I am often told that it is fruitless to discuss the vote on the 2002 Authorization To Use Military Force Against Iraq. I suppose the reason is that the only person the voting public has held accountable for that resolution is Hillary Clinton. I might be the only person in the world who thinks it is important to actually resolve issues as opposed to just pretending that they will eventually just go away.
It appears that Joe Biden was never criticized for voting in favor of the 2002 resolution, until now, because he had not run for president after the vote, until now. Additionally, Trump and congressional Republicans are now attempting to use that resolution as authorization for Trump to have assassinated General Soleimani. So, before you brush this topic off as irrelevant, you might want to consider how often it comes back into political discussions along with the lie that it was a war resolution rather than a peace resolution.
I initially wrote this piece in 2016 and posted it on Yabberz.com. I present it in the current political environment because it is still The Big Lie.
There are lies, and then there are LIES! We all tell lies every now and then for various and sundry reasons. We were taught in grade school that George Washington never told a lie. Actually THAT was a lie. I have not done the research to support my claim that President Washington never told a lie. However, President Washington was a man, and men lie.
All lies have consequences. Some have small consequences and some have large consequences. Some lies can actually change the course of human history. In the United States of America the people who run our government used to be thought of as statesmen. For some time now, they are thought of as politicians. Politicians are professional liars. They do it so well that they actually make a living doing it. In this post I will attempt to expose one of the lies that actually changed the course of human history, and was a very large factor in the election of the first African American President of The United States of America. Chris Matthews said on the HBO series Real Time With Bill Maher, episode 297 on October 11, 2013 that he really believed the reason Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Democratic nomination in 2008 was because she voted for the war in Iraq and Barack Obama didn’t. When someone makes a statement like that I always say there are three very important things to consider as to why Barack Obama didn’t vote for the war and Hillary Clinton is said to have done so.
First Barak Obama was a state senator in Illinois at the time the vote on the Resolution To Use Military Force Against Iraq was taken in the United States Congress, and therefore he could not have voted for or against it. In fact, he later iterated that had he actually been in Congress at the time, he did not know how he would have voted. Second, Hillary Clinton actually was in Congress at that time and more importantly, she was a member of the New York delegation and New York City had been attacked on September 11, 2001. Indeed if I were a resident of the great state of New York and a member of that congressional delegation did not vote in favor of that resolution they would have never gotten my vote again, even though I always thought it was unwise and illegal for the United States to have invaded Iraq in 2003. Thirdly, and the premise of this post, is that the Resolution To Use Military Force Against Iraq was not a declaration of war and was not initially sold by the Bush administration to be an authorization to use war as a first option to force Iraq to allow weapons inspectors back in the country.
How did this lie begin? Sometimes the seeds for a history-changing lie are planted well before the actual lie is told, and the resulting history-changing lie is oftentimes an unintended consequence of a purely innocent and unrelated event. Ironically, the seeds for this lie turned out to be very related to the actual lie.
The seeds for The BIG LIE were planted in 1990 when the United States, led by President George Herbert Walker Bush, led a U.N. authorized coalition to expel Saddam Hussein and Iraq from Kuwait after Saddam had invaded and annexed Kuwait. Unlike the “coalition” that invaded Iraq in 2003, the coalition in 1990 was a real coalition. It included the United Kingdom of course, but it also included Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In fact, Saudi Arabia contributed $36 billion of the $60 billion cost of the operation.
The seeds that were planted in Desert Storm that grew up to be the invasion of Iraq in 2003 were primarily two things. One was the establishment of a military base in Saudi Arabia by the United States. This was the reason Osama Bin Laden gave for waging a jihad against the United States that led to the attacks in September 2001. The second seed was the unsatisfied desire of the neocons to depose Saddam Hussein, which President George H. W. Bush refused to do. Bush 41 subscribed to a new world order under which he operated in the first Gulf War in 1990. He once noted that the “premise was that the United States henceforth would be obligated to lead the world community to an unprecedented degree, as demonstrated by the Iraqi crisis, and that we should attempt to pursue our national interests wherever possible, within a framework of concert with our friends and the international community (Bush and Scowcroft, 1999, pp.399 – 400) This is very similar to what President Obama calls “leading from behind”. Bush 43, on the other hand, laid out his vision of the future of U. S. foreign policy in his State of the Union speech in January 2002, following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The speech, written by neoconservative David Frum, named Iraq, Iran and North Korea as states that ”constitute an axis of evil” and ”pose a grave and growing danger.” Bush suggested the possibility of preemptive war: ”I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”
The Bush doctrine reversed the new world order seed that had been planted by his father and installed a new order of pre-emptive war that was counter not only to the new world order but to any foreign policy in which the United States had engaged in the history of the nation.
