush.

Had a majority of either the Republican-controlled House or the
Democratic-controlled Senate voted against the resolution authorizing
the invasion or had they passed an alternative resolution conditioning
such authority on the approval of the use of force from the United
Nations Security Council, all the tragic events that have unfolded as
a consequence of the March 2003 invasion would have never taken place.

The responsibility for the deaths of over 4,400 American soldiers, the
deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, the waste of
nearly one trillion dollars of our national treasury and the rise of
terrorism and Islamist extremism that has come as a result of the US
invasion and occupation of Iraq rests as much in the hands of the
members in Congress who authorized the invasion as it does with the
administration that requested the lawmakers' approval. Indeed, the
October 2002 resolution authorizing the invasion had the support of
the majority of Democratic senators, as well as the support of the
Democratic Party leadership in both the House and the Senate.

On this and other web sites - as well as in many scores of policy
reports, newspaper articles, academic journals, and other sources -
the tragic consequences of a US invasion of Iraq and a refutation of
falsehoods being put forward by the Bush administration to justify it
were made available to every member of the House and Senate (see, for
example, "The Case Against a War with Iraq"). The 2002 vote
authorizing the invasion was not like the vote on the 1964 Gulf of
Tonkin resolution on the use of force against North Vietnam, for which
Congress had no time for hearings or debate and for which most of
those supporting it (mistakenly) thought they were simply authorizing
limited short-term retaliatory strikes in response to a specific
series of alleged incidents. In contrast, with regard to the
resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq, Congress had
many months to investigate and debate the administration's claims that
Iraq was a threat as well as the likely implications of a US invasion;
members of Congress also fully recognized that the resolution
authorized a full-scale invasion of a sovereign nation and a
subsequent military occupation for an indefinite period.

Violating International Legal Covenants

Those who voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the invasion of
Iraq did so despite the fact that it violated international legal
conventions to which the US government is legally bound to uphold. The
resolution constituted a clear violation of the United Nations Charter
that, like other ratified international treaties, should be treated as
supreme law according to Article VI of the US Constitution. According
to articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter, no member state has the right
to enforce any resolution militarily unless the UN Security Council
determines that there has been a material breach of its resolution,
decides that all nonmilitary means of enforcement have been exhausted
and then specifically authorizes the use of military force.

This is what the Security Council did in November 1990 with Resolution
678 in response to Iraq's ongoing violations of UN Security Council
resolutions demanding its withdrawal from Kuwait, but the Security
Council did not do so for any subsequent lesser Iraqi violations. The
only other exception for the use of force authorized by the charter is
in self-defense against armed attack, which even the Bush
administration admitted had not taken place.

This effective renunciation of the UN Charter's prohibition against
such wars of aggression constituted an effective repudiation of the
post-WW II international legal order. Alternative resolutions, such as
one authorizing force against Iraq if authorized by the UN Security
Council, were voted down by a bipartisan majority.

Concerned Scholars and Strategic Analysts

Members of Congress were also alerted by large numbers of scholars of
the Middle East, Middle Eastern political leaders, former State
Department and intelligence officials and others who recognized that a
US invasion would likely result in a bloody insurgency, a rise in
Islamist extremism and terrorism, increased sectarian and ethnic
conflict, and related problems. Few people I know who are familiar
with Iraq have been at all surprised that the US invasion became such
a tragedy. Indeed, most of us were in communication with Congressional
offices and often with individual members of Congress themselves in
the months leading up to the vote warning of the likely consequences
of an invasion and occupation. Therefore, claims by leading Democratic
supporters of the war that they were unaware of the likely
consequences of the invasion are completely false.

The resolution also contained accusations that were known or widely
assumed to be false at that time, such as claims of Iraqi support for
al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks
against the United States. A definitive report by the Department of
Defense noted that, not only did no such link exist, but that no such
link could have even been reasonably suggested based on the evidence
available at that time.

