Monday, September 19, 2005

Clinton Shifts Position

From Newsmax:

Contradicting his previous statements on the Iraq war, ex-President Bill Clinton said Sunday that there was no basis to attack the rogue nation when President Bush began the Iraq war two years ago.

"The administration . . . decided to launch this invasion virtually alone and before the U.N. inspections were completed - with no real urgency, no evidence that there was any weapons of mass destruction there," he complained to ABC's "This Week."

"I did not favor what was done," Clinton said.

"I thought that diverted our attention from [Afghanistan] and al Qaida and undermined the support that we might have had," he said. "But what's done is done."

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Clinton's comments represented a marked shift from the position he took as president.

"We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century," he warned in a Feb. 1998 speech.

"And they will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. . . . There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us."

But the ex-president suggested Sunday that deposing Saddam by military force had been a mistake.

Asked if he thought the U.S. had a strategy for victory in Iraq, Clinton told "This Week": "Well, if we do it's not working right now."

If he were president, Clinton said he'd make stabilizing Afghanistan a bigger priority than securing Iraq.

"The only thing I would sacrifice [Iraq] to is if I felt we were going to lose in Afghanistan. We cannot lose in Afghanistan. We cannot let the Taliban come back. We cannot let Karzai fail. We cannot relax our efforts to try to keep undermining the al Qaida because that's still, by far, a bigger threat to our security."

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