After the seeds for the big lie were planted the seeds had to be watered in order to germinate. The watering was done by the neo-cons and the press. The neo-cons wanted to go to war because war is the primary way for the United States to dominate the world and that is the objective of the neo-cons. The press is lazy but they desire high ratings. The Bush administration and the neo-cons had convinced the American public that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and that anyone who opposed that notion was unpatriotic.
The administration sold the Resolution To Use Military Force Against Iraq to Congress and the American people as an attempt to secure United Nations approval to use military force IF (BIG “IF”) Saddam Hussein would not allow weapons inspectors back into Iraq to give an accounting of the weapons of mass destruction that were to be destroyed after the U.S. led coalition liberated Kuwait in 1991. U.N. weapons inspectors had overseen a WMD destruction program until they were forced out of Iraq by Saddam Hussein in 1998, after which the Clinton administration adopted a policy of regime change in Iraq. However, it is unlikely that President Clinton or any other U.S. president in our history would have pre-emptively invaded a sovereign nation without provocation or an imminent attack on the U.S.A. or a U.S. ally.
The following excerpts from a speech delivered by Senator Clinton on October 10, 2002 after she had voted for The Resolution To Use Military Force Against Iraq is clear evidence that she did not vote for a war or invasion of Iraq and specifically warned against such action except as a last resort.
“…If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?
So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.”
Senator Clinton further stated:
“…Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good-faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any UN resolution calling for unrestricted inspections. (She did not know at the time that she was speaking of Bernie Sanders).
This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make — any vote that may lead to war should be hard — but I cast it with conviction.”
And she ended the speech thusly:
“…So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being
in the best interests of our nation.
A vote for it is not a vote to rush to
war; it is a vote that puts awesome
responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him – use these
powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to
Saddam Hussein – this is your last chance – disarm or be disarmed.
Thank you, Mr. President.”
So Senator Clinton did not vote for a war or invasion of Iraq. Nor was the resolution sold by the Bush administration to Congress or the American public as a war or invasion of Iraq. So my contention has always been and continues to be that in reality no one in Congress actually voted for a war with or invasion of Iraq since no such proposal was ever introduced in Congress. The purpose of the resolution was to present a united Congress in full support of President Bush’s efforts to seek United Nations approval to send weapons inspectors back to Iraq to give a full accounting of weapons of mass destruction, which the Iraqi regime contended had been destroyed. Further, the resolution indeed required the president to come back to Congress before using military force, in order to support a claim that all diplomatic means had been exhausted. Bush did not do that.
What was the response of the press after the vote on the resolution? On October 11, 2002, the day after the vote, Four out of six of the nation’s major newspapers did not report objections to a rush to war by Democrats. Conservative outlets like the Washington Post reported that Congress had voted to use military force against Iraq without pointing to the conditions related to that action, while liberal outlets reported that Congress has given President Bush the authority to decide to go to war with Iraq if necessary. The New York Times included in its report a quote from Senator Clinton;
“Mrs. Clinton said she had concluded that bipartisan support would make the president’s success at the United Nations ”more likely and, therefore, war less likely.”
USA Today reported that Congress has passed a resolution that “could” be used as an authorization to go to war with Iraq.