The resolution also falsely claimed that Iraq was "actively seeking a
nuclear weapons capability." In reality, Iraq had long eliminated its
nuclear program, a fact that was confirmed in a report by the
International Atomic Energy Agency in 1998, four years prior to the

The resolution also falsely claimed that Iraq at that time continued
"to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons
capability." In reality, as the US government now admits, Iraq had rid
itself of its chemical and biological weapons nearly a decade earlier
and no longer had any active chemical and biological weapons programs.
This likelihood that Iraq no longer had operational chemical or
biological weapons was brought to the attention of members of Congress
by a number of top arms control specialists, as well as Scott Ritter,
the American who headed UNSCOM's efforts to locate Iraq's possible
hidden caches of chemical and biological weapons, hidden supplies or
secret production facilities. As I have written elsewhere, academic
journals, testimony by arms control inspectors, newspaper articles,
reports from independent think tanks and countless other sources in
the months leading up to the Congressional authorization vote provided
a plethora of evidence suggesting that Iraq had achieved at least
qualitative disarmament and was not a threat to its neighbors, much
less the United States.

No Evidence

Virtually all of Iraq's known stockpiles of chemical and biological
agents had been accounted for, and the shelf life of the small amount
of material that had not been accounted for - which, as it ends up,
had also been destroyed - had long since expired and was therefore no
longer of weapons grade. There was no evidence that Iraq had any
delivery systems for such weapons, either. In addition, the strict
embargo of that country, in effect since 1990, against imports of any
additional materials needed for the manufacture of weapons of mass
destruction (WMD), combined with Iraq's inability to manufacture such
weapons or delivery systems themselves without detection, made any
claims that Iraq constituted any "significant chemical and biological
weapons capability" as claimed in the resolution transparently false
to anyone who cared to investigate the matter at that time. Indeed,
even the classified full version of the 2002 National Intelligence
Estimate, while grossly overestimating Iraq's military capability, was
filled with extensive disagreements, doubts and caveats regarding
President Bush's assertions regarding Iraq's WMD, WMD programs and
delivery systems.

The House and Senate members who now claim they were "misled" about
Iraq's alleged military threat have failed to explain why they found
the administration's claims so much more convincing than the many
other reports made available to them from more objective sources that
presumably made a much stronger case that Iraq no longer had offensive
WMD capability. Curiously, except for one excerpt from a 2002 National
Security Estimate released in July 2003 - widely ridiculed at the time
for its transparently manipulated content - not a single member of
Congress has agreed to allow me or any other strategic analyst any
access to any documents they claim convinced them of the alleged Iraqi
threat. In effect, they are using the infamous Nixon defense from the
Watergate scandal, claiming that, while they have evidence to
vindicate themselves, making it public would somehow damage national
security. In reality, if such reports actually exist, they are clearly
inaccurate, outdated and are in regard to a government no longer in
existence and would, therefore, be of no threat to national security
if made public.

International Opposition

The US invasion of Iraq was opposed by virtually the entire
international community, including Iraq's closest neighbors, who
presumably had the most to be concerned about in terms of any possible
Iraqi military threat. However, the members of Congress who voted to
authorize the invasion were determined to make the case that the
United States - with the strongest military the world has ever known
and thousands of miles beyond the range of Iraq's alleged weapons and
delivery systems - was so threatened by Iraq that the United States
had to launch an invasion, overthrow its government and occupy that
country for an indefinite period.

This shows a frighteningly low threshold for effectively declaring
war, especially given that, in most cases, these members of Congress
had been informed by knowledgeable sources of the widespread human and
material costs which would result from a US invasion. It also
indicates that they would likely be just as willing to send American
forces off to another disastrous war again, also under false
pretenses. Indeed, those who voted for the war demonstrated their
belief that:

the United States need not abide by its international legal
obligations, including those prohibiting wars of aggression;
claims by right-wing US government officials and unreliable foreign
exiles regarding a foreign government's military capabilities are more
trustworthy than independent arms control analysts and United Nations
concerns expressed by scholars and others knowledgeable of the likely
reaction by the subjected population to a foreign conquest and the
likely complications that would result should be ignored; and, faith
should instead be placed on the occupation policies forcibly imposed
on the population by a corrupt right-wing Republican administration.
As a result, support for the 2002 Iraq war resolution is not something
that can simply be forgiven and forgotten.

