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The Problem With Howard Dean

The Problem With Howard Dean
By David Swanson

Question: How is Howard Dean like the Bible?

Answer: There is no position for which you cannot, with a little research, find both support and opposition in the pronouncements of Howard Dean.

Today exulted: "DEAN GETS IT! Hurrah! Hooray! A million kudos! Howard Dean says that Democrats have to start telling the truth!!!

Quite an accomplishment, no doubt, but is that ALL that Dean said? And what did he say about the war?

Here's the section of Dean's recent interview with CBS that elicited such cheering:

HARRIS: What are the activists in your party expecting from senators on the Roberts nomination? As I said, as long as I've been listening to you speak, your message has been consistent: The party's got to start fighting, stop getting along to go along, show some backbone.
DEAN: I think what activists are expecting is for them to be tough but fair. I mean, the hallmark of the Republicans is, Say anything. If you keep saying it people will believe it even if it's not true.
HARRIS: Does that work for them?
DEAN: I think it has worked for them because we haven't stood up and said, “This is absolutely not true and therefore, you ought to be embarrassed to be saying so.


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In fact he points out we should draw everyone out, but leave after the constitution is complete.

Just start a complete, full withdrawl. Leave some on the ground to help finish the constitution, and get everyone else out of there.

Meaning get everyone who is guarding the OIL OUT OF THERE. That is the only reason they are there, and the rest of the military, especially the U.N. can handle the issues.

Get em out and get them away from the oil, permanently, and Dean he agrees with that.

Doug E.

I've watched Dean closly since 2002- and what your list fails to take into account are the changing circumstances and situations, politically and militarily, surrounding his words. It's only half right, even as comprehensive as it's volume might suggest. But if you look at the dates and recall what was going on in Iraq and what was going on in the House and the Senate, and the role he was playing at what time, and his consistency is spot on.

As DNC chair his options and his plans are drastically different than that of prospective president. As DNC chair he has worked on raising money, developing message, and working with the grassroots where he's focused his energy. As a campaigning presidential hopeful, he was saying what he'd do as commander in chief, how he would use the intelligence at his disposal, how he would work in the world community, and how he would manage our military to fix Georgie's mess. They are hardly the same thing and attempting to force him to frame his position in the exact same way in each role is ludicrous. It's apples and oranges.

Opposing the war and fighting it to win are not in any way in conflict with each other. The civil war going on right now (though they won't tell you that's what it is) would engulf Iran, Syria, Israel, Kuwait, Turkey, and even Israel if we were not there right now. It's a simple extrapolation of the current middle eastern climate that WE HAVE ALREADY started, for better or worse.

I'm no hawk- I marched in NY, San Francisco, Seattle, etc... opposing this utterly contemptable catastrophe- but in looking at the consequences of what Georgie-boy has done requires a great deal of clear-eyed understanding in middle eastern affairs- political and religious, social and economic- and the power vacuum our premature demobilization would create would make the blood on our hands (100,000 + and counting) look inconsequencial by comparison.

So when you're standing in the circling firing squad be mindful there's someone on the other side of the circle! The Republicans are going down because of blind ideology... things are changing really quickly and inflexibility would only weaken the Democrats (think Whig Party). The UN needs to be there with all our allies sharing the load, but blindly pulling out would be folly, and that wasn't the case in 2003. It grew apparent in 2004, and now it's an undeniable reality.

Dean is in the hot seat and has been since '03. He's remained true to his principles that THIS war was a mistake, and the deeper into it we get the greater the consequences become. There is no way to correct the mistake at this point and what he says reflects that understanding.

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