In my opinion, the nomination was stolen from Senator Clinton in 2008 by the DNC and the press (led by NBC). The DNC disallowed delegates won by Senator Clinton in Florida and Michigan that would have given her the momentum to capture the nomination outright. NBC led the media in sabotaging the nomination by promoting claims by the Obama campaign that Bill and Hillary Clinton were racists because Hillary said although Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement it took Lyndon Johnson to get the bill passed in Congress, and Bill Clinton had said that Obama had won the South Carolina primary just as Jesse Jackson had won the primary in that state in 1988 because they both ran good campaigns. I fail to see how either of those statements were racist but the claim that they were racist was enough to influence many black voters who had held the Clintons in high regard, to abandon Hillary in the Democratic primaries. The media and the Obama campaign successfully convinced Democratic primary voters in 2008 that Senator Obama had superior judgment because he came out early on in opposition to the war in Iraq while Senator Clinton had voted for the war.
President Obama is a shrewd politician and maybe he would have won the nomination without promoting THE BIG LIE. However, as a supporter of the president, I would have felt a lot better about him had he not promoted THE BIG LIE!
And now, in 2016 Senator Bernie Sanders is repeating The Big Lie!
On one hand, I can’t say I know what was in Joe Biden’s or Hillary Clinton’s minds when they voted for the AUMF that was the vehicle for Bush launching the Iraq War.
To be clear though, many Americans didn’t support it and suspected Bush’s Admin was lying to force this war. There were protests in the US and around the world against it (that the MSM barely covered). The majority of Democrats in The House recognized that it would lead to war in Iraq and did not vote for it. 21 of the 50 Dem Senators voted against it.
So Biden and Clinton at the very least showed poor judgement compared to the many Dems who saw it for what it was and opposed it. The two believed an already discredited Bush when most Dems in Congress didn’t. The real question is why did they lean towards believing Bush instead of suspecting his, Cheney’s and the rest of the Admin’s motives? Not recognizing Bush’s motives does reflect on their decision-making abilities.
At the time, I was very disappointed in both of them, couldn’t understand why they would believe what seemed like obvious deception and warmongering to me.
Then I just figured, they may have been concerned that they might be hammered as “weak” on foreign policy if they ran for president after voting against the AUMF and it turned out Saddam had WMDs or staged some subsequent attack.
But the truth is that their vote for and the passage of the 2002 AUMF helped sell the public on supporting the eventual going to war against Iraq.
It was a big mistake in judgement, we can look back now and see that. And it is not the case that most Dems in Congress felt similarly, most actually opposed their position and many of them were concerned that it was a ploy to push the US into war. They were right and Biden and Clinton were, at best, misguided.
The Iraq War brought about ISIS which brought about the refugee crisis which helped bring about widespread nationalistic sensibilities in many Western countries. It was a disaster that continues threats and bloodshed today so for me, the decision to support the AUMF that led to all of this is a legitimate issue to use to consider the judgement of a candidate.
Biden and Clinton may have thought it would move peace forward but de facto, they were very wrong and were on the wrong side of a disastrous chain of events.
It didn’t and doesn’t disqualify either of them from running for president but it is reflective of their decision-making and valid in terms of voters’ considerations of the judgement of candidates in the primary.
Biden has been on the right side of many major issues but also on the wrong side of big issues. Personally, I do not have the greatest confidence in his decision-making but if he is the Dem om, I will fully support him to beat Trump.
So if 21 of 50 Democratic senators voted against the resolution, that means 29 of 50 Democratic senators voted in favor of it. In hind-site everyone can see how Bush and congressional republicans misused it, but should we not make laws because there is a chance someone will misuse them? If someone misuses a law, that person should be held accountable for that, not those who made the law, if the law was otherwise a good law.
I contend that the resolution was sold to Congress and to the American people not as a war resolution but as a peace resolution, and Senator Clinton CLEARLY stated that as the reason her voted for it at the time she registered her vote. Some congressional democrats saw the resolution as a war resolution all along, and did not have faith that the president would use it as it was passed, or the ability of Congress to prevent the president from abusing the law. I come down firmly on the side of those who voted to give peace a chance.
The most egregious thing about the resolution to me, is how politicians like Obama and Sanders and others have lied about it in order to get a political advantage about their supposed superior judgment. One provision of the resolution that its critics COMPLETLY IGNORES is that it required the president to come to Congress before using military force and present a case that diplomatic efforts had failed. Bush DID NOT do that. If I recall correctly, the public protests were against the “rush to war”, and Hillary Clinton protested that as well.