Democrats' Responsibility

The Democrats who voted to support the war and rationalized for it by
making false claims about Iraq's WMD programs are responsible for
allowing the Bush administration to get away with lying about Iraq's
alleged threat. For example, Bush correctly noted how "more than a
hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate - who had access to the
same intelligence - voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from
power." In a speech attacking anti-war activists, Bush noted, "Many of
these critics supported my opponent [Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry]
during the last election, who explained his position to support the
resolution in the Congress this way: 'When I vote to give the
President of the United States the authority to use force, if
necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a
deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat
and a grave threat, to our security.'"

The resolution also claimed that "the risk that the current Iraqi
regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack
against the United States ... or provide them to international
terrorists who would do so ... combine to justify action by the United
States to defend itself." In other words, those members of the House
and Senate who supported this resolution believed, or claimed to
believe, that an impoverished country, which had eliminated its
stockpiles of banned weapons, destroyed its medium and long-range
missiles and eliminated its WMD programs more than a decade earlier
and had been suffering under the strictest international sanctions in
world history for more than a dozen years, somehow threatened the
national security of a superpower located more than 6,000 miles away.
Furthermore, these members of Congress believed, or claimed to
believe, that this supposed threat was so great that the United States
had no choice but to launch an invasion of that country, overthrow its
government and place its people under military occupation in the name
of "self-defense," regardless of whether Iraq allowed inspectors back
into the county to engage in unfettered inspections to prove that the
WMD, WMD programs and weapons systems no longer existed.

It's also important to recognize that not everyone in Congress voted
to authorize the invasion. There were the 21 Senate Democrats - along
with one Republican and one Independent - who voted against the war
resolution. And 126 of 207 House Democrats voted against the
resolution as well. In total, then, a majority of Democrats in
Congress defied their leadership by saying no to war. This means that
the Democrats who did support the war, despite being overrepresented
in leadership positions and among presidential contenders, were part
of a right-wing minority and did not represent the mainstream of their

Despite this, the Democratic Party has largely rewarded their
right-wing minority who did support the war. Since casting their
fateful vote and making their false statements about WMD, Harry Reid
(D-Nevada) was elected senate majority leader, John Kerry
(D-Massachusetts) has been selected to head the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee and, Dianne Feinstein (D-California) has been
selected to chair the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the House,
Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) was elected House Majority leader and Howard
Berman (D-California) was selected to chair the House Foreign Affairs
Committee. And, in 2004, after the lies which led up to the war had
already been exposed and US occupation troops were being dragged down
into a bloody counterinsurgency war, the Democrats chose to nominate
two pro-war senators - Kerry and John Edwards (D-North Carolina) - as
their presidential and vice presidential candidates, both of whom at
that time continued to defend their vote to authorize the invasion and
to continue prosecuting the war. As a result, many anti-war Democrats
refused to support their party's nominees, resulting in their narrow

The Obama Administration

To his credit, Barack Obama - then an Illinois state senator who had
no obligation to take a stand either way - took the initiative to
speak at a major anti-war rally in Chicago in October 2002. While his
future rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination Hillary
Clinton, John Edwards, Christopher Dodd and Joe Biden were making
false and alarmist statements that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was
still a danger to the Middle East and US national security, Obama had
a far more realistic understanding of the situation, stating: "Saddam
poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his

Recognizing that there were alternatives to using military force,
Obama called on the United States to "allow UN inspectors to do their
work." He noted, "that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the
Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength and that in concert
with the international community he can be contained until, in the way
of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."

Furthermore, unlike the Iraq war's initial supporters, Obama
recognized that "even a successful war against Iraq will require a US
occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with
undetermined consequences." Understanding the dangerous consequences
to regional stability resulting from war, Obama accurately warned that
"an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong
international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East and
encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world and
strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda."