Trump has attempted to use that same resolution to attack Iran, EVEN THOUGH the resolution was specific to Iraq. So are the 29 Democratic senators who voted for the resolution in 2002 responsible for trump using it to assassinate Soleimani as well? At some point perpetuating the lie must end, and the people who abuse the law are the ones who should be held accountable.
What I am addressing is the issue of personal responsibility for one’s own actions. This was a profound decision they made that resulted in exactly what many predicted before the vote yet Biden and Clinton lacked the wisdom and vision to recognize it.
I do disagree with you that supporting their decision is supporting peace. The majority of peace activists would disagree with you as well, most were loudly protesting against the AUMF and opposed giving Bush the power to go to war. They knew he would use it, maybe a majority of Americans did, even and especially those who wanted war.
So neither gets off the hook by claiming after the fact, “How was I to know?” Most Dems in Congress saw what they didn’t or wouldn’t see. It was a lapse in judgment by Biden and Clinton that most Dems in Congress didn’t have.
It’s really a basic proposition. If one wants peace, the best path is to oppose any resolution that allows for war. Voting for a conditional war is still voting for war and that’s what Biden and Clinton did, even if they mistakenly thought the threat of war was the smartest path to peace. It was, not surprisingly, the most direct path to war when granting war powers to warmongers.
Did anyone really see Dick Cheney as a peacenik? Or Rumsfeld? Wolfowitz? Perle? Or any of the other neocons who made up Bush’s Admin? They were the ones, as Project for the New American Century (PNAC), who built and controlled Bush’s foreign policy and even before Bush was elected, they declared that their primary focus was regime change in Iraq.
Peace activists knew that, Dems in Congress knew that, many in the public knew that, Biden and Clinton knew that…and yet they claim that giving BUSH’S PNAC cabinet the power to go to war in Iraq…would result in peace? Not even mentioning how Bush may have felt about Saddam/Iraq trying to assassinate his father. But Bush would want peace when he could instead use war to force regime change and take their oil? I just don’t see their decision as wise.
The potential for the AUMF to lead to war in Iraq was explicit in the document. It was a central complaint by those in the Dem party and some in the media that this was just a ploy for Bush to go to war in Iraq. Biden and Clinton were well aware of this but despite it, they decided they would support it.
I mean, I have to question the judgment of anyone who would have seen Bush as trustworthy in the first place. That alone was poor judgment.
Let’s take Hillary at her word, that she voted for it because she saw it as the best way to pursue peace. No one can argue, history proves she was very wrong. She made a poor decision despite all the voices clamoring for her not to support it, that it would free Bush to take the US to war. Same with Biden.
Had the AUMF never been approved, we would not have gone through the Iraq War and all of the disastrous events that followed. These are the stakes when you are a politician and you choose to give the president the power to go to war, as it turned out, endlessly.
Wisdom is considering the source of alleged facts and considering whose hands you are voting to put enormous destructive power in.
What this vote represented to me and I think a majority of Dems who voted for Obama over Hillary in the 2008 primary, is that she didn’t display the wisdom that most other Democrats in Congress did and thus, it would be preferable to support Obama who opposed the AUMF and did display good judgment.
My intention here isn’t to drag Biden or Clinton on this but it is to say that responsibility for one’s own actions and one’s own contributions to something bad happening do not get wiped away because they didn’t have the wisdom that most other Dems did to be very skeptical and concerned that Bush was lying and pushing the AUMF through to go to war against Iraq.
And as for Clinton’s claim to being a peacemaker, remember this from the 2008 primary?
These are the words of someone seeking peace with other countries? Hillary Clinton was regarded as a war hawk for years and this type of statement backs that up, I don’t see the portrayal of her as only seeking peace as consistent with this terrible threat.
It is correct that 29 Dem Senators voted for the AUMF while 21 voted against it. My point was, opinion among Dem Senators was divided, it’s not like Biden’s and Clinton’s views were overwhelmingly the views of Dems.
In fact, in The House, a wide majority of Dems opposed it, 60% of them at 126 against 81 in favor. So that totals up to a total of 147 Dems in Congress opposed it while 110 voted for it. Biden and Clinton were in that minority.
What did the majority of Congressional Dems recognize that Biden and Clinton didn’t? Most did see it as moving towards war with Iraq and they were right. Biden and Clinton displayed poor judgement, both in blindly trusting the pretty obvious lies the Bush Admin served up and in perhaps obliviously contributing to the U.S. going to war in Iraq which as I mentioned above, is the biggest strategic mistake in our generation.
They were privy to all the information and insights that the majority of Dems in Congress were yet they decided, for whatever reason, to go down the other path.
We all need to take responsibility for our decisions in life and the indisputable logic is that their decision ended up supported the destruction of so many countries and people.
Yes, there are degrees of responsibility, they and all the Congresspeople who voted for the AUMF are not as responsible as Bush, Cheney and all the warmongers in the Bush Admin who badly wanted this war, regime change and theft of Iraq’s oil. But without the cooperation of those in Congress who approved the ability to go to war in Iraq, it couldn’t have happened.
Respectfully, I totally disagree with the premise that the 2002 resolution was not written and passed as an attempt to peaceably persuade Saddam Hussein to allow weapons inspectors to return to Iraq to give an accounting of WMD, regardless of what so-called peace activists thought. I challenge the peace activists to actually read the resolution. In fact, I too was a peace activist and I supported the resolution, but not the invasion of Iraq. From my perspective the ones who displayed a lack of judgment where those who voted against giving peace a chance, and they compound that by putting Democrats who supported the resolution for peaceful purposes with republicans who supported it for war.
Additionally, the majority of Democrats in the Senate voted in favor of the resolution, while the majority of Democrats in the House voted against it. Voters in New York supported Hillary Clinton’s vote, as 83% of Democrats voted for her re-election in the 2006 primary for the senator of New York, and 67% voted for her in the general election. Another point to consider is that at the time of the invasion 90% of Americans supported it. That 90% mathematically had to include many who now blame people like Hillary Clinton, but not themselves
Bush always maintained that he did not need the 2002 resolution to invade Iraq. He was content on using the same resolution Bush 41 used to push Iraq from Kuwait in the first Gulf war. So I do not buy into the notion that either Democrats who voted for the resolution or those who voted against it supported or in any way contributed to Bush illegally using it as justification to invade Iraq, and I think those who hold Democrats who voted for peace as being responsible for that invasion allow republicans to make the false claim that even Democrats voted for the war with Iraq. The truth is that there were only two Democrats who voted for that resolution who also supported the rush to war, that being Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller.
As to your last paragraph, I agree that the Dem Congresspeople who voted for the AUMF deserve blame, responsibility is on their hands too but not anywhere to the degree of Bush and his neocon admin who pushed the button and blew up our future.
I think Tom Hartman initially blamed Democrats who voted for the 2002 resolution for supporting the war in Iraq. In this article he seems to blame them for trusting that Bush 43, the president of the United States, would act in the best interest of the United States, and not abuse the authority granted to him by the Constitution and Congress.
Maybe I am just different from most people, but I don’t hold it against members of Congress who trusted the president, as I think ALL Americans should be able to trust the president. There were conditions in the resolution to prevent a well-intentioned president from using military force unnecessarily. Bush ignored those conditions.
Because DEMOCRATIC politicians have used the 2002 resolution as a political tool and have lied about those who voted for it, more Americans blame Hillary Clinton for the invasion of Iraq than blame George W Bush. One reason for that is because republicans STILL think the invasion was justified, so Bush doesn’t get negative reviews from them, while Democrats who don’t think the invasion was justified (me being one of them) look on those who voted for the resolution as a peace resolution as having bad judgment.
From my perspective, THAT is a lack of judgment on the part of those people.
I think part of our difference of opinion on why Dems shouldn’t have trusted Bush’s assurances that he wasn’t using the AUMF to go to war with Iraq is that you express a view of how a president’s word should be ideally regarded while my view incorporates how that particular president and his words should have been viewed.
Bush was not a generic president. He was not a respectable man. He outright lied many times in his campaign and presidency, he sat back to let his campaign team pervert The Constitution and Democracy through a corrupt effort that was successful in stealing the U.S. Presidency.