Indeed, he referred to it as "a dumb war" and "a rash war," nothing
less than a "cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and
other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their
own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in
lives lost and in hardships borne."

It was this prescience, contrasted with Hillary Clinton's blind
support for the Iraq war, that played a decisive role in Obama
upsetting her for the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential nomination.
Indeed, as a candidate for president, Obama promised that not only
would he end the Iraq war, he would "end the mindset that led to the
Iraq war."

Unfortunately, the majority of President Obama's appointees to key
positions dealing with foreign policy - Biden, Hillary Clinton, Robert
Gates, Dennis Blair, Janet Napolitano, Richard Holbrooke and Rahm
Emanuel - have been among those who represent that very mindset.

Their support for the invasion of Iraq was not simply a matter of
misjudgment. Those who supported the war demonstrated a dismissive
attitude toward fundamental principles of international law and
disdain for the United Nations Charter and international treaties
which prohibit aggressive war. They demonstrated a willingness to
either fabricate a nonexistent threat or naively believe transparently
false and manipulated intelligence claiming such a threat existed,
ignoring a plethora of evidence from weapons inspectors and
independent arms control analysts who said that Iraq had already
achieved at least qualitative disarmament. Perhaps worst of all, they
demonstrated an incredible level of hubris and stupidity in imagining
that the United States could get away with an indefinite occupation of
a heavily populated Arab country with a strong history of nationalism
and resistance to foreign domination.

Nor does it appear that they were simply fooled by the Bush
administration's manufactured claims of an Iraqi threat. For example,
Napolitano, after acknowledging that there were not really WMD in Iraq
as she had claimed prior to the invasion, argued, "In my view, there
were lots of reasons for taking out Saddam Hussein." Similarly,
Clinton insisted months after the Bush administration acknowledged the
absence of WMD that her vote in favor of the resolution authorizing
the invasion "was the right vote" and was one that, she said, "I stand

Clearly, then, despite their much-touted "experience," these Obama
appointees demonstrated, through their support for the Bush
administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq, a profound ignorance
of the reality of the Middle East and an arrogant assumption that
peace, stability and democratic governance can be created through the
application of massive US military force.

Given that the majority of Democrats in Congress, a larger majority of
registered Democrats nationally and an even larger percentage of those
who voted for Obama opposed the decision to invade Iraq, it is
particularly disappointing that Obama would choose his vice president,
chief of staff, secretary of state, secretary of defense, secretary of
Homeland Security and special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan from
the right-wing minority who supported the war.

The most striking examples of Obama's betrayal of his anti-war
constituency have been his appointments to the influential positions
of vice president and secretary of state.


It is difficult to overestimate the critical role Biden played in
making the tragedy of the Iraq war possible. More than two months
prior to the 2002 war resolution even being introduced, in what was
widely interpreted as the first sign that Congress would endorse a US
invasion of Iraq, Biden declared on August 4 that the United States
was probably going to war. In his powerful position as chair of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he orchestrated a propaganda show
designed to sell the war to skeptical colleagues and the America
public by ensuring that dissenting voices would not get a fair

As Scott Ritter, the former chief UN weapons inspector, noted at the
time, "For Sen. Biden's Iraq hearings to be anything more than a
political sham used to invoke a modern-day Gulf of Tonkin
resolution-equivalent for Iraq, his committee will need to ask hard
questions - and demand hard facts - concerning the real nature of the
weapons threat posed by Iraq."

It soon became apparent that Biden had no intention of doing so. Biden
refused to even allow Ritter himself - who knew more about Iraq's WMD
capabilities than anyone and would have testified that Iraq had
achieved at least qualitative disarmament - to testify. Ironically, on
"Meet the Press" in 2007, Biden defended his false claims about Iraqi
WMD by insisting that "everyone in the world thought he had them. The
weapons inspectors said he had them."