His VP was as unethical, immoral and criminally-minded a politician as Trump is. Many of his closest cabinet officials were extremist neo-cons who had openly announced their intentions to make the U.S. imperialistic again and begin that “New America” by going into Iraq to force “regime change” (aka war).
The writing was on the wall. Bush was not some Masked Singer, we knew who he was and what he and his team wanted. Biden and Clinton and the other Dems chose to believe a liar and a cheat that they knew was a liar and a cheat and that much of the world saw as such. Dick Cheney was not a stranger to Biden and Clinton, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Perle were not mystery men to Biden and Clinton. They were proud and well-known warmongers with no shame or principles.
My point is that someone with wisdom considers the source when they’re told something and when it’s obvious the source has a track record of being devious AND one is aware that they have an underlying agenda that they may be serving, a wise person shouldn’t take them at their word.
If Trump came out today with the same AUMF proposal for Iran, would Dems be blameless for believing him and voting to give him the power to go to war which he then used to quickly go to war? He’s a widely known liar and surrounded by warmongers, I don’t see a difference when it comes to believing a known liar and warmonger in 2002 or 2020.
Again, I think political concerns may have also been a factor, if Saddam had WMDs and used them and Biden and Clinton had voted against the AUMF, how could they defend that decision if they ran for president? Or, maybe they did suspect Bush would go to war and in this way, they could see that happen but have plausible deniability that they wanted war. In any case, they bear responsibility for giving Bush the power to go to war in Iraq despite knowing he was dishonest and his team’s public declarations of wanting to go to war in Iraq.
But just to be clear, while this was a factor in my preferring Obama over Clinton in 2008, I voted for Hillary in 2016 and would not hesitate to vote for Biden this Nov if he’s the Dem nominee (though I prefer and am supporting Warren right now).
Sometimes in life, you have to trust in truths and not allow fears or self-interest to alter important decision making.
Their “surprise” that a known liar like Bush lied to them reminds me of the old fable Trump has stolen (because he’s been told it repeatedly to describe himself), of the scorpion and the frog:
I think you might be right. Personally, I supported the 2002 resolution, although I opposed the invasion and quite frankly thought it violated both U.S. and international law. Democrats who supported the resolution did so as a means to first resolve the Iraq issue after 9/11 in a peaceful manner, but if that failed they were prepared to use military force. That is the part that I agreed with then as well as now, and I think that is where Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and others were then and now, if the truth be known.
Here is the problem. We agree that the Constitution tasked Congress with the authority and responsibility to declare war. We also agree that Congress has not used that authority since WWII. We may or may not agree that in 1973 Congress gave the president the authority to use military force without a declaration of war under certain circumstances, but still in consultation with Congress, i.e., The War Powers Act of 1973.
Since 1973 presidents don’t need a resolution or AUMF from Congress to engage the military in conflicts, as long as there is an imminent threat to the U.S. or our allies. Congressional resolutions are only used to show that Congress supports the president in a particular conflict.
When we elect any president, we are saying that we trust their judgment to use the military, pursuant to the War Powers Act, at their discretion. So without the 2002 resolution Bush 43 could have and no doubt would have used the military to invade Iraq. In the view of some congressional Democrats the resolution was for the purpose of giving peace a chance. The U.N. did not sanction the use of military force. They only agreed to send weapons inspectors back to Iraq. That is also the position congressional Democrats supported. In 1998, Saddam expelled the weapons inspectors. In 2003, he did not. However, Bush pulled the inspectors so he could invade Iraq. The judgment and responsibility for the invasion of Iraq is fully and squarely on Bush and congressional republicans, because that was ALWAYS their intent.
Could Bush and congressional republicans have used the votes of congressional Democrats to persuade the public that the invasion was necessary? Of course they could, and they did, in spite of the objection of every congressional Democrat to the rush to war.
As I stated in my original post, the problem I have with the big lie is how Democrats, including President Obama, who was actually the first presidential candidate to use it as a political strategy, as well as the so-called liberal media, used and continue to use such a serious issue as war for PURELY POLITICAL PURPOSES.