Biden also refused to honor requests by some of his Democratic
colleagues to include some of the leading anti-war scholars familiar
with Iraq and Middle East (myself included) in the hearings. These
involved both those who would have reiterated Ritter's conclusions
about nonexistent Iraqi WMD capabilities as well as those prepared to
testify that a US invasion of Iraq would likely set back the struggle
against al-Qaeda, alienate the United States from much of the world
and precipitate bloody, urban, counterinsurgency warfare amid rising
terrorism, Islamist extremism and sectarian violence. All of these
predictions ended up being exactly what transpired.

Nor did Biden even call some of the dissenting officials in the
Pentagon or State Department who were willing to challenge the
alarmist claims of their ideologically-driven superiors. He was
willing, however, to allow Iraqi defectors of highly dubious
credentials to make false testimony about the vast quantities of WMD
materiel supposedly in Saddam Hussein's possession. Ritter correctly
accused Biden of having "preordained a conclusion that seeks to remove
Saddam Hussein from power regardless of the facts and ... using these
hearings to provide political cover for a massive military attack on

Rather than being a hapless victim of the Bush administration's lies
and manipulation, Biden was calling for a US invasion of Iraq and
making false statements regarding Saddam Hussein's supposed possession
of WMD years before President George W. Bush even came to office.

As far back as 1998, Biden was calling for a US invasion of that oil
rich country. Even though UN inspectors and the UN-led disarmament
process had led to the elimination of Iraq's WMD threat, Biden - in an
effort to discredit the world body and make an excuse for war -
insisted that UN inspectors could never be trusted to do the job.
During Senate hearings on Iraq in September of that year, Biden told
Ritter, "As long as Saddam's at the helm, there is no reasonable
prospect you or any other inspector is ever going to be able to
guarantee that we have rooted out, root and branch, the entirety of
Saddam's program relative to weapons of mass destruction."

Calling for military action on the scale of the Gulf War seven years
earlier, he continued, "The only way we're going to get rid of Saddam
Hussein is we're going to end up having to start it alone." He told
the Marine veteran, "it's going to require guys like you in uniform to
be back on foot in the desert taking Saddam down."

When Ritter tried to make the case that President Bill Clinton's
proposed large-scale bombing of Iraq could jeopardize the UN
inspections process, Biden condescendingly replied that decisions on
the use of military force were "beyond your pay grade." As Ritter
predicted, when Clinton ordered UN inspectors out of Iraq in December
of that year and followed up with a four-day bombing campaign known as
Operation Desert Fox, Saddam was provided with an excuse to refuse to
allow the inspectors to return. Biden then conveniently used Saddam's
failure to allow them to return as an excuse for going to war four
years later.

In the face of widespread skepticism over administration claims
regarding Iraq's military capabilities, Biden declared that President
Bush was justified in being concerned about Iraq's alleged pursuit of
WMD. Even though Iraq had eliminated its chemical weapons arsenal by
the mid-1990s, Biden insisted categorically in the weeks leading up to
the Iraq war resolution that Saddam Hussein still had chemical
weapons. Even though there is no evidence that Iraq had ever developed
deployable biological weapons and its biological weapons program had
been eliminated some years earlier, Biden insisted that Saddam had
biological weapons, including anthrax and that "he may have a strain"
of small pox. And, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency
had reported as far back as 1998 that there was no evidence whatsoever
that Iraq had any ongoing nuclear program, Biden insisted Saddam was
"seeking nuclear weapons."

Said Biden, "One thing is clear: These weapons must be dislodged from
Saddam, or Saddam must be dislodged from power." He did not believe
proof of the existence of any actual weapons to dislodge was
necessary, however, insisting that "If we wait for the danger from
Saddam to become clear, it could be too late." He further defended
President Bush by falsely claiming, "He did not snub the U.N. or our
allies. He did not dismiss a new inspection regime. He did not ignore
the Congress. At each pivotal moment, he has chosen a course of
moderation and deliberation."

In an Orwellian twist of language designed to justify the war
resolution, which gave President Bush the unprecedented authority to
invade a country on the far side of the world at the time and
circumstances of his own choosing, Biden claimed, "I do not believe
this is a rush to war. I believe it is a march to peace and security.
I believe that failure to overwhelmingly support this resolution is
likely to enhance the prospects that war will occur."

It is also important to note that Biden supported an invasion in the
full knowledge that it would not be quick and easy and that the United
States would have to occupy Iraq for an extended period, declaring,
"We must be clear with the American people that we are committing to
Iraq for the long haul; not just the day after, but the decade after."

Despite all this, Obama offered him the vice presidency and has given
him a leading role in his administration's foreign policy.


The most critical foreign policy appointment is that of secretary of
state. For this position and despite enormous skepticism regarding the
war among most State Department veterans, President Obama chose
Clinton, one of the Senate's most outspoken supporters of Bush's Iraq
policy. In order to justify her vote to authorize the US invasion of
Iraq in October 2002, despite widespread and public skepticism
expressed by arms control experts over the Bush administration's
claims that Iraq had somehow rearmed itself, Senator Clinton was
insisting that Iraq's possession of biological and chemical weapons
was "not in doubt" and was "undisputed." She also falsely claimed that
Iraq was "trying to develop nuclear weapons."

Nonexistent WMD were not the only false claims Clinton made to justify
a US invasion of Iraq. For example, she insisted that Saddam had given
aid, comfort and sanctuary to al-Qaeda terrorists

Even after US forces invaded and occupied Iraq and confirmed that Iraq
did not have WMD, active WMD programs, offensive delivery systems or
ties to al-Qaeda as she and other supporters of the war had claimed,
Clinton defended her vote to authorize the invasion anyway. As a
result, she essentially acknowledged that Iraq's alleged possession of
WMD was not really what motivated her vote to authorize the war after
all, but was instead a ruse to frighten the American people into
supporting the invasion. Her actual motivation appears to have been
about oil and empire.

During the first four years following the invasion, Clinton was a
steadfast supporter of Bush administration policy. When Rep. John
Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) made his first call for the withdrawal of US
forces from Iraq in November 2005, she denounced his effort, calling a
withdrawal of US forces a big mistake. In 2006, when Senator Kerry
sponsored an amendment that would have required the redeployment of US
forces from Iraq in order to advance a political solution to the
growing sectarian strife, she voted against it. She came out against
the war only when she began her presidential campaign, recognizing
that public opinion had turned so decisively in opposition that there
was no hope of her securing the Democratic nomination unless she
changed her position.

She has also decried Iran's "involvement in and influence over Iraq,"
an ironic complaint for someone who voted to authorize the overthrow
of the anti-Iranian secular government of Saddam Hussein despite his
widely predicted replacement by pro-Iranian Shiite fundamentalist
parties. She also went on record repeating a whole series of false,
exaggerated and unproven charges by Bush administration officials
regarding Iranian support for the Iraqi insurgency, even though the
vast majority of foreign support for the insurgency had come from
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, and that the majority of the
insurgents are fanatically anti-Iranian and anti-Shiite.

Where's the Hope?

A foreign policy team like this in charge raises serious questions as
to whether Obama - despite his admirable anti-war position during the
period leading up to the invasion - can really get us out of Iraq. His
August 31 speech failed to condemn the decision to go to war or the
politicians of both parties who lied about the alleged Iraqi threat.

Nor is it likely that the US Congress, the leadership of which is
largely composed of pro-war Democrats and pro-war Republicans, will
provide pressure to accelerate the withdrawal or demand that all
troops be out by next year as promised. The way the Democratic Party
has essentially rewarded those who made possible the needless
sacrifice of American lives, treasure and credibility in the world
leaves little incentive for those like Clinton, Biden, Kerry, Reid,
Feinstein, Berman and Hoyer to get us out of Iraq and little
disincentive for leading us into another senseless and tragic war.

Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern
studies at the University of San Francisco.

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